We just love Mom! The hit comedy returns to CBS on November 5th and we recently visited the set in Studio city California to chat about the upcoming season with its stars, Anna Faris and Allison Janney. The two comediennes seemed as close as the mother and daughter they play on the show, and gave our own Max Wyeth (@MaxWyeth) a peek into what to expect this season.
You two play gals with a whole lot of heart, but also struggle with issues of addiction. How do you find the balance in playing these characters while keeping it fun?
Anna Faris: It’s challenging, but we have amazing writers, and getting to work with Allison… That’s the thrill of it, getting to balance these issues that impact so many people today while also getting to have the comedy elements. Chuck Lorre said that he wanted to focus on the quality of jokes on this show, not quantity, so we hope that we set things up [so] that there is relief at the end of each scene, so we can find humor in these dark struggles
Allison Janney: Every issue that we deal on the show is incredibly rewarding as an actress—to get to do the comedy, but feature real-life issues. We think these characters and situations do really reflect life. You have to be able to laugh through the pain. It is always so rewarding when someone comes up to you and says, “I’ve been in recovery for 20 years and thank God somebody is talking about it on network television.” It makes me feel really good about what I do.
You have had so many great guest stars on the show. Let’s talk about a few you will be having this season, including Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn.
Allison Janney: My God, it’s fantastic! Ellen Burstyn play’s my character Bonnie’s birthmother and it was a great week working with her. We hope we can get her back, as it was extraordinary working with her. I am a huge fan of hers and thankfully, with this great material we are working with, a huge amount of actresses are wanting to work with us. People are responding to our material and waiting to work with us. We have Judy Greer on the show this week, and it’s been tremendous fun.
Anna Farris: To be able to act with this amazing cast, but especially this amazing cast of women, is wonderful. I mean, we have had Octavia Spencer and Mimi Kennedy. The people we are able to attract to come on and guest star on the show are really a testament to the writers. In the episode where Ellen [Burstyn] guests, we also have the great June Squibb, who is so much fun to work with, and a riot.
You also have an amazing group of young actors on the show. What is it like working with them daily?
Anna Faris: Both Sadie Calvano and Blake Garrett Rosenthal, who play my kids on the show, are wise beyond their years and we have so much fun shooting with them.
Allison Janney: It’s so nice to have this young cast around us. I learn from them every day. I kind of thought going in I would be teaching them, but they have been teaching me a thing or two!
Who would you love to see guest star on the show?
Allison Janney: Well, I am definitely thinking in the female category because we have had so many great women on the show. I would love to have Carol Burnett, Meryl Streep, why not Madonna—I want them all! I mean, Maggie Smith, please come on the show.
Anna Faris: I mean, I am dying for my husband, Chris Pratt, to come on, but he is booked solid! But he loves performing live, and loves the show, and comes to tapings when he can. I mean, we are both such hams it would just be so much fun.
Last question. Allison, where do you keep all of those Emmys?
Allison Janney: Haha, I have a bookshelf where they all reside together in my house! I feel so thankful to have won for Mom because, to me, it really shows the love for not just me, but recognition for the entire cast and crew.
Anna Faris: I also have to say that I love going to Allison’s house because it’s fun to play with them and make acceptance speeches. It’s a good time!
Watch the season premiere of Mom this Thursday November 5th at 9/8c on CBS.