- Category: Interviews
- Created: Monday, 19 May 2014 08:12
- Published: Monday, 19 May 2014 17:46
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Actress Wendi McLendon-Covey insults Adam Sandler incessantly in her new movie BLENDED, and she admits both couldn't stop the jabs at each other while shooting the scene. The BLENDED star sits down with CineMovie to discuss the new comedy, her hilarious role on ABC's 'The Goldbergs" and her method to her scene-stealing roles.
Since bursting on the Hollywood scene in "Reno 911," Wendi McLendon-Covey has had a steady career on television and movies but it was her show-stopping turn in "Bridesmaids" that reminded audiences of her talents. We recently saw her in Tyler Perry's "The Single Mom's Club" and as the star of "The Goldbergs" as the over-protected mother Beverly Goldberg on the ABC comedy.
The California native is on screen with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in BLENDED playing Barrymore's best friend. In our Q&A with the actress, she's giving us some of the behind the scenes scoop on BLENDED which opens May 23rd and her television show.
Q: When you get a script, do you give your character your own interpretation?
Wendi: With this movie they called me and they already half way finished the movie. They had already been in Africa, and they were setting up production in Georgia. So they called me and asked me if I wanted to do it and I hadn't read it or needed to read it and I just said yes. I didn't even know what I was playing before I said yes. All I knew was that it was Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler and said I'll do it. This character was really fun. She's someone who thinks she doesn't need to have anyone weighing her down in life. She's not married yet, she doesn't need kids, she's not crazy about her friends kids but will stand up for them. I just think it's funny that she can't say the L word, even though we all know what it means and her friends listening to her conversation can understand and knows what it means. I love that her refusal to date a guy with kids is what launches this whole story. In the end of course she goes with the guy with the kids.
Q: Did Adam give you free range or did you have to keep to the script?
Wendi: The script was pretty tight when I finally got my copy because the story was there and the dialogue was great. We improvised a little bit but it didn't really need it. Truthfully the only time we were improvising was when we were trading insults. I don't know what made them think of me for it but I don't care. They thought of me. I did it and I had a good time.
Q: Have you ever had a horrible first date?
Wendi: Yes. I went out with a guy that kept reaching into an envelope in his car door and was rubbing powder on his gums. I didn't know what to do because cell phones weren't around, this was 1989 or 1990. I knew what he was doing so I thought what am I going to do call my mother to come get me. I didn't even have a dime for the pay phone so I thought I better just stick it out, I'm not that far from home. It was so weird. There was no second date. Then you have the dates where you have the poor losers that have nothing to say to you and you have nothing to say to them. You're just like lets just finish our dinner here at Sizzler and leave, this buffet was great but I gotta go now.
Q: How was it working with Drew?
Wendi: She's exactly the same way in person as she is on screen. The thing that makes anything funny to me is if you just play it straight, don't go for the joke - the joke is there and it will come out if it's funny to begin with… just play it straight. She does it with such earnestness, she never winks at the audience, she never makes you feel like 'Oh I'm gearing up for the laughs. She just plays it straight and it makes you lover her all the more.
Q: Your little league scene together was great. How was it to shoot that scene?
Wendi: That was the first time we met or worked together was that day. She's easy to work with and she's easy to play off of. It made it seem like we had a lot of chemistry and been friends for years and years. The minute you meet her you have this feeling that you want to protect her, she doesn't need protection but I'm going to protect her. So when this little league dad starts insulting her kid, who clearly has some issues, in real life I would go off. So that was very easy to play, that was a pleasure.
Q: You actually only had one scene with Adam. How was it working opposite him?
Wendi: That scene was fun. He just insults me, just give me insults. I thought I can't do that, I can't do that, what if I say the wrong thing. He made it easy, he made it a safe thing to do. You can say whatever you want I don't care and it was fun and they couldn't get us to stop insulting each other.
Q: Did you feel a little cheated out that you didn't go to South Africa?
Wendi: People have asked me that and quite honestly I didn't fell cheated until I saw the movie last night and then I thought that would have been so much fun. It was at Sun City and apparently it looks just like that. After seven weeks after being at this Vegas Oasis being in the middle of nothing everyone was going a little stir crazy.
Q: How much fun is it playing the mom on "The Goldbergs"?
Wendi: I love playing her, I love playing her so much and we've toned her down because she's a real person. Yeah she exist, I actually wear her clothes, she's a hoarder. She sent me boxes of her clothes, it's Adam's [Goldberg) real mother. She's still alive and she weighs in after every episode. She doesn't do it with me thank God but I was afraid to meet her because she can be down right rude. We had to tone her down a lot but she loved her kids. Every time she made an ass of herself it was because she loved her kids.
Q: Did you take that character and make it your own or are you imitating his mom?
Wendi: I've made her my own because I was raised by an over protective mother and so I put a lot of her feelings into it. But it is based off of stuff she really did and there is proof on the video tapes because Adam Goldberg saved all of his VHS tapes of him just filming the day to day minutia of what his family did and his mom was nuts.
Q: Who would have known that would have been comedy gold for him back then?
Wendi: I know, and one of his little friends on one of the pieces of footage they use at the end, she says 'Oh I don't care no one is ever going to see this stuff anyways.'
Q: Do you prefer TV over film or having the balance of both?
Wendi: I love doing both but if I'm being honest I like the pace of TV because it is a little faster, even though a single camera show like ours films like a movie, and the hours are very long but you see the result faster. Any movie you do even if they edit it quickly, like this one, it's still going to be at least a year before you see it. I love doing both but the pace is quicker on TV.