Funny Business: Wendi McLendon-Covey Talks All Things GOLDBERGS

Wendi McLendon-Covey the goldbergs

One of the few bright spots amidst a television season littered with a crop of not-so-marvellous new shows (Emphasis on the MARVEL!) can be found between 9 and 10PM eastern standard time on Tuesday nights. Thanks to its near pitch perfect mix of hilarity and all-too-relatable characters ABC’s one-two punch of THE GOLDBERGS and TROPHY WIFE may in fact be our favorite hour of television all week long. And a big part of the reason why is the matriarch of America’s new favorite family (Sorry Dunphy-Pritchett Clan!) Beverly Goldberg. But just what makes THE GOLDBERGS tick? We caught up with the woman who’s responsible for bringing sexy “smother” back to find out just that. See what actress Wendi McLendon-Covey had to say for yourself, after the jump.

With the show starting to take off, are people coming up to you in the streets to tell you how much your hilarious portrayal of Beverly Goldberg reminds them of their own mother?
Wendi McLendon-Covey: You know, it’s starting to happen more and more and I love hearing it. I just get such a kick out of it because didn’t we all just have embarrassing parents?

Some of us still do!
When your parents love you, they do embarrassing things. What can you do?!

Have you met the real-life Beverly Goldberg?
I did meet her and there is a picture of us floating around. She’s a cute little lady let me tell you. She’s a very intense woman but luckily she likes what I’m doing with the character because if she didn’t I would know it and I would have been reduced to tears. That woman does not pull punches!

How similar is your portrayal of Beverly to that of the real life Beverly?
I’ve toned the real Beverly down a lot. She’s even more insane than what we’re showing and has quite a spicy little mouth on her. Believe me, she would make a teamster start crying. But again, all out of love and protection for her kids. The stuff on this show has actually happened. People don’t believe a mom would give her teenage son a locket, well guess what, this mom did!

There are so many intangibles that come with creating that hit TV Show. Thinking back to that first table read, did you have any idea things would turn out so well?
You know what, not at all. In fact, when it came time for the first table read they hadn’t officially finished casting the show. There was a different kid cast as Adam and they weren’t even sure if they wanted to bring Troy [Gentile] on. Luckily everything came together perfectly and I’m thrilled because it so could have gone the other way.

Every actor likes to bring a little bit of themselves to the role they’re playing. What’s your relationship like with your mother?
My mom was really overprotective so I draw a lot from that and I’ve told the writers some stories that they are actually going to use in future episodes. The one that’s coming up this Tuesday sees Beverly falling asleep while eavesdropping on Erica through the air vent, well my mom did that to me! She will deny it to this day, but it happened!

How is it your overprotective “smother” allowed you to go into the perilous world of acting!?
She didn’t! She told me absolutely not, that’s stupid! Both my parents told me that it was a horrible idea, they did not support that and it will never happen. They were very anti-acting. They really thought that I would be a stewardess, have some kids and live within five miles of them. Now as it turns out, I live within two miles of my parents, but I think I was right about the other things.

Do you find yourselves becoming more motherly to your on screen children off screen?
I have exercised great restraint. But sometimes I can’t help but chime in, say, when Hayley [Orrantia] is talking about boys, I have to chime in. But other times I really keep to myself. This is not my responsibility, I’m not going to start bossing them around. Plus, I’m not a mom in real life so I have no right to say anything.

Does playing a mom on television make you think about what you might be like as a mother in real life?
That’s a funny question because I think I would be exactly like Beverly Goldberg. I think I would be that weird. I would be that mom hiding in the bushes looking into my kids classroom just waiting for someone to do something and look at my kid the wrong way! I think I would be insane and I think it’s best for everyone that I don’t inflict myself on a child.

THE GOLDBERGS airs on Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC (CTV in Canada). More info on THE GOLDBERGS can be found at abc.com.