Marcia Homosexual Harden ‘makes indignant humorous’ in CBS dramedy ‘So Assist Me Todd’

Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden mentioned her Tony-winning position as Veronica in “God of Carnage” helped form the character she performs within the new CBS dramedy “So Help Me Todd.”

“‘So Assist Me Todd’ is mixing the drama with the comedy, and that’s proper up my alley,” Harden, 63, advised The Submit. “It’s actually what I favor to do. I like comedy … ‘God of Carnage’ was very severe however you by no means stopped laughing and it was so bodily with the [verbal and emotional] pounding [of co-star] James Gandolfini on the sofa.

“Possibly [series creator/executive producer] Scott Prendergast noticed ‘God of Carnage’ and thought, ‘If you can also make indignant humorous, that’s a great factor.’”

Harden stars in “So Assist Me Todd,” premiering Sept. 29 (9 p.m.), as Margaret Wright, a high-powered lawyer in Portland, Ore. Her grown kids, who assume she’s approach too controlling, are following divergent paths. Daughter Allison (Madeline Wise) is a married ER physician; son Todd (Skylar Astin) is an erstwhile personal detective who misplaced his license two years earlier than and now works for an insurance coverage firm investigating incapacity scams.

Marcia Homosexual Harden and Skylar Astin as Margaret and Todd in “So Assist Me Todd,” premiering Sept. 29 on CBS.

Within the sequence opener, mom and son discover themselves working collectively, albeit grudgingly, when Todd will get concerned in considered one of Margaret’s circumstances involving a homicide — whereas, on the identical time, looking for her husband Harry (Mark Moses), who’s vanished off the grid amidst an sickness (Parkinson’s), leaving a puzzling path as to his whereabouts.

By episode’s finish, Margaret realizes that Todd for all his foibles, is absolutely good at his job — and hires him as her agency’s in-house investigator to ascertain the sequence premise.

“I feel that is one thing numerous dad and mom relate to and cope with,” Harden, a mom of three, mentioned in reference to Margaret and Todd’s relationship. “When you’ve got a black sheep within the household, to begin with, it’s your personal child, so that you don’t actually acknowledge how nice your youngsters are till any person else tells you … On this case, Todd actually is a black sheep and possibly has ADHD; I typically marvel if he’s somewhat on the spectrum — he’s on the market and he isn’t capable of be accountable. He’s so outdoors the field and so unconventional and [Margaret] is so contained in the field and a rule follower. I don’t assume she realizes his investigative, technical and digital talent ranges … and that she has to let him be who he’s.

“I feel each dad or mum will get to that place,” she mentioned. “Sooner or later you don’t have management anymore and you must let your youngsters be who they’re and cease attempting to shove them into your field. And whenever you cease that dance I feel they exponentially develop. It’s simply that basic dysfunctional relationship.”

Whereas Margaret and Todd’s relationship is on the crux of the sequence, Harden mentioned viewers will see each characters evolve because the sequence progresses.

Photo of Astin and Harden as Todd and Margaret. They're standing outside facing each other; Margaret looks very serious. She's wearing a checked jacket and a white shirt; he's wearing a brown coat with a dark brown collar.
Harden mentioned that Margaret must let Todd “be who he’s” as an alternative of attempting to manage him.

“What I hope for Margaret is that she stops attempting to maintain Todd — that he grows however that she grows, too, that what she desires as a girl in her early 60s involves fruition,” she mentioned. “That will get forgotten about. Different ladies throughout the nation of their 60s are going, ‘What do I need on this second or third chapter of my life?’

“She’s a girl I feel folks can relate to,” Harden mentioned. “She’s labored her approach up from the underside — her first husband died — and to me it’s not dissimilar to the pandemic of divorce. Ladies of their late 40s and 50s are not child-bearing and not, let’s say, pushed by the sexual dynamic — and the divorce price skyrockets and so they’re typically left with payments and decreased residing and children in school and the entire world of duty they gave up.

“What I like about Margaret is that she has this unimaginable energy; she labored her approach up from a authorized secretary to a accomplice on this regulation agency and now what she actually desires is her identify above the door, however she’s consistently hitting that cup ceiling and needs to bust by it,” she mentioned. “She’s additionally made a little bit of a mistake by hiring her son … and he’s consistently screwing issues up, so he’ll endanger her rise as they resolve circumstances collectively. I mentioned to the writers, ‘You higher make sure that she doesn’t get her identify above the door simply because Todd helped her.

“Be sure she deserves it as a result of she’s a very good lawyer.”

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