‘Why Women Kill’ gets to the heart of the matter
Marc Cherry, who was so handy with his “Desperate Housewives” back in 2004, has returned with a whole new group of women designed to set our teeth on edge. “Why Women Kill” premieres on CBS All Access o Thursday and is about three women from three different eras dealing with the same problem.
Lucy Liu is the lady of the ’80s (complete with shoulder pads), Ginnifer Goodwin represents the ’60s, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste kicks back in modern day.
Cherry tells me why he’s so good at scripting women. “I love my mom. I mean, in all seriousness. My dad was off traveling for business a lot … he would go to the Ivory Coast or Saudi Arabia or wherever his company would send him, so it would just be us kids with our mom for, like, nine months out of the year,” he recalls.
“And I would sit, and I remember she would have friends over. And when I was real little, I’d get a big thing of Legos, and I’d be behind the sofa, just playing. She was trying to keep me out of trouble. And I would listen to her conversations and how she would talk to her friends and the things they would talk about. And I was just always so fascinated.
“And my mom has a really funny point of view. A dark point of view. She has a dark, funny sense of humor. And I just love her, and I was fascinated by her. And so one of the things that I would have to say is, because I love her so much and I was so fascinated, and she was a great mom, I really like women … My mom can be a total snob. She can really worry too much about the trappings of her life. She certainly was a wonderful homemaker, so there’s that part of her … All of my characters come out of her, and I can get really emotional talking about it because I was really blessed.”
Movie stars defect
Big-time “movie” stars keep scrambling over to perform in TV shows, realizing, at last, that the best work is being done there. Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Glenn Close and now Cate Blanchett have made the big move. Blanchett will play conservative homemaker Phyllis Schlafly in FX’s drama “Mrs. America,” coming next year. Rose Byrne is tapped to play Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale is cast as Bella Abzug and Tracey Ullman will portray Betty Friedan.
Blanchett says she has always tried to keep in mind what her goal was, even during the difficult times.
“When you leave drama school there’s such expectation. You’ve been busy, you’ve been doing plays for three solid years and you think that’s going to continue. When I got out, there was a four- to six-month period I didn’t do anything. I don’t think they knew what to do with me,” she says.
“A lot of my classmates were working. I thought, ‘OK, there’s too many people out there, and if I do it for five years, and if I get a bit of work, I might continue. Otherwise I’ll have to be honest with myself and do something else.’”