LOS ANGELES — Christina Applegate joins the fall prime-time lineup tonight in the new series “Samantha Who?”
In the ABC show, Applegate plays a psychiatrist who wakes up from a coma only to find she doesn’t know who she is, thanks to a bout of amnesia.
A host of actors fill out the quirky cast, including veteran actress Jean Smart as Samantha’s mother, Regina Newly, and Jennifer Esposito as her best friend, Andrea. Barry Watson, from “7th Heaven,” also joins the cast as Sam’s boyfriend, Todd.
Access Hollywood sat down with Applegate, who told us she is buzzing about her new role.
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Well the show is about a girl who is hit by a car and wakes up with amnesia. As she starts to discover herself she finds out that the person she was before the amnesia was a pretty awful human being. [She was] one of those people that doesn’t edit and is very self involved and [now] she is not. She is a child and everything is sort of new and exciting.
She wakes up to find that she has these people around [who are] all basically crazy and they’re also very self-involved. At one point she fit in with them and now she is this square peg in a round hole.
Via the flashbacks on the show, you get to play both good and bad.
She was pretty awful but I love getting to play bad Sam, it is a lot of fun. It is a different hair, different voice, different walk, it’s a different behavior. It’s a lot of fun in the middle of the week to be able to switch gears and do something different.
What’s it like working with Jean Smart, who plays your mom?
Well first of all she is just one of the kindest, most amazing, loving women that I’ve known. Just watching her is, it’s a lesson. Every week is a lesson. You just go, ‘Wow!’ She is just really brilliant.
What did you learn from her?
Let’s see . . . she does a great drunk, she does an amazing drunk. I always thought that Catherine O’Hara did the best drunk in the world in “Waiting for Guffman,” but Jean might have knocked her out of the park.
Is the hair what you wanted to do for the show? It’s a fresh look.
Yeah. I’m always really envious of girls with curly hair so I think everything that I end up doing I always try to get a curl in there because I get to play with something else. It has like a Shirley Temple childlike nature to it. So for me it just seemed appropriate for the character. And then bad Sam is always like very kind of straight and severe.
You may have yourself a winner with this series.
It would be nice (knocks on wood). I really do like this show. I get to watch the cuts before they go off and I’m really proud of what everyone is doing. [Pilots are so hard]. You try to get all this information into 22 minutes, but the rest of them? Now we get these characters and you get to see them flourish and live. It’s quite good if I say so myself.
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