Q&A with Jordana Spiro
She plays My Boys' lovable everygirl—a regular Jane looking for love and career success and time with friends, all in perfect balance. Easier said than done. Jordana Spiro gives us a sneak peek into the comedy's new season and whether PJ will finally find a man.Q: We here at Oprah.com love the show, especially since Chicago—our hometown—is featured so prominently. You don't actually shoot here though, do you?
A: No, we shoot in L.A., but Chicago remains very much a character in the next nine episodes. We do a full episode just commiserating with you and your weather. This season we're in Chicago's winter, and we deal with a lot of fake snow, which I found out was actually soap suds—my hair got a lot shinier! It was funny because we were all bundled up in hats and gloves and scarves and we were sitting there sweating because they couldn't get the air condition on set to work. You know when your face is pink from cold? I'm hoping that's what it looked like, because we were actually just hot and sweaty.
Q: It was quite a cliffhanger at the end of last season, with PJ torn between two brothers. Can you give us any inside scoop? Are PJ and Bobby finally going to fall in love?
A: I'll say that she does get herself into a real live relationship this season. But I can't say with which brother—the glass-is-half-empty brother or the glass-is-half-full brother. I can't reveal which one...yet.
Q: PJ's such an all-American girl. Do you relate to her at all?
A: I actually think I'm very similar to her, and that's one of the things that excited me when I read the pilot. Not necessarily how similar I was to her, because I'm an actress and I like to play different characters, but that I saw so many of my girlfriends and my three sisters in PJ. I just thought, "Wow, there's really something special here." I don't think you always get to see a woman on TV who is relatively neurosis-free, and while looking for a relationship isn't man hunting and isn't cloying and isn't a fashionista. She's concerned about her career and her friendships, and in that sense I saw a lot of my friends and myself in her.
Q: Do you think the fact that all PJ's friends are guys makes it harder for her to find a relationship? Do you think that's an obstacle for women in general?
A: No, I think if she was surrounded by women it would be as difficult to find a relationship. It's just hard to find a relationship these days! Women now have to put so much attention into their careers, and not many families can pull off a single income. So it's just a given that women are working and are ambitious and have things they want to accomplish, and that stymies the amount of time they have to look around for a perfect guy. The 12-hour workday is not uncommon to anyone anymore.
Q: And it's not all guy friends. Don't you think Stephanie provides a good female influence in PJ's life?
A: Kellee Stewart, the actress who plays Stephanie, is one of the strongest, wisest people I know. I think we all kind of stand in line to get therapy from her because she's just so grounded. So she's a very easy person to have a pretend friendship with. Her character on the other hand...I think Stephanie's angling to be the next Oprah. She's trying to turn her self-help book, He's a Great Guy, But..., into an empire. She's conducting seminars, and she wants a talk show—she's trying to take Chicago chick-lit by storm. It's a pretty funny storyline. She explodes with a bit of success this season.
Q: Are you surprised by My Boys' success?
A: I think there's really no rhyme or reason as to what keeps a show on air. Surely it's a numbers game, but some of the best shows get canceled and some shows where you don't totally understand why they're on the air stay on for 15 or 20 years. It's like: "They're still on? They're graying!" All I can do is enjoy it and trust that the writers are writing really funny, topical stuff and staying true to the characters. Then I just hope for the best and have fun. Since we only do nine episodes, we shoot for only three months out of the year. It feels like sort of this funny summer camp.
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