Raising Hope Season 3: Cloris Leachman Talks Playing Maw Maw

Raising Hope Season 3

Raising Hope is celebrating a special wedding this week on the Modern Family-esque episode “Modern Wedding” and TV Equals was excited to be able to learn more about the episode from Cloris Leachman, who plays Maw Maw on the show. During the conference call, Leachman talked about how she became a part of the show, what it’s been like to play Maw Maw and more.

Becoming a part of Raising Hope

As to how Leachman was cast as Maw Maw, the story was rather straightforward; the creator really wanted to get Leachman for the role.

“I think [Gregory Thomas Garcia], the creator, he wanted me,” she said. “He just wanted me and there I was. He got me.”

Working with Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan guest stars in the special episode as Reverend Bob, and Leachman said one of the most memorable things about working with Jordan was his height.

“First of all, you walk in and he’s there and he’s so short that you just start laughing,” she said, amid laughter. “I don’t know how he’s handled it all his life…He’s not a little person, but he’s very short.”

Maw Maw’s wardrobe

When asked about what Leachman added to Maw Maw’s character that wasn’t originally planned, she said she had input in Maw Maw’s underwear.

“I added a white bra…The head of wardrobe–we decided what kind of bra I would wear,” she said. “It’s a white, good serviceable one that holds me up.”

Laughter and comedy

Laughter is a natural by-product of comedy, but, ironically, it’s one thing Leachman said she has to curb when doing comedy.

“I laugh too much. I keep ruining scnees and have to do them over, so that’s not too good,” she said. “What did I learn about comedy [from Raising Hope]? Not to laugh. I still laugh too much, so I guess I haven’t learned it yet.”

However, Raising Hope has a lot of humor that dares you to laugh. Leachman said that nothing should be off-limits when it comes to humor.

“I don’t think [there's anything off limits], no,” she said. “That’s how you get through them. Finding humor in things saves people’s lives.”

Playing Maw Maw

Leachman talked about what it’s been like to play Maw Maw through Raising Hope‘s three seasons.

“It was just easy as pie in the first year and then the second year, Greg said, ‘This year, you’re not going to have…dementia.’ And so I did that [the] second year, but I wasn’t comfortable with it. I couldn’t find myself, I really couldn’t,” she said. “I didn’t know who to be because I was a little too aware and knowledgeable with it and I still had funny lines, but my character I didn’t think that was as interesting as the first year. Third year, same thing. Let’s hope we have a fourth year and I find out [what happens].”

Jokes on set

During the conference call, Leachman talked about what it’s like to act with the rest of the cast on set.
“Garrett [Dillahunt]‘s really funny. He’ll do something that’s completely surprising…and I just go south,” she said. “He’s so funny, and I think we all respect each other very much and we look forward to scenes we’re going to do [together].”

What Leachman loves about Raising Hope

Leachman went over some of her favorite things about working on Raising Hope.
“Being half naked or wearing a bra or something,” she said, laughing, before adding, “My favorite part is finding out what the other guys are going to do and [see them] do their parts.”

Watch Raising Hope this Tuesday, January 29 at 8/7c on FOX.