Christina Hendricks breaks bad in Michigan-set dramedy “Good Girls”
At first, Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks was reluctant about joining the cast of “Good Girls.”
“I was afraid (creator Jenna Bans) would get feedback that it was too dark or too quirky and would back off,” recalls Hendricks, known for playing the curvaceous Joan on AMC’s “Mad Men” series. “I just kept saying, ‘You have to promise me that you’re gonna keep this vision and this cool tone – you just have to.’ And they’ve been true to their word.”
“Good Girls,” which opens its second season Sunday, March 3, occurs in suburban Detroit, where moms Beth (Hendricks), her sister Annie (Mae Whitman of “Parenthood”) and BFF Ruby (Retta, “Parks and Recreation”) are in financial trouble. Beth’s philandering husband, Dean (Lansing native Matthew Lillard) has made bad monetary decisions. Annie’s battling her ex (Zach Gilford) over their daughter. Ruby’s struggling to pay for her daughter’s medical treatments.
“Mae and Retta are fantabulous actresses and people,” Hendricks says. “I’m madly in love with them. I cannot believe how lucky I am to go to work with these women every day. They inspire me as an actress and they’re my friends. I get to go to work with two of my best friends. They’ve been there for me on and off-screen. We wrapped two weeks ago and we still text each other all day long… From day one, we just really connected.”
Desperate, the three successfully rob a grocery store amassing $500,000. Each spends a large amount of her cut before they discover local gang-banger Rio (Manny Montana) was laundering money through the store. They have no choice but to reimburse Rio by doing jobs for him. Though hilariously incompetent, through pure dumb luck they manage to pull it off.
Of course, they get in over their heads, attracting the FBI’s attention. Beth sets up Rio, but returns home to find him holding Dean hostage at the end of season one. The second season begins where the first left off.
Hendricks spoke about how Beth changes this season, becoming more assertive, taking over Dean’s car dealership, but also darker.
“Season One, she’s like, ‘Do I do this? Do I dare? Omigosh, I’m scared.’ Season 2, she’s like, ‘How well can I do this? Is it OK if I like it? Because I’m gonna keep doing it,'” she says. “Instead of this back-and-forth guilt about how much she’s enjoying it and how good she is at it, she’s never that good. She’s still a mom in the suburbs who thinks she can play with the big boys and she just simply can’t. She’s learning bit by bit and she’s enjoying it – that’s the difference in this season. She’s got a taste for it now.”
New Baltimore native Kathleen Rose Perkins (“Episodes”) was originally cast as Beth.
“They shot the pilot with Kathleen and then they recast, which happens to everyone at some point. It’s a tough thing to manage for everyone involved,” Hendricks says. “I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”
Although “Good Girls” is set in Southeast Michigan, it’s not filmed here. However, Hendricks is no stranger to Michigan, having filmed 2014’s “Lost River” in Detroit.
“I actually loved Detroit. I really miss that city,” she says. “There’s an interesting energy there – amazing art, restaurants and music. … There’s this pride in its people. I think it’s a cool place to be. I’d like to go back.”
Hendricks is known for playing strong, intelligent women who use their wiles to get what they want.
In addition to “Good Girls” and “Mad Men,” she played con artist and thief Saffron in “Firefly,” a scheming secret mistress in the Comedy Central spoof “Another Period,” and a troubled actress in “The Romanoffs.”
Asked what would happen if Beth of “Good Girls,” Joan of “Mad Men,” Saffron of “Firefly,” and Celine (aka Chair) of “Another Period” had a girls night out, Hendricks laughed.
“What a group!” she says. “I’d say everyone hold on to your wallets and jewelry because Saffron would try to get her hooks on them. Beth and Joan together would put on a real nice spread. Beth would make a really nice meal, and Joan would make really nice cocktails and canapes. Chair would probably just sit there and let everyone serve her; she’d probably do very little of anything. She’d take advantage of the evening and be a mooch.”
Season 2 of “Good Girls” premieres Sunday, March 3, at 10 p.m. on NBC (WDIV-Channel 4 in Detroit).
Original article at Voice News