Dianne Wi­est

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - SHANNON MOL­LOY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Veteran ac­tor Dianne Wi­est is sus­pi­cious when ev­ery co-star on a project is fault­lessly nice. In the Os­car win­ner’s ex­pe­ri­ence, it typically doesn’t take long un­til the ve­neer wears off at least one of them and “some­one goes south”.

“I re­mem­ber (on one project) all of a sud­den hear­ing this aw­ful scream­ing and think­ing, no, that couldn’t be so-and-so,” Wi­est, 68, re­calls. “But it was, and that was just the be­gin­ning.”

But when it comes to Life In Pieces, the hi­lar­i­ous US sit­com in which she stars as Joan, ma­tri­arch of the Smith fam­ily, Wi­est in­sists there were no typ­i­cal cast melt­downs.

Tell us about your char­ac­ter. Her kids are more than fully grown now — to the point where she has grand­chil­dren. Joan has given so much to her fam­ily. Now she’s got a re­tired hus­band who doesn’t know what to do with him­self, so she’s look­ing for her own ad­ven­tures, to do things for her­self be­fore she freaks out.

This looks like a fun showhow to be work­ing on. We were all amazed byy how won­der­ful every­one else lse was. By the mid­dle of the year, ear, we looked around and it was like, wow, no one has gone south. Every­one is still as love­lyely as they were on the first day. We’ve be­come this kindnd of fam­ily.

And what a bril­liant cast — James Brolin, Colin Hanks, Dan Bakkedahl and Betsy Brandt to name a few as well as Aus­tralian ris­ing star Holly Bar­rett. I know, right? They’re such tal­ented comedic c per­form­ers, and some re­ally sea­soned stars too.oo. It’s a real priv­i­lege, it re­ally y is. It’s hi­lar­i­ous to work on. And this is my very first sit­com. I’ve never done any­thing like this be­fore. The TV that I have done has all been quite se­ri­ous. So a sit­com, as well as a com­edy … it has been wond won­der­ful.

You’re a New Yorker. Did you move to LA forfo this job? Kind of. Last y year was re­ally hard. I’ve only ever been to LA for work. In theth past, as soon as a movie would fin­ish, I’d leave again. So re­lo­cat­ing for such a l long time was hard — I didn’t know wherewher I was go­ing, I didn’tdidn have a car, I couldn’tcou drive, I didn’t knowkno how to get to wor work … ev­ery­thing was mon­u­men­tal. But now, I know the city a lit­tle bet­ter and I’m a lit­tle more comfo com­fort­able with driv­ing.

LIFE IN PIECES,P CHAN­NEL 10, TUES­DAY,TUES­DAY 9.30PM

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