She’s so Fine

Fran Drescher is not keen on re­boot­ing the sit­com which made her pop­u­lar.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ - By BOON CHAN

FRAN Drescher’s voice im­me­di­ately gives her away: brassy, nasal and with a soupy Noo- Yawk ac­cent.

“Peo­ple al­ways say, ‘ I can’t be­lieve that’s your real voice’, and I say, ‘ Who could make this up?’” the ac­tress says with a chuckle that is a cross be­tween a dry heave and a snort.

That dis­tinc­tive set of pipes will al­ways be as­so­ci­ated with the char­ac­ter of Fran Fine in The Nanny ( 1993- 1999), the sit­com that turned Drescher into a star. In the com­edy, she played a Jewish- Amer­i­can woman who ends up as a nanny to Bri­tish Broad­way pro­ducer Maxwell Sh­effield’s three chil­dren.

Speak­ing from the tele­phone from Los An­ge­les, Drescher, 58, says: “It has univer­sal ap­peal. Peo­ple un­der­stand it ev­ery­where in the world - blue- col­lar meets blue­blood, or work­ing class meets aris­toc­racy. And then when you add the com­po­nent of sex­ual ten­sion be­tween the classes, it’s a lot of fun. And you want to know if she’s go­ing to get her man.”

The show was nom­i­nated for mul­ti­ple awards and won an Emmy in 1995 for achieve­ment in cos­tum­ing. Sev­eral lo­cal ver­sions were pro­duced, in­clud­ing in Rus­sia and In­done­sia.

Over the years, The Nanny fea­tured a large num­ber of guest stars, in­clud­ing busi­ness­man and United States Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, about whom Drescher shares an anec­dote: “I had a mo­ment where I was stand­ing be­tween Mr Sh­effield and Don­ald Trump and I said, ‘ All you mil­lion­aires are alike.’ He gave us a note at the end of the day that said, ‘ Can you please change that line, I’m not a mil­lion­aire, I’m a bil­lion­aire.’”

She might not be in that league, but The Nanny was def­i­nitely a prof­itable ven­ture.

“I’m com­fort­able fi­nan­cially and I’m able to do some of the things that are im­por­tant to me,” she says.

In con­trast to her ditsy char­ac­ter in The Nanny, she has ac­com­plished much, in­clud­ing writ­ing, di­rect­ing and pro­duc­ing for tele­vi­sion, mak­ing her Broad­way de­but in 2014, pen­ning best- sell­ing books such as En­ter Whin­ing ( 1996) and launch­ing a non- profit or­gan­i­sa­tion on cancer aware­ness called Cancer Sch­mancer.

What Drescher does have in com­mon with her most fa­mous role is the way in which she lives life joy­fully.

She says earnestly: “I want my or­gan­i­sa­tion to con­tinue to im­pact the world, I want to be­come pro­fi­cient in a sec­ond or third lan­guage. I love col­lect­ing art. I en­joy life.”

She has even man­aged to re­main friends with her ex- hus­band Peter Marc Ja­cob­son, with whom she cre­ated The Nanny. Her cur­rent hus­band, In­dia- born scientist Shiva Ayyadu­rai, has no prob­lems with that at all.

She lays it out like it is: “First of all, my ex- hus­band is now gay, so there’s no chance that we’re ever go­ing to rec­on­cile. Also, my hus­band is a busy, con­fi­dent man. He in­vented an elec­tronic ver­sion of an in­terof­fice mail sys­tem when he was 14 and he has four de­grees from MIT ( Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy). He’s happy that I have some­one who cares about me and spends time with me when he’s trav­el­ling.”

For the mo­ment, she has no in­ter­est in a re­boot of The Nanny even if her sub­se­quent small- screen ven­tures, Liv­ing With Fran ( 20052006) and Hap­pily Di­vorced ( 20112013), were nowhere as suc­cess­ful.

“I’m not ready to go back and do a se­quel to the clas­sic. I want to con­tinue to do things that ex­cite me and that’s more im­por­tant than re­viv­ing a char­ac­ter I’ve al­ready done.” – The Straits Times, Sin­ga­pore/ Asia News Net­work

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