Young Shel­don’s An­nie Potts talks to Closer about her life and ca­reer af­ter De­sign­ing Women.

The com­edy vet is back with Young Shel­don but still puts fam­ily first

Closer Weekly - - Contents - — Re­port­ing by Ilyssa Panitz

It’s hard to be­lieve for­mer De­sign­ing Women star An­nie Potts just turned 66, even when she’s now play­ing a grandma on the most pop­u­lar new com­edy of the 2017–’18 sea­son, Young Shel­don. “I’ve al­ways had a lot of en­ergy, and I find it’s stayed with me. I love it,” says An­nie of her youth­ful vibe. “I’m in con­stant mo­tion, and I like it that way.” In­deed, she’s rarely been off the screen since she nabbed a Golden Globe nom­i­na­tion for best new fe­male star of the year with her first film, 1978’s Corvette Sum­mer. She went on to star in Ghost­busters, Love & War (which earned her an Emmy nom) and to voice Bo Peep in Toy Story, which re­turns with an­other se­quel next sum­mer. There would have been even more roles if it hadn’t been for her “three great boys” — sons Clay, 37, Doc, 26, and Harry, 22. “I’d been do­ing se­ries and movies on my hia­tuses and found it wasn’t good for the chil­dren, and I was ex­haust­ing my­self,” she re­veals. “I don’t re­gret [slow­ing down], be­cause I got more time with them.” To­day her pri­mary home is New Or­leans, where her hus­band of 28 years, James Hay­man, ex­ec­u­tive-pro­duces NCIS: New Or­leans. Now An­nie opens up to Closer about blend­ing her fam­ily, the De­sign­ing Women se­quel and much more.

Con­grats on Young Shel­don! How’d you get in­volved with the show?

When they asked me to join, they al­ready had that beau­ti­ful pi­lot. [Cre­ators] Chuck Lorre and Steve Mo­laro have a fab­u­lous track record, so when I saw it, I went, “Yeah, I want that!”

It’s one of your fun­ni­est roles. Where does your great chem­istry with 10-yearold Iain Ar­mitage (Shel­don) come from?

I had moved away from LA and came back and was rent­ing a house not far from where

he and his mom were rent­ing a house. They were new in town and we ended up spend­ing a lot of time to­gether. I love them per­son­ally, but of course it won­der­fully ben­e­fited the work. That was a su­per-happy thing.

It was great to hear about the De­sign­ing Women se­quel com­ing to ABC and that you’d like to be part of it. Any new news?

There’s talk that they want me to be a part of it as much as I [am able to] with Young Shel­don. I’d like to in my time off. We’re in con­ver­sa­tion about it now, but it’s just that: a con­ver­sa­tion. It’s early in the de­vel­op­ment and just de­pends on the avail­abil­ity and se­lect-abil­ity of other shows [we’re on]. Jean [Smart] has an­other show, too. But I know that [se­ries co-cre­ator] Linda [Blood­worth-Thoma­son] would very much like us to be in some part of it.

What’s it like when you women re­unite?

We haven’t seen each other in a cou­ple years now [since] I moved to New Or­leans. Jean has this an­nual Christ­mas party and we usu­ally see each other then.

Can you take us back to the days on the set? What was it like?

It was great. It was all women, a bril­liant four­some, and we had a bril­liant writer who wrote top­i­cal things from a woman’s point of view. We didn’t know how ground­break­ing it was. I think if you put that same show on now, it would be so ex­plo­sive they’d prob­a­bly try to shut us down! It was a lot of fun.

And how was film­ing Ghost­busters?

Oh, wild. It was so much fun. I mean re­ally, re­ally fun. All of the ac­tors came from im­prov, and I didn’t. The script was great, and I didn’t un­der­stand why they needed to not ad­here to it. But they were used to be­ing in­ven­tive and just play­ing, so I had to fig­ure out how to get down with that groove.

You went back and forth from film to TV ef­fort­lessly when not many ac­tors were.

It’s dif­fer­ent th­ese days, no one thinks about it. Thirty years ago, you ei­ther did TV or you didn’t. I needed to pay the mort­gage, so I did what­ever I needed to do.

How could you jug­gle such a de­mand­ing ca­reer and be there for your three sons?

They were very un­der­stand­ing of my work. I also had lots of help rais­ing them, a bevy of women who loved my boys. I had nan­nies, too. Once [the boys] got to a cer­tain age, they ben­e­fit­ted from hav­ing guys around to be tough with them. Like ev­ery other woman in ev­ery other job, I just did the best I could and got lucky. They turned out great.

You’ve been married to your fourth hus­band, James Hay­man, since 1990. How did you know he was the one?

Be­cause right away he loved my son. I had an 8-year-old [Clay, with third hus­band B. Scott Senechal] when I met him. When you fall in love with some­body who comes into your sur­round­ings when you have a kid al­ready,

“It’s not about me any­more. It’s about what I can do to help other peo­ple, be­cause I’ve been so for­tu­nate.” — An­nie

[they] have to love both of us. He was so will­ing to do that. We were in­stantly a fam­ily, had two more sons to­gether and a very happy life.

What made you want to give mar­riage a fourth shot?

Be­cause I grew up in a fam­ily, I al­ways wanted that ex­pe­ri­ence for my chil­dren, too. I felt there was bal­ance in that. When you have fam­ily, you seek a har­mony that’s ben­e­fi­cial to ev­ery­one. By the time I met Jim, I was very suc­cess­ful in my ca­reer and suc­cess­fully moth­er­ing as a sin­gle mom. [I thought,] I don’t need you, but this might be fun. I’ve al­ways been prac­ti­cal.

Are there ben­e­fits to your life to­day?

I think it cuts both ways. When you get older, you lose some cur­rency. It helps to have a hit show, so it looks like you’re still in the game. I also think there’s some wis­dom.

I’ve seen a lot. Be­sides rooms for my chil­dren, I’ve al­ways had spare ones in my house that I try to fill with young peo­ple who need sup­port — some­times emo­tion­ally, some­times fi­nan­cially. A lit­tle artist res­i­dency pro­gram.

What’s next for you?

I serve as an aunt and pro­tec­tor to quite a few, but I’m hop­ing to have grand­chil­dren. My older son just got married, so I’m quite ready!

With (from left) James, Harry, Doc and Clay in 1999……and (clock­wise from top) De­sign­ing Women co-stars Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Jean Smart, Alice Ghost­ley and Me­shach Tay­lor in 1987.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.