The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

As Sea­son 1 of ‘The Neigh­bor­hood“wraps up (on April 22), with Sea­son 2 al­ready or­dered, how has the ex­pe­ri­ence been for you so far?

I’m so lucky that I get that elec­tric­ity from do­ing TV. I get the best of the worlds ... a mas­sau­di­ence-pleaser, but you can­not re­place the sparkle of do­ing some­thing live (for a stu­dio au­di­ence). Ev­ery week, that en­ergy that you’re hear­ing and feel­ing is real. It’s been so much fun.

Hav­ing now played her for this long, what’s your take on your “Neigh­bor­hood” char­ac­ter, wife and mother and school prin­ci­pal Gemma?

I love Gemma! She’s so much tougher as a per­son than I am. Maybe that comes with moth­er­hood, which I might know for my­self some­day – but it’s re­ally been such a gift, this show. When we got the Sea­son 2 pickup, we were all cry­ing. We all just want to keep do­ing it for a long time. I can’t wait to see where the char­ac­ters go. I feel like this is the kind of show that could last for 10 years, be­cause it’s about a com­mu­nity and about peo­ple com­ing to­gether and about fam­ily. There are all sorts of things they can still write for us. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are end­less.

What are your plans for your sum­mer hia­tus?

It’s so nice to know that you’re com­ing back, be­cause then you know your sched­ule. It’s re­ally im­por­tant for me to keep up my char­ity work with my SheHerdPow­er Foun­da­tion (for vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault), so I have a lot of plans for that. A movie might be the only work thing I do, but we’ll see if that works out.

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