Wendie Malick plays former soap star Victoria Chase in the comedy Hot in Cleveland, where she and fellow glamorous LA types Melanie and Joy wind up living in Cleveland, where they realise they're more appreciated there than they are in La-La-Land.
We spoke to Wendie about her character, the quirks of working in the entertainment industry for so long, and Buddhist donkeys.
Victoria married Joy at the end of the second series – what's it like being married to her? Is the spark still there, or does she now take you for granted?
Ha! I think Joy and I are both way too needy to be a couple. And then there's the fact that we both like men.
In what sort of state do we find Victoria in the third series?
I'd say Victoria is most often found in a state of denial; if things aren't going as planned, which is frequently, she rallies her ego into a full court press and defies the world to stop her.
Well, we wouldn't get in her way. There are quite a few guest stars in this series, so what sort of fun did you have with them? And, erm, we have a friend who wants to know if they need to speak to you for permission to marry one of them – Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Every guest star brings something unique to the dance. We've loved meeting our respective "families" and Jennifer LH, my "Emmy", was a doll. Apparently I also have two sons, named "Oscar" and "Tony". I also played Jennifer's mother again last summer in the film "Jewtopia".
As far as marrying Jennifer, you’ll have to take a number.
Thanks. We'll pass that on. Was this series a bit meta for you, what with your Frasier husband John Mahoney playing suitor to Betty White and your old colleague David Spade cropping up?
When you've been doing this as long as we have, there's a lot of overlap. It's actually quite lovely, reuniting with old compatriots: actors, writers, crew. It's a smaller world than one thinks.
Are there any storylines that you've suggested that the writers have run with? And is there something you'd love Victoria to do?
I actually gave Suzanne Martin (our creator), and Todd Milliner and Sean Hayes (our Exec Producers), the idea of Victoria having been a soap opera star whose show just got cancelled after 27 years, and came up with her soap character's name, Honor St. Raven. That name always makes me laugh.
I'd love Victoria to have another relationship, and have to try to make room for someone else in her life, but it can't last.
You muck about with a venomous spider in this series – have you ever had any close run-ins with dangerous animals?
When my husband and I were on safari in Uganda, our Land Rover got between a mama elephant and her baby. They can move very fast. Thankfully the car started.
We live in the country and have had a few run ins with rattlesnakes, and sadly lost a black lab to one 12 years ago. And another dog just got skunked. Country living…
Do you still keep two miniature donkeys? Does that require the same amount of work as keeping one medium-sized donkey?
We still have our beloved Luca and Geronimo. They are simply two of the funniest, sweetest creatures I have ever known. They're quite Zen actually. They calm me down and make me smile.
If you were to be stranded somewhere, like how your character became stuck in Cleveland at the start of the show, would you and your co-stars manage to get along? And what survival skills would you bring to the table?
When you spend as much time together as us four do, you get to see firsthand how one handles with whatever life throws at them. We all share a healthy sense of humour about ourselves and life in general, but also take responsibility for our work, our loved ones, and our causes. We don't take any of these things for granted.
I think my strength in a crisis is my ability to remain calm and find the black humour in the situation.
I'd love Victoria to have another relationship