Marcia Gay Harden ‘makes offended humorous’ in CBS dramedy ‘So Help Me Todd’

Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden stated her Tony-winning position as Veronica in “God of Carnage” helped form the character she performs within the new CBS dramedy “So Help Me Todd.”

“‘So Help Me Todd’ is blending the drama with the comedy, and that’s right up my alley,” Harden, 63, instructed The Post. “It’s actually what I desire to do. I really like comedy … ‘God of Carnage’ was very critical however you by no means stopped laughing and it was so bodily with the [verbal and emotional] pounding [of co-star] James Gandolfini on the sofa.

“Maybe [series creator/executive producer] Scott Prendergast saw ‘God of Carnage’ and thought, ‘If you can make angry funny, that’s a good thing.’”

Harden stars in “So Help Me Todd,” premiering Sept. 29 (9 p.m.), as Margaret Wright, a high-powered legal professional in Portland, Ore. Her grown kids, who suppose she’s manner too controlling, are following divergent paths. Daughter Allison (Madeline Wise) is a married ER physician; son Todd (Skylar Astin) is an erstwhile non-public detective who misplaced his license two years earlier than and now works for an insurance coverage firm investigating incapacity scams.

Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin as Margaret and Todd in “So Help Me Todd,” premiering Sept. 29 on CBS.

In the collection opener, mom and son discover themselves working collectively, albeit grudgingly, when Todd will get concerned in considered one of Margaret’s instances involving a homicide — whereas, on the similar time, looking for her husband Harry (Mark Moses), who’s vanished off the grid amidst an sickness (Parkinson’s), leaving a puzzling path as to his whereabouts.

By episode’s finish, Margaret realizes that Todd for all his foibles, is de facto good at his job — and hires him as her agency’s in-house investigator to determine the collection premise.

“I think this is something a lot of parents relate to and deal with,” Harden, a mom of three, stated in reference to Margaret and Todd’s relationship. “When you might have a black sheep within the household, initially, it’s your individual child, so that you don’t actually acknowledge how nice your children are till anyone else tells you … In this case, Todd actually is a black sheep and doubtless has ADHD; I typically marvel if he’s a bit on the spectrum — he’s on the market and he isn’t in a position to be accountable. He’s so exterior the field and so unconventional and [Margaret] is so contained in the field and a rule follower. I don’t suppose she realizes his investigative, technical and digital talent ranges … and that she has to let him be who he’s.

“I think every parent gets to that place,” she stated. “At some point you don’t have control anymore and you have to let your kids be who they are and stop trying to shove them into your box. And when you stop that dance I think they exponentially grow. It’s just that classic dysfunctional relationship.”

While Margaret and Todd’s relationship is on the crux of the collection, Harden stated viewers will see each characters evolve because the collection progresses.

Photo of Astin and Harden as Todd and Margaret. They're standing outside facing each other; Margaret looks very serious. She's wearing a checked jacket and a white shirt; he's wearing a brown coat with a dark brown collar.
Harden stated that Margaret must let Todd “be who he is” as an alternative of making an attempt to manage him.

“What I hope for Margaret is that she stops trying to take care of Todd — that he grows but that she grows, too, that what she wants as a woman in her early 60s comes to fruition,” she stated. “That will get forgotten about. Other girls throughout the nation of their 60s are going, ‘What do I want in this second or third chapter of my life?’

“She’s a woman I think people can relate to,” Harden stated. “She’s labored her manner up from the underside — her first husband died — and to me it’s not dissimilar to the pandemic of divorce. Women of their late 40s and 50s are not child-bearing and not, let’s say, pushed by the sexual dynamic — and the divorce price skyrockets they usually’re usually left with payments and lowered residing and youngsters in faculty and the entire world of duty they gave up.

“What I love about Margaret is that she has this incredible strength; she worked her way up from a legal secretary to a partner in this law firm and now what she really wants is her name above the door, but she’s constantly hitting that glass ceiling and wants to bust through it,” she stated. “She’s additionally made a little bit of a mistake by hiring her son … and he’s consistently screwing issues up, so he’ll endanger her rise as they resolve instances collectively. I stated to the writers, ‘You better make sure she doesn’t get her identify above the door simply because Todd helped her.

“Make sure she deserves it because she’s a really good lawyer.”

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