Interview with Jaime Pressly & Katie Finneran from I Hate My Teenage Daughter

I Hate My Teenage Daughter returns tonight on FOX to finish out its season. Series leads, Jaime Pressly & Katie Finneran, recently spoke to the press about their roles on the show, the spring premiere, and more, so check out their answers to the questions below, including the first one… Someone asked if they spoke Spanish before this episode or not.

Jaime Pressly: Katie was incredible at speaking Spanish. It was like it just rolled off her tongue. My son is half Cuban and so I have been around a lot of Spanish, in general, and I understand a lot of it, but I don’t speak it as much. I do the accent very well, but I didn’t have to do it in the show as much. I can’t speak. I can’t even … Spanish.

Katie Finneran: I grew up in Chicago and then Miami so most of my friends were from Cuba. I speak pretty well. I speak probably at the level of a second grader, but I would say that my accent, I was always doing Tony Montana. When I was a ten-year-old girl, I was doing Scarface. My accent is deceiving because my accent is pretty good, but I don’t speak that well but I try. I fake it when I have to.

Jaime: She’s a damn good actress, but she sounded like she knew exactly what she was saying.
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On what they bring of themselves to their characters

Jaime: Well, for me it’s something that I can’t help but bring to every character I play. I’m Southern and I like being Southern. I love the element of the strength behind Southern women. No matter what, no matter how many times they fall down they always get back up and that’s comforting. I think that knowing no matter what you go through and no matter how hard things can get that you’re going to make it. You’re going to be okay.

That’s something that this character that I get to play, Annie, as timid as she’s been her whole life and as conservative as she was raised and as little as she knows about pop culture, she tries really hard to be a part of the group. Katie’s character, Nikki, the two of them are so supportive of each other. My best friend since I was five’s name is Katie Mack. The chemistry between Katie Finneran and I is very similar to the chemistry my friend Katie Mack and I have. It’s just very easy and comforting and supportive.

These two characters are just trying really hard to do the best they can as single moms. Being a parent is never easy. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you are brilliant at it. You’re going to make mistakes and it’s comforting know that there is somebody standing by your side that’s going to pat you on the back or give you a hug and tell you it’s okay that you made a mistake. We’ll fix it.

Katie: Right. Something Jaime and I also have been very protective of is that you see a lot of sort of acidity and meanness on television between women. There’s a lot of catty sort of making fun of each other. Whenever the writers, and of course it’s their job to write whatever they’re required to write and it’s our job to do it, but we always like to influence the writers at some point to say, “You know what? I would never put her down like that. I would make fun of her knowing that she’s going to laugh at herself, but I would never make her feel bad about herself. I would never steal her man. It’s like those are not women that we want to portray.”

Jaime: Yes.

Katie: We like that they really go along with that. We’re really developing two characters that really love each other and want the best for each other at all times.

Jaime: And they tell the truth to each other.

Katie: Yes.

Jaime: As softly as possible. Instead of being harsh about things and making, like she said, each other feel bad about the other, it’s more about, “Okay. That didn’t work. It wasn’t your greatest moment, but I’m here. I love you and—“

Katie: You need to get up and brush yourself off and move on.

Jaime: “We’ll do better next time.”

Katie: Yes.

Jaime: It’s a supporting things instead of, like she said, cattiness that you see so much of.

On what challenges them about their roles

Jaime: It has been slightly challenging in a way, which if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be any fun. It’s been challenging in that my character is so different from the character that everybody is used to seeing me play on television. She knows nothing about pop culture and she’s much more, what do I say, Katie? She’s much more conservative.

Katie: Yes.

Jaime: And Katie’s the fly by the seat of her pants. Nikki’s just whatever comes up she’s down for it and my character is always a little afraid and hesitant to—

Katie: More reserved, grew up in a very religious household; grew up sort of wearing clothes her mother made. Her mother thought the Gap was the devil’s workshop, so I’m trying to loosen her up, but my character is by no means cool by any stretch. Between the two of us, I’m the cool one.

On their favorite part about shooting for a live audience

Jaime: Oh, God, there are so many things. For Katie, I know, being Miss Broadway, we’re all doing a mini play every week, so she’s in her element and so good at that. I think for most of us it’s nice to know that when we’re shooting it, first of all, the excitement of having an audience watch you. What actor doesn’t love immediate response from an audience? That’s something we all love because we know we’re doing a good job or we didn’t hit it so well.

When a joke doesn’t work we have the opportunity to take a little time out and the writers can rewrite the joke and then we get to try it again. By the time the show airs we know that it’s funny because the audience has already told us. We have the opportunity to fix it. I think that’s one of the main things that we all love is that we know that it’s good or bad by the time we’re done shooting the episode.

Katie: It’s also your one sort of rollercoaster day. You have one sort of very heightened day, which is so nice, which for us is Tuesday night. Most shows shoot on Friday night. We shoot on Tuesday night and then start a new episode again on Wednesday, but when you get that high it’s a wonderful feeling and it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. When you’re shooting a single camera you’re just sort of there for 16 or 17 hours a day and you’re just kind of tired. There’s no high.

Jaime: You’re tired and you also have to wait so long before you see the actual episode come on, so you don’t know if it’s going to be great or if it’s going to be okay or not that good at all.

Katie: Yes.

Jaime: That’s why I said it’s so nice to have the audience there because they tell us right away so we have the opportunity to fix it.
Guest starring on the March 6th & March 13th episodes is Mark Consuelos, who plays a Spanish teacher at the local community college, where Annie & Nikki sign up to go back to school. He recently spoke to the press, too. Not only did he let it slip that his character and Annie go on a date in the second episode, but he had this to say about what most people would find surpring about him.

Mark Consuelos: Well as it pertains to this role, I play a Spanish teacher, I don’t speak Spanish; I speak Italian, that’s my first language. We recently went to Spain and I thought, because they say Italian and Spanish are so similar, I could not communicate at all, it was really hard. I had really bad Italian, which I don’t think I get, but the two languages aren’t that easy to communicate. I made do, I made it back from Spain to the United States. So I guess I survived. But I guess that would be the thing; I don’t speak Spanish.
Don’t miss the spring premiere of I Hate My Teenage Daughter tonight on FOX at 8:30/7:30c.

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