Interview with Beth Hall of the CBS series Mom


Photo credit: Jeremy Lee

With a new season of CBS’ Mom hours away from premiering, we caught up with star Beth Hall to chat about her character Wendy, the cast, and what to expect from season 5.

The CBS series Mom is a sitcom centered around a mother and daughter who battle addiction. The show tackles some serious issues, but does it in a comical matter. Season 5 of the series premieres tonight, November 2, on CBS at 8 p.m. central time.

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Beth Hall a few questions about the show. Beth takes on the role of Wendy and had a lot to say about her character and the coming season.

Hidden Remote: To start things off how did you get your start on the show?

Beth Hall: I first started on the show as a character named Janice.  I was going to be in the AA group and every time I started to share, “Hi, I’m Janice and I’m an…” someone would cut me off.  Shortly before show time, they decided they wanted to rewrite it and I was cut out.  They promised to have me back and they did as Wendy and they liked it.   And then, they just kept having Wendy come back.  So getting cut from the first show was the best thing that ever happened to my career!

More from CBS

Hidden Remote: Mom is a sitcom performed in front of a live audience, what are the differences in performing in front of a live audience and performing on a set with only co-stars?  

Hall: When you perform in front of a live audience you get immediate feedback on what a cross-section of people think is funny.  We do get laughs from the writers and crew when we pretape, but they’ve either heard it all week or written it themselves, so it’s not the same.  I really love the live tapings.  If something is isn’t working the writers can rewrite on the spot and try something new.

Hidden Remote: You’re known as weeping Wendy, how difficult is it for you to cry on cue?  

Hall: I’ve done a lot of crying in my life. I feel like I’m always on the verge of tears so it’s not that difficult for me. But Wendy hasn’t been crying as much in the last couple of seasons.

Hidden Remote: What part of playing your character do you find the most difficult? 

Hall: The most difficult part for me is when I have to talk about when I was doing drugs.  I’ve always been very anti drug use so it’s a difficult reference. But the problem is so severe in society now, I know this show is doing a service by showing the way out and maybe even why you should never start.

Hidden Remote: Are there any similarities to your character you find in yourself in real life?  

Hall: Yes, Wendy is a bit of an outsider, even among her group of friends. There have been many times when I felt I didn’t fit in my life, so I can definitely relate to some of her insecurities.

Hidden Remote: How is chemistry with the cast behind the scenes, and who or which characters do you seem to connect most with? 

Hall: The chemistry with all the actors is amazing. Many people come on our set for a week to work or observe and they always comment on what a great, relaxed atmosphere we have.  

Hidden Remote: Mom is centered around a mother and daughter who battle addiction and try to stay sober. Has the series taught you anything about real people who battle addiction and what they go through?

Hall: Absolutely!  I have known people with many different kinds of addictions and this show touches upon all aspects. I have had many people come up to me and tell me that they are Alcoholics and our show really depicts it so well and they just can’t wait for each episode.

Photo credit: Darren Michaels /CBS Mom. Acquired from CBS Press

Hidden Remote: You also appeared on the hit series Mad Men for seasons 4-7. What are the differences in acting for an hour-long drama and a sitcom? 

Hall: Well, there is a big difference in the work week.  On Mom, since it is a multi-cam sitcom which shoots in front of a live audience, it is a set schedule and you can pretty much know what times you will be at the studio. With a show that shoots single camera, it’s more like a movie. You can be there for a few hours or all day. You may start very early in the morning or shoot at night.  You just don’t know. There is a lot more down time and waiting around then on a sitcom.

Hidden Remote: With the new season of Mom coming up, can we expect to see anything new or different that we haven’t seen before?

Hall: Yes, you can! Some new characters coming in and out and changes in the women as well. It’s shaping up to be a really, fun season.

Hidden Remote: I hear you’re a big poker player. I use to play and know a lot of players, everyone seems to have a favorite hand, what’s yours?

Hall: I have a few, but pocket Kings have done well for me. I also love any connector with a 10!  Some great things can happen when you have a 10 in your hand!

Remember to check the premiere tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. Central time. If you’ve had the opportunity to see the episode before this article, comment and let us know what you thought of the episode!