Virginia Madsen, 48, plays married-to-the-mini-mob mom Cheryl West who tries to make her family go straight in “Scoundrels,” ABC’s new summer dramedy in ” Desperate Housewives'” Sunday evening slot. The veteran film actress talks about why network television has been a great place to land at this point in her career — much to her own surprise.
How did your role in “Scoundrels” come about?
I did a series with Ray Liotta called “Smith.” That was three or four years ago, and that was canceled right away. It was another show of criminals, but it was real bad guys — larceny, murder and explosions and all this stuff. It just wasn’t, for either one of us, creatively satisfying. So it was like, OK, I tried that, I’m not interested in that anymore.
So when this show came along I was like, I don’t know about network TV. I have friends who work on shows like that, and they were like, ‘Oh, my God, you don’t want to do this job.’ The hours are insane. And network TV is very corporate — you’re very much a hired hand. I just put all the negatives on the table.
So it was a leap of faith. And man, it paid off. Because I had so much fun making this show. I found my hours weren’t crazy. My favorite way to work is in an ensemble. When I was doing lead roles, when I was an ingénue, that wasn’t a comfortable place for me to be. I don’t necessarily need to be the star. And when you work in an ensemble, it’s exciting and it’s fun and it’s creative, and I work really well as a team. I like the family feeling. Continue reading