Question: I'm personally a big fan of you, Martha.
Martha Plimpton: Thank you.
Question: For years, I've loved all your movies. Was it a big decision? Because I haven't seen you in a show like this at all. Was it a big decision after doing so many independent movies and then doing this kind of schedule and doing TV?
Martha Plimpton: Yes. It was a big decision only in the sense that it obviously -- you know, it involves leaving New York far awhile and having a steady gig, which is great. But as far as the decision to do it, it wasn't, like, a tough one at all. I mean, I read the pilot and I loved it. I thought it was hilarious. And I loved my character. I loved Virginia. I thought she just was someone I just instantly got. I just got her. And so that was very lucky and very fortunate. It doesn't happen all that often. And I figure even though I hadn't been actively looking for a series to do, necessarily, you know, I certainly wasn't not looking for one either. And I figured, well, after talking to Greg and reading the pilot, I just thought, well, if you're going to sign your life away for however many years, you might as well do it with people you like and who are talented and funny. So that was kind of a no-brainer, ultimately.
Question: Greg, I wanted to ask about the whole premise of this to begin with and the fine line between offending people with how far you go with the baby being in precarious situations and the humor in that. Can you sort of talk about the sensibility of the show and how you find the lines, if there are lines you can't cross?
Greg Garcia: Oh, I don't know.
Question: You haven't found them yet, but...
Greg Garcia: We keep moving the line all over the place, I think. But I think we just kind of try to write -- you know, obviously we just try to write what we think is funny. And you don't want to scare people with the baby being in certain situations. And also, I mean -- because the pilot had more of that, I think, than we've had in the rest of the show. I said before, it's not like we're going to have scenes with people juggling chainsaws over the baby and stuff like that. And we actually tend to do more kind of baby-in-peril things in our flashbacks, when we show the young version of Jimmy. And I think those are a little easier to take, because you know in present day he's fine and his parents are going to try to do better than they did before. But as far as, like, the combination of it, we just try to find the level that we think is funny and find a nice combination between pushing the envelope and outrageous things and then also find some heart with the show. To me, that's kind of life. It's a combination of outrageous, gross things, and then some heart.
Question: And both you and Shannon maybe can talk about the relationship between Jimmy and Sabrina and whether you think it's going to become one of those things that will eventually become romantic or whether you try and hold it off for long as possible.
Greg Garcia: Well, we can't tell you that haha! That's, like, the only thing we have that's kind of like a secret. Like, that's our "Lost." That our mystery haha! I mean, come on. I can only tell you it shall be riveting. Question: Yeah.
Greg Garcia: That's all I got for that.
Shannon Woodward: That's all I know, too.
Greg Garcia: He likes her. She's got a boyfriend. We'll see what happens haha!
Shannon Woodward: And we hang out a lot. We snark around.
Greg Garcia: I don't know. I don't know.
Question: Hi. How many babies play the Hope character? And how do you handle with these? They are much alike?
Greg Garcia: Well, we have a set of twins that we use mostly, and they're identical twins, so we can kind of pop them in and out. One gets grumpy, then we bring in the other one. But there's time restraints and everything, so we have to kind of map it all out. And then we have a backup, emergency set of twins who are also identical, but not identical to the other twins haha! So we try to use them as sparingly, just if we really have to. And a lot of times on the show, you'll see the baby's always wearing a hat, and that's kind of just we're nervous if we have to, then, bring in the other ones, that maybe the hat will disguise that this is a completely different baby haha! And then, on occasion in our -- one of our first couple episodes, we needed the baby to crawl, and our main babies didn't crawl yet. They may be crawling now. I haven't seen them in a few weeks.
Shannon Woodward: They're crawling now, I learned on Facebook.
Greg Garcia: Oh, fantastic. And so that will present a whole new problems for us now that they're moving, I'm sure.
But we actually had a third set of twins that were crawlers, that we shot from behind. And we actually ended up shooting them from the front, too. And hopefully, not too many people noticed. So we've used up to six babies, but mostly we just use the two.
Question: And how hard is it to shoot with babies.
Greg Garcia: You know what? Normally it's difficult. I mean, you don't know what you're going to get with the baby, because it's going to decide. But, I mean, these, knock on wood, have been fantastic. They're just always happy, and the parents are fantastic. And so it's been great so far. It hasn't really been a big problem. Once in a while, they're a little grumpy, but you just deal with that like you would in real life. So I hope that it's not. I've know from experience, having three children, that they... they'll turn into assholes at any minute. haha! Who knows what's going to happen. But for now, we're good.
Question: Greg, I wondered how much of a gamble was it on your part to get Lucas for the main character, because obviously he, out of all the cast, was pretty much the unknown.
Greg Garcia: Yeah. Yeah. Somebody said to me the other day, "You pretty much plucked Lucas out of obscurity." And I said, "Yeah. And when we're done, we're going to actually put him back." haha!
Martha Plimpton: Put him right back.
Greg Garcia: I didn't see it as a gamble, really, only because it's not like I just saw a guy on a bus and said, "That's the guy." I mean, he went on tape in Chicago, and I watched his audition. And I just knew right away. I knew that he had this -- kind of this honesty and this -- he just felt very natural doing the lines. So I didn't... I didn't really see it as a gamble, I mean, any more than we all take gambles. You know, he's taking a gamble on me as if this show is going to keep working and hopefully we can keep doing good episodes and stuff. But I was confident when I saw him.
Question: Can you elaborate about the title, about that concept of "Raising Hope"?
Greg Garcia: Oh. Yeah, I didn't come up with the title. The network came up with the title. We had a title called "Keep Hope Alive," which I liked better, because all this family needed to do was keep Hope alive. But they were nervous about a Jesse Jackson speech and that he may sue. Not that he would win, but that he would so. And they didn't want to get into that, so they kind of started pitching other titles to me and they all had Hope in the title. And I kind of pointed out, you know, the baby doesn't have to be called Hope; that was just for that other title. But they landed on "Raising Hope" and they liked it. I felt maybe it was a little too much like "Raising Arizona," the movie title. But I was fine with it. That's kind of the story behind that. It's kind of a silly pun. I guess I just kind of think, ah, it's a title. What difference does it make? It doesn't define the show. But I think some people hate it; some people like it.
Question: Martha, what's it like playing a grannie, albeit a very glamorous one at your age?
Martha Plimpton: Thank you haha!
You know what? I don't mind it. At first, of course, I was a little bit nervous because I thought, well, shouldn't I play a mother first? haha! And I don't know even know if I'm ready for that yet. And obviously, as I've said before, Hollywood does tend to age women rather rapidly. So I was naturally concerned about that, as any actress would be. But when I talked to Greg, he really allayed my fears, like, almost instantly. That's the joke. That's the story. I mean, the idea is that these people had no idea what they were doing when they had their own child, and now that child has another child. And we've got to try and learn how to be adequate, you know, grandparents all over again. So in that regard, it didn't -- it's not affecting me all that much. I don't feel like I'm playing a grandmother. Do you know what I mean? Like, I don't have a gray wig and I'm not, like, walking hunched over. Do you know what I mean? I'm not playing someone who's not my age. So in that regard, it's actually kind of fun. And it means that I can... you know, there's comedy there. There's opportunity for laughs, I think.
Question: And to follow up, and the joke being that her own mother, your own mother is actually regressing at the age of...
Martha Plimpton: My grandmother.
Question: Your grandmother...
Martha Plimpton: Yeah.
Question:...is actually, herself, becoming a little girl again.
Martha Plimpton: That's an excellent point, certainly a much more intelligent one than I would have made.
Question: She's raising... taking care of a lot of people who are actually younger.
Martha Plimpton: Yeah. I mean, in that regard, I guess, Virginia's like a lot of people in this country who have large extended family living with them and an elderly relative. And, yes, she's juggling a lot of demands with very few resources. Do you know what I mean, so...
Question: Garret was saying to us the other day that he's playing probably the closest to himself that he's ever played. Are there any similarities, anything that you share with your character, anything you have a small grain of that you've played up for the role?
Martha Plimpton: Well, Virginia and I are both very hot haha!
I don't... you know, I would be nervous to identify anything like that just because I feel like it's a sort of good fit right now and I don't want to mess with it. Do you know what I mean? And I feel like the writers and Greg in particular really sort of know, they cast people that I think, felt like could sort of play to the strengths that he wanted in these people. So I think that's -- obviously that must mean, yes, we must have something in common, right?
Greg Garcia: If we think about it too hard, it's all going to fall apart haha!
Martha Plimpton: Exactly, exactly.
Shannon Woodward: Don't mess with it.
Martha Plimpton: Don't want to mess with a good thing, exactly.
Question: Virginia seems to be chain smoking on the show...
Well, she doesn't smoke on the show anymore. Virginia has quit smoking. She did in the second episode. I don't know if you've seen it yet. Well, that's coming. You'll see a storyline about how the whole family has to make an adjustment in that regard. And obviously, it was awesome and fun that I got to smoke in the first couple of episodes, but it's understandable that obviously on television we don't want to encourage such behavior. But it was an awesome part of the character that I still feel like is still -- I think it's still there. I'm sort of encouraging these guys to come up with something in an upcoming episode where somebody catches me sneaking, because I think -- you know what I mean? That happens. That's happens.
Greg Garcia: Sure.
Question: It seems like the kind of set where anything could happen or anything could go wrong. Garret was telling us how he gave you a bloody nose at one point.
Greg Garcia: He gave Cloris a bloody nose.
Question: So have you had any particularly funny moments on set or any highlights for you?
Shannon Woodward: Cloris is always licking Greg.
Greg Garcia: Cloris licks me haha!
Shannon Woodward: Always licking him on the back of the neck.
Greg Garcia: Cloris licks me. It's gotten to a very interesting part, our relationship. Yeah, she...
Shannon Woodward: Traumatized.
Greg Garcia: Yeah, I had forgot about it haha!
Now I realize, starting next week, I'm going to be licked again. Yeah. She's -- she's fond of my neck. I think she likes the way it tastes, and so she'll come over to me and she'll start just licking me. And I asked her -- at one point, I said, "You have to stop licking me. I'm a married man. My wife's not going to like this." And that didn't seem to faze her. So I sprayed - they make this stuff called Bitter Apple, and you put it on furniture so dogs don't eat the furniture. So I sprayed the back of my neck with it. I just lathered it up and then I just kind of waited. And she came over and I saw her coming in for the lick haha!
And she kind of - this is a true story. She came in and she kind of backed off and she kind of got a look on her face. And I said, "Cloris, are you okay? Is everything all right?" She's like, "Yeah, Mm-hmm." And I think she really didn't want to, like, hurt my feelings haha! And I said, "Do I taste okay?" And she said, "You're a little afternoony."
Martha Plimpton: (Applauding.)
Greg Garcia: And then I told her what I had done with the dog spray, and she thought it was absolutely hilarious. And then she kept licking me.
Martha Plimpton: This is a woman who ate actual shaving cream. I mean, nothing gets in her way. If there is a joke to be had, nothing will stop her.
Shannon Woodward: She's so committed.
Martha Plimpton: We had a scene where she's asleep and we are sort of grooming her in the middle of the night, because it's the only time she'll let us, presumably, touch her. And I'm shaving her legs and then she sort of pops up, awake, and we hide underneath the bed. And this is entirely improvised by Cloris. She just took some of this actual shaving cream. It was not whipped cream. We did not plan this... and just ate it haha!
And she did it, like, three times. Greg Garcia: Yeah. And then everybody laughed. So the next take, she just did it again. She keeps eating it. Then finally, I was like, "We've got enough of the shaving-cream eating. We've got it. We've got it. Stop eating shaving cream." So anyway, yes, anything can happen. But usually, it's anything with Cloris.
Martha Plimpton: Mm-hmm.
Greg Garcia: Yeah.
Question: What about you, Shannon? Has anything happened?
Shannon Woodward: We did a scene in the front of the... well, I had to eat her spit, actually.
Martha Plimpton: Oh, right.
Shannon Woodward: She ate corn on the cob.
Greg Garcia: She ate a lot of corn on the cob.
Shannon Woodward: And she was really going for it, too, and then she kind of like puts it... that was a little... Yeah. Uh, I'm trying to think. No, I mean, I've been working... I work mostly with Lucas and the baby. So, really, I'm just, like, harassing the baby all the time. All I want to do is cuddle it, and it's kind of like back off lady. But I've been...
Greg Garcia: We'll get you some stuff with Cloris if that's what you're asking for haha!
Martha Plimpton: It can be arranged.
Greg Garcia: Yeah, we can take care of that.
Question: There are a lot of family series. Even in Fox, we have "The Simpsons," "Modern Family." Why do you think this is different?
Greg Garcia: Why do I think this is different than other family sitcoms? Well, it's funnier, for one obviously. It's shot much better haha! Gosh, you know, I don't know. I mean, there's so many family sitcoms over the years that the thing that sets them apart is always the characters and the situation they're in and the tone in which the show is written. But I think that as far as some of the other family shows that are on right now, I mean, perhaps there's more of a struggle that may -- may be more relatable to folks. But there's -- you know, it's -- but we're not the only show doing a family show that people don't have money in either. I'm not claiming that. But other than that, I mean, look, obviously a big difference between our show and other shows is our guy -- our cute little baby's mother was a serial killer. And we don't harp on that every week, but we do find ways to use that in our stories. Because I always -- we always talk with the writers and we say, okay, it's a family sitcom; there's going to be stories that you come across, that you do that people have done for years, but what makes it specific to our show? What, why can they not do this show on any other sitcom? And we try to do that as much as we can.
We just had a Thanksgiving episode where the serial killer's parents come to Thanksgiving dinner, and our family is nervous about that. You're not going to see that on a lot of other shows. You know, we do a Christmas episode where -- where there's a living manger, and the church doesn't want the baby to be Jesus because her mother was a serial killer haha! So we try to incorporate that or, at least, a little bit of that into our stories to keep us unique.
Question: Greg, just to get back to Cloris for a second. We've seen Betty White who, at her age, has done so well. And Cloris has done so well out of this. Talk me through the process of how she got selected.
Greg Garcia: Well, when I wrote the pilot, the character of Maw Maw didn't have any lines at all. She was just kind of cooky and in a bra and forgetting to put her clothes on and she'd just go "ahhhhh." That was pretty much it. But I knew that this was somebody that... she lived in the house. She owned the house, so you can't just bring somebody in that can go "ahhh," and then episode 2 you're stuck. So I just kind of started thinking who would be perfect for this, and she's the first person that came to mind. And I thought, well, it's not a ton of stuff here, obviously. Let's get her a script and then see if I can get on the phone with her and talk to her about what the character is and what I see for it in the future and put the sales pitch on her. But she called up and she was just howling and she was just laughing and she just kept reading parts of the script to me that had nothing to do with her part at all. But she just loved the show. And she was telling me, "Oh, and this happens, and oh, my God and this," like I'd never heard of it before haha! "And then this happens, and then they throw up on the baby!" And she's going nuts, and I'm like this is great. And they just said, well, she's in, she's in. She wants to do it. So then I went back and actually wrote some more stuff about Maw Maw being lucid, a little bit, and it actually -- it made for a better script and it made for a better character for her, but that was pretty much that. That's how she came aboard.
Question: Martha, I was wondering what kind of feedback you've had from people who know your work...
Martha Plimpton: Well, so far, it's been really great. I'm very happy. I mean, my friends, in general, are not a particularly friendly bunch haha! And not one of them has told me they hate it, which is really impressive, because my friends, as I say, pretty brutal. I get an enormous amount of good response, which I am very, very pleased about, and I hope it will continue.
Question: What about, like, people being recognized on the street?
Martha Plimpton: That's definitely increased a little bit. It's to be expected. That's definitely increased. But I will say that - and I live in New York. It's not something you would notice so much here in Los Angeles because you're never on the street in Los Angeles. But just being in New York over this last brief hiatus, I did notice you know, it used to be "Goonies." That was normally what I was recognized for, and people would usually scream "Goonies!" at me on the subway, whatever, you know, in places where you can't get away haha! And I noticed, in the last couple of weeks that I was in the city, people would just, as they were walking by, just go, "Awesome show. Love it. You're awesome," and then just keep walking. And that, to me, is terrifically high praise. They don't have to say anything. They could just be like, "Oh, that's the lady on the show." Do you know what I mean? But they're being very, very nice about it. I'm very pleased. Hope it continues. Question: Is it strange after all these years that people still have "The Goonies" so much in their hearts?
Martha Plimpton: Yeah. It's very nice, and I'm very pleased that it has such a long life. The question always comes up is there going to be a sequel, is there going to be a sequel? And the answer is always no. But I love the fact that people want it. And that it's become a staple kids' movie, which is kind of great. It's terrific. But it is disorienting when you're on stage, playing... like, doing Imogen and you literally hear "Goonies" screamed from out of the audience. That has happened haha! Greg Garcia: My family walk around New York and people would point at us and shout "goonies," but we're not a very attractive bunch. It's not as thrilling haha!
Question: Both your characters obviously have jobs that they don't particularly love. What's the worst jobs you've had either acting or not acting?
Shannon Woodward: You know, when I was in high school, I started volunteering, because in order to get into college, like, I realize that you have to do quite a lot of volunteer work and I didn't know that at all until kind of, like, the last six months of my senior year. And I was like what am I going to do? So being an actor, I had plenty of free time, and I was finishing through, like, a private school where I did my work independently. So I started full-time working with this charity where I was running their office. But my real duties were when they had these events that benefited orphans, they would -- it was like -- kind of like a big brother kind of situation. But they would bring in celebrities who had never met these kids, and they would go and hang out with them for, like, six or seven hours at a designated place. And I would be responsible for taking care of the stage parents and taking them around and, like, keeping them occupied, which was awful, genuinely. But, yeah, that was probably the weirdest. Yeah, I was like a stage parent babysitter. It was awful.
Martha Plimpton: What's the worst job I've ever had? None of my acting jobs have been terribly miserable at all. And since I've been doing this since I was eight, I have sort of a pathetic admission, which is that I've never actually had what we call a civilian job. I've been fortunate enough that way. Although I've certainly had to do unpleasant things in movies before, but nothing -- you know, nothing that's, like, worth complaining about, because people would just be like "You jackass. Your live is awesome." As difficult as it gets in showbiz, it's really not that bad. It's really not that bad.