Molly Shannon and Selma Blair
Joining NBC's successful Thursday-night comedy block isn't easy for any new show, but Kath & Kim (8:30 pm/ET) has had a particularly tough go at it in a year when all of NBC's comedies (including 30 Rock, The Office and My Name Is Earl) have posted decreased ratings. But with a full-season vote of confidence from the network, Kath & Kim is forging ahead with, among other storylines, wedding plans. Join us for a little girl talk with executive producer Michelle Nader and stars Molly Shannon and Selma Blair, who tell us how they interpreted the Australian original, their own celebrity crushes and what it takes to be considered a "good eater" on camera.
TVGuide.com: Michelle, did you always have these actors in mind for the roles?
Michelle Nader: Not Selma. She's so unexpected in this role and that's why it was so amazing to get her. But I had always imagined Molly as Kath. What Molly has brought is so much different than what I thought of the character initially.
Molly Shannon: I will say that the Australian version is so well done it's very hard to touch. As a comedian, I felt like I had to find a way to make it my own. Coming from Saturday Night Live where I created original characters, it was hard doing something that already existed that was done so perfectly.
TVGuide.com: Molly, if someone were to tell you that you were meant to play this role, do you take that as a compliment?
Shannon: Oh yes, I would. As a matter of fact, before I signed on to this show, a friend of mine from Bravo, Andy Cohen, sent me the tapes from Australia. He thought I would love it, that it would be right up my alley. So to me, it's a compliment. I mean, [Jane Turner and Gina Riley, the stars of the Australian series] are great comic actresses. So it's a real compliment as a comedian.
TVGuide.com: The costumes are insane! Are they fun to wear? Do you have a favorite outfit or something that you hate wearing?
Selma Blair: Right now, I'm wearing, like, the clothing equivalent of a mullet: the shortest red polyester shorts and a full-on business-suit top — business on top; party on the bottom. It's ridiculous. I don't ever want to take any of this wardrobe home. I'm not going to be like Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City and build an extra closet for my extra pieces. But it is like Halloween every day. It's a really fun character to get into, for sure.
Shannon: Yeah, I like Kath's costumes. They feel so ladylike and shapely. I like all the belts.
TVGuide.com: Did you base Kim on anyone? (Please say no.)
Blair: Yes, I did. Kim is partly based on someone that I grew up with, like how juvenile and loud she is.
TVGuide.com: Selma, I know you and your mother are very close. In that respect, do you have anything in common with Kim?
Blair: Kim is nothing like I was growing up. But I am close with my mom. I think, at the heart of it, Kim really does love and support her mom, and just really wants to be with her so much. She's just depends on her mom too much, so it's a little tricky. For some reason — I don't know what's wrong with me — but I find Kim to be kind of lovable. I mean, irritating, for sure, but lovable.
Shannon: I do too.
TVGuide.com: Selma, your character is always eating. Has that been a problem for you on set when you're, like, munching on things and there are multiple takes?
Blair: I've kind of learned to cheat it now and just take very, very small bites. But before I was really gung-ho and thinking, you know, Kim has to be this really sloppy girl. She does love food though, and there's definitely a spit bucket on hand. But sometimes it's really tasty, so I just keep eating.
Nader: But can I say this? You eat really well. Like, I love the way you get your chips in your nails and you hold the chip and then you stuff it in your mouth...
Blair: Just adding to the mystique that is Selma Blair... [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about Kim's obsession with celebrities. Are you ever like that?
Blair: Sometimes it's a little scary when we get a script and it's like, "Oh no, I'm friends with that person. We can't say that." I mean, Kath and Kim aren't malicious; they love celebrities, but sometimes it gets a little creepy for me. But it's really fun to play it, to sit on set and look at those [celebrity gossip] magazines. They're very entertaining.
TVGuide.com: Who are Kath and Kim's favorite celebrities?
Shannon: I think Kath's is Nicole Kidman. I love her in my personal life too.
Nader: Well, Kath also likes Cher.
Shannon: You like Cher, Michelle. Which I guess is why my character idolizes Cher.
Nader: We actually just had Pam Anderson on the show in a dreamlike sequence; it felt very natural for her to be there somehow.
TVGuide.com: Any other guest stars coming up?
Nader: We just had Maya Rudolph on — she was hilarious. And there's talk of Britney Spears coming on for a story about Kath and Kim going to Las Vegas to see the Cher show. I guess I really do like Cher.
TVGuide.com: Who is Maya playing? And will we see any other of Molly's SNL cohorts stop by?
Nader: Maya plays an unbelievably funny spiritual guide. She helps Phil lose weight and then Kath develops this sort of girl crush on her. It's really funny; we're already planning to bring her back. We had Dave Koechner on; he was on SNL for a bit. Otherwise, not right now, but maybe down the line.
TVGuide.com: Are Kath and Phil ever going to get married or is it just something that's always going to be talked about?
Shannon: They are definitely going to get married. There's going to be a wedding in an upcoming episode.
TVGuide.com: So it'll be Kath, Kim and Phil living together?
Shannon: Kath, Kim, Phil and possibly Craig — everybody.
See full episodes of Kath & Kim in our Online Video Guide