Marlene Forte says she feels like "Alice in Wonderland" after getting some time in the spotlight on Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
Forte's made a name for herself as a talented character actor, playing cops and victims on shows like Lost, CSI, Cold Case and ER. Now, she's changing to comedy by entering the Atlanta-based world of the Payne family. Forte's also excited about representing the Latino community with the introduction of the Hernandez clan to the TBS sitcom.
"I've played lots of moms in my career, but they're always weepy or crying over their dead husbands... but, [my character is] witty, smart and nothing really rattles her. She's the boss. Really just like every Latin wife."
Forte plays Rosie Hernandez, a police officer's wife and mother of three who befriends the show's matriarch, Ella Payne (Cassi Davis). Because both of their kids are older or have already left the nest, Rosie and Ella will get into all kinds of trouble together this season.
"I'm definitely Ethel, and [Davis] is Lucy. It's kinda fun," says Forte.
Forte sees a big future for the Hernandez clan on House of Payne, which airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET.
"[Tyler Perry] is setting it up for us to come back next season, or he really wants to do a spin-off. He wants to do the same thing with the Latin community that he's done with the African-American. Why not? Nobody else is doing it. The studios sure as heck aren't doing it."
Payne fans will also get to see Forte as the chief transporter in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie due out in May.