"Drop Dead Diva" Star Margaret Cho Pays a Visit to Lifetime Moms
Just in time for the premiere of Lifetime Television's "Drop Dead Diva" this Sunday, June 6 at 9pm et/pt, I had the chance to connect with comedienne and actress Margaret Cho, who stars in the hit series. Cho plays Teri Lee, the tough as nails legal assistant with a heart of gold who proves to be the ultimate resource for model wannabe Deb, who, after losing her life in a car accident, is permanently trapped in the body of Jane, a brilliant, plus-sized attorney.
During our chat, Margaret gave us the inside scoop on what viewers can expect this season on the show. She also revealed that she blogs and even shared all the exciting details of her latest post - which included a once in a lifetime meet-up with President Barack Obama.
Beth: You’re best known for comedy. How different is it for you to play a straight role?
Margaret: It’s nice to stretch and do different things and I’m excited about it. I also get to do dancing and singing, too, which is something I do like. It’s fun to incorporate that in the show.
Beth: I love the fact that you blog. Tell us about that.
Margaret: I try to do more and more, it’s tough to keep up with it and I admit I do get lazy. I'm also an author so it’s something I want to keep as part of my life. I try to keep connected with people and I like to read blogs too.
Beth: Can you share details from your most recent blog post which centered on meeting President Barack Obama?
Margaret: Oh, I couldn’t believe it. I am so used to going to rock shows, I am a musician and am very much in tune with the groupie mindset and I know how to get noticed by the lead singer. Which of course, the lead singer of the country is Barack Obama! So I got in the front, and he was giving his speech and he winked at me! Then he came down off the podium and he talked to me for a little bit and it was really amazing.
I’m a long time fan of his and I campaigned for him to become president and I never did meet him during that process so it was very exciting to actually finally do so. I have always felt especially in Hollywood where there’s not a lot of Asian Americans and there’s not a lot of representation or diversity, that we can have an African American president is such a profound thing. He has a lot of cultural and symbolic value in the way society has changed. I’m also a fan and he’s totally cute! He’s so handsome. It’s kind of shocking because you think of him as president and not as a hot guy, but he’s actually a really hot guy.
Beth: What can fans expect to see from your character this season?
Margaret: I like that Teri has a strong character and moral center - it’s very rewarding and this year, we’ll meet my family which is exciting. You’ll get to see more of Teri’s world and then you’ll also get to know that I’m a private eye - more of my background comes out and how I operate.
Beth: What’s a typical work week like?
Margaret: My schedule is different - my character is not there that much because she lives in that one set. So what I do with the rest of the time is work on my album. I’m making a record which I just completed and it’s being mastered now. It will be released in August and it’s called “Cho Dependent.” I’ll be touring in the fall so I’m really excited about it. It’s a comedy album but it has comedic cooperations with Fiona Apple and Paul Newman of the New Pornographers and Ben Lee and Patty Griffin and a lot of incredible, incredible artists.
Beth: You have done so much in your career, what else would you like to accomplish?
Margaret: I would like to continue doing stand-up comedy and incorporating more music into what I do because comedy is really a musical art form and people don’t acknowledge that most comedians actually have a great aspect of music in their career. I definitely want to expand on that. Not as serious in the way that Steve Martin has - Steve Martin is definitely one of my true heroes on that track but I still want to go with sort of a Weird Al Yankovic angle so I’ll be working on that.
Beth: Tell us about the musical sequences in the show.
Margaret: It’s totally fun - it’s a great thing because Brooke Elliott is a fantastic singer and dancer so they definitely use a lot of music in the show which is something I really appreciate. We also have a songtrack album coming out and we sing a song together - it’s actually the song we sing in the season premiere (“Would I Lie to You”) - that will be released on the soundtrack album as well as my own music too.
Beth: It's amazing that so many Broadway stars are taking television by storm. Can you tell us about the Broadway influence on "Drop Dead Diva?"
Margaret: It’s a very natural thing because Brooke is a Broadway star and I am a singer and it’s fun to work with great people on the show who can do versatile things. I love it - it’s really cool - our producers are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron - they’re the biggest Broadway producers out there so it’s nice to have that kind of support.
Coming up next week is an exclusive Lifetime Moms interview with Brooke Elliott who we'll catch up with while she's on a whirlwind makeover tour in New York City. And make sure you tune into the season premiere of the show, which features a surprise performance by Paula Abdul! Take a look...