Trophy Wife has been one of the funniest new comedies to air this season. When you tell the story of a man, his new wife, two ex-wives and their three children, you get a seemingly endless combination of hilarious interactions, relationships and situations.
I spoke to Bailee Madison, who plays Hillary, on the phone last week about joining a comedy, the crazy family situations and whether she has any plans to return as Young Snow on Once Upon a Time.
What to do you like about being on the comedy, Trophy Wife, over the dramas you've been on before?
Bailee Madison: The fact that I know every script that I get I don't need to be screaming or crying and looking at some imaginary creature that's about to attack me is a very good feeling. That was one of the biggest excitements. I knew I was going to be doing something where I'd have fun, laugh and learn from those who are so talented in the comedy world.
And it was something that I wasn't 100% great with so I've been able to learn every episode and figure out the comedic timing. As much as it was a relief of being able to have fun and do fun things, it was a relief to know that I was going to get to do something new.
What do you like about playing the character of Hillary?
I love everything about her. I love that she's not a typical teenager. That she's aware of that and I think she's so good through the whole trying to stay in the popular crowd and realizing that her friends -- no one has sleepovers with her and her mom any more. So I think the part that she's so human is really exciting and super fun.
I love the fact that she's like a mini-Diane and she's like another parent, like a mother to Kate and everyone. And, I love the depth that she's able to play. She can be super bratty and super sarcastic and she can be really vulnerable and really sweet sometimes. It's just fun to play her.
How much fun was it to do the sleepover episode?
Oh, my God! It was a blast. It was honestly the first episode that Marcia [Gay Harden] and I were able to bond and really dissect the material and come up with different stuff and create moments together. So we sat before we did the first take of the episode and the first scene. We sat in the hair and make-up room for like an hour and a half and just went through the material and figured out ways we could create moments and create fun stuff.
It was great too because my best friend was actually able to be in the show with me. So I got to have my real best friend be my fake best friend for a day, which was a lot of fun. I was also thrilled with the script because it showed for the first time that both Diane and Hillary have flaws. I feel like you always see them so perfectly together and doing the right thing and kinda calling everyone else out on their flaws. But, it was the first time you got to see them make a mistake and come on top of it.
If you had you own friends over for a sleepover would you be ordering pizza or serving gourmet food?
That's a hard thing. I will be game for a cheese plate and bruschetta any day, but probably not my friends. I'd probably go the safe route and order pizza. But, no that's not true. I take that back because when I had my birthday party a couple of girls stayed after the party. We all took off our vintage party dresses and put on our PJs and we totally were eating the whole cheese platter that the adults were having during the party. So you know, maybe try and do both. Why not, right?
What's been your favorite episode?
I would probably say next week, there's an episode airing where Marcia and I get really, really competitive with each other. That was so much fun to film because we were literally running throughout the whole episode. As much as it was my favorite, the way it was written and what our characters were going through, it was also my favorite because this was the episode when we found out we got the additional back 9 [episode order] from ABC.
From a special standpoint, that's one of my favorites because it has such a background and memory to it. Marcia and I said we wanted to look as ugly as possible while we were running. We wanted to completely show our flaws and not look perfect and just completely make a fool of ourselves. So hopefully, we kinda did that.
What's Hillary's relationship with her half-brother Bert?
I definitely think it's different from Warren. Even though she's the younger sister, she's a lot smarter than Warren. So she picks on him more in a way. So with Bert, she's totally in love with him. She'd do anything for him. That's why it was fun to do the whole "sucking up" episode. That was also one of my favorites because it showed Hillary and Bert's relationship.
She'd do anything to make him the best in class or to make the teacher love him and kind of be there for him at all times. I think she's a really caring sister towards Bert and that's sweet too. You have the Warren and Hillary back and forth constantly yelling at each other and playing pranks and then you have the Hillary and Bert which is really sweet and super caring.
The relationship between Kate and the kids is full of laughs and fun stuff. Going forward, will Kate start growing her relationship with the kids at all? Or, does it stay in the funny and awkward situations?
I think she's growing. She's starting to as you see in "The Punishment," which was also a great episode. You see her kind of figure out how to do the punishment and be an adult and get the kids to respect her in a way. I think in those kind of parenting styles she is growing, but I think you'll always have that super awkward what did I get myself into but I absolutely love this family. At the end of the day, we all make mistakes and she's starting to learn that. I definitely think she's growing with the kids. And the kids are growing more fonder with her.
Does Hillary have any real moments coming up with her father?
Yeah. It's really exciting because since "Social Network," you haven't really seen much of the Pete and Hillary back and forth. We just filmed an episode and it does show the father-daughter relationship which is a lot of fun.
Are you looking forward to Hillary starting to date?
I totally am. I shocked she hasn't -- she's a little uptight so maybe that's why. I think that would be so much fun. I've pitched ideas to the writers when I've been like I want her to have a boyfriend and no one knows about it and she has a melt down.
And, they're like how long have you been dating and she's like two days. And she goes super goth. She takes off the blazer and gets her nice little preppy outfit off and totally goes goth. I think that would be really fun to get that whole interaction and especially if she has a boyfriend that he mom doesn't approve of. I think that could get really really fun.
What else is coming up on the show?
There's a lot of heart that's starting to come in. The last couple weeks, you've seen some really funny episodes and sweet moments as part of those. You'll really start to see the family coming together and working out their issues.
At this point, you don't have any plans to go back to Once Upon a Time, right?
Yes. Unfortunately. I'd love it though. I say it every time. Whenever they need me, I will be here and I would die of happiness. I love the show and I support it. From a fan standpoint and as a fan of the work that they do and as their Young Snow White, I love the show with all my heart.
Trophy Wife airs Tuesdays at 9:30 ET on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)