Jackie Hoffman Q&A: ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’
“When I read it, it was top secret and I didn’t know what I was reading for. I was told I was reading for a German woman named Ilsa and I was working for a woman named Miss Rexford,” reveals Jackie Hoffman about her standout role in the recent FX limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan.” It turned out she was actually auditioning for Mamacita, the right-hand woman to legendary actress Joan Crawford. During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), she adds, “When I found out it was Mamacita, they had to peel me up off the floor… How nourishing a character she was and how full of life it was.”
As the program begins, aging screen legend Crawford (Jessica Lange) needs a comeback desperately. She enlists her trusted housekeeper Mamacita to find a book for her that can be adapted into a screenplay. They bring director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) on board for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,” get Warner Bros. as the production company, and are forced to ask Crawford’s arch rival Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) to be the co-lead.
Regarding the the unique and sometimes contentious relationship between Crawford and Mamacita, Hoffman says, “As I did more research on her, I think they really loved each other. I think they developed a very strong bond, like a maternal-friend, almost a husband-wife kind of very powerful relationship. Who knows? Mamacita might have had empty nest syndrome. Her children were gone, and she always wanted to have a sense of purpose and belonging.”
Hoffman has been an actress, singer, and stand-up comedian for 25 years and is a veteran of the Second City improv team in Chicago. She is currently on Broadway co-starring in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as Mrs. Teavee opposite Christian Borle as Willy Wonka.