Even though she is only 39, Martha Plimpton wasn’t worried about playing a grandmother on the new Fox comedy series “Raising Hope.” As the three-time Tony nominee explains to Gold Derby, “It’s not like they called me up and said you’re going to be playing a 75-year-old woman. I’m playing my own age, and she had a kid when she was a kid. Now her kid has a kid, so mathematically it makes sense. You know, there are a lot of 40-year-old grandmas out there in the world.”
“Raising Hope” was created by Emmy winner Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) who Plimpton describes as “raunchy, fearless, and smart.” For the actress, the appeal of his script was “that it was funny and had kind of a twisted quality to it. It didn’t come from an ugly, mean place or a cynical place. It seemed to have an authentic, warm heart.” She admits her character Virginia “can be a jerk sometimes and is not the perfect mom.” Virginia lives with her husband Burt (Garret Dillahunt) their son Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and granddaughter Hope, as well as her grandmother Maw Maw (eight-time Emmy champ Cloris Leachman).
Our experts and editors agree that Plimpton is a strong contender in the Best Comedy Actress race. If nominated, she is likely to submit either “Dream Hoarders” (Virginia is caught storing stuff in the garage as she dreams of winning the lottery) or “Say Cheese” (which features flashbacks to various failed family portrait sessions).
For Plimpton, that second episode “gives Virginia this extremely unattractive, heavy insecurity coupled with an enormous ego and an obsession with perfection. I love how they wrote to that neurosis with a generosity of spirit by talking about the things she felt like she was lacking. All the things she felt she couldn’t provide her family came through in this insecurity.”