Sheryl Lee Ralph Talks New Nickelodeon Show INSTANT MOM
Sheryl Lee Ralph, INSTANT MOM, Nickelodeon
Sheryl Lee Ralph is stepping off the stage and onto the small screen in the new Nickelodeon sitcom "Instant Mom." Ralph will be playing Maggie, an overbearing mother to daughter, Stephanie (Tia Mowry-Hardict), who has just taken on the role of mom to three stepchildren. The comedy joins Nickelodeon's NickMom lineup, with its series premiere this Sunday at 8:30 pm ET/PT.
A veteran of the stage, Ralph is best known for originating the role of Deena Jones in the original Broadway musical "Dreamgirls," a role for which she was nominated for a Tony Award in 1982. Other stage work includes "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and, most recently, 2009's "The First Wives Club." She has also done extensive work in film and television including a starring role in "Moesha" and the title role in "Mistress."
This week, Ralph spoke exclusively to BWW about her hilarious new show, playing Jennifer Hudson's mom on "Smash" and the role she would love to do on Broadway.
What can you tell me about your new series on Nickelodeon?
First of all it's great. It's a wonderful piece of situation comedy. It's amazing because it is also simply funny. It's classic. It's intergenerational meaning you can sit down and everybody gets something out of it. There's something in it for everybody. It's a throwback to the classic days of TV comedy. It's purely funny. Great cast, great script.
Your character is described as an "overbearing mother". As a mom yourself, can you relate to that at all?
[Joking] Absolutely not! There's nothing about that character in the least bit that reminds me of myself! Me? Overbearing? Never! I'm nothing close to that, I am so calm and retiring and shy! [Laughs]
Does the role present any challenges?
The Challenge is that I enjoy it way too much. I have been given the gift of a wonderful, wonderful character that I enjoy playing. In the moments when I'm not on stage or in the scene, everybody always says, "oh my God it just wasn't the same without you." I am very blessed and very thankful.
Will you do any singing on the show?
In fact, this last episode that we just wrapped, Tia sings on it, Gabby (Syndey Park) sings on it, and I sing on it. We all sing on it.
Do you have any plans to return to the Broadway stage?
Let me tell you, everybody has asked me that question today. I'm sure that God must have something in the future there for me. Who knows? It would be great to play Miss Hannigan in "Annie" in the wintertime-one never knows! There might be something brand new that I could do in the hiatus of the show, because I am sure the show is going to get picked up for another season.