Ever feel like you need to hit the reset button? Carol’s Second Act tells the story of a woman in her 50s who is looking to start over following a divorce and becoming an empty nester. Carol, played by Patricia Heaton, retires from teaching and goes after her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor, making her the oldest person in her class; closer in age to her senior attending, played by Kyle MacLachlan, than any of her classmates.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Heaton and MacLachlan earlier this week to discuss what drew them both to the show, learning medical jargon and what they would like to do in their own “second acts.”
MW: Patricia, Kyle, good morning, how are you?
PH: Hi, good, how are you?
KM: Good morning.
MW: Doing well over here, so for anyone who didn’t catch last week’s premiere of Carol’s Second Act, can you go over the premise of the show?
PH: Carol’s Second Act is about a woman, Carol Kenny played by me, whose husband divorces her, her kids are out of the house, she’s been a high school science teacher, but her dream has always been to become a doctor. So she takes this opportunity at this stage of her life to make her dream come true and challenges herself and we pick up in her first year of residency at Loyola Memorial hospital, where Kyle plays…
KM: Senior attending.
PH: Senior attending, and she’s the oldest of all the interns. It’s about her pushing through and stepping out there and dealing with being an older person in a young person’s game.
MW: And Patricia, you’ve had so many successful roles, time after time, you’ve knocked it out of the park. What goes into your selection process when deciding to do a show or selecting a character and what was about this particular role that caught your eye?
PH: Well, I think I’m in a stage in my life where I’m branching out a little bit. My kids are out of the house. I’m trying some new things. I’m executive producing this show. I do a lot of philanthropy for World Vision, so I’m trying some new things in my life and branching out a bit. I really liked what Carol was about and what she’s going through in her life. I just think we’re at a time when people are living much longer, 55 used to be the time you retired and just went off to the golf course. Now 55, God willing, you have 30 years left of your life, that’s a lot of time you could contribute to your community and grow as a person and I think that we are tapping into something that is happening right now.
MW: And Kyle, you’ve also had such an amazing career, can you talk about what drew you to this role and also what’s it been like working with Patricia?
KM: I was just going to say, she’s sitting right next to me…
PH: I can hear you, in other words.
KM: Shoot. When do you get an opportunity to work with someone who is as successful and as accomplished as Patricia Heaton? Along with the fantastic cast and crew, it’s a new world for me, this live four camera sitcom situation and what better way to come into it than to work with people who have such a skill set. It’s an opportunity for me to try something different, a character that looked like a lot of fun, got a chance to be funny not evil, we’re just having a heck of a time.
MW: What’s it been like learning all the jargon, getting down all the medical terms, has that been difficult at all?
PH: Kyle’s very good at it.
KM: Thank you for that. Hypertrophic.
KM: Myocardiopathy, you know these words don’t really just roll off the tip of my tongue, but it’s OK. They give you a few passes at it and it’s OK, we get there.
PH: I tend to look up things because it helps me memorize them when I know exactly what those words mean and what I’m talking about. It does send you down quite the rabbit hole of disgusting videos.
KM: You can diagnose just about anything now.
PH: Yes, now I’m surprised I’m alive. Seeing all the things that can kill you, it’s a miracle any of us are sitting here.
MW: Well it rolled off the tongue very nicely just now, you had me fooled, I would’ve thought you’ve been saying those words for years.
KM: Thanks [laughs].
MW: Last question for the both of you, Patricia we’ll start with you. If you had to have a “second act” at this point in your life what do you think you would be interested in doing?
PH: I think I would like to be a detective; I can’t stop watching those crime shows.
KM: I think you would be a good detective.
PH: I used to say I think I would want to be a concierge, and I was thinking the other day what’s the connection? It’s all about solving problems, so I think I like solving problems for other people, so anything that’s involved with that.
MW: Great. Kyle, what about you?
KM: Oh well I played a detective so I’ve already been a detective [laughs]. I’m kind of in the middle of doing it; I make wine in my home state of Eastern Washington so I’m in the middle of this wine journey right now, so that’s been kind of fun. That’s been a whole discovery.
MW: Very nice, after spending a whole day on these awful medical rabbit holes at least you can relax with some of your own wine.
KM: Very important. Very important part of the process.
MW: Of course, of course. Well thank you both so much, good luck with the rest of the show.
PH: Thank you!
KM: Thanks Matt!
Carol’s Second Act airs Thursday nights at 9:30PM ET/PT. Check your local listings for more information.