For NBC's new series "You, Me and the Apocalypse," star Megan Mullally had to take a very questionable character – an inmate/white supremacist – and make it her own.
"The character being a white supremacist gave me some pause in light of all of the horrible racial injustice that we’re faced with around the world, but particularly here in the United States,” the 57-year-old actress says. “It’s part of the character, so in that regard I was OK with it, but I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to think that there’s anything funny or comedic about it.”
The show originally premiered on Sky 1 in the U.K. back in September, and made its U.S. debut on Jan. 28 on NBC. The cast also includes "The Office" alumna Jenna Fisher as fellow (wrongfully accused) prison inmate and Mullally's "Parks and Recreation" co-star Rob Lowe as a Vatican priest. Mullally is virtually unrecognizable as Leanne Parkins, the blond, thin-browed prisoner who seeks safety in an underground bunker with a ragtag group of survivalists (see above) facing the end of the world.
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While Mullally was initially surprised that she was being considered for the role, she welcomed the challenge.
"I couldn’t reach into any kind of bag of tricks for this [character] – there was nothing about this that bore any relation to any characters I’ve played before," she says.
But Mullally explained that while Parkins has her dark side, she isn’t a one-dimensional character.
"She’s kind of scary," she admits. "I play a lot of crazy people, and that’s fun. And she’s pretty crazy, but in a different way, in a more sort of real way. Then she also has another side – the ‘psycho with a heart of gold’ or whatever – that comes out slowly.”
“You, Me and the Apocalypse” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.