Abby McCarthy brings new meaning to the phrase “having it all.” The main character in Bravo’s first scripted series, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” is managing personal and professional so well she’s writing advice books about how to do it right. Of course, this makes it all the more difficult for her that, secretly, her idyllic marriage is completely falling apart, which torpedoes her thriving writing career by the end of the pilot episode. But Lisa Edelstein (“House”), who plays Abby, says this is all part of the process of finding who she is as an adult.
How would you describe Abby?
Abby is super bright, talented, and a funny writer who identifies with her public persona being an answer lady, knowing how to be the perfect mom, knowing how to be a great wife, knowing how to be a great lover. Her whole identity is wrapped around those ideas and all of it sort of falls apart by the end of episode one. So she’s really a woman in search for herself. And she’s doing it at an age when would one expect to be more established and instead she’s starting again.
Did you find any parallels in your own life being a public person and what Abby goes through?
Certainly, being any kind of celebrity, there’s a lot of pitfalls, there’s a lot of dangers. You can really confuse your public persona with who you are as a human being and your own value as a human being, and that’s a very dangerous mindset to get in, when you only feel as good as people are perceiving you.
This is your first starring role. Are you feeling the responsibility of that?
I’m loving it. I love this project. I feel like it uses every part of me as opposed to having to use a sliver of yourself to move forward somebody else’s storyline. It’s really a fun opportunity and I’m super grateful for it. I always have fun on my jobs, but this has been a remarkable experience.
It seems like Abby and her husband Jake aren’t quite out of love with each other. Is there going to be a will they/won’t they aspect to their relationship?
Yes. These are two people who have barely dealt with each other for so long that by having to get a divorce and deal with each other, they’re remembering what they love about each other. So there’s still a will they won’t they aspect to it going through Season 1.
You just got married this year. Did your friends give you a hard time about the timing of starring in a show with divorce in the title?
I started the show about divorce the day after I got married. No, they wouldn’t give me trouble! Everyone’s super excited. This last year has been one of the most incredible years of my entire life. I am with a man that I was interested, willing and happy to marry, which has never happened to me before, and I got this job of a lifetime. I got my dream job.