I had the absolute honor to attend a Q&A interview with The Goldbergs Wendi McLendon-Covey (Executive Producer / “Beverly Goldberg”) and Hayley Orrantia (“Erica Goldberg”). We also had the opportunity to watch the next episode of the hit series “Uncle-ing” airing Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8:30/7:30c.
I was the first to ask the inevitable question …..
What kind of Mom do you think Erica is gonna be? Will she be a “Smother” like Beverly?
Hayley: I think that Erica’s natural tendency is to be a little selfish. I think you’re going to see her going through a phase of realizing that it’s definitely her and the baby and a lot of attention is going to be on the baby. But I think that having grown up with Beverly as a mom, I have a feeling we’re going to see smothering tendencies. What do you think, Wendi?
Wendi: I think she’s gonna be exactly like her mother while denying that she is anything like her mother, telling Beverly that she’s totally wrong.
Do you have any real-life crazy uncle stories?
Wendi: I have some crazy aunts and uncles who used to really just throw us in the air and do dangerous things with us as infants. Always like, Oh, your mom doesn’t want you to do this that? Well, I’ll, I’ll help you do it. I definitely had those aunts and uncles and they were my favorites. That’s how it should be. I think that is the natural order of things, your parents should always say no and your aunts and uncles should always get you into trouble.
Hayley: I agree with that. I didn’t really have uncles that I was close to growing up but I definitely had a lot of aunts as well. I don’t remember any dangerous things that they would get me into but have you guys seen the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya sisterhood by any chance because that’s probably as close as it gets. All I really remember growing up was that I had a couple of aunts that would throw what we called diva parties, which is probably why I’m such a diva now (laughs).
What can we expect from Beverly this season now that there’s a grandchild in the picture?
Wendi: You can expect a spoiled grandchild that’s going to butt heads with mom. Beverly is now a widow so she’s trying to find her place in the world again without a husband. So what’s she going to do? She’s babysitting all the time. Is she going to drag the baby off on some of her adventures? Yes, she is because that’s just good grandmothering and she wants to show off the baby and she wants compliments on the baby.
What advice would you give to new moms after having played a mom on television for so long?
Wendi: To new moms, I would say give yourself some grace because none of this is going to go according to the books, you can use those as a reference, but you’re going to have to improvise this entire thing. Make friends with baby wipes, because you’re not going to get a shower. Keep some wet wash cloths with a little essential oil in a bowl in your fridge for when you need to swab yourself down. Maybe eat when you can, and sleep when you can because you don’t have control over a lot of this. So just give yourself some grace. It is going to be a fun time and you are going to miss it when it ends. Now I’m only saying that because that’s what I saw my friends go through.
How is the dynamic on set?
Wendi: I would say we’re, we’re pretty spoiled now. We do make each other laugh and I don’t want to say we’ve become like the bad kids in the class but we kind of have a little bit. I love these people. I really feel like they are family now and it makes it a pleasure to come to work. They are my second family.
Hayley: I keep saying that I’m going to probably need therapy after we officially wrap this thing for good because I don’t know what life is gonna look like without being on set with everyone. We’ve been doing it a decade now. It’s we just have so much fun together and I feel like we’re very lucky that we get to enjoy coming to work as much as we do. So it’s a good dynamic.
Do you have a favorite Erica era (Teenager, a young wife, and now almost mother)?
Hayley: That’s a tough one because there are so many gems and I really enjoyed each one. I even loved when we would do flashback episodes to middle school Erica where I had braces and big glasses. I’m kind of looking forward to whatever this one’s going to be because the writers only let us in on so much. In having conversations with them about what Erica is going to be like as a new mom, it was a time where a lot of women were first like taking on being a mother but also working and trying to find that sort of balance. I’m really hoping that this era is going to showcase that a little bit for Erica and tell that story for women in the 80s.
Do you have an all-time favorite episode that just stands out?
Wendi: I loved our dinner with The Goldbergs episode, and I wish we would do another one like that now that there will be a baby. I also love all of our holiday episodes, every Thanksgiving episode, every Christmas slash Hanukkah episode I love. I also loved the episode where Bev was trying to get the family in the paper during the Hands Across America thing, all she wanted was to see her family in the paper.
In Uncle-ing, with her due date approaching, Erica is over the exhausting pregnancy and demands a “babymoon.” Meanwhile, Adam and Barry seek out advice on “uncle-ing” from some unexpected sources. “Uncle-ing” airs this Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8:30/7:30c on ABC and available next day on Hulu)
“The Goldbergs” are back for a monumental 10th season celebrating everything we love about our favorite ‘80s household while also welcoming a new season of life. With everyone living back under the same roof and Beverly preparing for her new role as Grandsmotherer, there is more Goldbergs pandemonium than ever! As this new chapter unfolds, the Goldbergs continue to remind us that there is no bond greater than family, and there is nothing they can’t handle with each other’s support.
Watch Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC. Stream episodes next day on Hulu.
About Wendi McLendon-Covey
Actor, comedian and producer Wendi McLendon-Covey is a master of comedy. With perfect timing and an indelible presence both on stage and camera, she has been captivating audiences her entire career.
New York Magazine’s Vulture called her The Greatest TV Mom of 2015 for her performance as fan-favorite matriarch Beverly Goldberg on the ABC comedy “The Goldbergs,” where she serves as a executive producer and has been nominated for two Critic Choice Awards.
Many know McLendon-Covey from her starring role in “Bridesmaids,” the 2011 groundbreaking female comedy. The ensemble cast received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture, and a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. The film won an AFI award in 2012 for Movie of the Year. There has not been a female-centered comedy film since with this level of critical acclaim and place in the zeitgeist.
McLendon-Covey’s impressive resume includes the film “Hello, My Name is Doris” alongside Sally Field; the Steve Harvey movie “Think Like A Man Too,” opposite Kevin Hart and Regina Hall; and Tyler Perry’s “Single Mom’s Club” with Terry Crews and Amy Smart. She also starred in Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production “Blended,” opposite Sandler and Drew Barrymore. McLendon-Covey received critical acclaim for her performance in the indie drama “Blush,” which made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 and released worldwide in 2020. Next, she will be seen in movies “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” alongside Kristen Wiig and Jamie Dornan and “Sick Girl,” among others. She also recently finished a film with Owen Wilson “Paint.”
True comedy fans will recognize McLendon-Covey from her five-year co-starring role on the cult classic “Reno 911,” a mockumentary about law enforcement. In 2020, she returned as Deputy Clementine Johnson in the series reboot and executive produces the show which earned an Emmy® nomination. Other television work includes “Lovespring International,” “Modern Family” and “Rules of Engagement.”
McLendon-Covey got her start at the world-famous Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles, where she excelled at both improv and sketch comedy. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.
About Hayley Orrantia
From starring in hit television series to releasing chart-topping singles, Hayley Orrantia has quickly made a name for herself as one of the most exciting multihyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. Orrantia can currently be seen reprising her celebrated role as Erica Goldberg in ABC’s long-standing sitcom “The Goldbergs.” Currently in production for its tenth season, the show follows the hilarious and awkward lives of a colorful, suburban family in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in the 1980s. Orrantia is a scene stealer as Erica, the eldest Goldberg sibling, who fans have watched transform from a socially awkward, nerdy high schooler to popular, college-aged beauty who drops out of school to form a band with her girlfriends.
In film, Orrantia recently wrapped production on a starring role in Lionsgate’s upcoming holiday film, “The Fight Before Christmas,” alongside Dermot Mulroney and Janel Parrish. Additional filmography credits for Orrantia include recurring in “Schooled,” a popular ABC spinoff of “The Goldbergs,” the independent film “Cooper and the Castle Hills Gang,” and the feature film “God’s Not Dead 2,” where her original song “Silence You” was also featured.
Orrantia is also widely recognized for her successful music career in the world of country, where she draws on inspiration from all genres to create the perfect soulful, country-pop blend that showcases her expressive, genuine and heartfelt spirit. Orrantia most recently released “Find Yourself Somebody,” which found success on the top country playlists across Spotify and Apple Music, as well as “Made for This,” which was written as an ode to her mother in 2020. Her music has been featured on some of the largest country music playlists and radio stations in America, including Spotify’s “Wild Country” and “Nearly Nashville” playlists and Radio Disney Country. In 2018, Orrantia conducted her first successful headlining tour, the Strong, Sweet and Southern Tour, hitting 22 cities across the U.S. In the same year, she also performed on three main stages at the renowned CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee. Orrantia is currently working on new music, slated for a 2021 release.
Born and raised in Texas, Orrantia discovered her love of performing from the young age of 9 years old, performing impromptu concerts in her bedroom. It wasn’t long before she added songwriting and playing piano to her impressive list of talents; and by 14 years old, she launched her professional acting career. While working in film, television and music keeps Orrantia busy, she also buys, flips and renovates homes alongside her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Orrantia is positioning herself to become a pioneer in the interior design and home renovation market, recently partnering with Cineflix to produce her own home renovation series, “Legacy Builds,” which follows her family house-flipping business in Nashville.
Orrantia currently splits her time in Nashville, where she writes and records most of her music, and Los Angeles where she films “The Goldbergs.” She proudly calls both cities home.
STAY SOCIAL WITH THE GOLDBERGS