Wendi McLendon-Covey plays two very different women on her ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs” and in her new film, the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy “Blended.”
Beverly Goldberg is an overly affectionate mother, referred to as a “smother” by her kids, while Jen, her character from “Blended,” opening Friday, is so against children that she gives up a dream vacation to Africa with her boyfriend, a single father who wants to bring his five children along so they can get to know her better.
amNewYork spoke with McLendon-Covey.
How did you get involved with this film?
They reached out to me after they came back from Africa. They were setting up production in Georgia and they reached out to me, asked me if I wanted to do it and before reading the script I said, “Yep! Yep, absolutely!” and within 24 hours I was in Georgia.
What made it such an immediate decision?
Because I always wanted to work with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. To get them both together, to have the opportunity, yeah, it was a no brainer for me.
Were you miffed that you missed out on going to Africa?
You know, I wasn’t, until I saw the movie. And then I said, “Oh, that would have been fun.” But it’s all good.
On “The Goldbergs” you play a devout mother, and here, a woman who doesn’t want anything to do with kids. How do you go between these two roles?
Well, it was fun for me because I understand both women. I understand Jen in “Blended” because she’s one of those girls where maybe she doesn’t want to admit her age and if she dates a guy with kids, it means that at some point someone could be calling her stepmom or mom. That just means she’s older and getting boring. I understand that woman and I understand Beverly Goldberg who lives to get hugs from her kids. So, it was a challenge to go straight from “Blended” into “The Goldbergs” … but it was really fun.
Adam and Drew seem to have great chemistry. What are they like on set?
They do have great chemistry and I think it comes from the fact that they’re both genuinely nice people when they’re not acting. I was intimidated coming into this and they were both so warm and welcoming that they put me at ease right away and any nerves I had about the whole thing were complete banished. But the great thing about them is that they’re generous actors and they want you to shine. They want you to have your moment. They’re going to get their moment and they want you to have your moment as well. So that was one thing I really appreciated about the whole experience.
In “Blended,” you play a closet organizer. Is your closet organized?
Not very. Look, at some point I think I should just bite the bullet and call a contractor to build me a gorgeous closet like that, then I would be organized. Then I would be motivated to be organized. Also, I’m not a hoarder, so I don’t have that much stuff to organize. But yeah, that is a job that exists. I wish I could be that person, to just go into The Container Store and just live like that, but ?
Congrats on “The Goldbergs” getting renewed for a second season. Any idea where Beverly will be going season 2?
I was so happy to see it in print that we were getting renewed because it felt like we would, but until I saw it in print, I didn’t all the way believe it. And it sounds like they’re going to move us to Wednesday night, which is an even better fit for us. As far as where Beverly will go, her kids are getting closer and closer to leaving the nest, so I think she’s going to get a little more bonkers in season 2. I can’t say for sure, but I do know Adam Goldberg told me the other day, “Oh yeah, I’ve got lots more embarrassing stories to tell about my mother.” I look forward to seeing what those are.
What can people expect from your role in the upcoming film sequel “Think Like a Man Too”?
That was kind of a challenge, because my character was mentioned kind of briefly in the first “Think Like A Man.” So to take that one sentence that they used to describe her and try to flesh out a whole character for that was kind of a challenge. But it was really fun. I saw the movie and I was really happy about it because I didn’t want her to be someone that just gets stuck in the middle of an established cast and tries to pull the focus. I wanted her to blend in and have a reason for being there, and she does. And it’s pretty funny, I’ve very proud of it.