Peter Gallagher & Jane Kaczmarek (Whitney)

Peter Gallagher & Jane Kaczmarek: The Interview (Whitney)

On December 8, 2011 at 9:30pm on NBC, the show “Whitney” will be airing their Christmas episode, which is entitled, “Christmas is Cummings.” In this episode, Whitney’s divorced parents, Candi (Jane Kaczmarek) and Vince (Peter Gallagher), are both coming to visit her for the holidays, but Whitney does not want them to ruin Christmas. You might recognize Jane because she played the mother role (Lois) in “Malcolm in the Middle” for seven years as well a numerous other movies and TV shows. Peter, on the other hand, played the father role (Sandy Cohen) on the hit show “The O.C.” and is currently starring on “Covert Affairs” as Arthur Campbell. Shakefire had the opportunity to talk to Peter and Jane about their experiences working on this episode and the show “Whitney.”


Shakefire: Good Afternoon Jane and Peter!

Peter Gallagher: Good Afternoon Paul.

Jane Kaczmarek: Hi Paul!


SF: How did this cameo come about?

JK: They pretty much asked if we would be able to do the show. The best way to get a job is to have someone call you and ask if you are able to work on a project. They talked to our agents and I thought this was a rare and wonderful opportunity. I had done an episode before as Whitney’s mom and they wanted me to come back. Shortly after, they called Peter to work on this episode too. I have worked with Peter before and I was thrilled to work with the cast and Peter again.


SF: Can you tell us a little bit more about Vince and Candi?

PG: I play Whitney’s father, Vince. In her worldview, her problems with men and her life stem from her father. She doesn’t think he is a terrible guy, but he is not reliable. He is like a conman that always has an angle. Candi and I were married to each other, but not anymore.

JK: They both have an antagonistic relationship and Candi has a lot of hostility towards Vince. Both parents have re-married since the divorce.

PG: Yeah! Vince is completely oblivious to anything and everything.

JK: Yes and Whitney doesn’t want to bring them together because it might destroy Christmas. She finds out both are coming to visit and she trying to get out of it. After that, mayhem ensues.


SF: Have both of you met Whitney’s parents in real life and how close do your characters resemble them?

PG: Nope. I have not met either of her parents. Not to my knowledge anyways. (Laughing)

JK: (Laughing) Not yet. From what I hear, they are rather colourful characters. I was watching the show last night and her references to them are fairly bleak, but very funny. She says she has an interesting family and has gotten this show because of them. However, I have yet to meet them. Whitney is a remarkable girl. She worked her way up from the University of Pennsylvania and she worked her way through college. She’s a delightful girl that has been successful at turning these parents into comedy gold.

PG: She is also really generous, which I think is hallmark of talented writers and creative people. There is something dynamic with working with her and she has earned her position.


SF: Peter, Is this a one time cameo or are you planning on appearing in future episodes?

PG: It’s totally up to them. I had the time of my life working on this show and with the cast. My whole career feels like I’ve been setting people up and their punch lines. I would jump at the chance to do it again. I love doing “Covert Affairs” and love working with that family too, but if I were asked to appear in more “Whitney” episodes, I would do it.


SF: Jane, How much more will we see of Candi in Whitney’s back story?

JK: Well, there are some business aspects to work out if that is going to continue. I loved working with Peter. Our paths have crossed numerous times and it was such a pleasure to work with him again.

PG: Ditto! I totally agree! I was thrilled to find out I was working with Jane again. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was going to be.


SF: Jane, Do you have any upcoming projects?

JK: Nothing really planned at the moment. I did some episodes for “Whitney,” but other than that, I’ve had to deal with some health problems. It has been a tumultuous year in my personal life and my kids are still fairly young. Let’s just say it feels good to be home.


SF: Peter, do you have any upcoming projects?

PG: I have “Step Up 4” coming out soon, another season of “Covert Affairs,” and several movies planned for the new year.


SF: Wow! Thank you both for the interview and I can’t wait to watch the episode! Happy Holiday!!

PG: Thank you and I hope you enjoy watching the episode. Happy Holidays to you too!

JK: Thank you and have a safe and fun holidays!


Paul Arca
Interview by Paul Arca
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