Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE: TV Phyllis Somerville shines on 'The Big C'
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The Big C on Showtime may be one of the best character driven shows to debut in a long time. With actors such as Laura Linney, Oliver Platt, out actress Cynthia Nixon and Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe heading the cast the show drew the largest audience for the channel in eight years with its premiere. Phyllis Somerville plays the smart whippersnapper neighbor named Marlene.

Windy City Times: Hello, Phyllis. I tracked you down because I love The Big C.

Phyllis Somerville: Well, that's really good. That makes an easy start, but anyway… [ Both laugh. ]

WCT: The show is a surprise for many, I bet. How did you become involved with the project?

Phyllis Somerville: The old-fashioned way: I auditioned for it. I read the script and really liked it. Good writing always attracts actors. I think it has really good writing. I like comedies that are a little bit dark. I like things that can be both, to laugh in the middle of some tears. That is a taste thing for me. I like that kind of theatre, movies and TV like that. When I was called to audition, Laura Linney was there to read with people.

WCT: That is rare.

Phyllis Somerville: It meant that the audition was a lot easier. To not only be reading with someone that is not only so good bur is so wonderful as well.

WCT: She is top-notch.

Phyllis Somerville: Oh, she absolutely is.

WCT: The whole cast gets such great opportunities.

Phyllis Somerville: Well, that is good too. Laura is out there all the time, bless her heart, but there is a really nice passing around of the characters. Everyone gets to step up.

WCT: Your character is not one-dimensional at all. It could have been that way.

Phyllis Somerville: Yeah, we have all seen that but they didn't write it that way. They wrote it multidimensional so it made it easier to play it that way.

WCT: Your dog is adorable.

Phyllis Somerville: Ohhh, Thomas. His name is Thomas on the show. He's a dear dog.

WCT: I grew up with basset hounds so I know how they are.

Phyllis Somerville: You did? I have never really been around them before. I grew up in Iowa so I was around dogs we called shepherds. They were just a mix of boarder collie and all that stuff.

WCT: Did you always want to do theatre?

Phyllis Somerville: I always wanted to do theatre but I went to school as an English major. I studied at the University of Northern Iowa. Then I went to Wayne State in Detroit and basically acted there. They had a company that we had five shows in the last month of the year, being all classics so that was good training.

WCT: You have landed some really nice movie roles such as Little Children [ starring Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson ] , which was a powerful movie.

Phyllis Somerville: Oh, yeah; that was amazing to do. That was one of those times that I thought boy am I lucky. That was good from start to finish.

WCT: I would like to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but have not had a chance.

Phyllis Somerville: It is probably out there. Let's hope so! [ Both laugh. ]

WCT: Next year you have more features coming out.

Phyllis Somerville: Let's just say that I have done them. Most of them are done by very young directors and I am very impressed with them. They really know what they are doing and a joy to work with.

WCT: You have The Loop, Forgetting the Girl, Weakness and One Fall.

Phyllis Somerville: I played Bobby Cannavale's mom in Weakness. In Forgetting the Girl, I laughed a lot. I had so many lines in one day, though. I said now if I get through them then I am going to turn to the young director and say, "Never do this to an old lady again!"

WCT: Talk about Forgetting the Girl! [ Both laugh hysterically. ]

Phyllis Somerville: Yes, so I made it through and turned to this lovely young man and said, "Don't do that again"—very sweetly, I hope.

WCT: Anything else you want to say about The Big C? I want people to watch it.

Phyllis Somerville: Boy, that's hard because I like it so much. I am doing a looping session for it today for episode 10. What can I say? Good writing, good acting and I am continually surprised by it. I picked up the script and I would think things were going in a certain way and then I would be surprised by the direction it would take and that is the sign of really good writing.

WCT: Well, and the whole thing with the dog smelling the cancer. I didn't know they could do that.

Phyllis Somerville: It is true.

Right after we started working on it and John Hickey, who plays Sean, is a dumpster diver; there was an article in the New York Times about dumpster divers. For people that is a choice and what they do. There is so much food thrown away.

WCT: Is there going to be a second season yet?

Phyllis Somerville: I don't know.

WCT: I smell an Emmy for Laura Linney.

Phyllis Somerville: Oh, I would like to think so.

WCT: Congrats on the success of the show.

Phyllis Somerville: Thank you.

The Big C is new every Monday. Visit for listings and details.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tituss Burgess, IMDb, Halsey, Stephen Colbert, 'Queer As Folk' 2019-08-21 - Quibi has greenlit Dishmantled—described as "a high-octane cooking competition that will literally blow your socks off," with Tituss Burgess ( Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Elm Street,' 'Crime Story,' Tab Hunter, Lady Gaga 2019-08-14 - Gay actor Marc Patton is returning to the big screen, as himself, with the documentary Scream, Queen: My Nightmare On Elm Street, The ...

Gay News

Ross Mathews brings bubbles and brunch to Chicago 2019-08-13 - Ross Mathews Presents Dragtastic Bubbly Brunch is a new endeavor for the television personality that combines local drag and a buffet brunch together ...

Gay News

UPDATE: Travolta to attend Wizard World Comic Con 2019-08-12 - This year's Wizard World Comic Con Chicago will take place Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 22-25, at Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River ...

Gay News

Chicago Humanities Festival to host Rachel Maddow Oct. 12 2019-08-08 - The Chicago Humanities Festival will kick-off its 30th anniversary Fall Festival with MSNBC anchor and investigative reporter Rachel Maddow on Saturday, Oct. 12. ...

Gay News

We need to talk about the 'Pose' hospital episode right now 2019-08-07 - The TV show Pose, on FX, is nothing less than astounding to me. So much could have gone wrong, with the era, the ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Alex Newell, living outside the box 2019-08-07 - Performer Alex Newell refuses to be put in a box. Best known for the playing the character Unique Adams in the Fox series ...

Gay News

OP-ED How 'Queen Sugar' increases Black LGBTQ visibility 2019-08-06 - In 2018, there were more LGBTQ people of color on TV than their white counterparts. OWN's Queen Sugar is part of a quiet ...

Gay News

Judge rejects Smollett request regarding special prosecutor 2019-08-01 - On July 31, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin rejected a bid from Jussie Smollett to reconsider his decision to appoint a special prosecutor ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lil Nas X, classic TV shows, Janelle Monae, NFL player 2019-07-30 - The country-trap smash "Old Town Road" ( by out rapper/singer Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus ) has broken the record for ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.