An Interview with Sherri Shepherd

Following on from my earlier post of an interview with Sabrina Lloyd, another old gem from the abc1uk archives is this interview with American actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect, Everybody Loves Raymond).

Interview conducted 17 Oct 06  

1. What was your inspiration to become an actress?
Since I was 4 years old, I’ve always loved making people laugh. I always played “imaginary” games with my sister growing up. I would read romance novels and fantasize about being carried away by a pirate. It was boring being 11 years old, so I would always pretend to be someone else. Even in high school, I use to tell everyone that I was Swedish (complete with an accent)!!!

2. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Hanging out with my 18 month old son. It seems that since I’ve had a baby, the words “spare time” have no meaning!!! There’s always diapers to be changed. I still go out and perform standup. And I’ve now started taking salsa classes, because I have these fantasies of being lifted up in the air by Mario Lopez (on ‘Dancing with the Stars’).

3. abc1 is a UK digital channel, have you ever visited the UK before, and if not would you ever like too?
I’ve never visited the UK, and yes, I would love to. I have fans on MySpace that are from the UK.

4. How did you feel when you landed the part of Ramona Platt in Less Than Perfect?
Ecstatic… Thrilled… Jumping for joy!!! And then they told me I’d be working with Andy Dick, and I said “what the (*&$(!!!” But for the last four years, it has been absolutely wonderful working with Dicky, as we affectionately call Andy, and my other castmates. I’ve formed some lifelong friendships. As a matter of fact, we’re all getting together this weekend for some karaoke.

5. Was there any part of the character of Ramona which resembled you in real life?
The mothering and nurturing part of Ramona is all Sherri!!! Everyone in the cast always came to me for some extra hugs and a shoulder to lean on.

6. What was it like working with Andy Dick, who you had a lot of screen time with on the show?
See Answer to Question #4!!! At first I was terrified. I’d heard so much about Andy, but the first day we got on the set, Andy says to me “I don’t know how much power I have, but I’m going to see if they’ll let us come in at 11 a.m. (we had to report on the set at 9:00 a.m.), so that we can sleep later” that comment right there, had me cracking up. And Andy has kept me laughing for the last 4 years. We’re very close. Sometimes when I get out of a comedy club at midnight, I’ll go to Andy’s place and just sit on the couch with him. He’s like my little brother.

Now working with him was a blast, because Andy never does anything the same way. So he’d say something that wasn’t in the script, and I’d have a very difficult time keeping the laughter from bursting forth. We always would get into trouble, because the camera people would have to do the most “takes” with Andy & I.

7. On screen there seemed to be chemistry between all of the cast members from Less Than Perfect, was it like that offset as well?
Wow… see Answer to Question #4 :O) Yes it was awesome the chemistry that we shared from Day #1. You don’t find that with a lot of shows. We always hung out together. We had many karaoke parties, skating parties, and Andy loved taking us all out to eat at some kind of crazy health food restaurants (he’s a health food nut). We genuinely loved coming to work each and every day. Will Sasso and Zachary Levi always kept us laughing with their antics, Andrea Parker loved coming in and hugging everyone, you could always find Sara lounging around and Andy… well Andy is Andy!

8. While filming Less Than Perfect were there any memorable bloopers or moments that you can remember?
There was a scene where Andy’s character (Owen) and Andrea’s character (Lydia) had to kiss each other at the office Christmas party. Andy was sick with a really bad cold, and Andrea didn’t want to even be around him. So after every kiss, the cameras would stop rolling and Andrea would take a swig of listerine and spit it out. Of course, Andy kept saying that the kiss wasn’t “quite right”, so Andrea ended up kissing him more than 7 times. She was not happy.

Someone always would lock the doors on the set, so that whenever Sara’s character (Claude) had to enter or exit, she’d bump into the door. She was so into character, that it would throw her everytime. We’d always crack up.

I would always forget my lines, so Ramona would be saying something and then go completely blank… the cast always teased me because of this.

And Ramona was always hiding something inside of her shirt… problem is… is that her boobies were so big, the prop would get lost and Andy would always go diving inside my bra to find it!

9. What was your reaction when abc announced the cancelation of the series?
I was sad that a beautiful show was ending. I was heartbroken that I wouldn’t be seeing my friends everyday. I have grown to love Ramona and was sad that I would no longer be able to portray this crazy girl who really loved her friends.

10. Do you have any plans for the future?
Wow… I just completed a pilot for my own talk show. I’ve just completed a pilot starring Patricia Heaton and Jenny McCarthy, and if that doesn’t go… I’ve always got a baby to burp and some diapers to change!