When Fran Drescher enters a room, all slinky and chic with hergash of red mouth and her tumble of jet-black hair, you think, What aglamour-puss. When she opens her mouth and all that unmodulatedJewish New York attitude comes honking out, you think, What a pieceof work. Ever since she sashayed among the canapes as Polymer Recordsflack Bobbi Flekman in 1984’s This Is Spi nal Tap, Drescher, 36, hasprojected a persona bigger than the sum of her parts. Trouble is, theQueens, N.Y.-bred actress tends to get stuck playing a brayingcaricature of unmodulated Jewish New York attitude. But that kind ofexaggerated role, she says, just really isn’t huh.Her starring role in CBS’ The Nanny may be the purest distillationyet of true Frandom. Which it damn well ought to be, since Drescheris also the series’ cocreator and producer, along with her husband,high school sweetheart Peter Marc Jacobson. ”With characters I’vedone in the past, I’ve almost always rewritten my dialogue so that itisn’t abrasive. Very often I’m doing roles that were written by a manwho tends to write a mean-spirited character because he’s workingsomething through with his muhthuh,” she explains, feeding bits ofcarrot and red peppers to her unmodulated Pomeranian, Chester, in theleafy backyard of her Los Angeles home.The inspiration for The Nanny’s house full of Brit kids came froma London visit with the brood of Drescher’s pal Twiggy (her costar inCBS’ busted 1991 sitcom Princesses). The warm relationship betweenthe TV Fran and her TV muthuh (Renee Taylor) is based on the actress’rapport with her own Queens mum, Sylvia, a homemaker (”I didn’t wantto do the typical obnoxious and annoying But Maaaaaa! take,” saysDrescher). And so what if her career is pinned on the personificationof a homegirl? ”If all my characters end up being from one region ofthe globe, I’m not bittuh about it. That’s fine, because just withinNew York there is probably unfolding every human conflict you canimagine.”
Posted October 29 1993 — 12:00 AM EDT
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