TV Article

Grandmommie Dearest

Jessica Walter explains how to play drunk like a pro and has a memo for the producers of ''House of Cards''

It's finally time to shriek in delight and flap your arms wildly: Jessica Walter is reprising her scene-snatching role as the withholding, cocktail-holding grand matriarch Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development! Before the revered mid-aughts cult comedy returns with 15 new episodes, enjoy these revelations from the 72-year-old actress, who gives voice to another alcohol-swilling character — narcissistic intelligence-agency director Malory Archer — on FX's animated comedy Archer.

HER FAVORITE LUCILLE LINE

'''I want to cry so bad but I don't think I can spare the moisture.' So many people get it right away — especially women of a certain age, they absolutely get it right away. It's sweet, it's not offensive or off-color, but yet it's kind of racy.''

THE KEY TO PLAYING A BOOZY CHARACTER

''Pretend that you're not. Try to act as though everything's normal. And of course you do walk a little slower, but that's because you're being so careful you don't want anyone to know you're drunk. It's almost like you back off from it and try to do things even...more...carefully.''

HER DREAM ROLE(S)

''I would kill to be on two shows: Homeland and House of Cards. I don't think anybody thinks of me that way anymore, but I am a dramatic actress. I'd want to play some evil, conniving person [on House of Cards] who could out--Lady Macbeth Robin Wright's character. And Homeland would never pick me, but I have this fantasy: I would love to be Claire Danes' mother. Or grandmother! I'll take grandmother! She doesn't know that I'm working as a double agent against her and the United States.''

Originally posted May 24, 2013 Published in issue #1261-1262 May 31, 2013 Order article reprints
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