Edward Herrera, ABC
What made you decide this was a show you wanted to be involved in?
The character is just so different from anything I've played before. That was so appealing to me, aside from the fact that the show was starring Reba and Lily Tomlin. I love playing [Kim] because she's someone who doesn't have a filter; you can get away with anything you want as an actor and it's totally legitimized immediately. [laughs] It was just a departure for me and that was exciting. Those of us who work a lot in TV, you get to playing the same sort of characters over and over again, which can be great, too. But it's been really fun for me to do something totally different than anything I've ever done before.
How familiar were you with Reba before you started working with her?
Everybody knows who Reba is. She has one name, for goodness sakes! There's only like six people in the world that have one name. Her show, "Reba," was launching around the time I was doing "Less Than Perfect," that I was the lead on, so truthfully I missed a lot of her show because I was working on mine. I wasn't as familiar with her work as an actor, but, of course, I knew her music. Her star shines so brightly that it would be hard not to know who she is. I was excited to meet with her and work with her. I called a few people and checked her out, just to make sure she was nice and everything that everyone said about her was she couldn't be a nicer person, she's so wonderful to work with, so professional. And it's so true.
Still, it has to be a bit of a challenge to be working while you're pregnant. How are you handling it so far?
I'm just taking it a day at a time. I'm fine. There are days where I'm like, "Ooh, I'm tired." You just have to take a rest, put your feet up or whatever. I recognize how lucky I am as an actor. I've been working as an actor since I was 9 years old. When you're a woman, there's always the fear of 'how am I going to have a family, how am I going to be able to take time off?' It's a really hard thing to balance and I was really worried about it. I'm so lucky to have this job at this time in my life that I can't complain about it for a second, even on the days when I get home and my feet are so swollen I can get my shoes off. There's never a negative that outweighs all the billions of positives about it. I just feel really lucky most of the time ... and a little swollen.
How has the cast and crew been treating you?
It's been a real blessing to be around people that are so kind and so supportive. I can't imagine being pregnant and working in a place that's unpleasant like that. It would just be so awful. Some sets are; they're just not the greatest places to go to work everyday because of certain personalities. But between Reba and Lily, they keep it so light, fun and family-friendly, it just feels so comfortable here. Everything I heard about [Reba] before I met her made it sound like this would be a good place to be. And everyone was right. Lily, especially, has been so sweet about the baby. She gave me a little Edith Ann doll for the nursery. I think she's really excited about this little creature that's living inside of me. It's just been really fun to go through the pregnancy with this extended family. My family doesn't live in Los Angeles. It's really just me and my husband out here. It's been fun everyday to go to work and say, "I got a sonogram, look at this" and to be able to share it with people who are invested in me and in the baby. I'm feeling really, really lucky.
Has Reba offered you any motherly advice?
I'm going to have to pick her brain. To be honest, we've been so busy getting the show shot and launched and everything that we haven't had time to sit down and really talk about it. But I do want to pick her brain, because I'm sure she has some words of wisdom to impart on me that I definitely need.
Any other country music you listen to? Other than Reba, of course!
I'm more into the old-school country myself, like Dolly Parton and I guess it wouldn't be typical, but I really love Linda Ronstadt. Traveling Wilburys was always played in my house growing up. And Willie Nelson. Those kind of artists are where my country would kind of lie. Dolly Parton is such an amazing artist. I was playing some Reba and I was playing some Dolly Parton to my belly not too long ago. The baby was kicking; she liked it. I think she's a country fan!
Update: Since our interview, "Mailbu Country" has received the order for an additional five episodes this season, with a total of 18 episodes set to air.