CONVOS AND CURRENT EVENTS WITH SARA GILBERT AND AMES MCNAMARA OF ABC’S “THE CONNERS” Monday 26 April, 2021

 

Anyone who knows me know I am a 90s super fan! I love all things 90s from music, fashion and yes television shows, so it was an amazing opportunity to chat with Sara Gilbert  (Darlene Conner) and Ames McNamara (Mark Conner-Healy) from the hit ABC TV show “The Conners”. The Conners it’s a spin-off of the hit show Rosanne and follows America’s favorite family as they continue to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford. Its so fun to see my childhood shows get a reboot and see them all grown up.

Zoom call with the bloggers w/Sara Gilbert & Ames McNamara

The Conners are back, as myself and other journalist got to have an exclusive convo with Sara Gilbert and Ames Mcnamara about the show and how they handle current topics and all of it during this pandemic.

SARA GILBERT (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER; DARLENE CONNER ON ABC’S “THE CONNERS”)

Sara Gilbert endeared herself to millions of television viewers with her portrayal of the sarcastic yet loveable Darlene Conner on the long-running, hit series “Roseanne,” a role which garnered her two Emmy nominations among numerous other accolades. Gilbert reprised her role as Darlene in the series revival in 2018, which premiered to record-breaking numbers, and she continues in her role as both Darlene and executive producer on ABC’s hit comedy “The Conners.”

AMES MCNAMARA (MARK CONNER-HEALY ON ABC’S “THE CONNERS”)

Ames McNamara is a high-schooler from Hoboken, NJ. He has been acting in local musical theater since age 5 and professionally since age 8. He stars as Mark Conner-Healy on The Conners and also voices a lead role in a new animated show for pre-schoolers.

When he’s not acting, Ames likes to direct his friends in short movies, go on hikes with his family, read fantasy novels, and play tennis and soccer. He’s a huge Premier League and Formula 1 fan.

Besides continuing to act and direct, Ames hopes to work in environmental justice when he’s older, and ultimately to become president.

Q&A with Sara and Ames

THE SHOW DEPICTION OF CURRENT ISSUES IN THE WORLD

How important it is to you to address real-life issues in the show? How do you feel that TV shows can create healthy examples for their viewers, and how do we make sure we’re telling your stories correctly?

Sara: I think for me if you have such a large platform, it’s so important to use your voice and talk about what’s going on in the world. I don’t think we directly go after every topic. It’s more when you’re talking about what’s affecting the family, you naturally are going to be dealing with what’s happening in our society, especially if you’re dealing with a family that is lower-middle class, and struggling to get by, a lot of the day-to-day issues are going to affect them.

I think our writers are really excellent. They pretty much all come from working-class backgrounds. Dave Caplan on our staff has his PhD in psychology, and when they don’t know a thing, they end up doing a lot of research and help us to stay informed and make sure that we’re tackling things properly.

THE SHOW’S INCLUSIVITY WITH LGBTQ TOPICS

As a whole, there are still very few TV shows that are inclusive when it comes to LGBTQ+ characters. Asking Ames about how his character had developed over the few years, as he plays a gay child. 

Ames: I think it’s great to have representation. It’s also, like you were saying, bringing up conversations about how to talk to your kids about how they’re feeling. And I think that’s one of the great parts about playing Mark is that you can see someone who’s coming to terms with himself and who he is, as he’s growing up.

And how his family has really been super supportive of him, and how they’re trying to navigate it, as well. And I think that’s definitely sparked conversations, and it’s something that’s really good to be shown on TV because it’s definitely a part of peoples’ lives, any person out there, questioning who they are as they grow up, you sort of find yourself. And I think that that’s one of my favorite parts about playing Mark, and I think it’s also one of my favorite parts about the show.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Sara, what subjects have been the hardest for you to help your children with?

Sara: They don’t even come to me. I really am challenged when it comes to history. I know a lot of people don’t like math or science; those are a bit easier for me. History, for some reason, I cannot keep track when they say, “There are three reasons that this happened,” and, “Three reasons that this other thing didn’t happen,” and, “It happened between these dates It just becomes information stew in my head.

I cannot keep track of that. So one time my daughter was asking for my help with something, and we just started laughing because she understood it way before I did, and I was still caught reasoning it out. So that’s definitely an area where they know not to approach me.

Ames, what’s your least favorite subject to do through distance learning?

Ames: Ooh. That’s a tough one. Every subject has its different challenges in distance learning, At my school, we have this really great program where, for languages—the language that I take is French—and it’s really in-depth, and our teacher is a native French speaker, and it’s immersion French. But it’s a lot harder to learn a language online.

There’s something about being in person and face-to-face, and just being able to talk in a classroom that makes learning a language when you’re speaking back and forth a lot easier.

Sara: By the way, you should all know that Ames is the best student I’ve pretty much ever met. And it’s funny because we have the same teacher. The teacher who was my teacher on the original “Roseanne” is his teacher now, and we just laugh at the differences because when it was time to go to school, Lecy and I would hide—go get food, try to get in another scene, whatever we could to be out of school—and Ames is excited to get back, checking his watch, “I wanna make sure I get to this class.” So it’s a big difference.

Ames: Oh yeah, it’s, it is pretty amazing that we still have the same teacher. Sharon, she’s awesome, and she’s definitely helped me stay up with my classes and all that but that’s very funny.

Do you have any advice for kids who are feeling the pressures of doing virtual learning and adjusting to this world?

Ames: I think probably my best advice would be to say—it’s really tough now, but we’ve already lost a year of being able to hang out with friends and family and socialize, and even though it’s really not ideal at all to be doing schools long hours, and then homework on the computer—there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope this is not gonna be the normal thing for too much longer. And I think that you just have to think of the alternative of no school—just limited work is worse than being still, staying engaged and staying online, and still seeing your friends and your teachers, although it’s virtual.

WORK ETHIC

Darlene in this episode does a really good job of trying to blow up the myth of meritocracy during her school confrontation. And in general, “The Conners” addresses this idea often. Why do you think it’s important overall for the series to show that not everyone gets ahead just by working hard?

Sara: I think it’s important to show because I think the only way we can change things is to first have some awareness around it and see the problem, be in touch with the problem, and then, hopefully, be able to take some action. I mean, it is really unfortunate—and something that I love about our show—that we get to address the fact that this is obviously a fictional group that represents a lot of people who are very kind, smart, intelligent, funny, good people that cannot break the cycle of poverty and cannot break through the levels of how unfair things can be in this country.

Ames: I think also, the pandemic has just, as Sara was saying, it’s not like these inequalities did not exist before, but it’s widened the gap, in a way, and also it’s brought more attention to it, which I think is a good thing and by doing what we do, I think that hopefully, we can do something.

DREAM GUEST

There have been some amazing guest stars this season. (Question for both Sara & Ames) Who’s your dream guest star?

Sara:  That’s so hard. Judi Dench, Octavia Spencer, I mean, like we’re going for the best. There are so many. It’s really difficult to say. When we’re done with this, I’m gonna be thinking of a million people.

Oh, and by the way, I thought of another dream person to have on the show, who I’ve been trying to get on the show forever. And I think it’s doable; I’ve talked to her about it a lot. Lisa Kudrow. So I’m always saying it when I’m in interviews because I’m trying to manifest it because I think she would be so funny on the show.

Ames: I think for me, it would have to be someone like Lin-Manual Miranda. He’s someone who I think is a really amazingly creative person, and I love Hamilton. I think it would just be so amazing to meet him and maybe get a chance to talk to him and see how he works, and stuff like that.

About “The Conners”

“The Conners” follows America’s favorite family as they continue to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford. Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, and D.J. will continue to grapple with parenthood, dating, financial pressures, and aging in working-class America. Through it all – the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor, and perseverance, the family prevails.

Follow “The Conners” (#TheConners) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The Conners” airs WEDNESDAYS (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET) on ABC

Have you been keeping up with The Conners?

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty


Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty


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