“American Housewife,” a comedy from ABC that airs Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c. Katie Otto is a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, raising her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut. The series chronicles the daily life of an average mother and wife who doesn’t fit in with the housewives and their privileged children in her town.
Gosh, she reminds me of myself. Although I have four kids, I can relate to the need to be a perfect suburbanite mom in a wealthy suburban neighborhood. Katie and her family are only in Westport for the great schools that could benefit their special needs daughter, and Katie definitely doesn’t fit the stereotype of the typical “perfect,” pretty, and petite Westport mom. I can relate to picking a neighborhood solely for the quality of its schools and having no interest in fitting in with the suburbanite mom clique.
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We had the pleasure of having Second Breakfast and chatting with Katy Mixon who plays Katie Otto on a recent press trip to Los Angeles. She was so much fun to chat with. We got real with Katy about being a new mom and playing a mom on TV.
On the inspiration for the show
Katy: It comes from the creator, Sarah Dunn. This is her vision. And so, and it took off with Kenny Schwartz and Rick Weiner. Who are the show runners. And the incredible writing staff. But this was her vision, these are certain situations, not all of them but certain situations, most of them basically come from her life.
And like what she has experienced and living in a town in upstate New York. But Ken Schwartz who’s the show runner, he’s from Westport, Connecticut, and everything. So they’re really taken from her. And it’s been my job to recreate that. So I couldn’t be more opposite from Sarah Dunn. I’m originally from Pensacola, Florida, and I’m from the South and I just turned 36.
And I think Sarah Dunn’s 43 or something like that. But I play older in the show, and everything. But yeah, but it’s been my job to recreate what has been her vision.
On how she's not like Katie Otto
Katy: I rock n’ roll in a different way. I always have. I’ve always been quite fearless. I’ve never really let anxiety take a toll on me. And I march to the beat of my own drum, I get back up on that horse and if I don’t get it right, I’m gonna do it again the next day. That’s kinda my M.O., that’s kinda how I’ve always rocked n’ rolled. Sarah Dunn’s quite different from me. Which is a beautiful thing too.
So that’s what’s been really interesting. When I took on this role right after Mike & Molly, I ended it really last year. And four days later I walked into this “American Housewife” room. And so I think what was wild was I’m not like her. I’m not Katie Otto. I’m just, I don't get mad at a green juice. If you’re going to do yoga, I think that’s awesome! You’re bettering yourself, do you know what, I love people.
I’m real spontaneous. I love celebrating people, what makes them happy. I’m just so opposite of what Katie Otto is. So it’s just fun to play. I wanted to do a role that I’ve never done before. It just couldn’t be more opposite of what I’ve done in the past. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
On her favorite episode
Katy: So many. There’s just so many. We just finished filming 3 weeks ago, so it feels all a blur, to be honest with you. I think certain ones that stand out, I love BAG LADY. I loved that when she just went crazy on people. That was real fun, I loved being able to do physical comedy. Like physical stuff, you know. Getting out of the house, and be in the environment, I love that.
I love ZOMBIE RUN, when I got to be back home. I loved it. I must have run 5 miles in the period of 5 days. It was really insane. But yeah, that was one. These are some of the ones that stick out. The Valentine’s Day episode was real special, to shoot. Yeah.
On how every episode seems to be in our heads and homes and seems to be impacting us as moms
Katy: It brings tears to my eyes. It’s like one of the most special—I’m so emotional, I’m so sorry. There’s so many emotions. But it brings tears to my eyes, honey. I could not be like, we were grateful and having the time of my life. Thank you so much.
I’m having the time of my life. It’s so special to be in a role, be given a role. First of all, be able to do what you love to do. To be given the opportunity to do what you love to do is quite incredible.
It’s just the biggest gift in the world. And then to have people be able to receive it, or relate to it, would be like, “So that character, like that’s totally me.” That’s just the best thing in the world. So I am in a new dimension…I’ve never played a mom with three children. So that’s been quite quite special. To be able to do that on camera. And evoke emotion, or evoke, you know, something like that.
On naming her baby boy and being pregnant
Katy: It’s really crazy, being able to like, you have to name a child for the rest of their life.
I’m not a real planner, I’m real spontaneous. But with the children, I’m just like, I’m gonna handle this for the next four years. We’re gonna go one, two, three, four. Nobody tells you that when you're pregnant, it’s a year. You are literally pregnant for like an entire year! You can’t do anything. Like, it’s of another nature.
It's incredible. God bless, but it’s—no hot tub?
On wanting to do musical theatre again
Katy: I would adore it, honey. I would adore it. I would love it. It’s such my passion. It is such where I, where I began and everything. One day, yeah.
On tonight’s episode of American Housewife, Katie panics when she realizes that she might have to disrobe and get in the pool in public. “The Club”—When Anna-Kat develops a fear of water and stops bathing, her therapist suggests the Ottos get her to go swimming. But can Katie get over own her fear of wearing a bathing suit in public at the Westport Country Club so she can help her kid out? Meanwhile Oliver gives his dad a style makeover after students at the college give Greg a low “jalapeño” score.
Here is a sneak peek into tonight’s episode:
American Housewife airs tonight, TUESDAY, MAY 2 (8:30–9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
I’ve been invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles. As always, all opinions are my own.