Sara Gilbert and Ames McNamara TONIGHT on ABC’s “THE CONNERS” airs WEDNESDAYS (9-9:30 p.m. ET)!
*Images provided from ABC NETWORK*
Thank you ABC, THE CONNERS for inviting me to the virtual press junket with Sara Gilbert and Ames McNamara!
Tonight’s episode hits particularly close to me, home schooling! Zoom, distance learning has been wild to say the least. I will say I’m grateful to have spent this time with kiddo, it’s quality time that I will cherish even with its hiccups.
I had the chance to discuss “The Conners” season 3, and their dynamic as mother and son on the series, and the upcoming episode where their characters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Mark (Ames McNamara) deal with the realities of virtual school. In the upcoming episode (airing Wednesday, April 21 at 9/8c on ABC), Mark is stressed and exhausted from studying for an important entrance exam so Darlene steps in to help, but her plan backfires. Both Sara and Ames have dealt with these issues firsthand in their personal lives as well, so we’d love to have an engaging conversation about the series and how the show is depicting life’s new reality.
BelAirMommie: I would love to know how you see your characters evolving?
Ames McNamara: I think in the future, Mark will have more conflicts, maybe with Darlene and Harris as he gets older and more, more in the teenage years. And I think that that will be something that I'll look forward to doing and I'm sure it will be fun to see onscreen. I also think that Mark will grow up physically and emotionally which would be interesting to see.
Ames McNamara: I also think Darlene is not in a great place with her relationship right now with Ben, so I think that's gonna have to unfold; she hasn't been completely honest all the time and has pushed him away to some extent. So I think she's gonna have to do a bit of soul searching, and a bit of damage repair in that situation. I think that since her kids are growing up, she’s coming to terms with that and conflicts will arise.
Sara Gilbert: I think Darlene has also been dealing with aging and the loss of some dreams. But on the flip side, by taking advantage of what is actually possible, she's getting a little further ahead. So I think there will be a continuation of that storyline, and I think the kids growing up and getting closer to having their own lives that aren't entangled with hers is going to bring up some of the feelings; if she's not quite yet an empty nester, but she's bridging into that territory, and I like to bring a lot of my life to the show.
And I, although I do have a younger child, my teenagers, it's sad, the loss of their youth, and you kind of look at them and think where did my baby go? I think that brings a lot of self reflection with it- where am I in my life? All these years have passed, I like to bring that sort of reflection to Darlene and as she continues on her journey, and probably starts to get more comfortable with where she's at this year. We haven't started doing this, the storylines. I don't even think we're officially picked up yet, for the next season, but that's what I imagine in my mind.
BelAirMommie: I’d love to know, who's your dream guest star? This is for both of you.
Ames McNamara: That's a very tricky one. 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. And I think it would just be so amazing not only to meet him and maybe get a chance to talk to him, and see how he works, and stuff like that. But, yeah.
Sara Gilbert: That's so hard. I mean, there are so many, I'm thinking of a million people but what comes to mind, Judi Dench, Octavia Spencer, I mean we're going for the best. This is such a difficult answer to give. Wait, I thought of another dream person to have on the show, who I've been trying to get on the show forever. I think it's doable, and I've talked to her about it a lot, it’s Lisa Kudrow. So I always say it when I'm in interviews, because I'm trying to manifest it, because I think she would be so funny on the show.
BelAirMommie: Agreed, she’d be a great addition.
Thank you Sara Gilbert and Ames McNamara for your time! I have loved THE CONNERS since day one, yes, since 1988, when it was called ROSEANNE. I love seeing how the characters have grown, I feel like I’ve grown up with you all.
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.”
Gilbert is the creator, executive producer, and former co-host of CBS’s award-winning talk show, “The Talk.” The show has won Daytime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Talk Show / Entertainment” and “Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts.” Sara most recently made guest star appearances on “Atypical,” a show following an 18-year old autistic boy who decides its time to take hold of the reins of his life and turn it into something amazing; and the YouTube Premium series, “Weird City.” The series co-created by Academy and Emmy Award-winning writer Jordan Peele and Emmy Award winning writer Charlie Sanders, centers around life in the not-too-distant future city of Weird.
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.
“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. The series stars John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy, Jayden Rey as Mary Conner and Jay R. Ferguson as Ben. “The Conners” is executive produced by Tom Werner, along with Sara Gilbert, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez. The series is from Werner Entertainment.
“The Conners” airs WEDNESDAYS (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET) on ABC.