Megan Mullally: Her Lips Are Unsealed

The Will & Grace Emmy winner embraces the unglamorous life as a cater-waiter in the second season of Party Down, but she's still not as bisexual as you want her to be.



Lydia also reveals how her ex used to make her kiss her best girlfriend. Does Lydia have any bisexual tendencies?
Well, Lydia surprises you. She seems so dorky and naive — and she is dorky and naive — but there’s an episode where we cater an orgy, and she’s just really determined to get the host of the orgy to be her new husband so she can put a roof over Escapade’s head and take her to all her auditions. So if it were for the betterment of her daughter’s future, she’d probably go there.

Lydia is not a glamorous role. Did you mind having to wear that awful pink-and-white cater-waiter uniform all the time?
You think this isn’t glamorous, wait until you see me in Children’s Hospital [the Web comedy series moving to Adult Swim on May 2], where I play a hunchback who walks with a walker — the ugliest woman you’ve ever seen in your life. No, I didn’t mind it at all, because I don’t have a lot of vanity, especially as an actor. I feel like it’s all about the storytelling, so if you’re a caterer, you’ve got to wear that thing. By the way, that’s a $99 wig from Hollywood Boulevard that I’m wearing in Party Down. I just love that Lydia wanted to get a really hip haircut because she was moving to Hollywood, but it actually looks like Jane Kaczmarek circa 2002. I thought it was hilarious that that’s the coolest haircut she could think of and that was Lydia’s idea of glamour.

I’m so glad to hear that’s a wig. I was afraid you’d cut your hair like that for the part.
Oh, no. I mean, there’s sacrificing for your art, and then there’s just being dumb.

Does Party Down allow for improv?
Yeah, we improvise a lot, but at the end of the day we usually come back to the script. A lot of what you see in the finished project is scripted, but there will be some little improvised things that stay in. It’s a great way to keep everybody feeling creative and to keep our characters developing. It’s a really collaborative atmosphere.

You’ve spoken before in interviews about how some producers and directors have asked you to replicate your Karen mannerisms or voice for a role — like your experience with Finding Nemo. Is that something you ever had to fight when first joining Party Down?
Not at all. They had written this role that was very optimistic, naive, and other qualities that Karen does not have. They sent me three scripts, and when I read them I was like, “This is going to be a blast.” I immediately had an instinct about how I wanted to play it, and it’s just completely different from Karen. I think of myself as a character actress, and Karen’s just one of the characters I’ve gotten to play, but I feel like Karen takes on so much more weight because the show was on for eight seasons and it was such a popular show. But you have to move on to telling another story in a different world.

Party Down star Adam Scott is moving to Parks and Recreation, and it was recently announced that two additional cast members have been poached for other new shows. So if there’s a third season, only two original cast members will remain.
Wait, who else is leaving the show besides Adam?

Ryan Hansen and Lizzy Caplan.
Oh no!

If the show does return for another season, would you come back?
Yes, of course. The writers are great, and I feel like the spirit of the show is so strong that it would be easy for them to keep it going. And Adam would still be able to do, like, three episodes, so they could make it work for sure.

Tags: television