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Monday, October 27, 2014

Mother Knows Best: Q&A with "Parenthood" Star Monica Potter

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 8:14 AM

click image Monica Potter headshot - COURTESY OF AUSTIN LESHAY AT THE SCHIFF COMPANY
  • Courtesy of Austin Leshay at The Schiff Company
  • Monica Potter headshot

It's a bit of a mystery how NBC's Parenthood managed to, relatively,  stay under the radar for its entire six-season run despite great acclaim and ardent fans. The Berkeley-set series is weeks away from its finale and star Monica Potter is just as torn about it as everyone else.

However, she's got other fish to fry – literally. A quick scroll through her Monica Potter Home website reveals a nifty recipe for Hawaiian Ginger Mahi Mahi among other bits of home improvement that would make her television alter ego Kristina Braverman perk up with glee. 

Monica Potter Home is a labor of love for the Cleveland-born actress who grew up with an inventor for a father. Her online collection is a one-stop haven for all things home living and do-it-yourself novelty items.   

SF Weekly caught up with Monica Potter to discuss her family's past, her company's future and the end of Parenthood

Don't know if you're aware but Parenthood has some of the most passionate and outspoken fans of any television series. Why do you think that is?
I think it’s because there are so many people that can relate to our storylines and relate to what’s happening with the Braverman’s. I also think that our show is very different than a lot of the shows you see on the air right now. Not to say those other shows aren’t wonderful. I love most television right now but our show has a very special quality where it feels like we’re people’s living rooms with them. They’re going through the trials and struggles and tribulations that the Braverman’s are all facing and the joys. I think that there are a lot of shows that don’t do that quite frankly right now. I used to love the show Family Ties and even Roseanne, shows that had heart and a message without being preachy or syrupy and I feel like our show definitely does that.

It's come to our attention that there are fans who aren't aware that this is the final season of Parenthood. What's the best way to break the news?

I don’t know what we’re going to do about this. My friends wherever I go to get coffee and whenever I go into work and I’m talking to people that I see on a day to day basis and I told some of them in passing that we’re finished this year and they didn’t want to believe it. A lot of people are in denial. I was in denial. I want to play this character for a little while longer. I think most of us are ready to say that we want to stay. It would be a great thing to go for another 10 years but people are in denial. We were all in denial. I think we’re all living in dreamland and I don’t know how to tell people that this is our final season.

What can audiences expect as the series nears its end?

It’s going to be an emotional journey again this year for sure. I know there’s going to be a lot of heartache again and I don’t think that everything will be tied up into a pretty bow. We never do that anyway. I think there will be a lot of loose ends and open ends and real life situations just to keep on track with what we’ve always done.

Now let's discuss your home line. What role does your father play in this endeavor?

That’s a really good question. My father was an inventor. My mom was a homemaker. He passed away about 10 years ago and I’ve always been a tinkerer. I’ve always worked with him whether it was in his lab or in his factory making things or in the basement where he started most of his inventions. I’ve always been inspired by that and I’ve always wanted to make my house to home no matter if I was a struggling actor with two kids or an a television show where you’re doing a little better financially. I’ve always been very interested in creating products and making things for the home that are sustainable and that are usable and make me proud to be a homemaker.

How does your hometown of Cleveland play into all this?

This to me is my passion. I love to create and the best part of it is that we’re creating jobs back at home and in communities that need them. We have our makers that are really skilled at something and we’re actually having other people learn under them to create an apprenticeship and learn something that they can have and do for the rest of their lives. We’re tiny. We’re small. We are like the little engine that could but it’s something I’m really proud of and excited to share with everybody.

Did you always intend to be a multi-hyphenate: actress and home decor guru?

I don’t know if it was a conscious hyphening of anything but I feel like it’s just part of who I am. It is who I am. I love acting and it’s my job and it is my passion but this [home line] is a part of me that will never go away. 

Parenthood airs Thursdays 10/9c on NBC. 

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, Jonathan at @jonramos17, and like us on Facebook.
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