The actress also spills on filming during the pandemic and working on the final season of "The Kominsky Method."
Another member of the Stand family will make their debut on Monday's Season 2 premiere of "9-1-1: Lone Star."
Played by Lisa Edelstein, Gwyneth Morgan is the ex-wife of Rob Lowe's Owen and mom to T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein), who was shot and hospitalized in the Season 1 finale. While her trip from NYC to Austin, Texas was meant to be a welfare check on her son, she and Owen also rekindle their romance after quarantining together during the Covid pandemic.
TooFab caught up Edelstein ahead of her debut, where she revealed what it was like to work opposite Lowe more than 20 years after working together on "The West Wing," whether we'll find Gwyneth in peril as the season goes on and what it's been like working on both "9-1-1" and "The Kominsky Method" amid Covid regulations.
New seasons of "9-1-1 and "9-1-1: Lone Star" premiere Monday, January 18 on Fox.
I read they wanted you to appear in the first season, but timing didn't work for you. How does it feel knowing the show held Gwyneth's arrival so you could play her?
Well, of course I found it very flattering, that they weren't kidding when they told me how much they wanted to work with me. Plus, they wrote me a really fun part. I get a kick out of seeing the relationship between her and Owen develop. And it's hilarious working off of Rob.
Gwyneth and Owen appear to have rekindled their romance during quarantine. What is their relationship like when we first see them this season … and what kind of obstacles stand in their way going forward?
They seem to turn the corner of their relationship pretty quickly. In the beginning, she views the whole thing as a love-the-one-you're-with sort of thing; in the most genuine heartfelt sense. Because eventually - they both know, she's leaving. She's got a whole life in NYC. But when the day comes for her to go, they are both surprised at how wrong it feels to walk away. So, they decide: Let's go for it. And then…life happens.
What is her relationship like with T.K., both past and present?
She gets along great with T.K. Clearly there is a lot of love there and I think it's been a relief for her knowing that he's [been in Austin] with his dad. He certainly gave them both several scares during season one. So, seeing him happy and in love, there's nothing better.
How close did you and Rob Lowe remain after 'The West Wing'? It's fun to see you go from his character's "prostitute friend" there to wife here.
We hadn't seen each other at all since "The West Wing," so it was a fun reunion. Our business – it's kind of a carnie lifestyle. I always loved it when old fellows from jobs long ago circle back and become a part of my world again. And that's not just actors; it's crew, it's directors and writers, it's costumes, make-up, lighting ... all of it.
Loved the photo you shared of you, Rob and Gina Torres surprising your niece while she was in Covid isolation — most people would be in shock getting a FaceTime from the three of you. What was her reaction?
Well, I did warn her it was going to happen because, being a teenager, I was worried she wouldn't pick up! She LOVES Rob, though, so I knew she wouldn't ignore my call. I mean, I don't think she would ignore my call, but just to be sure, Rob Lowe is an excellent bribe.
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How has it been for you working through the pandemic, as far as your personal concerns before getting back to work and the safety measures on set once you started filming again?
I am deeply grateful for being able to work. It was a long shut down for everyone, and continues for most, so I count my lucky stars every day in that regard. The protocols at work are very serious. We employ a lot of people in our industry, from all different walks of life, so it's been important to have a meaningful and clear set of rules to behave within, no matter what one comes to work believing. For the most part, it has been working well. Of course, right now there is a huge spike [in Los Angeles] that has been going on since post-Thanksgiving. So, I'm hoping not too many people will test positive and be taken out of the game now that we are starting up again post New Years. But only time will tell.
As for my personal safety, the protocols are good. I feel like the studios are being as careful as is humanly possible. There is definitely more risk to going to work than staying at home, but I'm testing three times a week, alongside everyone else. People wear masks and shields when the actors are on stage, since we have to work without masks on at all. And we don't get to hang with each other the way we used to, so it's a bit isolating between shots. But again, I am thrilled to have a job right now (two, if you count "The Kominsky Method") and I will do whatever it takes to stay safe and healthy so I can continue to support my family and help others support theirs.
Almost everyone who appears on 9-1-1 gets thrown into a disaster or horrific accident at some point, might we see Gwyneth wind up in the middle of one at some point?
There was talk ...
What can you tell us about Phoebe's journey in the final season of "The Kominsky Method"? And what has it been like working with the amazing Kathleen Turner this season?
Poor Phoebe! She's not at her best this season, but at least she has the company of her son (Haley Joel Osment). I don't want to give away too much, but it all becomes very clear in episode one. As for Kathleen, what a joy. She's still the brassy leading lady she always was and I got such a kick out of working alongside her. We didn't have many scenes together, but even in the table reads, she takes a half hour comedy and turns it into a Broadway show. She's awesome.
You also had the new movie "Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets" drop on-demand. Why was the film's message an important one for you?
It's a lovely film about a difficult topic; mental illness in teenagers. Yaniv (writer, director) is a friend of mine, and I could feel how personal it was for him, so I was thrilled to jump in and play the mom. It's a great cast and the visuals are incredibly ambitious.