Krista Allen has long been a fan favorite in movies and TV, with roles from Days of our Lives all the way to The L.A. Complex. Thirteen years later, we still recall her role as Clark Kent’s teacher on Smallville, which was one of the most memorable episodes of the series. Tonight, she takes on a new role as the very significant mother in The CW comedy Significant Mother, where she plays Lydia, a woman who ends up in a relationship with her son Nate’s best friend, much to Nate’s chagrin.
The show is quite funny and premieres at 9:30PM ET tonight (August 3). We spoke with Ms. Allen about the new show, her character, and the situations she gets herself into in anticipation for the new series, which also stars Josh Zuckerman (90210) and Nathaniel Buzolic (The Vampire Diaries).
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: How did you get involved with Significant Mother?
KRISTA ALLEN: I read the script. I was auditioning for something, and the casting office that was doing this, handed me a script and said “Hey. We really want you to read this. You’re perfect for this role!” and at the time, it was called Mother F—er. I was like “Wow! That’s an amazing name. What’s it about?” And then they told me the premise, where [my character] is sleeping with the best friend, and I cracked up, and I was like “I am totally reading this.” I read it, and I fell in love with it beyond words. From the first couple of pages, I was hooked. I brought it to my agent, and I was like “Can you please set up an appointment for me? I would like to go in and read.”
I went in and I read for it with Tripp and Erin and Rich, our Executive Producers – I met them for the first time, and we all fell in love, and it was a love fest in the room… but then they said “hmm. I don’t know if she is old enough to play the mother of a 26 year old!” and I was like “But I am!” When they found out that I had a son that was older, they were very excited, because they were like “okay. So this could work!” It was just wonderful. They ended up cutting my hair and making it all brown, and turning me a little bit more Mom-ish, and it worked beautifully. I have never been happier!
What was it like to shoot up in Portland?
It was awesome. Portland is so cool. Big shoutout to Portland and all the people in Portland. The nicest personalities… it should be the city for congeniality. Everybody is so kind and so nice. It’s wonderful, and everybody’s just really, really nice. It was really fun to shoot there.
What is it about Jimmy that attracts Lydia?
Lydia is coming into a different place in her life where she’s been married for almost 30 years, and she has been with the same guy – who hasn’t really been super there for her, and she raised a kid and has been taking care of everybody, and then all of the sudden, something happens, and Jimmy makes her feel young. She’s like “Wow. I actually feel young and fun again, and I haven’t felt this way in so long!” I think that’s what the attraction is. It’s not “Heyyy. You’re a young stud, let’s go do it!” No. It’s not. [Laughs] It’s more “Oh, my gosh! I feel different when I am with you, and I like it! And it’s scary, but I like it, so let’s keep doing this.” And he’s in the same place, going “Yeah!” I encourage him to do great things, and he encourages me to not be so high-strung. I think that the connection — it’s definitely a physical attraction and all of these things, but it’s also like an emotional connection, too. We are exactly what each other needs right now, which makes it really sweet and funny, and the stakes are pretty high.
Will Lydia’s relationship with Nate rebuild as the season goes on?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Nate is the love of my life. I mean, he truly is the love of my life, and most things that I do throughout the season that aren’t exactly the smartest things to do, are generally to protect Nate. I don’t make the best decisions, and maybe I’m not always as honest as I should be in some situations, but it’s always to protect Nate. He’s my life. She’s always been there for him. They’re very close, which makes it hard, too. It’s like “My mom! My best friend! What? Hold on!”
They have their own shorthand, too, like the “Nate of Emergency” and that sort of thing?
A “Nate of Emergency” – that’s like a huge thing, because he always makes everything a big deal! He overreacts a lot, and he totally gets that from me, which is what frustrates me even more, because I do it too.
Do you think Nate will learn from his mom being a little less high-strung now?
That’s what we’re hoping for. Nate is not in a relationship. Maybe Nate can open up and get a little more courage to secure himself and be in a relationship through all of this. I definitely encourage that throughout the season, which is a little awkward. I think we’re all learning — we’re all re-learning each other throughout this first season.
What aspect of Significant Mother are you the most excited for audiences to see?
I feel so excited to share these characters. I feel so excited for people to meet my costars and these characters, because I am so proud of all of them, and I love working with them. So what I get to see from just being Lydia, and looking out at the cast that I get to work with every day, I am excited for them to see these characters that I get to see. The episodes are funny! They’re cute, and funny, and warm, and sweet, and naughty… but it’s a funny naughty, and sweet naughty kind of thing… there are just so many different dynamics in this show, so I’m excited for them to meet everybody.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about the show?
Watch it! Watch it, and then maybe… oh. Watch it!
Significant Mother premieres Monday, August 3 at 9:30PM ET on The CW. Take a look at a preview clip below, featuring Krista Allen’s Lydia with her ex, Harrison, played by Jonathan Silverman: