Just four days after wrapping a six-year run on “Mike & Molly,” Katy Mixon began shooting “American Housewife,” changing her trajectory from party-girl sister Victoria to unapologetic mother of three Katie Otto. Mixon talks to Variety about diving into her starring role, her bond with Melissa McCarthy and portraying a TV mom while preparing to become a mother in real life.
What was it like to start “American Housewife” less than a week after “Mike & Molly” wrapped?
I was so ready; I welcomed it with open arms. I found out that “Mike & Molly” was done that October, and I wanted to do something very different from what I had done. Going from the Victoria character to Katie Otto, who has three children and wears hardly any makeup — and covers everything — it was just amazing. I walked in and met all of [the “American Housewife” team] and put my take on the character.
Is your bond with Melissa McCarthy in real life anything like your bond on the show?
One of the most incredible things was that I got to see the world witness her and her divine destiny. It was one of the most amazing things to watch her live her dream and just have a ball doing it. She’s just unbelievably special to me.
Besides becoming the star of the show on “American Housewife,” what was the most unexpected thing you experienced coming out of “Mike & Molly”?
That schedule is not to be trifled with. I did about eight scenes a day on average. I had to shoot the episodes in five days, averaging about 13-14 hours a day, and I’m in every scene, which I couldn’t be more grateful for.
Do Katy Mixon and Katie Otto have anything in common?
They couldn’t be more different. But the one thing we have is that she’s fearless, and I’m fearless. Katie Otto goes after stuff she doesn’t feel is right, and she stands up for it. I do that too, just kind of in a slightly kinder way because I’m from the South.
Has the show taught you anything about raising your own family?
I’m so pregnant right now. I’ve been pregnant the whole time I’ve been filming. I made it through — I just finished the finale yesterday. I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning and getting off at 7, and the schedule is wild. My baby is going to be the monster truck of babies. I’ve always wanted to be a mommy. I already know so much, coming from a large family. I helped my mom raise so many little sisters. At 11, I was helping get them ready for school, watching over them, putting them to sleep. It’s just naturally with me.
What you didn’t know about Katy Mixon:
Age: 36 Hometown: Pensacola, Fla. Biggest Hollywood Inspiration: Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett Currently binge-watching: “Game of Thrones,” “Teen Mom” Hidden Talent: Singing and dancing If you could have any superpower: I’d zap something and have it go back to its proper place