Fran Drescher on a Potential 'The Nanny' Movie and How Her Cancer Schmancer Program Can Extend Your Life
In honor of COZI TV’s 10th anniversary, The Nanny star Fran Drescher reminisced with Parade about her hit TV series, which aired on CBS from 1993-1998, and has now found a second life on COZI, where it has been a hit since 2018.
“I think The Nanny has a timeless element to it and a lot of visual eye candy,” Drescher told Parade in this exclusive interview. “The beautiful sets, the beautiful costumes that are still in vogue today, the sexual tension between Mr. Sheffield, the boss, and Ms. Fine, the nanny. The fact that she dealt with the kids not as a superior but as an equal is very appealing to kids. I think that there’s a lore to the whole series that is timeless and really fun to watch.”
It doesn’t hurt that the kids who watched the show in the ‘90s are now young parents themselves, so they can tune in to COZI and watch The Nanny with their families and appreciate it on another level.
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“The fact is that the amazing writing and laugh-out-loud comedy appealed to both adults and kids with double entendres, and the fact that the costumes were gorgeous couture clothes, so there is, for sure, a timeless quality,” Drescher continued.
It doesn’t hurt either that a lot of the stars that appeared on the show are still in the headlines today, including Bette Midler, Elton John, Jay Leno, Rosie O’Donnell, Elizabeth Taylor and Dan Akroyd, to name a few.
So what’s the status on a potential The Nanny movie? Read on because Drescher addresses that, talks about her favorite episodes of The Nanny, and also the work she’s doing for her Cancer Schmancer program of education.
COZI did a poll on Facebook and they asked fans their 10 favorite episodes. What are a couple of yours?
Of course, the pilot and the wedding episode were favorites of mine. The episode where Fran becomes a recurring guest on The Rosie O’Donnell Show is really great because my real-life grandmother is in that episode. My parents were in that and my grandmother was in that, and Rosie was in it, and so that was very special.
There are so many episodes that are so great. I lay in bed and watch it on COZI and laugh, ones that I didn’t even remember anymore. I watch it with fresh eyes and it’s just great.
What do you appreciate about The Nanny and the COZI relationship?
We’re a big hit on COZI. We started in 2018. They’re celebrating their 10-year anniversary and I’m thrilled to support them. They support The Nanny, but they also support Cancer Schmancer.
Last October you talked about the possibility of a movie for The Nanny. Is that moving forward? And if it did, would it be the original cast or would it be a fresh take on it?
I think that the movie would be a combination of a new story and the original cast, somehow one would dovetail into another. We’re actually meeting with the president of Sony in a couple of weeks because it is The Nanny’s 30th anniversary come November and we want to discuss what we could possibly do to create some excitement for the fans in celebration of this auspicious occasion.
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Are you in touch with the rest of the cast?
Yes, I am. Mostly I would say Renée Taylor who played my mother Sylvia. She’s about to turn 90, and Charles Shaughnessy and I do see each other from time to time. He’s absolutely lovely and I just adore him. The rest of the cast we get in touch and communicate with mostly through emails or in social media.
Back when you were first diagnosed with cancer, did you ever think it would become such a huge part of your life? A lot of people who are diagnosed cancer free, don’t want to talk about it, but you’ve made it this whole movement. Why did you decide to be so public about it?
I think it’s my MO to leverage my fame for the greater good. The first leg of this journey, subsequent to being diagnosed with uterine cancer at post-surgery, was to write the book Cancer Schmancer because I didn’t want what happened to me to happen to other people by means of misdiagnosis and mistreatment. I went for two years and eight doctors without a proper diagnosis. Everybody thought I was perimenopausal when all the while I had uterine cancer.
I was extremely lucky that after two years the cancer was slow growing, and I was still only in stage 1 and a radical hysterectomy was my cure. But I wanted to write about that. And when I did -- and it took me four drafts to really fully remember everything, and find my funny bone and the voice that the fans knew was my voice in writing and all of that -- I kind of went on the road with it to discuss it. And much to my surprise, my story was not unique, many people are misdiagnosed and mistreated.
I started to think, “Early detection, catch it on arrival, 95 percent survival.” We need to transform from patients to medical consumers. We need to recognize the early-warning whispers of the cancers that could affect us and the tests that are available because all too often they’re not even on the menu at the doctor’s office. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, they don’t even give you the choice if you want it and what it might prove or disprove.
So that was the cornerstone of Cancer Schmancer, but then over time, I began to question: Why are we getting sick in the first place? And why are we so busy looking for a cure instead of identifying causation and eliminating it so we don’t get sick in the first place? And so that became our real driving thrust for the Cancer Schmancer movement: educating, motivating, and activating medical consumers to understand that how you spend your hard-earned dollars and what you bring in the home is, in fact, impacting your family’s health and your pet’s health.
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We were way ahead of the curve when we started, but we helped push the needle. And now I’m very happy to say that you see a lot more organic out there, you have people that understand that how you live equals how you feel. The more you expose yourself to toxins and carcinogens, the more you’re going to reduce and compromise the capability of your immune system. You’re going to be less resistant unless you stop, you take control of your body, you take control of your spending habits, you become mindful instead of mindless.
[If we become mindful, we will] dictate more responsible manufacturing trends because we understand that we’re the ones enabling them. And at the end of the day, manufacturers really don’t want to kill us, they want to sell to us. But they’ll sell us anything that we’re willing to buy, which, unfortunately right now in most households, is anything. So, we’re on this subject matter with great determination and optimism because we do see change.
It’s really important that people start to really grab hold of these reins because more than 90 percent of the problems that we suffer from, the disease in our bodies comes from toxic exposure and carcinogenic chemicals that are in the foods we eat, the personal care items that we use, the things that we clean the house with, and the things that we garden with.
If you just start with that, and every time you go shopping you look for something that’s more eco friendly, more safe, not only are you going to be impacting your health and your family’s and your pets in a very positive way, but you will see a reduction in colds, and flus, and viruses, and inflammation and all kinds of things like that. But you’ll also be sending a loud message to manufacturers that if they want to sell, they’ve got to do right by their customer, and not just focus on the bottom line and their shareholders.
The Nanny currently airs on COZI TV.
Next, Fran Drescher on Being Jewish and Making a Christmas Movie: 'I Celebrate Anything That Feels Happy and Positive'