Wendie Malick was in Toronto Friday to promote the second season premiere in Canada of Hot in Cleveland (tonight at 8 p.m., CTV). Malick’s no stranger to Toronto. She was born across the lake in Amherst, N.Y., and grew up in picturesque Williamsville, both just outside of Buffalo. Her family used to summer on our shores. “We were border people,” she says. “We had a house on Lake Erie.”
Hot in Cleveland was an out of the box hit–especially on CTV in Canada–when it premieres last year. The sitcom casts Malick, Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time) and Jane Leeves (Fraser) as three friends from LA on their way to Paris who wind up in Cleveland when their plane makes an emergency stop. A few wolf whistles at the local bar later, they start to feel at home in a town where the shallow Hollywood standard of being forever young and skinny does not apply. “This series is really all about feeling comfortable in your own skin,” says Malick.
White plays their snarky senior superintendent. Malick’s character, Victoria, is a soap diva and Malick, a former model, is loving every scenery-chewing, Susan Lucci-busting minute. “She’s an amalgon of several people I know,” says Malick, who relates to Victoria’s quest to start a new chapter in her life. “I love the idea that you can still write down your bucket list and see how many of those things you can tick off.”
With all the fuss over Betty White, Malick and her two veteran comedy co-stars often get overlooked. White’s red hot success at 89 is a story, but Malick isn’t shy about hr age either. She turned 60 last month and embraces her status as a late bloomer. Malick says she never even thought about acting until she was 30. Her first big break came in the early HBO comedy Dream On. Malick was already 40 when that series put her on the radar.