Shepherd looking spa-tacular on The Client List

Had fun this week working the phone with Cybill Shepherd. Known for telling it like it is, the former Moonlighting and Cybill star returns for a second season Sunday as Jennifer Love Hewitt’s mom on The Client List (Lifetime, 10 p.m. ET).
Beautifully unaltered at 63, the former model is happy to leave the heavy lifting to Hewitt on this edgy little drama about a Texas massage parlor. Hewitt’s character, a single mom, makes extra cash offering happy endings to certain clients. Shepherd, who works the beauty parlour end of the spa, doesn’t even know there is any funny stuff going on.

J-Lo Hewitt: where is this spa again?

Shepherd says she researches her role every time she goes to her own salon. “I say, ‘Can you show me how to do this?’ ‘cuz I never know.” She’s had a few ideas shot down by the sound department, “Like with tinfoil, there’s always tinfoil people put on their hair to do certain processes,” she says. Apparently tinfoil is hard on the guy at the other end of the boom mike.
Whether she deserves it or not, Shepherd often gets tossed in with Roseanne and Brett Butler when the names of TV divas who were hell to work with come up on press tours. I didn’t ask her about that, but she couldn’t have been nicer or more charming on the phone. Perhaps she’s mellowed, or just not so wrapped up in every aspect of production as she was when her name was in the title.
The Client List is the perfect job for her at this stage in her career because, as she says, “I don’t have to carry the show.”

She noted that Hewitt is also an executive producer on Client List and is even directing this season. “Maybe 30 years ago, I might have wanted to direct, too, she says.
Shepherd reports Hewitt is handling her various tasks brilliantly. “I would say she’s the ultimate professional. She is so focused on what she’s doing, she’s also fun, funny, irreverent. There’s never a dull moment on the set.”
The Memphis native says she has worked quite a bit in Canada. The first Martha Stewart TV-movie she shot was in Halifax. “That had to be one of my happiest experiences of my career,” she says. “Incredible restaurants, brilliant crew, wonderful director. I got to live at a house and bring my dog up.”
She shot Married to It in Toronto and episodes of Psyche and The L Word in Vancouver. There was even a project in Calgary but she couldn’t remember what it was.
Shepherd was 20 when she starred opposite Jeff Bridges
in Peter Bogdonovich’s The Last Picture Show
After the current batch of 15 Client List episodes wraps in a week or so, she starts work on a new film which will reunite her with her first director and former mentor, Peter Bogdonovich. “Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, myself, Eugene Levy and a whole bunch of other wonderful actors will be in it,” she says. “It’s a good comedy.”
She last worked with Bogdonovich on Texasville, the sequel to The Last Picture Show
Shepherd will play Levy’s mother-in-law, which sounds completely wrong. “That’s OK, I play grandmothers all the time!” she says. She did a previous film with Levy and calls him “one of the funniest people on the planet.”

The name of the film? It’s down to two titles: She’s Funny That Way or Squirrels to the Nuts. “Which do you think is better?” Shepherd asks.
Gotta go with the Nuts.
For more on Shepherd, Hewitt and the return of The Client List read this story I filed this week for The Canadian Press.

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