Laurie Metcalf Previews The Conners' Live Primary Episode: 'I'm Scared to Death of the Improv'
The episode is set to air live on the night of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday
Laurie Metcalf may be a seasoned performer, but she still has some fears regarding the upcoming live episode of The Connors.
“I’m scared to death of the improv, but there might be a little bit in there,” she told PEOPLE on Thursday at the 6th annual Voices for the Voiceless concert for You Gotta Believe, an organization that specializes in finding permanent families for young adults, teens and pre-teens in foster care.
Set to air live on the night of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, the hit ABC sitcom will incorporate the results of the election in real time.
According to Variety, the episode “will start with Mark (Ames McNamara) watching the results of the primary for a school report with Harris (Emma Kenney), who is apathetic to the electoral process and believes money’s influence in politics means real change is impossible.” As usual, the family will have varying viewpoints on the election, “including the idea of voting for a candidate that you may not love but who you think will ‘screw you the least’.”
Metcalf, who plays Jackie on the show, is no stranger to performing live on stage. However, she says her theater background (she’s won two Tony Awards and been nominated an additional four times) will be of no help during the live TV broadcast.
“No! God no!,” she shared. “It’s terrifying anyway you slice it.”
The Connors (and its predecessor Roseanne) has never shied away from getting political, and this episode will be no different.
Metcalf, a longtime Democrat who publicity supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, does have some experience acting around politics, however. The actress played Hillary Clinton in last year’s Hillary and Clinton, a Broadway show that was set in an alternate universe during Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, with John Lithgow starring as husband Bill.
As for what she learned playing Hillary, Metcalf said, “I can’t begin to imagine how stressful and the kind of stamina that it takes to get through that year and a half or however long that they’re on the road campaigning. [It’s] unimaginable to me.”
When asked which Democratic candidate she was rooting for, Metcalf responded, “I just want to get behind 100% whoever the nominee is gonna be.”
The Voice for the Voiceless event, which brought together performers from the American stage and screen to bring attention to the alarming number of kids in foster care, was a cause that Metcalf is passionate about.
“I can’t think of a better cause,” she stated. “I have an adopted son myself from the foster care system out in California, and so I would do anything to support this group.”
As for what she’d tell others considering becoming a foster parent, the actress called it, “one of the most rewarding things you can do.”
The Connors airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.