Margo Martindale’s Life as a PI

9-24-2013 10-05-48 PM

Margo Martindale is pretty versatile. She can be a Russian handler on The Americans, or a nosey mom on The Millers, but I didn’t think she could be a private investigator in real life. It’s true! Here is an excerpt from her interview at

“I was doing a job during the day. I was a private investigator. The day job wasn’t stressful. It was so, so stupid! I did background checks. I did a lot of pretending to be other people.”

Currently, Ms. Martindale is at the height of her career. For us lucky fans, she will be returning to The Americans for at least one episode, she’s starring in CBS’s new comedy The Millers, and she’s part of August: Osage County, a highly anticipated film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

“Who said turning sixty was a bad thing” is part of her speech when she won the Best Supporting Actress in a drama for the show Justified at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards. It seems that success has come to her later in her life but success is success, and she deserves all of it. Not to put her past achievements out of the spotlight, every decision that she has made lead her to the present:

“It’s very interesting where I have different things in my life that changed. In my 30s, I did the original company of “Steel Magnolias.” I created that — created! — I originated that part. [Writer] Bobby Harling’d kill me to hear that. I originated that role. And then movie people saw me because everyone in the movies came to buy that play and I started getting parts in movies. That kind of worked through the ’90s. The next turn was being in a play and getting nominated for a Tony [for her Broadway debut as Big Mama in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” in 2004] at the same time as “Million Dollar Baby” coming out. From there on, it’s been this — and then with “Justified,” it went somewhere else.”

Now, she’s the star of her own network sitcom and part of another great movie, and if you know Margo Martindale, she’s the kind of actress that can steal the spotlight from other great actors. In August, she has the most potential to strengthen her career, not because the other actors aren’t great, it’s because she’s not an A-lister yet, still not a household name. Paired with her extremely impressive acting chops, she has nowhere to go but up.

And when talking about her busy schedule, about balancing The Millers with The Americans, she had this to say:

“Three o’clock in the morning pickup! A little early! I love doing “The Millers” because it’s a challenge. I’m interested in making it good. And making it … I’m interested in that challenge a lot. But is that something I thought I’d be doing? I thought I’d be doing that in the ’70s. It hadn’t crossed my mind. It was a timing issue — I took the job in front of me because I didn’t know what other job was there. And I’m … embracing it.”

The whole interview can be read here:

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