I spoke with Mindy Sterling about her Emmy nominations for her work on Con Man and secs and EXECS, her role as Frau Fabissina in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, black-ish, and so much more. It was an absolute honor to speak with Mindy. We definitely need more Pam in black-ish. Don’t miss Mindy in Con Man, which will be coming to Syfy in September. You can watch secs & EXECS on tellofilms.com.
Lena Lamoray: Congratulations on your Emmy nominations.
Mindy Sterling: Thank you! It’s very exciting.
Have you been working on your speech or are you just going to wing it?
Mindy Sterling: You think about it because everybody has to think about it. You think of funny things. You think about serious things. You start thinking about it and you just have to stop. I don’t want that to be my only focus. I think I probably will, if anything, I just want to remember peoples’ names. [Laughing.]
You’re nominated twice in the same category [Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series] for your work on Con Man and secs & EXECS. The battle is on.
Mindy Sterling: I know, I know it’s insane. Yes, it is with myself.
Con Man is going to be coming to Syfy in September. What are you thoughts on that?
Mindy Sterling: I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s about time. It needs a stronger venue than where it started from—it’s time to move it up. I think that is the perfect place for it. More people will get to see it and won’t have to pay for it. I think that’s really important.
The world needs more fun shows right now.
Mindy Sterling: Yes, absolutely. It’s pretty out there and awesome.
Alan Tudyk kills me. He is so funny and your singing is amazing.
Mindy Sterling: I love Alan. I love him to death. Thank you.
For people that haven’t seen the series at all, and hopefully they will check it out on Syfy, can you talk about the show and what it’s like work on?
Mindy Sterling: Some of it takes place at comic cons with Alan’s character because nothing is really going on with his career. Nathan Fillion’s character and Alan’s character were part of a cult show that ended and Nathan’s character went on to be more successful. Alan’s character is still trying to figure things out. He just want to do some good acting. He doesn’t want to do all of this hubbub. He’s constantly trying to find his place. I come along and I’m this talent coordinator for him and the comic cons. I represent him. I’m absolutely inappropriate. I have no censor and I an a narcissist. It’s all about me, but it’s all about him because through him I will get all of the applause and recognition. We start doing the comic con circuit and he’s the kind of guy where nothing seems to go his way.
You must laugh a lot working on the show. I’m sure the show has some great blooper reels.
Mindy Sterling: I laugh a lot anyway. I love laughing, and I love making people laugh. That’s a great combination. Probably. It’s usually me not remembering something or getting something wrong. Alan is like a perfectionist. He made up some Japanese word and I had to say it and I just could not get it out. Hopefully, there are some funny bloopers with that scene. Alan just keeps repeating it to me and I just have to repeat it back and I still can’t do it.
They put together an amazing cast.
Mindy Sterling: Totally. And it just keeps getting better and better.
Do you know if there are any plans for a third season?
Mindy Sterling: I don’t. I’m hoping that it does well on Syfy. I don’t know if they are planning on doing that. I do know that Alan is going to do Broadway. That I know will take him away for a little bit.
Secs and EXECS is from the writers of The Golden Girls, one of my all-time favorite shows.
Mindy Sterling: He’s one of my dearest friends. We did a play together many years ago and in meeting each other, doing this play, we instantly fell in love with each other. It was like, this is it, this is a long lasting friendship and working relationship that will not go away. I’ve done many things with him. We are kind of each others good luck charm.
The series is a fun office comedy, but what else can you say about it?
Mindy Sterling: It has a great setup from the secretaries’ perspective of how they have to deal with life being in that position and then the executives and how they have to deal with life and being an executive and having these assistants and people underneath them working. They really try to separate that, the need for each other. I think that is really important. As we all know, secretaries are always, kind of, the second man and the executives have the egos. It comes together in a very interesting and humorous way.
You also got to work with Parvesh Cheena.
Mindy Sterling: I love Parv. I play his secretary named Shirla who has been around a long time. She knows what she’s doing. She’s one of those people that really runs her boss like without her he would be nothing. She knows that and really believes that. She always makes it like it’s his decision or ideas. She’s very content in being there, in being a long time employee and getting what she wants, but she also knows her place.
Parvesh is such a great guy. I interviewed him years back and he’s just one of those people that you are instantly comfortable talking to. Can you share a story about him that will make people love him even more?
Mindy Sterling: We didn’t work with the executives very much, so it was literally split. I’ve known Parv for a while and he really is incredibly supportive, sweet, generous, tender, and has a smile on his face. He’s just one of those people, like you said, that really makes you feel comfortable.
You’re a big part of why the Austin Powers films were so much fun.
Mindy Sterling: They were fun and silly. You don’t have to think of anything. Mike has an incredibly endearing quality about himself that I think he brings to the films and then he creates these wonderful and wacky characters. It’s just silly fun. That’s the best way for me to describe it. Why else would people just keep watching it over and over again?
How often do people ask you to yell at them?
Mindy Sterling: A lot. [Laughing.] A lot, a lot, a lot. I think one of the first questions that people ask me is if there is going to be a fourth. They say that they have heard, but I have not. The other one is if I can yell. I’m known to do a silent yell because depending on where I am I won’t go full out.
What’s the most fun that you’ve had doing the voice over the years?
Mindy Sterling: Yelling is really fun and I can still make my son laugh when I do that. That’s a big thrill to me. Not yelling at him in a mean way, but I’ll say things like get out of the car and he just laughs and giggles and I’m in heaven.
I bet every dog would listen to you. [Laughing.] They would definitely sit right away and not ask questions.
Mindy Sterling: [Laughing.]
I can’t believe that the first film came out twenty years ago. I feel really old. Twenty years ago!
Mindy Sterling: Yes, twenty years ago. Isn’t that wild? I was a blonde then and they kept coloring my hair. The hairstylists kept telling me that I should go red because I look great in red. I told her oh, no I can’t because I’ve been a blonde all my life. Finally, I think it was the second one, I just said let’s do it because I could always go back. I’m not a blonde anymore.
Over the years, you’ve been in so many of my favorite shows like Raising Hope, The Detour, and black-ish. Are you going to be in any additional black-ish episodes?
Mindy Sterling: I hope so. Who knows. It’s up to the writers and what they want to do with me. A lot of it is really about the storyline. I would love to. If you want to write in and tell them that you want me back. [Laughing.]
That’s right. We need more Pam! [Laughing.] It must be great working on that show.
Mindy Sterling: Definitely. It was. I got to work with Tracee Ellis Ross. All of my scenes were with her and there is no one nicer and more beautiful. She’s sweet and funny, just so funny. That was a gift.
What else do you have coming up?
Mindy Sterling: I do have some projects coming up that I can’t talk about yet. I did just do a Grace and Frankie episode. That will come out next season. I have been doing a lot of little movies. I was just in Vancouver and I worked on A Series of Unfortunate Events with Neil Patrick Harris. I just did a movie called Secret Angel. I do a lot of indie films.
Those are usually the best. I prefer watching them over most of the big-budget films.
Mindy Sterling: That stuff is great because the talent is there and you get to be creative in a different way.
Mindy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MindySterlingOfficial/