Katie Finneran plays Michael J. Fox‘s crazy sister on his big new show, The Michael J. Fox Show, and it sounds like most fun set in Hollywood. Katie is a theater and TV actress who just wrapped up a role as—fun!—Miss Hannigan in the Annie revival, and now she’s dedicating herself to NBC’s most exciting new show. Read on to see what it’s like to work with such an icon!
OK!: Tell me about your character.
Katie Finneran: They have written this fantastic sister role, Mike J. Fox’s sister, on the show. She’s the narcissistic, whimsical, fun loving, not very responsible, younger sister of Mike Henry. It is so much fun to play! She is like the annoying neighbor, but she is family! You are never going to get rid of her.
OK!: What drew you into the show?
KF: I have been in love with Michael J. Fox since Family Ties. When I read it, I thought, ‘I have to be a part of this.’ If I was good at cooking, I would’ve done the catering for the job. I loved the tone of the project: It was extremely comedic but somehow it was still real.
OK!: What is it like working with him?
KF: It has taken me a long time to get over that my childhood love is now my peer at work, and playing my brother! He is Michael J. Fox. He looks exactly the same and he acts exactly the same. He is as charming as ever and as handsome as ever. He is really sexy. You know when you meet a movie star and you are disappointed? Michael J. Fox has exceeded all of my fantasies.
OK!: Where do you hope your character goes over the course of the season?
KF: I hope my character finds some kind of relationship that she can believe in. But if not, I hope she dates really interesting guys!
OK!: It is definitely an opportunity for fun guest stars. Is there anyone you would love to cast as a love interest for yourself?
OK!: Were you nervous about making a sensitive topic like Parkinson’s funny?
KF: Mike doesn’t want anybody walking on eggshells around him. He is the same exact person inside, he is just struggling with a brain disorder. If he has a day that is harder than others, where he is shaking a little bit more, he takes care of himself.
OK!: It is really interesting and really a struggle, but I think that is also part of the draw of the show.
KF: It’s the juxtaposition of him being famous and him having Parkinson’s. My favorite part of the pilot is when the cops break in and he says “Can you sign this for me? My grandma has Alzheimer’s,” and he’s like “Yeah, uh, I have Parkinson’s.” That’s why everyone loves him so much, because he is humble, gracious, grateful, and f*cking funny! Now I am even more in love with him doing this phone interview with you! [laughs]
Are you excited for The Michael J. Fox Show? Do you think it’s possible to make illness funny? Which new show looks the best this season? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.