Jay Snook was at Wondercon and was able to interview some people behind this show
Until recently I had never watched The Goldbergs. Once I did though I really liked it. It is full of great 80’s nostalgia and took me back to growing up in that era. It has a great cast, clever stories and a lot of heart. While I was at Wondercon I was lucky to be able to chat with a cast member and the creator of this show. Here is what I learned from this great interview.
Where did you draw your inspiration to play this character on The Goldbergs?
Wendi Mc-Lendon Covey: Well the inspiration came from Adam Goldberg himself. When we were talking about me possibly doing this character, he showed me his home movies. And I said ‘Oh, okay. I got it. That’s all I need.’ Because his mom was very specific in these home movies. She’s the kind of woman that can scream at you and in the same sentence give you a compliment on the shirt you are wearing. She can switch gears and she’s a little on the crazy side, but aren’t mothers just that way. Something about motherhood makes people have to yell at you. Otherwise how are you going to know that you are loved.
What has been your most challenging moment playing the role so far?
Wendi: Anything that gets very emotional with the children has become hard for me. Because I really do love them now as people. On screen and off screen. I used to have a laughing problem on set and now I have a weeping problem. It used to be I can’t stop myself from laughing and now I can’t stop myself from crying. Like the closer we get to finishing a season, the more I start to really get disproportionately emotional.
How much of the show is actually based on your real life?
Adam Goldberg: I would say everything except the sister. I didn’t have a sister and when I was writing the show they weren’t The Goldbergs yet. So just to even out the cast I wanted to have a sister. I thought you could tell good stories. Once the show got picked up, it became The Goldbergs, like after the fact. So that is really the only thing. I wanted to be a musician, that’s a lot of fabrication.
But we are doing a lot of stuff from my brothers life. Like Erica goes to Emery and has a very interesting college experience next year. It will totally mirror what happened with my brother Eric, who is totally pissed about it. Because it’s completely embarrassing, and he didn’t finish out the year. So it’s great, because you need your character to come home. There’s a lot that is taken from my real life, but that’s really the only thing. Everything else is toned down. The real Beverly is a toned down version.
How do you choose what moment from your life you are going to use for an episode?
Adam: It usually comes from me coming in with an embarrassing memory. Like the example I usually say is I’ll come in and be like ‘I was thinking about this morning how much I hate swim class’. Like you’re in seventh grade and you are going through puberty and there are girls walking by and I didn’t want to take off my shirt. Then another writer will start telling an embarrassing story and then that will turn into a whole episode. So that’s generally is me talking about some failure I had as a child and then that will spin into an episode.