August 6, 2010, 8:58 am
It’s Friday, So Why Not Talk to Betty White?
By DAVE ITZKOFF
Betty White doesn’t need your approval. She’s such a rock star now that in addition to her regular role on the TV Land comedy “Hot in Cleveland” (which was recently picked up for a second season), she can also accept a recurring guest spot on the NBC series “Community” and call its cast delightful to their faces and no one can stop her. And she will turn down your offer to appear in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie until you ask again nicely, and then tell you it’s a lovely script, just to let you know who’s boss. And if you tease her sarcastically at a public event, be prepared to face the full force of her endearing rejoinders.
ArtsBeat was recently offered the opportunity to speak with Ms. White about her work on “Community,” her perpetually busy schedule, and the risks of overexposure, and we were too afraid to say no. These are excerpts from that conversation.
You’re able to juggle this at the same time as your work on “Hot in Cleveland”?
Right, but we’re on hiatus now — we don’t go back until the 1st of November. That’s something lovely to look forward to, because the girls are so great, and the chemistry between them is so wonderful. But in the meantime, I’ve got a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie to do in Atlanta.
What’s it about?
It’s a lovely script that was sent — it’s two weeks in Atlanta, and I always try very hard not to go out of town. I try to stay here [California] as much as I can. Once in a while, like a “Saturday Night Live” thing, I had to go back for. But I keep it down to a minimum. So I turned it down, because of the being out of town. But they made it as easy for me as they can, and I get to come home on the weekend, between the two weeks. I’ll come in on Saturday and go back to Atlanta on Sunday to go to work Monday morning. So I was able to say O.K. The name of it is “Lost Valentine,” and it’s a love story. I do a lot of supposed comedy work — I mean, I hope it’s comedy work. This one is a love story so it’s a nice change of pace for me.
Do you get a love interest in the film?
No, in this case, it’s a love that I’ve lost. The reason it appealed to me so much, it’s a deep, deep love story, like the one I had with my beloved Allen Ludden.