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My Night with the Cast of The Family – Q&A and Photos

The Family

Photo Credit: Coralie Seright /

Have you been watching The Family on ABC? If you haven’t, boy are you missing out! The Family is suspenseful, action packed, thrilling, and just – well, it is amazing. It is one of my favorite shows on television right now because every time they answer a question, they throw three or four new ones at you. It is very well written and the cast is incredible. The basis? Well a family unfortunately loses their son (Adam). They suspect the pedophile neighbor had something to do with it. The neighbor is charged with the crime and confesses to murdering Adam. Then 10 years later, a boy walks in to the police station claiming to be Adam. If you have not been watching – don’t worry, those are not real spoilers, you can catch all that from the previews for the first episodes.

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I was recently in LA and was lucky enough get a chance to have a family dinner with some of the cast (Zach Gilford “Danny”, Alison Pill “Willa”, & Floriana Lima “Bridey”) of The Family. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, and just hung out as we watched that night’s episode and live tweeted. After the episode was over, we got to watch the next episode (which will air tonight). I can’t even express how crazy it was to be watching this intense of a show and look next to me and see Alison Pill who plays Willa sitting there watching with me.

The Family Floriana Lima

Floriana Lima (“Bridey” on ABC’s The Family), myself, and Shelley from

After we watched both episodes, we spent some time chatting with the cast mentioned above as well as Jenna Bans, the creator, and Executive Producer, Laurie Zaks. I had so much fun hanging out with them – they are a really fun bunch! Something I found very interesting was how the idea for the show came to Jenna.She told us that growing up she lived across the street form a sex offender and it really freaked her out. She also knew that ABC had been looking for an impostor, mystery thriller type show and so she married the two ideas – and The Family was born!


“The Family,” SUNDAY, APRIL 17 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

Willa is one of my favorite characters on the show, even though most people hate her. I don’t want to give any spoilers just in case you have not seen the show yet – but they do have a reason to. Alison was asked how she gets in to character since Willa is so emotional and intense. She credits the writers stating that the scripts just make sense to her. She also claims that Willa does everything she does for one reason – her family. She wants so badly to keep her family together under the same roof and to keep them happy. She sees her character as frozen at 13 years old – when her brother disappeared. And she is struggling to grow up and to make things right. She blames herself for his disappearance since she was supposed to be watching him.

Laurie Zaks

Laurie Zaks. Photo Credit: Coralie Seright /

Laurie let us know that before even shooting the pilot, the writers let Alison know where they were going with Willa. They let her in on some of the twists and secrets so that she could react as Willa would react. Zach chimed in and let us know how much he loves to work with Alison. He talked about how good she is and how she might not even be on camera but she is shedding tears and being emotional just as Willa would. The general consensus about her is that she is an amazing actress. Alison did let us know that after an intense day or scene filming, she likes to go home and just unwind by watching TV. She likes to think she doesn’t take any of it home with her – that it doesn’t really bother her.

The Family Interview

Photo Credit: Coralie Seright /

Andrew McCarthy (who plays Hank Asher – the pedophile neighbor) has also directed some of the episodes. The cast all agreed that he is incredible to work with. Alison is surprised at how can be in character and also so present as a director. His character is quite intense so it is a huge accomplishment to be able to do that. Being on a TV show means that different episodes have different directors. That is one of the hardest things about acting on television says Alison. It’s not the director’s medium – and they are only directing a little bit of the story. She likes getting notes from different directors though, in fact, it is one of the reasons she loves acting.

"The Family," SUNDAY, APRIL 17 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Giovanni Rufino) JOAN ALLEN

“The Family,” SUNDAY, APRIL 17 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

Another thing that everyone agreed on is that Joan Allen (who plays the mother, Joan) is amazing and sweet. She made cookies for the entire cast and crew – like 150 cookies – and brought them in before holiday break. She also set up a potato bar another time. There are a lot of intense scenes between Joan and Alison – and Alison admitted that sometimes she needs a hug from Joan after filming one. Jenna let us all know that many of the fans she talks to feel sympathy for Hank. She was pretty surprised by that, being that he is a pedophile. I must admit, sometimes I feel bad for him too. He is a victim in his own way, despite what he has done.

Photo Credit: Coralie Seright /

Photo Credit: Coralie Seright /

I do not want to give any spoilers because I want you all to go run and catch up right now before tonight’s episode if you have not been watching The Family already.This episode is a HUGE episode. You find out a lot and WOW – you are surprised by a lot. I refuse to give anything away – so just tune in.

Episode 108 “Sweet Jane” Synopsis
Claire wrestles with the emotional ramifications of Willa’s scheming. Meanwhile, Nina observes that Adam disappears every night from his home and sets out to track down his mysterious destination, while Clements investigates Jane’s connection to Doug, the pock-marked man. When the Governor’s wife threatens to reveal Claire’s drinking, Willa handles the situation by exposing another Warren family secret, potentially changing the outcome of the election. Finally, Hank makes a shocking discovery that reveals his true involvement in Adam’s kidnapping.

The Family airs Sunday nights on ABC at 9pm EST.

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Remember – be sure to watch live (or on DVR within 3 days) to help boost ratings so we can be sure there is a Season 2 of The Family! I cannot wait to see what Jenna & the writers have in store for us – they are just getting started. Jenna let us know they have at least three seasons already planned out – so let’s make sure we all get to see it!

The opinions expressed here are that of Mama Smith’s only. While the products in this post were given complimentary (unless otherwise stated) for me to review, that does not alter my opinion of the product(s) mentioned. This post may contain sponsored links and affiliate links (which will be stated at the beginning of the post).