Joely Fisher has been known as many things in her life, among which are the daughter of Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher and the sister of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher is her half-sister). However Joely is an individual with her own charm, wit, personality and talent, and viewers can see her in the new Fox sitcom 'Til Death, in which she stars with Brad Garrett. The show is popular with all age groups and has been extended to run through the rest of the season. It's a comedy about two married couples - one newlywed and one long-married couple. Joely and Brad play the older couple who quip a lot, but deep down they really love each other. Both characters verbally jab and jest - often sarcastically but always with humor. "My husband will sit in front of the television and watch this show and laugh hysterically because it's things that we've all at least thought," Joely admits. "I think that if you've been in a relationship at all and especially if you're married, you're going to identify with both of these couples. You've been in both places. You've been in that sort of wide-eyed, and 'ah, it's so wonderful' [place] and you've been [in the place where] it's like 'don't use the toilet downstairs because I was in there and you don't want to go in there,'" she says honestly. "That's the way life goes." Joely is excited about the show and almost squeals, "I'm having so much fun."
She is happily married to visual effects photographer Christopher Duddy and they have two daughters. True Harlow was born a year ago. "She's unbelievable," says the proud mom. Joely often brings the baby to the set when she's working. "I bring them both. My other daughter's five and she's in school very close to [the studio] so she likes to come after [school] and wreak havoc on the set," Fisher says slyly. The question is whether 5-year-old Skylar shows any interest in following in her mom's footsteps. "You know, sometimes she seems like she's going to and then other times I think she couldn't be farther away from it. But she likes to be around [the set]." With a motherly grin she adds, "She digs it."
When asked about the characters she and Brad portray in the show, Joely comments, "I think that's the most delightful thing about it. I think that first of all there's no comedy if you don't have conflict and I think that they are people who merely use a shorthand about dealing with each other. They're people who have been together this long, they're so familiar with each other, they know what the other one is thinking, breathing, saying, wearing, that there's not need...let's just cut to the chase. I want it to be that these people love each other. There's got to be a reason why they're together 20 years. And it wasn't to stay together for the children because you never seen them around. There's a chemistry between Brad and I, so therefore there's a chemistry between the characters and that's her gentle giant. They manipulate each other to get what they want, and hug and kiss it up at the end."
She adds, "I think obviously my character is infused with a lot of Joely and what happens to me and how I would handle a situation. Although you try to find things that are different. This marriage is not at all like my marriage."
Having grown up in the world of entertainment, it was natural for Joely to continue her family's profession, and quite possibly one or both of her daughters will follow suit. In the past Joely, her mother and her actress/singer sister Tricia Leigh Fisher have all worked together, starting when the girls were very young. There remains hope that members of her family will appear on her new show, although she says there are no definite plans yet. She smiles broadly and says with a twinkle in her eyes, "They're talented people. I'm sure we'll find some place for them here."
This is a woman who loves her life. "You know what's weird? I'll be married 10 years. You look at me and say, 'No way. She's a teenager,'" she says with a hearty laugh. She absolutely glows when she talks about her husband and children. "I'll be married 10 years and I swear it has flown by." She thinks for a moment and comments, "People say the first year of marriage is so difficult, and I think 'you married the wrong person [then].' What could be so hard? It flies by." So, what does she think is the key to a happy and successful marriage? Joely replies quickly and confidently, "Humor."
'Til Death airs Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox.
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