The hilarious Martha Plimpton brings down the house on Fox's familial sitcom Raising Hope

If you’ve followed Martha Plimpton’s more-than-three-decades-long career or even just follow her on Twitter, you know she is as frank, as smart and as witty as you’d expect her to be. So it’s no surprise that she brings her trademark spunk to her starring role on Fox’s Raising Hope, which paints a picture of a perfectly dysfunctional family. She tells American Way why this isn’t your average family show and why she’ll always ♥ New York.

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American Way: You’re a New Yorker working primarily in Los Angeles. How’s the adjustment been?
Martha Plimpton: I grew up in New York, and my apartment is there, and all of my friends are there. But the older I get, the less I mind having a backyard. Although when Hurricane Sandy hit, I felt this strange longing to be home. When your city goes through a traumatic event, you want to be there. I hate to be the New Yorker who, when asked, “Where were you?” is like, “Well … I was in L.A.”

AW: Raising Hope pushes boundaries but also presents a new type of family for 2013.
MP: Obviously as Americans, we’re figuring out that family comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and television is reflecting that. It’s not ­uncommon now to have multiple generations under one roof or to struggle with maintaining a household or to have unexpected additions­ to families. Our show is completely over the top, but at its heart, there’s a real humanity.

AW: Is playing the role of Virginia as much fun as it appears?
MP: I loved her from the pilot. I liked that she smoked, that she didn’t care what other people thought of her. I like the idea of a sitcom mom who isn’t an archetype — she doesn’t exist solely to give context to the men in the house.

AW: You speak with such passion for your craft. What do you attribute that to?
MP: It’s attributable to my mother and how she raised me, to growing up in New York, to my work in the theater. I think all actors should work in the theater. It teaches you how to be part of something bigger. When you’re making plays, you’re not making an extraordinary amount of money. I did it for 10 years, doing very little TV and film work, and I was really struggling! Which makes Raising Hope all the more wonderful. I don’t take any of it for granted.