Louie Anderson describes the magic of becoming Christine on FX’s “Baskets”


Louie Anderson says his Emmy Award-winning turn as Christine Baskets on the FX series “Baskets” is the role he was born to play. Basing his performance on his own mother, Anderson opened up to SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on “Salon Talks” about his deeply personal connection to Christine and her evolution over the show’s four seasons.

“I wish I had an explanation for how it works. When I get in the makeup chair, and while this process is happening, Louie Anderson is slowly disappearing. I’m completely in character,” Anderson said. “This is a really important character to me. I really want to make it good. Something happens to me and I’m completely connected.”

And Anderson has had to be more connected than ever this season. “It was very emotional to shoot this character this year,” he said. “I had a lot of gut punches emotionally. A lot of tough things, where I had to ask myself, ‘Was my mom ever this happy?’ That was really devastating for me. But good. Christine has progressed, and my mom was never in this position. Christine has gone on a new adventure. Is she going to allow someone else to love her? Is she going to be the woman she thinks she can be?”

He added, “I wish I’d had the chance to ask my mom, ‘What did you want to be?’ I’m trying to explore that. Because it’s hard to be who you want to be. I really encourage people to become friends with their parents if they can, so you can find out all the stuff that’s really dear and important to you.”

Watch the episode above to hear Louie open up about his relationship with his dad and a special announcement about his animated series from the ‘90s, “Life with Louie.”


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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