Louie Anderson on playing a woman: "People treat you different"


When Louie Anderson first took on the role of Christine Baskets on FX's "Baskets,” the comedian and actor channeled his late mother Ora for inspiration. Four seasons and an Emmy Award later, the actor opens up about how the character has taken on a life of her own and become a deep part of his identity was an actor.

“I'm completely connected to that character,” Anderson said on “Salon Talks. “I don't know, it's like those old movies, where the ghost used to inhabit the character. I feel like that happens to me. When I get into that makeup chair, I get that make up on, and when I get the wig on, and then while this process is going on, Louie Anderson is slowly disappearing.”

Anderson admits that he always imagined it would be his dad that he’d draw from for his acting work. And while that relationship has taken years to work through—“I can finally clearly see all the things he really did for me unconditionally, even though he had an alcohol problem,” Anderson admits—it was Anderson’s mom, and her inner world, who he’s connected with.

“I wish I would've had the chance to ask my mom, "What is it, that you wanted to be?’” Anderson said. Watch Louie Anderson’s full “Salon Talks episode to hear more about how he gets into character for “Baskets” 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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