Sela Ward on portraying former first lady in 'Graves:' 'What a fun role to play!'

By Karen Butler   |   Updated Oct. 24, 2016 at 5:25 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Sisters, Once and Again and CSI: NY actress Sela Ward says she leaped at the chance to star in Graves because it was a rare invitation for her to act in a comedy.

"It was the character that really got me. I thought: 'Oh, my God! What a fun role to play! It's so irreverent and smart,'" the 60-year-old Mississippi native told UPI in a recent phone interview. "I love comedy. I couldn't get arrested in comedy until now. The very beginning of my career were all comedies; I couldn't get arrested in drama. So, it's fun to be back in this arena."

Created by Joshua Michael Stern, the show follows Nick Nolte's Richard Graves, a controversial, former president trying to adjust to civilian life and reflecting on decisions he made in the White House, just as his beautiful and brilliant wife Margaret is embarking on her own political career.

"I think there is a tremendous amount of love and respect and honor there," Ward said of the marriage of the series' central couple. "And there is also a lot of time between the two. They are really attached. Their lives are really attached. I was intrigued by the idea that many women face, at points in life, when they've raised their children and the husband's career [is over] and he's retired and now it's really time for the female of the family -- the second spring, as the Chinese say. I'm intrigued by that. ... She's been the shadow of her husband and supporting him all of these years and the children, and now it's her time and she wants to run for the Senate because she naively -- or not -- feels like she could do some good. So, it's just a very interesting time in Margaret's life and an interesting time for their family as a whole, as the kids have to come back home for various reasons and all of the relationships are so complex. It's great fodder for comedy and drama."

Co-starring Anjelica Maria, Skylar Astin and Callie Hernandez, Graves airs Sunday nights on EPIX.

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