Sadie Calvano says she is having the time of her life on CBS’s hit series “Mom”! Perhaps what is special about this sitcom, which also stars Emmy-winner Allison Janney and Anna Faris, is that it goes beyond just the comedic plotlines, but also explores more serious issues that spur strong reactions from viewers. At the end of last season, Calvano’s character Violet gave up her baby for adoption, which the actress describes as a pivotal moment for her on the show. In a recent interview to discuss the second season premiering October 30th, Calvano and I chatted about what it’s like playing a teenager struggling with heavy decisions, the unique circumstances Violet and her mom will start off the new season with, and much more!
Congratulations on “Mom”! It’s starting its second season and your co-star, Allison Janney, just won an Emmy – that’s got to be exciting.
Sadie- So exciting! We are so, so excited for Allison! Allison plays your grandmother and Anna Faris plays your mom, you have some great co-stars! Sadie- It’s been such a whirlwind. I consider myself so lucky to be able to work with women that are so strong and so talented and funny and grounded and cool and normal; unbelievable.
Now that you have played Violet for more than a season, what can you say you are most enjoying about her?
Sadie- I think Violet really goes through some transitional periods in season two which has been really, really fun. I’ve gotten to really grow with her and I think the audience gets to see a more vulnerable side of her at the top of season two.
We know she was giving her baby up for adoption at the end of last season; what was that like to play such a heavy storyline? And the show is a comedy, which I think is interesting that it also tackles such serious issues.
Sadie- That’s one of the things I think I love most about our show is that typically in a sitcom you don’t really get to have these moments of serious drama and I think our show balances the two pretty artfully, which is such a cool thing to be a part of. I think the season finale, when Violet gave away the baby is my favorite moment from last season because it’s so rare that you get to do something like that on a sitcom, and I remember being so, so nervous because I hadn’t really had to do drama in a while because for the most part our show is a comedy. I had been rehearsing all week and remember just getting so nervous right before we shot the episode. I looked to Allison and I looked to Anna and felt safe, and we did it and I think we created a pretty powerful story. It’s cool because I think it’s an issue that gets pretty overlooked and not enough attention is given to it, and so to get to bring some light to an issue like that to such a big audience is something so powerful.
Have you gotten any reactions about it from viewers?
Sadie- Yes, absolutely. I had some people come up to me not too long ago and said: “Hey, I just need to let you know that I watch your show, and my sister’s adopted and I think it’s so cool that you guys are telling this story.” I cried; that’s the coolest part: to really hear people that have really had this in their life and to know that we’re doing justice – you couldn’t ask for anything more.
What are you most looking forward to about Violet for season two? How is she going to be different?
Sadie- We start of season two homeless, so we kind of hit the ground running! There is never a dull moment in our family! (Laughs)
What do you hope for with Violet? What would you like to do with her in the new season?
Sadie- I really have gotten to kind of grow with Violet throughout season two and this season we get to see a way more vulnerable and raw side of her, which I think Violet is always very hesitant about revealing, and so in order to play those characters I’ve really gotten to have a lot of fun in getting to know Violet- her motives and how she processes information. So I hope to keep doing that because it’s very fun to play.
Yes and I think it’s very prevalent to her age, right?
Sadie- Oh Absolutely! I find it so crazy how I think Violet and myself come from very different home lives and still we deal with so many of the same issues. I think every teen deals with how to handle your mom, and growing up and school. I think that these issues are inevitable and it’s so interesting that everywhere you go there you are.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
Sadie- I’m a full time student and I graduate this year. I’m applying to colleges so we’ll see it happen. My plan right now is to defer. We’ll see what happens with the show. School is important to me; I’m sure I will go it’s just a matter of when. I also write a lot. Right now, it’s something I do because I love it and I find it super therapeutic and a really good way for me to kind of figure out what I’m thinking. And also, a really good way to communicate with people everywhere because sending a letter or composing a good email and getting to send that to people all around the world is something really cool. So I probably would be doing something with my writing and going to school. But I think no matter what I do, I would want to incorporate my art somehow. I think even if I wasn’t on “Mom” right now, I would be doing something else that involves my craft in some way.
If you could travel back in time and spend a day in the life of anyone from history, who would it be and why?
Sadie- If I could travel back in history I would want to be my nana because she is a woman that has influenced my life in so many ways. She had such a big influence on my mom and my grandma and has inspired the way that I think about information in so many ways, and she passed away before I was really old enough to understand all of the lessons that she had to give me. So if I could I would probably want to go back and get a chance to see that and have her answer some questions. I think family is something that is super powerful and something that I definitely couldn’t be doing this business without.
Is there anything else you would like to share with fans?
Sadie- I’m the national spokesperson for a charity called Bags 4 Kids. What the organization does is they take kids that are getting out of unsafe homes and taken into the foster system and we fill old backpacks with cameras, or journals, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, shoes, clothes; everything we think of to give these kids something they can call their own because they leave these homes with seriously nothing other than the clothes on their back. So we give them these bags in order to make a really uncomfortable situation a little bit more comfortable and give them something to call their own. It’s a really amazing organization. I’ve been involved with it since I was 14 and just to watch it grow and to kind of get to touch on a couple of those topics in our show, the way Violet gave away her baby, has been so, so awesome! Www.bags4kids.com And my twitter is @SadieCalvano if people would like to keep up with me!
The season premiere of “Mom” airs Thursday, October 30th on CBS! @Meriamb