Change of plan for Malin Akerman

SHAUN BAMBER
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014
Malin Akerman
SUPPLIED
NO TROPHY WIFE: "I was really excited when I realised that the title was a bit tongue in cheek," says Malin Akerman.

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"I tend to get a lot of scripts in which people want me to play the trophy wife, which is frustrating because I want the interesting, meaty roles."

That was actress Malin Akerman in 2009, then best known for supporting roles in movies such as The Heartbreak Kid, 27 Dresses, Couples Retreat and Watchmen.

Having made the switch from film to TV, Malin can now be seen playing the titular lead in a new comedy series on TV2.

The show's title? Trophy Wife.

In it, Malin plays young, blonde and beautiful Kate, who meets and quickly marries Pete, a late-middle-aged professional with two ex-wives and three children. Pete is played by Bradley Whitford (best known for The West Wing), who also happens to be almost 20 years older than Malin.

Sounds like your typical 'trophy wife' situation so far doesn't it? So what happened to that declaration of Malin's from 2009?

Standing out from the crowd at a Los Angeles press gathering in a red jumpsuit with matching red lipstick, striking pale blue eyes and a mane of long blonde hair, 35-year-old Swedish-born Malin could easily pass for a trophy wife in the right company - and it is not hard to understand why once upon a time only a certain kind of script came her way, which makes her acceptance of the lead role on a show called Trophy Wife all the more ironic.

"I got this script and saw the title and I literally said, 'Hell no, I'm not playing a trophy wife. I'm not even going to read that. I don't want to be a trophy wife'.

"I've said it before in interviews, I hate playing the trophy wife. Because for me, in my head, a trophy wife is just someone who's a looker, who has nothing to say, you know? But my manager and I said, 'All right, let's just read the first couple pages and see what we think'.

"And as I was reading it, I went, 'Wait a second, she's so not a trophy wife'. That's sort of what you see from the outside, but as we get to know her she is this really cool girl who wants to be part of this family and is truly in love with Bradley Whitford's character.

"So that's what I liked about it. They really are in love. They're really goofy together. They have a lot of fun.

"She wants to be part of his family. She wants to be a good mum. Whereas a trophy wife is kind of like, you married for the money, and you marry because you just want to go and be pretty, go get your nails done, And that's so not what this is.

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"So I was really excited when I realised that the title was a bit tongue in cheek."

Trophy Wife is loosely based on the real-life experiences of co-creator and comedienne Sarah Haskins - like Malin's character Kate, she also met and married a man 20 years her senior, with ex-wives and stepchildren into the bargain.

Malin says she, too, can relate to the show on a personal level - just not from the trophy wife perspective.

"My mother has been married a few times and so has my father,"she says. "So I have two stepdads and a stepmum, and a lot of half-brothers and sisters and stepbrothers and sisters.

"It's a big old family, so Trophy Wife is kind of a relatable story to me in that sense. But I don't have ex-wives to deal with."

Malin's mother has a few exes though, with Malin making the surprising revelation that her last stepdad was a real 'trophy husband'.

"My mother's third husband was 23 years her junior - a sexy little Latino man with a ponytail who literally danced his way into her life.

"She carded him at the club because she was like, 'You're too young for me'. But he was over 21, so she was like, 'OK, I can take you home tonight'. And married him. Bad idea ...

"He barely spoke English, so he was literally like a trophy man. She's like, 'isn't he cute? And I'm like 'Yeah, but what does he say?' 'I don't know. I don't care.' So it was kind of awesome. But that was definitely a trophy man.

"They're no longer together, so it didn't work out. She's out looking for the fourth," says Malin, then adds, "There'll be a fourth. Trust me."

- Trophy Wife, TV2, Monday

- TV Guide 

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