Melinda Page Hamilton has a new project to add to her name. She’s currently starring as Odessa Burakov in Lifetime’s new series Devious Maids. Raising 20-month-old daughter Georgia in Los Angeles – the actress is a busy working mom with numerous television credits including Mad Men, Desperate Housewives and Big Love.
Melinda recently dished to Celebrity Baby Scoop on Devious Maids – which premieres on June 23rd at 10PM ET – and family life with Georgia.
CBS: Lifetime has ordered 13 episodes of Devious Maids – are there any feelings of disappointment that the pilot wasn’t picked up by ABC? Tell us a little about the series. What will be intriguing to viewers?
MPH: Actually my character wasn’t in the original pilot made for ABC- our storyline was rewritten after Lifetime had already committed to picking it up, so I can’t claim any disappointment on that score. I think Lifetime is a perfect home for the show and they have been so great to work for— I hope we can be as good for them as they have been for us! I think the show will have a little something for everyone- sex, murder, romance and a healthy dose of comedy…I hope it becomes that addictive little treat at the end of a long week for viewers.
CBS: Your character is Odessa Burakov – a Russian militant house manager – did you take any language lessons for the role?
MPH: I worked with a wonderful dialect coach named Amy Chaffee to help hone the Russian accent.
CBS: What is it like on set working with the likes of Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, and Susan Lucci?
MPH: The show has such an amazing ensemble of fierce, fabulously talented actresses- I am thrilled to be working along side them. I work most closely with Roselyn Sanchez and she is divine- funny, talented and as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. We have a lot of fun laughing and talking on set- it’s really a joy to go to work everyday when you enjoy the people you work with so much.
CBS: Will you be watching the premiere on June 23? What are your plans that day?
MPH: I normally don’t watch things I’m in but I think in this case, I’m going to have to make an exception- and might even invite a few very close friends and family.
CBS: Do you have a maid or nanny?
MPH: I am very lucky to have an amazing support system at home to help fill in when I am away working- which includes my husband who’s an incredibly loving hands-on dad and my own mother who will literally drop everything and take the first flight to LA to help care for my daughter if I’m going to be away for longer than a few days. I struggle with the notion of “balance”- when I am away working for a long period of time I feel guilty for being away and when I don’t work for a long period of time I feel guilty for not contributing more- so for me balance is about fully accepting and embracing wherever I am at any given moment. When I’m away working I’m grateful for that experience and when I am at home taking my daughter to the park I’m grateful for that experience.
CBS: How do you balance working for a television show and raising your daughter Georgia? Can women have it all?
MPH: I have an amazing part-time Nanny- also a huge part of the aforementioned support system!
CBS: You’re known as a health nut and one who likes to create kid-friendly meals – can you share any of your latest recipes?
MPH: I love this recipe for Vegan Banana Ice cream I just tried (actually from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook!) and My daughter loves it too:
4 Bananas peeled, thinly sliced and frozen
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whiz everything up in a food processor until it’s the consistency of soft ice cream and serve. For the adults you can sprinkle with some finely chopped almonds mixed with a teaspoon of maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. So easy, healthy and seriously yummy.
CBS: Now that you live in Los Angeles – do you miss anything about New York City?
MPH: I miss walking down the street and running into at least one person I know and haven’t seen in a while…that happens so rarely in LA since we’re such a car culture.
CBS: Devious maids is based on the hit Televisa telenovela Ellas Son La Alegría Del Hogar – do you know any Spanish?
MPH: Sadly I don’t know a lot of Spanish but I think that’s my next project— I want to be able to keep up with some of the on-set gossip.
CBS: There are critics who will shake their heads at the subject of a series based on Latina maids working for wealthy Beverly Hills families. What can you say that might change their minds?
MPH: I’ve heard some criticisms of the show as perpetuating Latina stereotypes and while I understand the concern I think it’s misguided… The show centers around characters – the maids- that in most other mainstream programs are marginalized. Their stories the center of the show, their points of view are the way into the world of the show and as played by this extraordinary group of actresses they are anything but stereotypes. Now as for the stereotype of the Beverly Hills matron who is narcissistic, self centered and fundamentally oblivious to the lives and plights of the people who work for her? well..there might be some well-deserved outrage there…our show does perpetuate that stereotype on occasion…
CBS: What do you do in your downtime with Georgia?
MPH: Georgia’s favorite word is “outside”…she loves being outdoors so we spend a lot of time going to parks, or one of the many amazing botanical gardens or the LA Zoo. I’m also a huge fan of Kidspace in Pasadena.View Slideshow »»