Ali Martell: From Hemlines to Heels


Twenty Minutes With Susan Lucci and Ana Ortiz

To talk their new show 'Devious Maids' and other awesome things

Me: is an online magazine that really speaks to the woman in every mom.

Her: I love that so very much.


I could have ended the interview right then and there.

I sat down with the lovely and gracious Susan Lucci (yes, that Susan Lucci, the one who was on both my late Eastern European Holocaust-surviving Zaydie’s and my bucket lists) and gorgeous and hilarious Ana Ortiz (yes, of Ugly Betty fame) on a very large chair at The Windsor Arms hotel to discuss their new Lifetime show Devious Maids, premiering on Sunday, June 23 at 10pm ET, and ended up discussing so much more than that—being a working mom, being a mom who gushes over her children, being a fan of just kicking back at night with some fun, mindless entertainment.

“Can I take just a moment to talk about my daughter?” Susan Lucci asks me, grinning that fabulous grin from ear to ear.

“Yes! Gush about her. Of course!” I am a mother, three times over. I am a big fan of the Mama gush.

“Well, two-and-a-half years ago Liza sat my husband and me down at the dining room table and told us about her idea, about Sage Spoonfuls. She had a name, she knew how it was going to look, she had a vision, and she, oh, she’s just terrific. So, now Sage Spoonfuls has grown and she has this amazing book and all of these products to go with it. She has won awards from mom communities all over the United States and also in Canada. She’s even going into Babies R Us nationwide.”

“There seems to be a big shift with moms making a lot of their own food for themselves and for their children too. Lots of mom are making baby food."

“Yes! It's funny because I made my own baby food. I just wanted to give them the best start possible. There was a scare when Liza was born about preservatives and now Liza has just taken this to a whole new level. She says, 'WE ARE NOT SHORT-ORDER COOKS, Mom! We can do this like you used to, only now it’s an easy grab-and-go system for moms..and dads.'"

"Tell me about Devious Maids. It seems so very Downton Abbey for the modern generation!"

“It’s so refreshing," Susan Lucci is quick to answer. "So fresh. Everything, even down to the music. ”

Ana chimes in. “And, it's based on a novella. It has that soap opera edge to it and we are really able to push the envelope and go places that normally a show wouldn’t. And, of course, because we have Mark Cherry as our leader, there's just this incredible balance between a campy, fun, sexy romp but then these real issues that we’re dealing with and these real realtionships and complex lives.”

I say something about how this idea that you have these women in your home, as employees, but yet they know absolutely every single thing about you. I have been a working mom for as long as I have been a mom (just over 12 years) and so I have had many nannies in my home to help me with watching the kids and tidying and cooking. I often wonder what the nannies in the neighborhood would discuss when I was at work and they were getting together at the park. Probably how big of a slob I am. It's almost like this show was tailor-made for me.



I could have ended the interview right then and there.

But because I like to ramble, I kept talking. “This show feels like it's right in my pocket. And I have a feeling that it’s right in the pocket of many of our readers too.”

We talked about how Mark Cherry is just an unbelieveable storyteller, who writes page-turners for this incredible ensemble cast to tell. And this cast seems like one I'd like to get together with and have a coffee and...some homemade baby food (see what I did there?). Ana says that as a mom especially—she has an almost-4-year-old and a 20-month old—this set was a great place for her. "My daughter will come on set and see everybody and we are such a tight ensemble. And I’m a mom, Susan’s a mom, Roselyn Sánchez is a mom, Judy Reyes is a mom, so there’s just so much support and leaning and advice giving and advice taking and it’s just been the most wonderful group of people."

"And that chemistry definitely translates on screen. The respect, admiration, just generally liking each other. People would actually come to the set on their days off. That's very telling, isn't it?"

I couldn't help but think that this is the greatest environment your children could see you in, isn't it? I love that my children can see and know that I absolutely love the people I work with every day. How nice for Ana's kids to see that too.

Well, I certainly am excited to see this cast in action.

And Ana Ortiz agress. "Mommies!" She says, "This is the perfect escapism. It's so nice to just go there for an hour. I really don't want to have to watch a show about another person getting murdered on the street…"

Me, piping in. "Oh yes, I'm a big fan of just sitting back at night when the kids are in bed with a cup of tea in one hand, a remote in the other and ahhhhhhh, dramedy."

And we all think you will be a big fan too.

You can catch Devious Maids premiering on Sunday, June 23 at 10pm ET on Lifetime.

Psst. Like my interview style? Perhaps you want to check out my daughter's interview style.