USA Today interviews Sally Field & Maura Tierney : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

This article appeared in today's USA Today

Mother's touch adds manic side to life on 'ER' By Peter Johnson, USA TODAY November is Take Your Mother to Work Month on Fox's Ally McBeal and NBC's ER.

That Girl's Marlo Thomas plays Jami Gertz's mom for two episodes on Ally starting Nov. 27. Thursday on ER, the Flying Nun herself, Sally Field, shows up as Abby's (Maura Tierney) unstable and unpredictable mother, Maggie, who suffers from manic-depression.

Bipolar disorder "is a huge problem in this country," Field said Monday. "As an actor, it's really fun and exciting to explore this kind of condition."

Abby has "a very troubled and tense relationship with her," says Tierney, whose character has gone through some pretty troubled and tense situations this season. ER's writers, she said, could have tried to sweeten the relationship between mother and daughter, but they didn't. "It's not always a pretty thing, but it's real."

Writers have had a field day with Abby this season, sending her back to nursing (she was a medical student, but her ex didn't pay her bill) and revealing that she's a recovering alcoholic. "I'm not sure what happens down the road with that," Tierney says of the booze.

Writers also gave her "a bad first date" with Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) when both were mugged and Kovac killed the attacker.

"We're seeing more of her personal side," Tierney says. "It's all about starting over: having to go back to nursing, dealing with my mother, not having to depend on my husband for medical school. Dramatically, it gives me a lot more choices to work with."

Maggie's three-episode arc ends Dec. 7, and by then viewers will have seen "several different shades of the manic (Maggie), and then at the end it's pretty scary," Field says.

Field returns to ER in the spring.

Field says the disorder is such that nearly everyone knows someone B a family member, a friend B who, in retrospect, they suspect had or has it.

Field says a part of her wondered whether she might be manic-depressive. But she quickly learned that she isn't, because sufferers often stay manic for days and don't sleep. "By the end of the day, I couldn't wait for my head to hit the pillow."

-- T Lem (, November 14, 2000


Thanks for posting this T Lem. I don't know about anyone else but I'm glad their doing this storyline. Bi-polar is a serious disorder and unfortunaltely sometimes it's not diagnosed correctly. I had a friend who was bi-polar but noone knew that until she killed herself. Her doctor had told her parents that it was just a teenage phase. Maybe his will make people more aware of the disorder. I'm hoping it does.

-- Cammie (, November 14, 2000.

And this article was in the NY Daily News:

-- JLS (, November 14, 2000.

Sally Field will not be appearing in 3-consecutive episodes according to the Daily News article. Does this mean that we'll get a re-run on Nov. 30th or is it just that she won't appear in that eppy. Does anybody remember if Alan Alda last year appeared in 3-consecutive episodes?

-- abigail (, November 14, 2000.

"All In The Family" re-airs on the 30th. New episodes on December 7th and 14th and then "How The Finch Stole Christmas" and "Be Patient" will air the 21st and 28th.

-- JLS (, November 15, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ