Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin, Maggie Q ‘Pivoting’ into series

Rick's Reviews
Pivoting on FOX

Maggie Q, Ginnifer Goodwin and Eliza Coupe play best friends in need of some changes in their life in the new FOX series “Pivoting.” (Photo courtesy of FOX)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The character of Coleen in the new FOX comedy “Pivoting” is described by cast members Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Maggie Q as being “a saint,” a person who “could do no wrong” and “a beautiful person inside and out.”

That’s high praise for a character who is never seen. Coleen was part of a close-knit group of friends – played by Coupe, Goodwin and Q – living in a small, middle-class town in New York. Before she can be seen on screen, Colleen dies and her death provides a spark for the three living friends to start asking questions about their own lives.

How those questions are addressed will start at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 9 on FOX. The new series launches after the opening episode for the second season of the Mayim Bialik comedy “Call Me Kat” at 8 p.m.

The task the three actors faced was creating the character of Colleen in their own minds. Goodwin looked at her own friendships to help her take on the challenge. That changed as the filming of the first season progressed.

“The truth is I feel like we learned so much about her as the season went along in terms of the things we said about her, and suddenly my real life application didn’t work anymore,” Goodwin says. “It didn’t fit.

“Coleen’s her own puzzle piece. It’s really just that I learned about her over the course of the season, and I will learn more about her as time goes on.”

That journey for Goodwin’s character of Jodie has her being a stay-at-home mom of three in a loveless marriage where her husband is a controlling, finance-obsessed jerk. Her pivot means getting in shape physically and emotionally. The arrival of a hot 27-year-old trainer could provide some real sparks.

Goodwin – whose credits include “Once Upon a Time,” “Big Love” and Zootopia” – admits she has done some pivoting in her own life but nothing as drastic as wanting to change careers. She realized that once she became a mom her life was no longer taking her kids along on her incredible acting life but it was how to best take care of them and then fit in acting.

Coupe’s character, Amy, is a fearless producer of a local cooking show who finds it easier to manage numerous employees than deal with her own children. Her lack of maternal instincts is balanced by her level-headed husband (Tommy Dewey).

It was easy for Coupe to understand the basic premise of the series because she faced some of the same questions about her own life in recent years. Coupe had been very busy acting in projects such as “Happy Endings,” “House of Lies” and “Scrubs” before the pandemic brought a halt to productions.

“Because of this whole pandemic thing, I was definitely, like, I don’t know if this is even something I want to do anymore. Like, is acting still a thing? Are we still doing this? Is this something people still want or need? Everything just kind of shifted,” Coupe said. “The perspective of everything was just different because of this.

“So, I was just going to move to Mexico. I kind of did.”

The pivot for Q was making the decision to move away from the home in Hawaii where she was raised. She knew that staying on the island would mean a very quiet and safe life for her but she reached a point where she knew a change had to be made. That was the beginning of what would grow into an acting career that has included such projects as “Designated Survivor” and “Divergent.”

On the new FOX series, she plays Sarah, a successful doctor who has just gone through a divorce. Sarah is sent into a tailspin that launches her pivot to a simpler, and thus happier life — working as a grocery store employee.

The three friends of the never-seen Colleen find a closer bond following her death. “Pivoting” executive producer Liz Astrof – who went through a similar experience with the death of a friend – knows a big event can either make friendship stronger or break it apart.

Astrof says, “I think that these friends have become even closer because they realize that they could lose each other. And there was a point where, in the beginning, they hadn’t seen each other in a while. But they cling to each other because they’re the only ones who understand each other’s grief and they still have each other.

“It could go either way, honestly, because sometimes you lose touch because that person isn’t the glue anymore. But they don’t need her for that, and they might have thought that, but they don’t. She had different roles with each of them, but they’re so solid.”

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