Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin Talk 'Black Sheep' Characters and 'Huffy' Moms in CBS Mystery 'So Help Me Todd' (Exclusive)

Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin star in the new CBS series So Help Me Todd, a fun mystery-comedy about defense attorney Margaret Wright and her prodigal P.I. son, Todd. PopCulture.com had a chance to speak with Harden and Astin who shared with us what they like best about their roles. For Astin, he likes that Todd is a "black sheep" character, while Harden enjoys how "huffy" she gets to play Margaret.

"I love playing a black sheep of a family, and I also liked playing someone who's left of center," Astin told PopCulture. "It gives him a lot of an area to explore, but also being that he's starting from the bottom, it gives him a lot of places to go. I also love the fact that he is a private detective because I think there's a lot of quirkiness there, especially in his tactics. He's a bit of a wild card, a bit of a renegade." He continued, "And another thing that attracted me to the script was, of course, the two-hander aspect of it. The mother, Margaret Wright, a high-powered attorney... Just how they are so opposite, yet have to learn how to work together even though they are estranged."

When asked her favorite part of the show, Harden quipped, "I like Margaret's wardrobe, pretty much." She then added, "First of all, I adore Skylar, and he's a theater guy. And so we have that in common. We immediately hit it off. We immediately started playing together on set in this wonderful banter that they've given the two of them."

The iconic actress continued how it's also a tad personal for her as a mom. "I have my own kids, so I totally get this dynamic of a mom wanting her kids to succeed, to fly. But the mother's fault is that she kind of wants them to fly the way she flew. And I'm way guilty of that," she said. "And so it's fortunate... I guess I'm a little more advanced than Margaret right now because I learned a long time ago: you got to let your kids be who they are. But she's learning that, and she's learning it. She's also really, really huffy, and I love that about her. Just imperious and huffy and for me that's half the fun."

Finally, for curious viewers who are wondering about the storyline structure of the show, Astin assures there is a case of the week, which follows the procedural format. "But it's a real case at the heart of it, and of course, the long-term storytelling is the family. And each episode, you do learn a little bit more about them, as people, and how they work together and how they work differently. And of course, there are long arcs of storylines with some of the other supporting characters as well." 

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So Help Me Todd airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Paramount+ subscribers can also watch the show live, or stream it the next day. Those interested in trying out a free trial of Paramount+ can do so by clicking here