This week on The Treatment, Elvis Mitchell sits down with actor and comedian Wanda Sykes, who is nominated for an Emmy this year for her guest starring role on ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ as the comedian Moms Mabley. Sykes’ most recent comedy special was last year’s ‘Not Normal,’ and her television appearances include roles on ‘Blackish,’ ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine,’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’
Sykes, whose comedic delivery has been compared to Mabley, says that her mom told her she’d been preparing for the role since she was a little girl, when she would dress up and deliver lines like the groundbreaking comedian. Sykes says the role had special meaning to her, adding, “I kept saying, I have to get this right; I have to nail this because she just means so much to me and I thought it was an opportunity to expose her to another generation of people who don’t know her.”
Sykes also discusses her early acting roles, saying that at first she was intimidated by working with Eddie Murphy in ‘The Nutty Professor 2.’ But she soon realized that for much of her time filming, Murphy wouldn’t even be there with her, and she would be delivering her lines to a tennis ball. So she says she decided, she wouldn’t let herself be intimidated by a tennis ball and gained confidence.
Sykes says her most difficult role to date has been her Emmy nominated turn as Daphne in ‘Black-ish’ because of the character’s unpredictability. “She’s going to have something to say,” says Sykes. “She’s very opinionated. It could be sound, logic, like OK, that makes sense.” Or, says Sykes, it could be something crazy. And, that’s what she says she loves about the role.