Maura Tierney fought breast cancer, which was publicly documented last year when she had to leave NBC’s Parenthood to be replaced by Lauren Graham. Now she’s back to fight for the law as a district attorney on ABC’s new show The Whole Truth. She told the Television Critics Association why she’s ready to get back to work.
“I’m good,” Tierney said at the TCA fall press tour. “I’m healthy so that was that. Then I read the script and I liked it so that was that. That’s how I decided.”
When she went public with her health news, the public support gave her a new perspective on the work she chooses. “I probably have a new perspective on everything in general and I was greatly appreciative. It’s a wonderful feeling to know people are caring about something you do that I’ve been doing for 20 years. So I think it’s a blanket statement that my perspective has and probably should change more. As far as work goes, partially [Whole Truth Executive Producer] Tom [Donaghy] and I are friends. Actual real friends, not Hollywood friends. We went to college together. It’s a priority for me to work with people I really like and trust. It’s too much time involved of your life to not enjoy it. I guess that’s somewhat adjusted.”
TV was not the first thing on Tierney’s mind after recovering, but Donaghy wrote a role just for her. “I wasn’t really thinking about anything and I wasn’t thinking about doing another show but I really responded to the character that Tom wrote because he wrote it for me. My ego’s not involved there at all. It was an appealing character because she’s so serious. She’s dear, and it’s funny. I thought it was interesting to find a character with such a great sense of humor but was so driven. I consider this an ensemble show really and I like to watch ensemble shows, so that was not a consideration.”
The Whole Truth takes Tierney back to her ER days of fast paced camera and lots of dialogue. Only now, instead of a hospital, she’s spouting legalese in a courtroom. “We did that yesterday. Not that I didn’t make any mistakes, but it’s like a reflex for me at this point. I was like why don’t we just take the steadicam everywhere? So yeah, it’s very helpful that I had to do so much of that on the other show because it’s just in my muscle memory now.”
The Whole Truth is coming to ABC this fall.