'I’m nothing like Madison, I’m the opposite of her' Amanda Fuller on playing polar opposite roles at the same time and ‘Last Man Standing’ revival
After the sudden cancellation of ‘Last Man Standing’ on ABC, actress Amanda Fuller got cast in ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and is now juggling both roles
In 2017 ABC decided to pull the plug on one of its highest rated shows ‘Last Man Standing’. With rumors swirling as to why the cancellation happened, the cast and the fans were not ready to let the family sitcom go. However, the actors themselves had to move on and find their next job, including one of the stars of the series Amanda Fuller who played Kristin Baxter.
While Fuller was devastated about the cancellation, she was elated to get cast on a show she has always loved and admired - Netflix’s ‘Orange Is The New Black’ - as one of the most hated villains on television, “Badison” Murphy.
Cut to a year later and there were still murmurs of ‘Last Man Standing’ being revived, but it was all just talk until Fuller got the official call from Fox telling her they were bringing the show back and of course wanted her to reprise her role. MEAWW spoke to Fuller who gave us an inside look into what it was like to get that call and how she made the decision to juggle both projects.
“I was pretty shocked and didn’t know what to make of it at the time because I had moved on in such a drastically new way with ‘Orange Is The New Black’, but also I longed to be able to have some closure with that family and at least have a chance to finish it right. We worked very hard to figure out how I could do both because I definitely wasn’t done with ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and in my mind, I had to be able to do both in order to make it work. It was kind of a blessing in disguise the way it happened, but it has been quite a journey for sure,” Fuller said.
After the show’s original cancellation, there were rumors swirling that ABC no longer wanted the show on its network because of Tim Allen’s political leanings and how the storyline was tied into the narrative of the show. If true, Fuller found that really unfortunate, because families being politically divided is what is actually going on throughout America, and finding humor and compassion in that, only helps.
“I think ‘Last Man Standing’ is such an important show to have on the air right now because it’s a safe place for families to go. They can watch together and laugh and be together while accepting the fact that they might not agree politically and that’s ok. And, at the end of the day, love and respect is all that matters and maybe this world would be a better place if we all practiced that. I feel very lucky to be a part of a show that represents that and encourages that in today’s political climate,” she added.
While Fuller’s role on ‘Last Man Standing’ is in many ways just an extension of herself, her role on ‘Orange Is The New Black’ couldn’t be more different than who she is in real life. Even though Fuller received massive backlash after the world was introduced to Madison, all that meant was that she was doing her job right, as she plays one of the most evil and unlikeable characters on television. A sensitive woman herself, Fuller spoke on how it was difficult, at first, to accept all of the hate thrown her way because of the polarizing character she was playing.
“I think the headlines were like ‘The most hated character of all time!’ I am honestly used to playing unlikeable characters, but it had just been a while and it had never been on such a big platform. So, it was new to be playing such an intensely specific character that people have a very strong, extreme opinion of on a platform where people are very vocal about their reactions. I’m a people pleaser and I’m nothing like Madison, I’m the opposite of her, and I am incredibly sensitive and vulnerable, so it’s not easy for me to take on that kind of hatred, but I also know that that’s a part of the job. That’s also her character, she’s a bully and a lunatic and it’s not like I want people to like her, I think it's good that the world doesn’t like her, so I have to accept it,“ the actress said.
Fuller is clearly one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, playing two majorly different roles on two hit television series that are shooting at the same time. Acting since she was just eight years old, Fuller feels like her hard work and commitment are finally paying off. “I feel like I am at a point in my career where things that I want are actually starting to happen. I don’t feel like such a victim to the career anymore and I feel like I have a little more control and I'm hoping that continues.”
Make sure to catch Fuller on ‘Last Man Standing’ on Fox on Fridays at 8/7c and on both, the sixth season of 'Orange Is The New Black' as well as the seventh and final season.
Cover photo credit: Photographed by Anastasia Nora-Lee