THEATERMANIA: How did you find out about this production?
MH: My team sent this to me. I read it and the play spoke to me. Ethan McSweeny, our director, is a very good friend of mine and we have been longing to work together for a long time.
TM: This is your second time working with Primary Stages. What appeals to you about this company?
MH: I did a production of Sabina here, and it was the most challenging and wonderful role I have been given. I also think that they nurture the work at Primary Stages. They are hands-off, but at the same time, they offer the playwright amazing support.
TM: How would you describe your character, Meena?
MH: Meena was a poet in the past, before the beginning of the play, and she has given that up. She is working for a magazine to make money and for stability. Her heart has been broken in her artistic pursuit, because there is a lot of rejection.
TM: The play is also a love story, isn't it?
MH: She finds a man who is a doctor and she falls for him. He wants to help her. She is somewhat lost emotionally. The two lead characters are approaching middle age and they haven't found love yet.
TM: Specialized prescription drugs are increasingly common these days and this play has an interesting idea about looking at people taking drugs for particular types of depression. Do you think that's a good idea?
MH: We all walked into rehearsals with the same question. As far as I know, there are no drugs in development for workplace depression; but you never know, maybe by the end of this run, pharmaceutical companies will have an idea. I'm not knocking these drugs because they do help people. But at one point in the show, we question whether there is a madness in the way we seek drugs.
TM: Do people think you're like your Two and a Half Men character, Judith Harper?
MH: I'm so unlike that character! She is aggressive, fierce, argumentative, demanding. I don't live that way. Judith wouldn't be easy to hang out with. My son is eight years old. While he has never watched the sitcom, he knows about the character and always says my mommy is not like that at all. He is almost apologizing for my character. On the playground, moms would sometime separate themselves from me because they think I am like Judith.
TM: Will we see you back on the show this season?
MH: Maybe after this play is over. I did a pilot for HBO last year and I got released from my Two and a Half Men contract to do that. So far, they have used me twice this season, and in one episode I kissed Ashton Kutcher. I would love to shoot more episodes.