Now that the corona pandemic is subsiding there is an emergence of new shows and movies making their way out to the public. In the number of rising shows, one being discussed is a mockumentary sitcom that is best described as Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, and even a little Abbott Elementary style.
Welcome to Flatch has it all, comic dialogue, beautiful landscapes, and even a dance fight. It comes as no surprise that with these elements all together a character like Mandy Matthews or as she is lovingly referred to as “Big Mandy”, would come to be an instantly loved character.
BGN had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Smith over the phone about her new role as Big Mandy in Welcome to Flatch. Smith had so much insight on her character and even a little advice for women.
For our audiences who might not be familiar with the show yet, what can you tell us about your character?
She is very direct. She is a woman of many talents, but the kind you discover during the series. I would also like to say that she is a strong and independent woman who is very decisive. There is a softness to her also that I think is overlooked. She is seen as intimidating, which she is, but she is also very loving and kind in so many ways. She is just an amazing character.
Can you tell us what you most admire about Big Mandy?
If there is just one thing about her that I can say that I admire, it would have to be that she is unapologetically herself. I admire everything about her, from her directness to her ability to be a badass who can fight.
[Laughs] Can I say you two might have a lot in common then?
I know that you have a lot in common with Big Mandy, but can you tell us how you two are different?
Well, she is definitely more masculine than I am. She dresses outdoorsy, and I like to dress in a way that shows a little more skin. Oh, I also don’t have Mandy’s talents for tattoos. I have no idea how to do tattoos, but she is somehow worse at them [laughs]. She attempts things that I would never dare to.
I love that your character has an air of confidence. Would you consider yourself to be a confident person? Also, how do you project that onto the screen?
She is noticeably confident. The funny thing is that I don’t think that I am where she is in terms of confidence. I do, however, practice confidence every day. To quote Queen Rhianna, on days I don’t feel like that bitch, I still project, work, and practice and do what I need to do to feel like I am. So, I fake it until I make it.
How do you tackle portraying a character that dislikes another character?
The best thing about this is that we all know it’s just playing pretend. So even if I have to yell at someone and make it seem like we are not on good terms, once it’s done, we know that it’s all just to make it seem believable. The great thing about this is that we have an environment where we can do this and everyone understands that this is just for fun, so no one takes anything said personally.
Is there anything about playing Big Mandy that is challenging?
I don’t think there is anything challenging about playing her. I love her a lot, and I am a big fan of hers. She is so fun, and it’s so easy to slip into the character.
We all want to know this, what made you want to be a part of this project?
From the moment I read the character, I immediately thought, “wow, this is me”. I couldn’t imagine not playing her. This is the type of show that I wanted to be a part of since I saw Parks and Recreation. I was in love with the show when it came out, how it was shot, and it was so funny!
I just knew I had to be a part of something like that. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to play such an amazing character for a show like this. I love that this is set in a small town, there is so much that happens in small towns that people are not aware of.
I really like that Big Mandy has been featured more in the show. What can we expect from her going forward?
We are going to see more of her hidden talents going forward. We will find out she is kind and softer than anyone would have expected her to be. Oh, but of course, we will expect more funny moments with her talents being revealed.
I would love to talk about your character’s sexuality and how expressive she is when it comes to that. What is it like to play a role like this?
I actually didn’t know anything about her sexuality until I read the script for the dance scene. When I read that, I just approached it like I would with any project. I ask a lot of questions. That’s just who I am; I am a curious person. So, I just have fun with it. I enjoy the facets of her, and I like playing them.
Is there a piece of advice you would like to offer our readers?
I do, actually. This advice is specific to women. I think women should not be afraid of being selfish or a villain. I think it’s okay to be selfish and be the villain, and women shouldn’t be afraid to be one or another.
I love a good villain!
Welcome to Flatch is available on Fox and can be streamed on Hulu.
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Donnie Lopez is a gay Latino/Hispanic social and political commentator, writer, entertainment journalist, and professor. He writes on topics that affect Hispanic/Latino culture. With his novel insight, veracity, and sense of humor, he entertains as well as educates the world.