Jean Smart on developing her ‘Hacks’ character

The three-time Emmy winning actress shares her admiration for Phyllis Diller and the joys of working on "Mare of Easttown" with Kate Winslet during her appearance on "The View."
6:37 | 06/18/21

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Transcript for Jean Smart on developing her ‘Hacks’ character
You had a string of great rolls from "Fargo" and "Watchman" to "Mare of easttown" and now "Hacks." Are you enjoying what some are calling the Jean smartance? You can only say that if you can spell that. Jean, your role is is somebody like Joan rivers. She was a good friend of mine and of the show. We miss her. Did you ever meet her? Where else did you draw inspiration from besides her? I just always liked watching stand-ups since I was a kid. I started with Phyllis Diller. I thought she was hilarious. She looked like she was having so much fun. Of course, I watched Joan's -- Joan's early stuff in particular is brilliant. I saw Roseanne Barr before she was Roseanne Barr. I always enjoyed watching comedians. I tried not to model after anybody in particular. You weren't doing Joan rivers. It's just she was a comedian of a certain age doing what you're doing in the show. Let's talk about Phyllis Diller in a second. She was one of my most favorites. I spent time at her house and she was an artist at that me. Tell me what you know about Phyllis. When I was about 11 or 12, I'm guessing, I think I was in middle school. I watched her on TV a couple times. I just thought that woman looks like she's having so much fun. I had never seen a woman act like that before and dress so silly and very different than Lucille ball. I thought she was great. I went to a costume party dressed as her. I bought a couple of her books. She had a book on household hints that were just to an 11-year-old screamingly funny which I still quote occasionally. I have to say I love that gold suit with the matching gold shoes from the clip we saw. I would love to have something like that. It's just -- I mean, come on. It's fantastic. People have to look at you if you're wearing solid gold sequin tuxedo. You're currently starring in two shows with strong female leads. You said that roles for women over 40 were few and far between. What has happened in Hollywood to allow for more of these stories about women to be told? It was just a long time just the natural evolution. People finally realized, number one, they might make money with these stories which is going to be a prerequisite and find them just as entertaining and interesting. When they do it well, then it really works and people realize it doesn't matter if it's a man or woman helming is story if it's a great story. You and Kate winslet really bonded on the set of "Mare of easttown", and I heard she even ended up calling you mummy. You both had a similar approach to your characters. She refused to edit out a bit of belly bulge in a sex scene and you actually chose to have fat padding sewn into your clothes. Tell us about that. Well, I just -- Kate's the most down to Earth person. She's just amazing. She's all in about the story and the character. She's never had that kind of vanity. I'm actually incredibly vain. Vanity about my acting thank god is more stronger than my vanity about the rest of me. I felt like Helen should be a little rounder. I suggested that the costumer put me in butt pads. She was so happy. She almost cried. That show is incredible. I binge watched it in three days. It's amazing. What's also amazing is "Designing women" which I always watched every day after high school. It's my favorite show ever. 35 years, I can't believe it. It's now streaming on hulu and a new generation of fans discovered it during the pandemic including my niece. Why do you think it still resonates with people today and would you like to see a reboot of any kind? I really would. I stand delta Burke for all time always, and you obviously, and all women on that show. Well, in terms of a reboot, we just couldn't do it without Dixie Carter. It was a really well-written it was one of the first, if not the first, show about working women. You know, obviously we had Candice Bergen and her show, which I think started a year before ours. I'm not sure. It just was unusual to see a show where all the leads were females and set in the south too. That was unusual. In fact, the studio wanted us to do it without accents at first. I was horrified. You could not do that show without those women coming from the south and being who they were. They are unique to them. You know, it's still one of the great, great, great shows ever to be shown I think also. Jean, you have to come back any time. Any time you want to tell us about anything, we want to have you back to talk about anything. We want to tell folks thanks to Jean smart. The entire season of "Hacks" is available now on HBO max.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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