Actor Interview – Peggy Finck

Peggy takes on the iconic role of M’lynn. Anyone familiar with this story knows that this is a very heavy role to play and Peggy does it with such grace and skill. While Peggy is used to the spotlight as a public speaker this is her first time actually acting in a play. She approaches this role like only a mother can… her love feels real and her grief feels REAL. She blows us away over and over. She breaks our heart over and over. It doesn’t matter how many times you see her perform this role, as an audience member you are going to feel her emotions right along with her. Come prepared!

Goochland! This amazing woman is another one of our own! Her and her family are a fixture in our community. Show your Goochland pride and support by coming out to see her absolutely amazing performance.

Tell us a little about you!

My name is Peggy. In my real life, I work in the publishing industry as an editor, workshop presenter, and speaker. I recently hit a career milestone when I was the keynote speaker for the Las Vegas Writers Conference which was complete joy. I will be again for another conference in September which I find so funny and rewarding because I never expected life to go this way. In my past life, I was a business consultant and CPA! I have four children ranging in age from fourteen to twenty-one. My husband Chris and I moved from DC to RVA (the Fan) shortly before the first was born. Goochland has been our home since about a year before the last one was born. 

What has been the most impactful female relationship(s) in your life?

Two of the most impactful female relationships in my life have been those with my younger sisters. One of my sisters and I are only a year and four days apart in age. We were raised almost as twins. We played soccer on otherwise all-boys’ teams who weren’t thrilled to have us. Her presence gave me a sense of security which made me braver. We shared a room and pretty much everything else. We were each other’s built-in confidante and still are to this day. My other sister and I are very similar and even took the same professional paths – though I have since veered. We have the same sense of humor and taste in most things. Her first job out of college was at the consulting firm I had since left. I was then the Assistant Controller of The Kennedy Center. She would get off at the metro stop near my and my husband’s apartment after work and crash dinner several times a week which we loved and my husband tolerated. Just kidding. He loved it too. 

How is this production bringing something new to the show?

The sets of this show are insane! A ringing phone? Real salon chairs? Running water?! There is another level of genius behind this production!

Who is the least like their character in real life and makes the biggest transition for their role?

Kim as Ouiser is least like her character – not that you would know it from her incredible performance! She is the nicest, most relaxed person with such an easy, ever-present smile. How she can play a grump is a testament to her immense talent.

How is your character like you? How is she different?

I feel M’Lynn in my soul. Like her, I am a mother. Like her, I love my children with my entire being. I am protective of them, probably to a fault. One of my daughters has food allergies. Two of my children are away from home and in college. One of my daughters goes to school in the city. Like her, I worry a lot – with good reason, in my opinion, but don’t ask my children. 😉 

M’Lynn runs a little hotter than I do. I am more likely to get sorrowful than angry. 

What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

I thought my biggest challenge was going to be crying on stage in front of people. I’ve heard actors (Margot Robie comes to mind) say it’s not hard, but I couldn’t fathom that. And then we rehearsed Act 1 Scene II. I wasn’t acting like a mother whose daughter was putting her life in jeopardy and it was too late to stop her. I was a mother whose daughter was putting her life in jeopardy and it was too late for me to stop her. I didn’t plan the tears that sprang to my eyes. It was the most natural thing in the world. I couldn’t have helped them if I’d tried. 

The biggest challenge has been when M’Lynn has a line that isn’t what Peggy would say. So much of her is me that when there is a part that isn’t, that is when I’ve needed to put in the work to get to know her better. 

The other challenge is that this play is about real people. These close bonds and relationships are real and they feel real to me. My instinct is to be up close, face-to-face with the other characters, the way I interact with the people closest to me in my own life. I’m learning to open up my body to the audience.

If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?

M’Lynn is the role I have most related to since I first saw the film, long before I was a mother. I think that’s because, as the oldest child in my family, I am naturally the protector, the one who would rather take the bullet than let it hit one of “my people.” But, if I were not to play M’Lynn, I’d love to play Ouiser. Her curmudgeonly persona is so funny to me, and I adore her friendship with Clairee. But I’m probably better suited for Clairee. Like Clairee, I enjoy the arts and expanding my horizons. 

What is your favorite line?

    Too many to choose from! 

    “I must have missed the passage in Emily Post that says all abuse is heaped on the mother of the bride.”

    “The sanctuary looks like it’s been hosed down with Pepto Bismol.”

    “Hit her!”

    “Well, in a good shoe I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight.”

    “There’s so much static electricity in here I pick up everything except boys and money.”

    “Kill, Rhett! Kill!”

    Besides this one, what is your favorite stage show?

    Two of my children were in separate productions of Bright Star. I love the soundtrack for that one. It was written by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin.

    What do you do when you are not doing theatre?

    I read. A lot. I always have a print book, audiobook, and ebook going. That in addition to my clients’ materials. Though when someone asks me what I’ve read lately, I have to check my reading apps. I forget the titles almost immediately after finishing them. Once I see the title, I can recall the entire story, but without that trigger, I’m blank.

    Who should come see this show?

    My opinion on this, unsurprisingly, is EVERYONE. Okay, everyone with a sibling, child, mother, significant other, friend, heart, or sense of humor. So, yeah, everyone. 🙂

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