Lecy Goranson began playing Becky Conner when she was just 14 years old, and not even she could have imagined the emotional twists and turns in store for her character.
With Becky's sobriety on the line after taking that drink with her old friend, Mikey, Lecy shares her thoughts on Becky's current conundrum and what she hopes to see for Becky in the future. Not to mention the actress' choice of tattoos and whether fans can expect The Conners to be renewed for Season 4!
(Warning: If you haven't watched The Conners Season 3 Episode 15 and 16, there are SPOILERS AHEAD!)
What’s it like to be playing a character you helped create as a teenager?
Lecy: Oh my gosh. It’s really interesting. You know, it’s not just the character; it’s the context of being with the other actors for this long.
But you really get a sense of history, and it feels much more like a family, I think. We’ve been through so much together both on and off-screen, so there’s a lot of depth and a lot of history there, which is pretty amazing.
Were you surprised when the show came back that writers decided that Becky was an alcoholic, and did you have any input into that decision?
Lecy: I didn’t. That was when we came back for the reboot. That was something that was surprising to me because it wasn’t very aligned with who she was. She was always kind of the overachiever. I mean, she was mischievous and whatever, but yeah, I was pretty surprised about that.
And also surprised that she got pregnant and that she got sober right away. Those were all surprises. But in terms of starting to drink again, that was less of a surprise to me because I think with all the pressure that Covid has brought everyone in the world, I could see that that was enough to break someone down.
You did a fantastic job in the scene where Becky has dinner with Mike. The audience could really feel all the emotions Becky was feeling as she told Mike this story of how she wished her life had turned out. What was it like to play that scene?
Lecy: I loved that scene because I think the real tragedy of it is that this is someone who loves Becky.
This is someone who, if Becky had said, I’m working at the factory, I have a drinking problem, I feel that I’ve fallen behind, I think that Mikey would have said, “I still love you. You’re still a good person. You’re still someone that I value. You’re still intelligent.”
And the sad thing is that she just couldn’t be authentic with him. She couldn’t be herself. I just thought that was so moving and kind of a missed opportunity to be loved by this person, that’s an old friend.
But it was also kind of this Cinderella moment, which we joked about. But it really was kind of this moment where she’s at this beautiful restaurant, and in a way, I think she just kind of got swept up in the moment. She kind of started to believe her lie.
Was there a specific tipping point in that conversation that pushed Becky over the edge where she decided to take that drink, or did you see this as inevitable as though it had been building over a period of time?
Lecy: I think it was both. I think it was an opportunity.
In her mind, when the wine comes over, she wanted to be someone else, so part of being someone else was someone who could have a drink and be like this friend of hers and share in this moment.
For her, it was almost like a moment where she would be normal. I think, inside, she feels so abnormal for so many different reasons. So having that drink of wine was a way of her feeling normal.
And sharing with this person may be someone who she thought she could be, someone she thought she was going to be.
In this two-parter where Becky is at a low point, and the family confronts her, what was it like to film the scene where things get physical, and Jackie puts Becky up against the refrigerator?
Lecy: Yeah, it was in the script, and we did have a fight choreographer come in to just do that move. Laurie (Metcalf) and I wanted it to feel very natural, which is hard when you only have a little bit of time to rehearse.
It was intense. Becky really goes after her. I think Becky is very much driven by her baby. This is a mother lioness with her cub. Yeah, it was very intense to film.
It’s the kind of thing where you want to pat Laurie on the back afterward and say, “We’re okay.”
The Conners was one of the first shows to come back during the fall of 2020. What has it been like to film this season with all of the Covid-19 precautions?
Lecy: We’re all done filming. We were very lucky, but I don’t think it’s just luck. I think everyone was very appreciative to be working. I think all of us know people who are out of work, particularly actors.
For all of my friends in New York who are stage actors, this has been a real crisis. For many, many different types of work, unemployment is pretty crazy.
But everyone really stepped up to the plate. We made it through, and we really didn’t shut down. We shut down for a week because everyone in LA shut down, but apart from that, we made it through.
When we finished the season, we all said, “Oh my gosh. We did it.”
How many total episodes are in this season?
Have you heard anything about the show being renewed for another season?
Lecy: There have been positive whisperings, but I’m not sure, for sure. Fingers crossed. I hope so. We don’t want to leave Becky like this.
You have a writer credit for the episode, “Throwing a Christian to a Bear.” That was one of the funniest episodes of this series. Was there a specific inspiration for coming up with that story? Do you have any plans to write more?
Lecy: Oh good! And I did. I’m from outside of Chicago. My hotel room is overlooking Wrigley Field right now. I’m going to my third game since I’ve been here and my fourth game tomorrow.
Needless to say, I’m a big Chicago sports fan, and because The Conners is set in the “greater Chicago-land area,” as we call it, I thought the one thing that was really missing from the show was the sports because it’s such a big part of Chicago culture.
I have this group of guys I hang out with in LA when I’m there, who are from Chicago, and we watch the Bears games. I was thinking, what is it about us that makes us so crazy? What makes us fans? What makes us yell and scream at the TV? What makes us this way?
I started to think about my grandparents and kind of the legacy of sports and how it’s inherited. I wanted Dan to impart that to Mark and try to explain to him what being a sports fan is about.
I thought it was funny to have Becky dating someone who is a Cheesehead because it’s so irrational, in a way, from afar.
I’ll never forget when the door swings open, and the audience sees him and sees The Conners see this Cheesehead. The audience just lost their minds, and it was perfect.
Do you have any other thoughts on where Becky is headed on the series, be it her career or personal life?
Lecy: That’s an interesting question. The one thing I really had fun with this year was when Becky became the union rep at the factory.
I liked that she had that pluck and had some kind of leadership abilities, even though her duty was to fake giving people drug tests on her lunch break.
That wasn’t very glamorous, but I’d love to see her keep going in that vein, whether the organizer or still the union leader. But I’d love to explore that part of her because that was just so much fun.
Some of your fans wanted me to ask you about the tattoo on your arm that says “death before dishonor.” Is it real, and what inspired you to get it?
Lecy: It’s real. I’m someone who loves antiquities, and I love vintage things. It’s an original Sailor Jerry design, and I’ve always really liked his work.
I wanted to get something with a sword and a heart together. It’s a classic Sailor Jerry image. Also, I studied romantic poetry in college, and the romantics talked about intellect and emotions coming together, and I thought the sword and the heart symbolize that.
When I saw it, I also know that part of Sailor Jerry’s legacy was tattooing soldiers. It was an image that I responded to.
At the time, a lot of women were getting tiny, little hearts, and I thought this was kind of like a badass statement for a woman to have a badass tattoo like that, so my feminist came out a little bit.
If you could play a character on any other show on TV, which show would you choose? What would be your dream role on TV?
Lecy: Wow! I think I would have to choose some kind of action hero situation. You know what I mean, where there’s running and jumping through windows, and driving fast cars. All of the things that I wouldn’t do because I’m too frightened.
But I’d also like to do a Downton Abbey where I could wear period costumes like that. I was just talking about my love of vintage things, so that would be fantastic.
Check out our review of The Conners Season 3 Episode 16, and don't forget, you can watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.