Wednesday’s (March 12) episode of “Suburgatory” will present Dallas Royce as you’ve never seen her: without makeup and wearing flats.
It’s a big departure for Cheryl Hines’ character, and a not-insignificant one for Hines herself. “Honestly, it was a milestone for me as an actress,” she tells Zap2it. “I don’t particularly like going out in public without makeup on, so why would I do it on a TV show with millions of people watching? I don’t know. But I do think it helps her realize who she is underneath all the hair and makeup and Spandex.”
In the episode, “I’m Just Not That Into Me,” Dallas and Dalia (Carly Chaikin) hire a matchmaker to help them find new men, but when Dallas isn’t able to come up with any specifics about what she wants in a man, the matchmaker tells her she needs to go on a date with herself first.
It leads to a very funny scene in which Dallas is talking to herself — “I felt insane shooting it,” Hines says — and then a pretty radical make-under. Hines notes that getting to wear flats for a while was a great relief.
“It was! I got to wear flats for the first time on ‘Suburgatory.’ And corduroy — I think I was wearing a corduroy skirt. But it was the most comfortable outfit I have ever worn on this show, and it was so interesting seeing how the other side lives,” Hines says with a laugh. “I could have shot that scene all day — except during the breaks when I would look in the mirror and go, ‘What the …? What am I thinking?’ Because the … creative team kept saying, ‘She needs to look worse. She needs to have less makeup on.’ So I kept letting them talk me into that, and then when I saw the episode, I really thought, Oh my God, what have I done?”
Don’t expect the change to be permanent, though. Dallas comes to realize — thanks to Dalia, of all people — that the big hair and big heels really are part of who she is.
“It’s very sweet,” Hines says of Dallas and Dalia’s heart-to-heart. “That’s what’s so great about ‘Suburgatory’ — our writers are so talented at writing very funny dialogue and at the same time writing about real moments that people have in their lives. It’s a nice balance of being able to laugh at ourselves and being able to stop for a minute and saying, ‘Yeah, I do have a good relationship with my daughter,’ or my son, or my boyfriend, whatever it is. They’re very good at that.”
As for Dallas’ future, Hines says a forthcoming episode where she travels home to see her family “something you do not want to miss”: “Everything about Dallas’ family is even bigger than Dallas,” she says. “She looks mild and tame compared to her family.”
Dallas and George (Jeremy Sisto) will also warm back up to each other a bit in the future. “They do get friendly again, and they start to miss each other a little bit,” Hines says. “They spend time trying to stay away from each other, but it’s not that successful.”
“Suburgatory” airs at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday on ABC.