In Monday’s (Jan. 20) episode of “The Fosters,” Rosie O’Donnell makes her first appearance as the leader of a group home where Callie (Maia Mitchell) winds up. O’Donnell’s guest role came about simply because she’s a huge fan of the show, but she fits in seamlessly.
“It was amazing,” Mitchell tells Zap2it of O’Donnell’s guest turn. “She’s so cool! She’s such a big personality and she definitely brought a really fresh vibe to our show.”
O’Donnell’s character doesn’t interact much with people aside from Callie, says Cierra Ramirez. “All of that storyline is going to be so awesome. I’m really excited for those scenes — it’s completely different,” she tells Zap2it during a recent visit to the show’s Los Angeles set. “It’s like its own pilot, almost.”
Explains Mitchell, “We’ve essentially been working with an entirely separate cast of people. All the girls — I don’t know where they found these girls, but the acting is amazing. We’re led very strongly by Rosie and she, as a person in her lifestyle, definitely reflects what the show is all about with her adopting her children and all the work that she does advocating gay and lesbian rights and all the charity work, so her being on the show made a lot of sense. She does play the character beautifully. The relationship with Callie and Rita is really incredible.”
In person, O’Donnell has a reputation as being slightly eccentric, but star Teri Polo says the actress is completely genuine.
“Rosie is utterly down to Earth and lovely,” she says on set. “Rosie loves her children more than you could possibly imagine. You would see Rosie — well actually, you would hear Rosie talking on the phone with her children, shouting ‘Mama loves you!’ All Rosie talks about is her children. Rosie is who she is; what you see is what you get. Working with Rosie was really exciting.”
O’Donnell will appear in three episodes starting Monday, which also marks the first appearance of Mitchell’s “Teen Beach Movie” co-star Garrett Clayton. “The Fosters” airs Monday nights at 9 ET on ABC Family.