“I had to learn how to clean,” Élodie Yung joked at a virtual press conference to promote the new FOX drama The Cleaning Lady. She plays the lead character Thony in the series, a doctor who gives up everything for her sick son, becoming an undocumented worker in Las Vegas while waiting for a bone marrow donor to match. Her journey to save her son forces her to become a cleaning lady for the leader of a powerful crime syndicate who is also being investigated by the FBI. As you can guess by now, knowing how to clean wasn’t a prerequisite for playing the lead in this series, but being able to act definitely was.
“I really wanted to embody Thony the way I saw her, which was she's a Cambodian immigrant coming from the Philippines to America,” Élodie Yung explained about her character. “I grew up with my dad, who is Cambodian, but we grew up in France.” Playing a character with an immigrant background gave the actress the ability to put all of herself into the role. “I was so glad that I could be seen for the first time for really who I am as a whole person, with my origins, my background, and also, just what I could bring as an actor. And there's so many layers. She's a mother; she fights for the life of her son. And I can also, very much, relate to this. I'm a mother, myself. It was such a strong part and draining, but beautiful to have, to put myself in her shoes and be with Thony the whole journey.”
“I connected with Élodie immediately,” shared Oliver Hudson, who plays FBI Agent Garrett Miller. “We just hit it off, and almost too much because we're supposed to be doing a drama, and half the time, she's cracking up during the scenes that are not supposed to be funny in any way, shape, or form. We had to stop being children, and actually become adults, to finish some of these scenes because it was just that much fun. And, to me, I love the work; there's no doubt about it, but there's a beautiful energy coming onto a set, especially something like this, where it's so welcoming. Everyone is so excited to be doing something great. You can feel when it's all working well, and this show is always really firing on all cylinders, and every day was just a blast.”
“Thony's drive to save her son is so powerful, and in combination with the high stakes that come with the FBI investigation through Garrett, and her relationship with the crime world through Arman, the show really looks at families in different ways,” president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment Michael Thorn shared about what makes The Cleaning Lady so special. “There's such surprising emotional or comedic elements that come out of that part of the show, which you will see in full color as we get past the pilot.”
The Cleaning Lady marks a first for executive producer Melissa Carter, who serves as showrunner. “She is an excellent showrunner, everyone in the cast and crew loved her,” shared Miranda Kwok, who also executive produces in addition to writing. “As a first-time creator, I couldn't have asked for a better partner. And she really taught me a lot, we had a really great partnership and friendship.” Melissa Carter echoed the feelings around the series. “It was an amazing experience all around. I'm just so excited for the world to see this show. I'm so excited. Let's go.”
The Cleaning Lady premiered Monday, January 3rd on FOX. The premiere episode is now available on demand and streaming on Hulu. New episodes air Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.