8:00pm Sunday, July 25 on TV2
Brooke Shields (Lipstick Jungle) makes an appearance in tonight’s special episode of The Middle, but her less than glamourous guise may surprise some fans.
Frankie (Patricia Heaton) fears that a confrontation with trashy neighbour Rita Glossner (Shields) is brewing when Sue (Eden Sher) has a run-in with her out-of-control sons. Terrified of the tough single mother of four, Frankie tries to appease her with an act of kindness – but when the peace offering fails, the gloves come off, and Frankie makes a stand on behalf of the whole neighbourhood.
Heaton was excited when she heard Shields was going to be appearing on the comedy series, as she tells Entertainment Tonight.
“I met her a long time ago in an elevator and she was so lovely and gracious, so when I heard she was coming on the show, I was just so excited,” Heaton says. “Especially because she’s playing completely against type, which is very brave of her. She is playing our horrible, skanky neighbour, who has four really nasty boys who terrorise the neighbourhood.”
The neighbourly disdain goes both ways, according to Shields, who says her character sees Frankie as “irksome, bothersome, petite and neat”. But Rita pushes Frankie too far, causing a rare moment of pure rage.
“Frankie is pretty much a go-along to get-along kind of person and always at first attempts to keep the peace,” Heaton says. “But, you know, even Frankie has her limits, and she is pushed to them. She has her Braveheart moment. She goes Braveheart on Rita, but without the blue face paint.”
Shields, who is decked out in the trashiest clothes the production team could find, says she had a ball making fun of the hilarious outfits.
“I’m finally revealing my true self. After all these years it is such a relief [to be] out of the closet,” Shields jokes. “I am wearing a mullet and it was actually my suggestion. I thought, ‘You know, she’s got to have a mullet. It can’t just be big trashy hair, it’s got to be a full-on mullet.'”
Elsewhere in tonight’s episode, Axl (Charlie McDermott) tries to bribe Brick (Atticus Shaffer) when he’s asked to teach his little brother how to kick a ball for gym class. But Brick turns the tables on Axl – bribing him for another favour.
If you have missed an episode, full episodes of The Middle will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.