The divine Mary Walsh talks passion and ‘Fury’ and never giving up on one’s dreams in this lively Herald sit down
Mary Walsh has an energy to match the saucy, fiery red accents that spice up her kitchen in her heart-of-the-city home. “Welcome! We meet again!” Walsh greets warmly, sliding her latest project – the animation of a child’s Christmas story to be released next year – to one side.
“My mother used to say; ‘What? You got stocks in The Herald? You’re always on the cover!’ That was back in the old days with the Wonderful Grand Band and CODCO of course, though I made it on last year, too, for Hatching,” she says with a wink.
She sure did. Walsh and her crazy, yet loveable dysfunctional Hatching, Matching and Dispatching crew created a new holiday classic with A Christmas Fury last year and the excitement continues.
Walsh admits she has a soft spot for Hatching. “It was wonderful bringing Hatching, Matching and the Furys together. I just did a tour from Ontario to the west as part of this show that I do which is called an ‘Evening with Mary Walsh’ and I always show a bit of Hatching. Like anything, it’s always a timing thing and Hatching was a lot ahead of its time, but it feels like it’s time has come and I really feel like it’s coming back.”
The response to the Christmas movie was mostly positive – however … “Well, the Hatching crowd had been so heartless that some fans wanted us to be more heartless, but it was Christmas! We brought in a little love, and for the most part, people loved that,” she shares.
More than anything, Walsh and her merry group of on-screen misfits had a blast.
“Shaun Majumder, Joel Thomas Hynes, Sherry White, Susan Kent, Jonny Harris, Mark McKinney, Rick Boland and Adriana Maggs … the fact that everyone was there, that the family was back together, was the best of all,” she recalls.
The Oscar goes to …
One day, it snowed the entire day they were filming outside. “We couldn’t go in so we were out in the snow for 10 hours and the weird thing was, it was so much fun! And I can’t think of why, you know? Sometimes, you get so bitter when conditions are bad, but we were thrilled and loved to be together.”
The show is always on her mind, she says. “I’d love to do a bunch of themed shows; Valentine’s, Canada Day. So you can be with the Furys for all the big days,” she shares.
Perhaps part of the fun of the show is the fact that Walsh won her first award because of it. Recently, the Fort McMurray International Film Festival honoured her with “Best Performance” for her portrayal of the family matriarch, Mamie Lou Fury.
“I never actually won an award for acting myself, so that’s a big thing,” she says, adding that she has big dreams as far as recognition is concerned.
“Do you know Doug Ford said he was going to be premier of Ontario and now he is? I’m saying, for that idiot to become premier of Ontario just for saying he would, for putting it out there, then I’m just going to say I am going to win an Oscar. Like Doug Ford, I’m going to put that out there in the universe. If it worked for Doug Ford, it will work for me. A buck a beer! I’m going to be offering everyone at the Oscars a buck a beer.”
Expect Walsh’s alias, Marg Delahunty, to interact with Mr. Ford in the near future, she teases.
There’s so much going on in Walsh’s life at the moment. She’s writing her second novel, so-far titled The Little Girl Who Grew Up Next Door to Her Family. She’s finishing up a screenplay called Come Home Year. She’s working on a television series – in the pitching stage – that sounds thrilling based on the true-life story of a well-known Newfoundland female thief. Life, she says, is grand at home, and not just for her.
‘Doing it Right’
“Allan Hawco is doing it right. He’s bringing the work here. We did what we could with CODCO and 22 Minutes, but a lot of it had to be done away. Things have changed. For the better.”
She’s also thrilled with the success former cast-mate Rick Mercer has had with his books as well.
“I’m really glad to see Rick Mercer and how well he’s done with his writing more than anything else. I always wanted to write, all I really wanted to do is write fiction. It gives me hope.”
Hope? Walsh makes a very-Mary face.
“Well, you know, if this acting thing doesn’t work out…”