It took some time getting used to an animated co-star, but Forest Hill-raised Kate Hewlett has learned to draw from her experience.
The writer-actor plays mom, Lisa Stanley, to three teens on the original YTV series, The Stanley Dynamic, and one of them just happens to be a cartoon.
“That took some getting used to, because you’re acting with no one there, but I did that on Stargate,” she notes. On four episodes of Stargate Atlantis she played sister to scientist Rodney McKay, played by her real-life sibling, David Hewlett. In one scene she was seeing double. “There were two versions of my brother, which is a nightmare to imagine.”
The animated offspring in her current show, Luke, along with his twin brother Larry, sister Lori, and their bumbling cartoonist dad, Lane, provide new challenges for the Bishop Strachan School alumna.
Season 2 of the sitcom premiered Feb. 27, and Hewlett said she was excited for its launch.
“I think in the first season, which was really strong, everyone was still trying to find their feet,” she says. “Now, everyone’s so comfortable in their characters, and the writing is excellent. I think everything just went further: it got sillier, and my husband got dumber.”
Hewlett knows a thing or two about writing. When she’s not playing mom on The Stanley Dynamic, or on Degrassi she’s writing for Backstage. She also proved to be a force on the staff of the L.A. Complex.
Kids’ shows, she admits, are a little more over the top. But Hewlett has had fun in her first foray in the genre.
“I’ve pursued it a bit more, both on the writing side and acting side,” she says. “It’s very hopeful and joyful.”
There have been some bittersweet moments for Hewlett. This season features guest appearances from Michael Gross of “Family Ties” fame, Jaleel White of “Family Matters” and Alan Thicke, who died suddenly in December, after playing hockey.
“It was such a shock,” Hewlett admits. “I was really devastated by that. He’s a family friend of Michael Barbuto [who plays Lane Stanley], so he was devastated.”
Still, the show must go on, and Thicke will appear posthumously in episodes 25 and 26. The show airs Monday to Friday at 6 p.m.
“To get a chance to work with Michael Gross and Alan Thicke — people I used to watch in sitcoms while growing up — was such a lovely experience,” Hewlett adds.