The Middle’s Patricia Heaton: What is She REALLY Like?

The Middle’s Patricia Heaton: What is She REALLY Like?

I had an amazing opportunity this week.  I had the privilege of interviewing Patricia Heaton!

You may know her as Frankie Heck from The Middle or Debra Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.

If you only know her from Everybody loves Raymond and haven’t watched The Middle yet, here’s what it’s all about:

patricia heaton

The Middle is a far cry from one of *those* family sitcoms with the perfect husband & wife couple, lovely kids, manicured lawn, and picket fence. The Middle finds the humor in the real struggles and situations that families go through every day. Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton), is a middle-aged, middle class, Midwestern working mother who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her quirky family through each day. Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but Frankie Heck must be some kind of superhero. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to just about any length. Airs Wednesdays on ABC at 8:00/7:00c.

Interview with Patricia Heaton

My initial star struck nerves calmed down a bit after I realized Patricia Heaton is a working mom that struggles with the same things we do.

Haven’t we all asked ourselves the following?

  • How do I manage to have a career and raise my kids at the same time?
  • What in the world am I going to serve for dinner?
  • Is it possible to fit 28 hours worth of activities into a 24 hour day?
  • Workout?  Maybe if the stars align just right…

Patricia was incredibly down to earth and real.  Not real in the I’m trying to pretend I can relate to you, but really I have a driver, cook and nanny in the wings making it all happen.  But real in the Let me put the phone down for a minute. I have 10 million things going on and my son just vomited, kind of real.

She owned up to things that I deal with on a daily basis, and I’m willing to bet you do too.  Things such as:

  • Lugging reusable grocery bags around in the trunk of your car, but forgetting to bring them into the store.
  • Stopping for Mexican fast food or a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work to feed her 4 boys.
  • Feeling the pressure about how our houses are supposed to be kept, what we’re are supposed to look like, the types of healthy snacks we should feed our kids…
  • How exhausting it is to strive to do it all and be it all while we try to cram 72 hours worth of activities into a 24 hour day.

When asked how to balance it all, Patricia had this advice for working moms (not verbatim):

Stop worrying about the things that are out of our control. Pick your battles. Simplify.  Focus on the important things in life.


There was one question I had for Patricia that had nothing to do with being a working mom, but I was just dying to know…

How much of the show is ad libbed and how much is scripted?

I know, I know – totally geeky question.  But aren’t you curious how the show comes together?

Well, Patricia answered it for us.

There’s not one single word that’s ad libbed on the show.

Can you believe it?  There’s even someone Patricia refers to as the script Nazi.  She has the thankless job of correcting the actors when they use phrases like “going to” rather than the written “gonna”.

I had no idea.   Is that what you expected?

The Middle Halloween Episode

In preparation for the interview, I was given an advance copy of The Middle’s Halloween episode that’s airing tonight.  The kids and I watched it last week with me all gaga about having the studio cut version and the kids wondering why their mom was so strange (not the first or last time they’ve wondered that).

Here’s the official blurb:

About the forthcoming October 24th episode: “Halloween III: The Driving”

As Halloween approaches, the Hecks get quite the scare when Sue receives her learner’s permit, and it’s time for Frankie and Mike to teach her how to drive. Meanwhile. Axl looks forward to voting in his first election, and Brick undergoes an unexpected transformation when he eats too much Halloween candy.

These were my favorite two scenes from the show because they felt like someone took a snapshot of my life:

patricia heaton
Wine in a box and piles of candy – what more can you want?
patricia heaton
This made me laugh remembering my wedding reception trying to find homes for the goldfish we used as centerpieces.

There’s so much more that I didn’t cover.  The show was great and I’m not going to spoil it by giving too much away, but if you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Make sure you tune in to the show and while you’re watching check out One2One Network’s #TheMiddle live Twitter Viewing Party tonight  (October 24th) beginning at 7:45 ET for your chance to win some prizes!

RSVP here to make sure you’re eligible to win one of several Amazon gift cards that will be given away.

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored post campaign for One2One Network. All opinions and star struck amazement are mine.

14 Responses to The Middle’s Patricia Heaton: What is She REALLY Like?

  1. What a great interview! I love Patricia Heaton but have never watched the Middle. It sounds like a great show – I love that pic with the box wine and massive amount of candy – looks exactly like my house on Halloween night with my three boys. I’ll definitely be tuning in! I need a new fun show to watch.

  2. I haven’t ever watched the show either, I think its on while I am running my taxi cab driver job from basketball to hockey to the chicken take out place and back to basketball. But sounds like its one I would enjoy, I’ll check it out!

    • She totally came across that way in the interview too Jenny. Very articulate, real and supportive of “letting go” of things and enjoying the moment although it’s easy as moms to get caught up in the whirlwind of life.

  3. I love Patricia Heaton. Her allure is her ability to be so real and relatable on TV. What a fantastic opportunity. And I definitely would have thought some lines were ad libbed on The Middle.

  4. I adore Patricia Heaton. The Middle is one of our family’s favorite shows! It is one we can all sit down and enjoy together. I can’t wait to see the Halloween episode!!

  5. I would’ve been so star struck and nervous to talk to one of favorite actresses! Have loved her since Raymond, and we are huge fans of the Middle. Never miss an episode. I also follow Patricia on Twitter, and I don’t normally follow celebrities. Only the REAL people, like Patricia. And, I thought of you when I saw the box of wine, Daria. LOL!

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