Scoop: Suburgatory Casts Tessa's Mother - Look Who Scored the Plum Part!

As far as mother-related TV reveals go, it’s Suburgatory 1, How I Met Your Mother 0.

After an exhaustive search, ABC’s sophomore comedy has tapped Malin Akerman (Rock of Ages, Childrens Hospital) to play Alex, the estranged mother of Jane Levy‘s Tessa, TVLine has learned.

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Alex, who will appear in this season’s Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes, is described as a beautiful, free-spirited singer/songwriter who’s never met her daughter. Her urge to form a relationship with Tessa has finally outweighed her fear and shame so she attempts to spend the holidays with her, hoping that the past won’t haunt either of them anymore.

“I’m a huge, nerdy fan [of Malin’s] and this was an extensive search for the right actress to play such a pivotal role in our show,” raved series creator Emily Kapnek. “It turned out to be well worth the wait. She’s funny, gorgeous and incredibly charismatic, and I know her chemistry with Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy is going to be off the charts. Malin is a comedy writer’s dream, both beautiful and comedically fearless. I’m over the moon about her agreeing to play Alex.”

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Last spring, Akerman — whose credits also include the big screen comedies Couples Retreat and 27 Dresses — snagged a lead role opposite Portia de Rossi in the ABC pilot The Smart One, but the project failed to earn a spot on the network’s fall schedule.

Suburgatory‘s second season premieres Oct. 17 at 9:30/8:30c.

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33 Comments
  1. Lena120 says:

    Well…. I can honestly say, I didn’t see that coming.

  2. M80 says:

    Nothing against Malin, but I really wanted Judy Greer :(

  3. Alex says:

    Christ, she seems a little young.

  4. Charlotte says:

    Malin Akerman is 34. Isn’t she awful young to have a high school aged daughter? Are we supposed to believe that Tessa’s parents got together and then broke up as teenagers?

    • Nick says:

      I’m not sure if her parents were high school sweethearts, but tessa is 16, so her mom would have been 17 or 18 when she had her…seems about right

    • QuinnMallory says:

      There is a reason why Tessa’s mom wasn’t around. Having a kid extremely young is probably a part of the story.

  5. b says:

    she’s only 3 years younger than sisto, makeup will age her up appropriately, great choice!

  6. Kate says:

    Is she old enough for that role?

    • Alan says:

      make up does wonders for this sort of stuff, let me point you to community, the guy who played pierce’s dad was actually about 10 years younger than chevy chase and yet it was perfectly believable that he was much older than chevy

  7. Britta Unfiltered says:

    She looks really young. And Jane Levy is also much older than she looks (I believe she’s in her 20s in real life, right?) So I’m guessing the two actresses are not that far apart in age.

    • Levy is 23ish. Akerman is 35ish (and Sisto is 38ish). But Levy is playing 16, so… it’s kind of shockingly not that inaccurate, age-wise. Which kind of just confirms I’m getting old.

    • Philipp says:

      Anne Bancroft was only 6 years older than Dustin Hoffmann and she still played a, excuse the term, “cougar” in The Graduate.

  8. Lauris says:

    I have to agree. Malin Akerman is great, but she does seem too young for this role. Unless the story will be that she had Tessa when she was 18 or 19

    • Dani says:

      They can age her up a wee bit, so she was at least legal when she had Tessa but it makes sense that a potential reason she ditched her child revolved around having her at a young age and panicking or not feeling ready.

  9. Mel says:

    As I am a fan of Malin Akerman. I’m gonna have to agree and say she does really seem too young to play the role of Tessa’s mom. But either way I’m excited to see how this all pans out this coming season!

  10. ggny says:

    nice pick. i could see Malin Akerman becoming a Sitcom star off of this role

  11. Josh says:

    Surprised, because she’s so young. But she’s a very funny actress, so I’m happy with it!

  12. Fen says:

    ‘Alex, who will appear in this season’s Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes, is described as a beautiful, free-spirited singer/songwriter who’s never met her daughter’

    Errr, I passed biology at school. So, unless my teachers lied to me how is this possible?
    Unless she was unconscious at the time of the birth.

  13. Betty says:

    Given how many of the same readers were voraciously campaigning for Elizabeth Mitchell to play the mother of a 28 year old, it seems odd that readers are suddenly worried about actresses looking too young.

  14. dude says:

    I love Malin and I;m excited at the prospect of her singing on this show cause she has a bananas voice.

  15. Me says:

    I’d prefer Christina Hendricks

  16. Sam says:

    A shocking and original casting choice and I actually think it’s great! Can’t wait to see her in full swing this fall.

  17. SJ says:

    I love her!

    Juna, baby girl…

  18. BrianR says:

    She can be a smokin hot redhead. Aok.

  19. Juan says:

    She is pretty funny so I like the casting and she is a just a little younger than Sisto so I don’t see the problem, actors play older and younger a lot and thats what makeup does.

  20. Cy says:

    She’s gonna make Cheryl Hines look like Granny Clampett.

  21. Mikael says:

    I hope they give her a red wig or something. It seems weird that Tessa would have such vibrant red hair with a blonde mother and a father with dark hair.

    • dawn says:

      @Mikael..Not so weird having mother with blond hair…My son has blond hair and his wife has dark hair and they just had twins, one redhead and one blond. In fact the redhead (7 months old) will be in flashback photo’s of Tessa as a baby…

  22. Kat Weasley says:

    Omg Judy Greer would have been PERFECT for the role of Al

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