Post Mortems

The Unicorn's Michaela Watkins on Toning Down Delia's Breakdown, and [Spoiler]'s 'So Sad' Departure

The Unicorn Michaela Watkins Season 1 Episode 11

Big steps were made on Thursday’s edition of The Unicorn. As Wade (played by Walton Goggins) introduced his daughters to his seemingly perfect new gal, while Delia (Michaela Watkins) finally came to terms with her own personal grief over Wade’s late wife, Jill.

At the gang’s joint tag sale, Team Mom Delia tried to instill in young Natalie and Grace that the memories of their lost mother are in their hearts, not in the junk they were hawking. But her wisdom only went so far when an incomplete puzzle and a used mug led to a tearful tailspin — and a bit of backpedaling — for Delia.

Watkins spoke to TVLine about the art of tapping into pain, her character’s caring inclinations and, of course, all things Anna.

TVLINE | I heard that this was one of your favorite episodes….
It was! I remember feeling incredibly emotional while we were shooting it. The editor told me, “There were some takes that were so heartbreaking, where you just completely come apart and start yelling at everybody and losing it and you just start crying.” He said it was so moving he couldn’t get through it. The network was like, “Wait, this is way too sad, we have got to chill it out!” It was one of those moments where I forgot I was making a half-hour comedy. It just felt like we were telling a very real story. I love that this show can go there, take you there. It’s really satisfying for me.

TVLINE | It seems Wade’s friends are always so focused on him that they don’t really deal with their own grief. Would you agree with that?
One-hundred percent. I think that Delia goes into triage. She’s a doctor, so all she wants to do is help people get better and give them something for the pain. I think she is completely unaware that she, herself, is in pain and not well. I relate to Delia in that way. I will make sure that somebody else is OK. I do the opposite of what they say to do on an airplane. I’m trying to get everybody’s face mask on them all the time, while I’m suffocating! [Laughs] I think it’s a very natural inclination.

TVLINE | Delia’s grief was front and center in this episode. Was it hard for you to tap into that pain?
No…. We’ve all lost somebody. Death is so bewildering and such an insidious part of life, but it’s also the most common part of life. I think it’s so strange that it’s so sad and difficult to navigate the most common thing in the world, which is the loss of someone. In our hearts, we don’t feel like they’re gone; they’re still here, they’re still very much in our minds and a part of everything we do. You can sort of feel people even though you can’t pick up the phone and call them.

TVLINE | Delia really hit a homerun by introducing Anna (guest star Sarayu Blue) to Wade. What was it about Anna that made Delia so sure it was a good fit?
I feel like Delia got confused by her own crush on Anna. For Delia, Anna’s the most incredible, fascinating, attractive woman. She’s intelligent, she travels the world, she practices medicine and is so bullish about it. Delia is in the safety of Raleigh, N.C. with her sweet husband and perfect child, and she appreciates that world of safety and security so much. But then there’s this other woman who is Delia’s “road she didn’t take,” the wild side, and she’s just like, “How can you not love her? She’s wonderful!” but it’s such a projection of Delia’s own love for her.

TVLINE | Anna did seem perfect for Wade. Will we see her again?
I would really like to say yes, but I just don’t know. We all, as a cast, loved Sarayu so much, we were so sad when her three episodes came to a conclusion. We were just like, “She has to come back!” I think the writers all thought the same way, so I would not be surprised. She’s such a delight, she really fit in. We felt like this could be Delia’s new best friend. They can just hang out.

TVLINE | With Anna on the outs, for now, will Delia continue her matchmaking efforts? She doesn’t seem like the type to quit.
She isn’t, she’s pretty tenacious. But I don’t know, you’ve got to reserve it. She’s 1-for-1 right now! You can’t start throwing everybody [at Wade]. I think she knew what she was doing [with Anna] and Delia prides herself on her certainty.

TVLINE | Lastly, what can you tease about what’s down the road for Delia and Forrest?
Forrest has a real life change coming up and it puts their marriage to the test in a really fun, unexpected way.