‘Pivoting’ – How Ginnifer Goodwin got into character’s ‘messy place’



An underappreciated housewife cuts loose

Ginnifer Goodwin

With a diverse resume ranging from the TV series “Once Upon a Time” and “Big Love” to the feature films “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Walk the Line,” Ginnifer Goodwin had yet to tackle situation comedy.

So when the opportunity to play ignored housewife Jodie, who reassesses her life following her best friend’s death in the Fox comedy “Pivoting,” which premieres Sunday, Jan. 9, she was all in.

But the happily married actress admits that getting into her character’s headspace was a challenge.

“I feel like she’s sort of in such a messy place that I couldn’t define her while I was like working with her, and that’s not something I’m used to …,” Goodwin says. “(Co-star) Maggie Q and I were discussing this … (and I said) to her, ‘I don’t know who this woman is. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ And Maggie said she didn’t know either, and we decided that that just must be where the characters were in their lives. We have no idea what we’re doing.”

In the series, Goodwin, Q (“Nikita”) and Eliza Coupe (“Happy Endings”) play girlfriends who decide to change course in their lives, or pivot, when their close friend Coleen dies. It’s based on a true story, that of executive producer/showrunner Liz Astrof, who lost a friend to lung cancer in middle age.

For Goodwin’s Jodie, that means stepping out of her life as the altruistic, put-upon mom and wife and putting herself first, making a few ill-advised, irresponsible and even self-destructive decisions along the way.

“In her pivoting towards self-care, she actually goes too far and of course starts blowing up her life,” Goodwin says with a laugh. “So it’s very fun because she’s very flawed and I really prefer a flawed character.”


Jennifer Michelle Goodwin

Birth date: May 22, 1978

Birthplace: Memphis, Tenn.

Family: She and husband Josh Dallas (her former “Once Upon a Time” co-star) have two sons

TV credits include: “Law & Order,” “Ed,” “Big Love,” “Robot Chicken” (voice), “Once Upon a Time,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Why Women Kill,” “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings”

Movie credits include: “Mona Lisa Smile” (2003), “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!” (2004), “Walk the Line” (2005), “Birds of America” (2008), “A Single Man” (2009), “Ramona & Beezus” (2010), “Take Me Home Tonight” (2011), “Something Borrowed” (2011), “Zootopia” (voice only, 2016)


George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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