She stars as a cleaning lady, but Elodie Yung admits that she didn’t have much experience in that particular area.
“I had to learn how to clean, period,” she admits.
Then she prompts her co-star, Oliver Hudson, to explain, “I went into her trailer, and [it] was a disaster zone. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Like, a tornado ‑‑ a daily tornado.”
Melissa Carter, executive producer and showrunner jumps in, “I can attest to the fact that Élodie and [he co-star on the series] Martha are the worst cleaning women ever. I had to show Martha how to vacuum. She was literally ramming the vacuum over the cord on camera over and over again. I was, like, ‘You have to pull the cord. Pull it to the side, then you push the vacuum.’”
In the new drama, Yung stars as a Cambodian doctor who comes to the United States for medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, circumstances lead her to becoming a cleaning lady for an organized crime syndicate instead, where she works to forge her own path in a criminal underworld.
Yung, who is both Cambodian and French, says of securing the role, “I was so glad to land a part like this because she is an immigrant; she’s a fighter. This hit home to me. My dad came from another country and had to make his own place in France, so I could very much relate to that. I was so glad that I could be seen for the first time for really who I am as a whole person.”
MORE FOR YOU
She adds, “It was so draining, but beautiful to put myself in [my character’s] shoes and [go through] this whole journey that she has to go through. I think what I learned the most about her was this resilience that she has. She’s put in extreme situations, and yet, she never stops fighting. So, that’s what really struck me about this part.”
Oliver Hudson, who plays an FBI agent, says that he signed on because, “I’ve been doing comedies for a long time, with a sprinkling of some dramatic stuff in there. This was definitely an opportunity to do something different. And, I like that it was an FBI agent, but it wasn’t this suited‑up standard FBI guy. There was a sordid past [to this guy]. There is a wrong‑side‑of‑the‑tracks element that may or may not play into the future of the guy.”
He says that he and Yung connected immediately, “We hit it off, and almost too much because we’re supposed to be doing a drama, and half the time, she’s cracking up during the scenes that are not supposed to be funny in any way, shape, or form.”
But when they got down to it, Hudson says, “You can feel when it’s all working well, this show is always really firing on all cylinders, and every day was just a blast.”
After saying how fun his role and time working on-set have been, Hudson took a deeper turn, discussing aspects of his character that he feels have been difficult for him. “It’s interesting because, sometimes, the things that are hardest to access are the things that are closest to you. Specifically, for me, there was a scene where I’m explaining why I am the way that I am, and I talk about my dad a little bit. It should be very easy to connect to because it mirrors a piece of my life – about him not being there and having to find my way – but you can get closed off in that moment because it can get almost too real. Sometimes, you just don’t want to go there. You have to be able to be vulnerable with your personal truths to get it out.”
Along those same lines, what the series is really about, says Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, FOX Entertainment, is connection. “The show really looks at families in different ways, and there’s such surprising emotional or comedic elements that come out of that part of the show, which you will see in full color.”
With that Carter has a burst of energy and proclaims, “I’m just so excited for the world to see this show. Let’s go!”
‘The Cleaning Lady’ premieres Monday, January 3rd at 9e/8c on FOX.