To promote her Fox comedy Raising Hope (which begins its third season Oct. 2), Martha Plimpton pitched a funny idea. “People are always trying to come up with creative ways of engaging the viewers,” she tells EW. “And I thought well, I play a housekeeper on a show, what if I went and cleaned the house of Raising Hope‘s biggest fan. In my uniform.” The network thought she was joking, but she was serious. The contest begins today at www.fox.com/cleansweep. Through Oct. 8, fans can enter by submitting their best “Awkward Family Photo” and a paragraph stating why their family is just like the Chance family and why they deserve a house call from Martha and her TV husband Garret Dillahunt. Yes, he’s coming along to, to make like his character and mow the winner’s lawn. (And okay, they’ll have professional crews there to help them.)
Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia will select the winner from the Top 10 finalists in mid-October, and Plimpton and Dillahunt will get their hands dirty later that month or in early November.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What does this say about your commitment to promoting your show?
MARTHA PLIMPTON: Well, I think it says a lot about my commitment to promoting the show. [Laughs] It’s a funny thing: A lot of people who haven’t seen the show yet say they haven’t watched because they’re not really sure what it is. They think it’s about a baby, or that it’s extremely dumb or something. But I think this show is a lot smarter than people realize. The writing is very, very sharp. If dare I say it, it’s a lot more sophisticated underneath. [Laughs] Do you know what I mean? The exterior is really ridiculous and silly, but there’s real sophistication in the writing, and I’m really proud to be a part of it. And I think it’s really smart, and it makes me laugh. If it makes me laugh, well, I’m sorry, but then it must be good. [Laughs] Because I don’t laugh at a lot of things. I’m thrilled that we got a third season. I very much would like for people to enjoy this show as much as I do. I want to share it with the largest amount of people I can. And I will do what is necessary.
Clearly. Have you given Greg Garcia any guidelines for choosing the winner?
We should stay away from hoarders, crime scenes, and people with too many cats. I’m not bringing a hazmat suit.
What’s your personal cleaning specialty that fans should be aware of?
I am excellent with laundry. For example, as a laundry expert, I never use fabric softener on towels because it makes them less absorbent. I don’t know if your readers know this. You should not put Bounce sheets or fabric softener in with your towels. You should dry them separately without fabric softener, so they stay absorbent. And I’m kind of a bed fascist. I don’t know if I’ll be doing this in the home of our winner, but I like to iron my sheets. I’m that kind of odd person weirdo.