Allison Munn admits to not knowing much in the realm of WWE before she read for the part of Cassie Wight on "The Big Show Show." Though with a resume that includes "That '70s Show," "What I Like About You" and "Nicky, Ricky Dicky & Dawn," the actress was no stranger to the sitcom.
"I came in as a total noob," she said. "...I read the script and loved it. I really wanted to do it. When I auditioned, I had to do a chemistry test where I had to meet Show. They had us doing scenes together to see if we had chemistry. I was really nervous. I Googled him and saw how big he was. I'm only 5-feet-2 and he is 7-feet. I wasn't sure how that was going to go. I'm sure everyone knows this, but he is such a gentle, sweet, kind man when you meet him."
A good sign for Munn was that she laughed out loud while reading the script. The star also connected to her role.
"She is this wonderful wife and mother, but at the same time, has this whole separate life as a career woman," she said. "I was really drawn to that. She has a huge character arc over the course of the season that I love too."
She recalled hitting it off with Show and her three onscreen daughters right away. During the initial table read, Munn recalled being surprised how good the WWE superstar turned sitcom lead was when it came to comedic timing. Although Show has said in interviews how much he learned from his TV spouse.
"He really needed very little help. A lot of it is the more technical stuff," Munn said. "For example, when you're walking into a door saying a line you want to make it all the way in before you shut the door because you don't want to shut the door as you're talking. Because then the audience misses the words. It was just technical things like that. He was such a good student. The guy's learning curve is incredible. He was up and running very quickly. He has no need for me anymore. [laughs]"
The new family bonded during the first week of rehearsals over a night of bowling at Lucky Strike in Hollywood. After shooting the pilot, Munn thought they had something special. Audiences who have checked out the first season on Netflix agree. "The Big Show Show" placed third in the US Top 10 behind just "Tiger King" and "Ozark."
"You never know how audiences are going to respond," Munn said. "This has been a delight. A complete surprise. I've also never done a streaming show like on Netflix. Here the whole season is put out at one time. It's put out all across the world the same day, so we were just getting inundated on social media with messages from all over the world. Name a country, we were getting messages from there. It was all so positive."
Munn is slowly becoming acquainted to the wrestling world. She enjoyed having Rikishi, Mick Foley and Mark Henry on set for an episode.
"It was really cute to see Show light up when they came around," she said. "It was fun to watch them hang out again. You can kind of imagine what it was like when they were together all the time on tour. The guys were all so nice. Mick Foley is a doll. He is the sweetest man. They are all great. I can't get through Mark Henry's scenes without cracking up. I can barely do it in person.
"There was a scene where the men are getting a massage and I walk in on them. I think my line is, 'Wow, it's like two tranquilized rhinos being transported for surgery. I couldn't get through the line. We had to probably do five takes of that line so I could get through without laughing. They are so funny. Mark Henry's comic timing, I love it."
The new wrestling fan was looking forward to being at WrestleMania this year before the coronavirus pandemic forced a change of plans. The cast was going to screen the series and meet fans before attending the "Show of Shows."
"I've been watching Raw on Monday nights just to get to see all of Big Show's appearances for sure while watching. What I didn't realize was the amount of athleticism that the sport required. I've just been in awe of these athletes. Their skillset is incredible," Munn said. "...Now I have to see Drew McIntyre because I just saw his thing with Big Show on Monday. It was incredible. I'm hoping he can now come on the show."
The hope is for a season two, meaning maybe more fun cameos from the ring. Munn envisioned seeing Cassie's real estate career take off.
"I want her to realize her dreams of seeing her face on park benches all over the city. Also, I was thinking a really fun thing would be to figure out how Big Show and Cassie met," she said. "I would love a flashback back in the day. Big Show with long hair again. That would be a lot of fun to see."
In the meantime, the real life mom is focusing on homeschooling her two children and keeping them engaged. She's glad "The Big Show Show" is there for viewers who need a fun escape.
"Some days are great, and some days are gnarly. I'm already in an emotional place because what is going on in our country is so crazy," Munn said. "Getting these messages from all over the world, and a lot of them have the same theme. 'Thank you so much. Our family was finally able to sit down and laugh together.' It was such a gift. I get teary just thinking about it. It has been really great to get that feedback. We need that happy distraction right now."
Allison's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.