5 Questions With Rebecca Wisocky of ‘Ghosts’ on CBS

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When Rebecca Wisocky was in sixth grade, a teacher mistook the tall girl for a substitute teacher.

“I’ve looked like I was 40 since I was 11 years old,” Wisocky says. “In elementary school, I had this deep voice and I was a foot taller than everybody else and I looked like an adult, which is just creepy.”

Perhaps playing a ghost also may seem creepy. Instead, the height, the voice and playing the dead-but-not-gone Hetty in Ghosts (Thursdays on CBS) have led to a wonderful place for Wisocky.

Best known for Devious Maids, Wisocky’s also been in Star Trek: Picard and United States of Al in just the last couple of years. Having wrapped the first season of Ghosts and with the project she had planned on hold because of COVID, Wisocky relaxes in the Los Angeles home she shares with her husband, lighting designer Lap Chi Chu, and three rescue dogs, and answers our “5 Questions.”

1. Have you ever had a ghostly experience?
I used to work at the Merchant’s House Museum in New York. I used to clean the museum, and I would help host events. I’ve been asked so many times whether or not I’ve seen a ghost, and the fact is, I actually used to work in a haunted house. I never saw one, but definitely if you go there, there is 100% a presence in the house. It is still set up as though the family lives there.

2. What are some other jobs you’ve had?
I was a cocktail waitress at Tavern on the Green for maybe two weeks, and I was fired from there. I taught English as a second language at the Chinese Community Center in downtown New York. I worked for some classical architects. I enjoyed that job, office work.

3. What TV shows did you grow up loving?
The Carol Burnett Show, and then, of course, Mama’s Family. I loved Perfect Strangers. It is such a great classic sitcom, and Mark Linn-Baker [who played Larry on that show] plays the neighbor on Ghosts, so that’s well worth mentioning. And I was a big The Muppet Show kid.

4. If you’re having a dinner party and could invite anyone, dead or alive, who would be there?
The first person I would invite would be my husband’s grandmother, who had a large hand in raising him. I very much would like to be at a table with her. I would add to that table [singer-songwriter] Nina Simone. I’ll put together a table of fierce, fascinating women of great taste. I would invite Pina Bausch, the German choreographer, and Madeline Kahn. And I think that would make a really, really nice dinner party, and that my husband’s grandmother would fit right in.

5. Can you tell us about a time when you were starstruck?
The very first movie that I ever was on was Pollock, starring and directed by Ed Harris, and Marcia Gay Harden played Lee Krasner, his wife. It was a wonderful movie, and I had a small part in it. I was absolutely terrified. I don’t think I’ve ever told the story before. Marcia Gay Harden went out of her way to be kind to me, and she’s so talented, and so lovely, but she could tell how terrified I was. And she went out of her way to put her arm around me, and I’ll never forget it. And it modeled for me just how important that type of kindness is. I’ve never gotten to tell her that in person, but I’ll never forget it.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting that you worked in a haunted house. My stepdaughter, she is 52, called her dad & I so excited. She had gotten a job in Mass. at the House of Seven Gables for Halloween as a character. “I’m going to be the ‘Irish trollop in the attic'” she told me with great excitement. I can just hear “Hetty’s” droll comment about that.

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