Cheryl Hines in ‘Suburgatory’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Supporting Actor & Actress

For years, Cheryl Hines has squeezed in plenty of film, TV and voice work while appearing on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Why add another series to her busy schedule?

“I really loved the pilot script, and it looked like a fun character to do,” Hines says of her role as Dallas Royce on ABC’s freshman hit “Suburgatory.”

The character reminded Hines of her sketch comedy days with the Groundlings. “On ‘Curb’ I was improvising, but it was a very dry sarcastic comedy, so I was attracted to this heightened reality of ‘Suburgatory.’ It was a 180-degree difference.”

Dallas is superficially superficial. She’s vain and loves designer labels, but is deeper than she appears.

“Dallas is misguided as a mother, and possibly as a person,” Hines says, “but when she started reaching out to Tessa (Jane Levy) in a maternal way, it made me realize Dallas is a good person and understands the big picture.”

Over the season, Dallas has grown from a privileged housewife to a newly single business owner, hitting many highs and lows along the way.

Hines credits writers and series creator Emily Kapnek with skillfully merging the show’s comedy and drama.

“They tackle some serious subjects — abandonment, divorce and loneliness — but do it in a way that’s funny but also very touching.”