Louie Anderson's youth in St. Paul helped form an Emmy-winning character

Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson (Richard Shotwell | Invision via AP)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Tom Weber's interview with Louie Anderson
Download MP3
| 00:36:21

Louie Anderson has learned that in Hollywood, it's easy to be forgotten and hard to predict what will bring you back.

"People didn't talk to me for 15 years, and I put a dress on and everyone wants to talk to me."

The dress is for the role of Christine Baskets, inspired by Anderson's mother, in "Baskets," recently renewed by FX for a third season.

Anderson won an Emmy for the fictional portrayal of his mother. She raised 11 children, whose ages ranged two decades apart, in a St. Paul housing project.

His strategy for putting that past onto the screen: be natural.

"I try to forget the camera's there," Anderson said. "I think of myself in the kitchen, or wherever my mom and dad or we all were, I just think of it there. And what my mom might've been going through."

Anderson is back in Minnesota for three shows in the suburbs — one in Shakopee Thursday night, plus two more in Maple Grove on Friday and Saturday.

He sat down with MPR News host Tom Weber for a wide-ranging, highly personal interview on "Baskets," his upbringing, body image and the death of his brother Tommy.

Use the audio player above to hear the whole conversation.