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Jane Kaczmarek

Page 2 staff

Kane Kaczmarek
Tennis gives Jane Kaczmarek a chance to chat with her husband.
Jane Kaczmarek isn't one to mince words on Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle" or in real life. She and her husband, "West Wing" co-star Bradley Whitford, are the spokesteam for USA Tennis Month, which ended May 31.

So, Page 2 asked Kaczmarek 10 burning questions that others wouldn't dare to ask.

1. Page 2: Chris Evert or Martina Navratilova?
Kaczmarek: Martina. She was so hungry for it, and such a machine. She was just awesome, in the old-fashioned sense of the word. She was awe-inspiring.

2. Who were you rooting for when Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs?
Kaczmarek: Billie Jean. Riggs was such a goofball. They just made a TV movie about that, right? It was perfect casting for Holly Hunter as Billie Jean King. She's such a dedicated actress. Has anyone said Riggs? I doubt it. He was really asking for it.

2a.. Why is women's tennis better than men's right now?
Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova, left, and Chris Evert in 1986.
Kaczmarek: It's still more unexpected, to see the phenomenal athletes women have become. This isn't the white linen skirts of the '50s. The women have come a long way, and it's pretty amazing to see.

3. What happens when you and your husband play each other in tennis?
Kaczmarek: He wins. I'm no competition. He's very good. I just play so we can talk. One of the greatest joys of tennis is having a nice volley and not really keeping score, not really looking at the lines, but just catching up with each other.

4. Why is zero called love?
Kaczmarek: To make you feel better when you're failing, when you're scoreless.

4a. Would tennis make more sense if it had an easier to understand system of scoring?
Bobby Riggs
Bobby Riggs gets no love from Kaczmarek.
Kaczmarek: No, it's really not that tough. You just have to concentrate. If I'm in the middle of a conversation, I don't wait to keep track.

It's nothing like cricket, though. Or croquet! Croquet is tough. People play for months because the rules are so bizarre. Those crazy English.

4b. Speaking of English, should the people at Wimbledon loosen up?
Kaczmarek: No, they add great color with their ways. People don't wear white on American courts anymore. I find it charming that Wimbledon still exists in the form that it does.

5. What superpower would you rather have, the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly, or the ability to be invisible?
Kaczmarek: The ability to be invisible. So I wouldn't have to return phone calls. Actually, I'm not sure how being invisible would help with that, but it would be fun anyway.

6. If Malcolm grew up, what role would he play on the "West Wing"?
Kaczmarek: He's only going to grow up if I don't kill him before he graduates from junior high school. But if he makes it, Mrs. Landingham, the president's secretary. Because as my son I would teach him to obey, take orders and get lunch.

6a. What's tougher, getting elected or winning Wimbledon?
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
Kaczmarek: Getting elected. Because the rules are crooked.

7. Who's the best athlete on your show?
Kaczmarek: Bryan Cranston, who plays my husband. He's a phenomenal physical specimen. When he was a disco Rollerblader on "Malcolm," he did everything but the jumps. He's very limber, agile, strong and game for anything.

8. Which show would you watch if they were on at the same time?
Kaczmarek: That's not really fair because we can always get tapes of the other show. But I'd probably choose "Malcolm" because we can watch it with kids, and it's only half an hour. It's an easier watch.

Malcolm in the Middle cast
The boys of "Malcolm in the Middle" are tougher than McEnroe and more stable than government.
But I'd have to throw in my hat for "West Wing." It makes me cry at least twice every episode. Once during the opening credits, and once during the show. I'm so moved by the possibility for people to be better people than they are. It's incredibly inspiring.

9. Who's tougher to control, the boys in the "Malcolm" house or John McEnroe?
Kaczmarek: By sheer number, the boys in the "Malcolm" house. They're young and full of boundless energy. They're all over the place. Four boys equals eight arms and eight legs. They're a handful.

9a. What's more dysfunctional, the U.S. government or the "Malcolm" house?
Kaczmarek: Neither! I don't think the "Malcolm" house is dysfunctional. It's chaotic and hectic, but they eat dinner together and those parents know everything that's going on.

Linda Cohn
Linda Cohn
The government right now is a little (dysfunctional) because the wrong guy's in the White House, but otherwise it works quite well.

10. Has anyone ever told you you look like Linda Cohn?
Kaczmarek: No. Who's that? Is she loud too?

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