Ellen Barkin on her 'New Normal' role - SFGate
A great-grandmother who doesn't appreciate that her granddaughter has chosen to serve as a surrogate for a same-sex couple (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells), Jane isn't shy in expressing her opinions - which aren't always what you might expect. The show, which was created by Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, explores some cutting-edge topics, and at least one NBC affiliate has decided not to air it. Special Victims Unit,' with rape, murder and child slavery in very graphic detail, is in family viewing time," she continues, "but a show about a very loving, committed, same-sex couple wanting to raise a child is explicit and offensive. People allow their children to watch a TV show where they use words like 'anal tearing' and 'vaginal tearing' and 'child slavery.' The New York native has made occasional television movies and series guest shots, but "The New Normal" is her first outing as a series regular. The current state of the world, the actress says, boils down to one word: fear. After a career on the big screen, Barkin is ready to explore television, which these days seems to be addressing some of the edgier issues of contemporary society - and, not coincidentally, offering meatier roles to actresses in their 40s and beyond. Barkin grew up in New York, where she absorbed her liberal values from her parents, a chemical salesman and a hospital administrator. Barkin began acting as a teen, and attended Manhattan's High School of the Performing Arts before studying history and drama at Hunter College in New York. [...] she waited on tables while studying at the prestigious Actor's Studio and performing in off-Broadway shows.