ROCKVILLE - At Meryl Hathaway’s fifth-grade graduation from Luxmanor Elementary School, she told the class she wanted to be in a movie. Years later, Hathaway is achieving part of her dream as a cast member on Fox’s “Riot”, a show that Hathaway describes as a mix of ABC’s “Wipe Out” and improvisational comedy. The show is produced by actor/comedian Steve Carell and will feature a celebrity host every week.
“It was really challenging at times. You’re really trying to make the most of the comedy and the physical elements will just happen,” Hathaway said “It was definitely tiring and I had some bumps and bruises here and there. It threw a wrench in comedy. I’ve always been a very physical person. I’ve danced for 16 years and I played soccer when I was young so for me it was really exciting to have the physical element involved in it.”
Hathaway grew up in the West Manor community of Rockville
“Humor is a part of how I grew up. My mom, sister and I are a very close knit group and humor is one of the biggest things about our relationship. My extended family, their last name is Feldman, and we all say we have this ‘Feldman sense of humor’,” Hathaway said. “I definitely grew up laughing a lot and being physical so it’s no surprise that this is the first show I get to be on. It’s exciting that everything comes together the way it’s supposed to.”
Hathaway moved to New York where she studied improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, eventually becoming a part of the house team. She moved to LA in 2010 where she has become a regular on TV shows, Youtube series CollegeHumor, comedy video website Funny or Die, and several theater productions, including “Hot Georgia Summer Day,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Hathaway is a content creator. She started her first web series “Disconnected” with a video camera. In 2014, her webseries Single Siblings was honored at the Los Angeles WebFest with awards for best lead actress and best writing in a series.
“Whenever I tell someone I am an actress, they say ‘wow that’s really hard to be successful’ and they don’t mean it in a bad way, they mean ‘I’m impressed you’re doing it but just so you know it might be really hard to make it,’” Hathaway said. “That drove me, knowing that the next to impossible thing could be possible. I wanted to always prove I could do it for myself more than anyone. When I’m performing or I’m on set or in writing, it’s where I feel the most myself and I’ve always felt that way. It was never a question of not doing it, it was a question of how long would it take.”
Riot premieres on Tuesday May 13 at 9 p.m. Hathaway will be featured on six out of eight episodes and celebrity hosts include Steve Carell, Jason Alexander, D.L. Hughley, Cheryl Hines, Tom Green, Chris Kattan, Mayim Bialik, David Arquette, Oscar Nunez and Andy Buckley. For more information visit facebook.com/RIOTonFOX.