‘The Conners’ Star Maya Lynne Robinson Opens Up On Joining The ‘Established’ Cast

Robert TrachtenbergABC

New to the cast of The Conners, Maya Lynne Robinson faced some unique challenges other actresses and actors on the show didn’t necessarily have to endure.

For starters, she took over the character of DJ’s (Michael Fishman) wife, Geena Williams-Conner. The role was originally played by Xosha Roquemore before the Roseanne Barr controversy resulted in Roseanne being canceled. When shows with fan bases as large as Roseanne and The Conners experience a recast, there is often a fair amount of backlash.

In addition to playing the role of a re-casted character, Robinson was also challenged by being the “odd man out” in an established cast. Roseanne had ten seasons and over 200 episodes under its belt before it was canceled. The majority of the established cast members had a history of working together since back in 1988 when the series first premiered.

Unsurprisingly, the established history and relationships built among the actresses and actors in the show did make it a little overwhelming for someone like Maya to join the crew.

While Emma Kenney and Ames McNamara who play Darlene and David’s children, Harris and Mark, are fairly new to the cast they have the Season 10 reboot of Roseanne under their belt and Robinson did not.

When asked by Entertainment Tonightwhat the hardest part of joining an established crew was, the actress admitted the answer to the question was the question.

“Joining a crew that’s already established” the actress parroted back as one of the more challenging parts of taking on her role as DJ’s wife.

“You do feel like the odd man out a little bit, but you also want to allow other people the opportunity to breathe, or to feel, or to heal, or whatever the case may be. You don’t want to disrupt their process, but you also want them to embrace the change — and I was the change,” Maya continued to explain.

Robinson revealed it was a bit of a balancing game between wanting people to embrace her as a new member of the cast while giving fans a chance to get over the actress who previously had the role leaving.

“I would just say we took baby steps. Over the course of the season we’ve all gotten much more comfortable and familiar with each other. Now it feels like a family unit,” she added.

Maya admitted to looking forward to exploring DJ and Geena’s backstory as the series progresses.

New episodes of The Conners airs on Tuesday nights only on ABC.