Exclusive Interview: Rita Wilson Talks Searching Her Ancestry & New Music Album

Photo By NBC

The talented Rita Wilson who always seems to subtlety steal the scene whenever she acts, is this week’s star to search her ancestry on NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are.”

She also has a new album coming out May 8 called AM/FM. Who knew she sang too?

Why is the half Greek, half Bulgarian actress, producer, singer searching her past?

“I’m fascinated. First of all I love the show and I think it’s fascinating what people can find out nowadays and how the tracking is so much more realistic with computers and all of that.

But we – there were so many gaps in both my mom’s and my dad’s histories that I kind of thought I want to know. I want to know what happened to my grandmother and what happened to my grandfather and my mother’s father had died when she was four years old and I wanted to know where they came from and how they ended up where they ended up.”

Is her hubby Tom Hanks maybe inspired now too?

“I don’t know.”

What’s the album about?

“I absolutely love singing, I really do. I love music. I do love music and, you know, one of the movies that I produced was Mamma Mia the Musical and Tom, you know, has done That Thing You Do. I selected the songs because they told stories. There are so many amazing songs from that period, the 60s and the 70s. But for me it was about the kind of memories of being in the car when your parents were driving the car and it was AM radio only and those were the songs of maybe the 60s. And they had the kind of innocence and an idealized version of romance.

So as a young girl you could kind of fantasize about what the guy would be like that you would end up with. And then as I started driving, FM radio was now into the mix and that represented to me sort of the singer/songwriter era and the music that became much more about disillusionment or the reality of what that relationship was that you fantasized about in the 60s. And so each song hopefully that I chose told a story and they were like stories unto themselves. And I just loved that, I loved that aspect of it.”

Wilson, the production force behind “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” didn’t go alone to search her family tree. The emotional strain can be tough.

Did Mrs. Hanks bring anyone along for emotional support?

“Yes. My assistant because so many of my family members were busy and working but then my brother joined me and that was really great.”

Watch Rita March 30, 8pm ET on NBC.

 

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