Reba and Barbra Jean are back together again! This time, the country superstar and actress Melissa Peterman aren’t assuming their Reba alter-egos — they’re co-hosting Reba McEntire‘s new Living & Learning podcast.
The two forged a friendship on the sitcom that intensified when Reba took Melissa out to do stand-up.
“When you’re spending so much time together,” Melissa explains, “and having time to sit on a plane… and just talk about your families, your relationships… I think that’s where it really deepened. And vacationing together, you really get to know people when you’re on a vacation together.”
With podcast guests that’ve already included Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Kristin Chenoweth and more, Melissa admits she’s been starstruck.
“I had to check myself before almost every time,” she confesses. “It’s like, ‘Melissa hold it together. Don’t start to fangirl on every single person."”
Tackling topics like aging, cancel culture and faith, Living & Learning probably isn’t the star vehicle you might expect.
“The beauty of it is…we didn’t always want to talk about what you normally would talk about with a celebrity,” Melissa tells ABC Audio. “We were talking about the topics that we wanted to learn more about. So we got to see an interesting side.”
“We wanted to offer up something that was a little bit of joy and maybe some inspiration,” she reflects, “maybe open up your mind, your heart — and learn a little.”
One of the things listeners learned is that Reba is dating actor Rex Linn.
“I was there at one of their first dinners… So I just was like, ‘Just say it! Just say it out loud!"” Melissa jokes.
With several more episodes to come on Spotify, Melissa’s already dreaming of having Lizzo, Vince Gill, Dan Levy and Kate McKinnon on season two.
By Stephen Hubbard
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