Catherine Zeta-Jones Joined ‘Prodigal Son’ Because of Whoopi Goldberg

Prodigal Son season 2 is introducing Catherine Zeta-Jones as Dr. Viviain Capshaw. The Academy Award-winner isn’t known as a TV actor. And when taking on this new role, she said Whoopi Goldberg helped her solidify her decision. 

Catherine Zeta-Jones in 'Prodigal Son'
Catherine Zeta-Jones in ‘Prodigal Son’ | Phil Caruso/FOX

Catherine Zeta-Jones credits Whoopi Goldberg for making her take the ‘Prodigal Son’ role

Zeta-Jones is primarily a film actor who’s appeared in dozens of blockbusters, including Traffic and Ocean’s Twelve. She has been in a handful of series over the years. But Prodigal Son is by far one of her most prominent TV roles in recent years.

Zeta-Jones recently appeared on The View. And when talking to Whoopi Goldberg, she revealed that the host contributed to her joining the cast of Prodigal Son

“They pitched me the storyline… of Dr. Vivian Capshaw, and I liked it because she was a doctor who seems to be under control,” Zeta-Jones said. “It was you Whoopi who gave me the royal seal of approval to go ahead with my decision or actually to feel really, really good about my decision because you said on air that you’ve been binge-watching the Prodigal Son and that it was one of your favorite shows.”

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“I had one of those moments of, ‘What would Whoopi think?’” she continued. “And then you were on TV going, ‘I love this! I love this!’”

Goldberg’s admiration for the series sold Zeta-Jones on the project. She added, “If it’s good enough for Whoopi, ’tis good enough for me.” 

Catherine Zeta-Jones also has connections to co-star Michael Sheen

When talking to the hosts of The View, Zeta-Jones also revealed that she shares a history with her Prodigal Son co-star, Michael Sheen — who plays serial killer Malcolm Whitly. The two actors grew up in Wales around the same time and have many friends in common. 

“We have so many mutual friends, literally childhood friends,” Zeta-Jones said. “I was in different theater groups and we never met. Our parents know each other, and Michael knows my parents — Even though I didn’t know him, he felt like a brother from another mother in a way.”

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The ‘Prodigal Son’ showrunner says Catherine Zeta-Jones character will be a force this season

When talking to TV Insider, Prodigal Son showrunner Chris Fedak said he created Zeta-Jones’ character, Dr. Vivian Capshaw, as an equal to Sheen’s Dr. Whitly. He also noted that Capshaw will be a force this season, and she won’t be putting up with any of the Surgeon’s antics. 

“The doctor in charge is smart and charming,” Fedak added. “She’s Martin’s match in a way and really not going to put up with any of his bulls**t. Also, we’re so excited to have essentially the most Welsh thing you can imagine on TV with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Sheen acting together.”

Prodigal Son airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.