Why ‘Parenthood’ Star Sam Jaeger Fought To Be In ‘Why Women Kill’

For six years, Sam Jaeger was a part of the family on NBC’s Parenthood. Since Parenthood ended in 2015, it’s been harder to see Sam Jaeger, although he was in four episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, the first season of Tell Me a Story and the mini-series Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Murders. You’ll be able to see Sam Jaeger once again on CBS All Access’s Why Women Kill this week.

Sam Jaeger in Why Women Kill
Sam Jaeger as Rob of the CBS All Access series WHY WOMEN KILL | Ali Goldstein/CBS

Jaeger tells Showbiz Cheat Sheet that he worked hard to land the role in Why Women Kill. Jaeger plays Robert Stanton, the husband of Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin) in the 1960s. As the title suggests, she may have a reason to kill him, just as Lucy Liu and Kirby Howell-Baptiste play women who find reasons to kill their husbands. Why Women Kill premieres Thursday, August 15 on CBS All Access.

Sam Jaeger liked putting in time auditioning for ‘Why Women Kill’

Many actors may dread the audition grind, and once you’ve been on a hit show perhaps one hopes to get a straight offer. Sam Jaeger wanted to work for Why Women Kill.

Sam Jaeger and Ginnifer Goodwin
Sam Jaeger as Rob; Ginnifer Goodwin as Beth-Ann of the CBS All Access series WHY WOMEN KILL | Ali Goldstein/CBS

“I gotta earn every job I get, man,” Jaeger said. “I’m thankful to say, I had to work for this role. I’m glad I did because I know when I got it that I’d earned it.”

Now Sam Jaeger knows he was the only choice for ‘Why Women Kill’

It turns out, getting an offer can make an actor more insecure.

“Any time you’re offered a role, you go onto set thinking, ‘Am I really the person they wanted?’” Jaeger said. “When you go onto a show that you know you’re the choice, it changes everything. I auditioned for this and I beat out other actors.”

Ginnifer Goodwin and Sam Jaeger
Ginnifer Goodwin, Sam Jaeger during the WHY WOMEN KILL panel for TCA Summer Press Tour | Francis Specker/CBS

Marc Cherry created Why Women Kill. Just as he discovered Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria and reinvented Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman in Desperate Housewives, Cherry had a keen eye for the lead roles in Why Women Kill.

“So when I walked on the set I knew exactly what Marc wanted and what I was contributing,” Jaeger said. “It made it just easier, and made it so much more fun for me to enjoy it instead of constantly thinking in the back of my mind, ‘Would they have rather had Actor A for this?’ I just go to work every day so thankful.”

Marc Cherry had to talk Sam Jaeger through ‘Why Women Kill’

Desperate Housewives was the first of its kind, a soapy murder mystery comedy. Why Women Kill has some of those tones, as well as three different time periods – the ‘60s, ‘80s and modern-day. It’s a lot to absorb in an audition.

“I met Marc, and at the time, I will say I didn’t quite understand the tone of the show,” Jaeger said. “Especially the 1960s storyline is so specific that I don’t quite think I understood it. We just went beat by beat which is what you need to do in a Marc Cherry show or else you’re not doing a Marc Cherry show.”

This person gave Sam Jaeger a second chance at ‘Why Women Kill’

After his first audition, Sam Jaeger might have just thought he wasn’t right for Why Women Kill. He’s grateful the show took the time to talk him through the nuances of the show and his character.

“It’s a tribute to Scott Genkinger, the casting director on this, that I was brought back,” Jaeger said. “He called my agents and said, ‘I think Sam’s really right for this. I want to have him in and we can talk about the tone of the show.’”