Tomei was supposed to promote her upcoming film Frankie at Cannes when Lear asked if she would play Edith Bunker on ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience. “I couldn’t wrap my head around it at all,” Tomei tells Indiewire. “I just thought none of this should be done in any format again. It was so perfect. Why are we even talking about this?” Tomei says the special provided a breath a fresh air after a series of frustrating projects, and allowed her to combine her live theater experience with her early career work in soap operas.