NEW YORK – Fran Drescher's latest role, the evil stepmother in "Cinderella" on Broadway, is also her Broadway debut. The 56 year-old New York native who starred in the hugely popular sitcom 'The Nanny,' spoke to FOX411 about her career, charitable works and who she's dating these days.
FOX411: So first time on Broadway! Were you nervous?
Fran Drescher: I was nervous in the beginning but now it's been a little over two weeks and I feel really great about it. I'm really relishing each and every moment and still experimenting with different things and having fun playing with the character. The audience seem to be eating it up with a spoon and are very warm and very receptive and encouraging. I love the cast and crew. The whole culture of being in the theater, on Broadway, it's a very unique experience. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity.
FOX411: Off camera you're a very thoughtful, articulate person. Do you ever feel boxed in by your comedic roles?
Drescher: I've explored my personality in other ways. I'm a writer, I'm a producer, I'm a director, I'm political. I founded a health organization. It doesn't matter if my characters are somewhat similar. I've never played a woman who is mean or hateful like this one, so that's a little bit of a departure for me.
FOX411: You founded an advocacy group called the 'Cancer, Schmancer Movement.'
Drescher: Turning lemons into lemonade and pain into focus is very healing. I did that after my own cancer survival. I'm 14 years well and the organization is really something that I find helps make sense out of the senseless. I help people, I raise awareness. I've helped make laws in Washington. I save lives. People say that because of me they went to that doctor's appointment. They detected their cancer early and so on. That helps me make sense of it all. It's really worthwhile. My life kind of resonates on a level that it might not have had I not had cancer. It opens up a lot of doors for me that it might not have have. I meet a lot of interesting people that are connected in the health and political world.
FOX411: Sounds like we might be seeing Senator Drescher.
Drescher: You know, you never know. I may get into politics too as an elected official. It's on my bucket list.
FOX411: Are you dating anyone?
Drescher: I've been dating a wonderful guy. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. He is the inventor of e-mail. He's now onto a new software invention that's going to revolutionize medicine. He's a very brilliant man with four degrees from M.I.T. and very wonderful and I'm very happy with this new relationship.
FOX411: Do you think you'll get married?
Drescher: You know we had a fantastic honeymoon with no wedding. He's been married twice, I've been married once, it's not really anything we need to do to validate our feelings for each other. But you never know. I don't feel like it's something I need. If it was important to him I would consider it. We've only been together six months. We don't really need to entertain that idea just yet.
FOX411: And your cousin-in-law is New York 'Real Housewife' Aviva Drescher?
Drescher: When she told me she was trying out for the show I thought, 'Well they'd be crazy not to have her on because she's beautiful, she's sophisticated and she's got a real compelling story.'
FOX411: Your Queens accent is so much a part of your act. Imagine if you had been born in Idaho.
Drescher: I just figured out a way to leverage what I got. The timing was right, that New York vibe was very popular when I was breaking into the business with 'Happy Days' and 'Welcome Back Kotter.' Timing is everything.