Louie Anderson's youth in St. Paul helped form an Emmy-winning character

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Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson
Richard Shotwell | Invision via AP

Louie Anderson has learned that in Hollywood, it's easy to be forgotten and hard to predict what will bring you back.

"People didn't talk to me for 15 years, and I put a dress on and everyone wants to talk to me."

The dress is for the role of Christine Baskets, inspired by Anderson's mother, in "Baskets," recently renewed by FX for a third season.

Anderson won an Emmy for the fictional portrayal of his mother. She raised 11 children, whose ages ranged two decades apart, in a St. Paul housing project.

His strategy for putting that past onto the screen: be natural.

"I try to forget the camera's there," Anderson said. "I think of myself in the kitchen, or wherever my mom and dad or we all were, I just think of it there. And what my mom might've been going through."

Anderson is back in Minnesota for three shows in the suburbs — one in Shakopee Thursday night, plus two more in Maple Grove on Friday and Saturday.

He sat down with MPR News host Tom Weber for a wide-ranging, highly personal interview on "Baskets," his upbringing, body image and the death of his brother Tommy.

Use the audio player above to hear the whole conversation.