‘Last Man Standing’ Star Nancy Travis Speaks on ‘Saying Goodbye’ as Show Airs Final Episode

by Jon D. B.

Last Man Standing leads Nancy Travis and Tim Allen are still grappling with saying goodbye, with the former having trouble letting go of Vanessa Baxter.

Spend a decade inhabiting a character, and chances are you’ll end up where Nancy Travis is now. Her days as the Baxter matriarch are over (so far as we know), yet Travis says there are “moments” where she still feels she is Vanessa Baxter.

“I used to joke, people would ask me about different episodes, and I would joke and say that as soon as I said the last line, my car was going and I’m on the freeway and the episode is out of my head,” the star tells Entertainment Tonight as part of an exit interview of sorts.

As this article comes about, the series finale of Last Man Standing will air on FOX. Audiences are getting a full-hour sendoff for the beloved Baxters, too. Within, Tim Allen’s Mike teaches daughter Kirstin about the necessary work-to-life ratio of running their family store, Outdoor Man. As for Vanessa? Well, she and daughter Mandy are teaching Jen about camping.

Lots more is set to happen in the final episode. Yet the focus will be on the “final goodbye” aspect, with the cast all filming their bow to a returning live audience.

‘Last Man Standing’s Nancy Travis: ‘I don’t know if you ever say goodbye’

Photo by FOX via Getty Images

“In a strange way, we ended and we were forced to say goodbye, but I don’t know if you ever say goodbye,” Travis continues for ET.

For the actor, Vanessa Baxter has become a part of her very being. Playing this character through one cancellation, a network switch-up, and surrounded by numerous casting shuffles has made the two synonymous in her mind. That is, herself and Vanessa Baxter feel one and the same.

“There are these moments that I feel… I’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s something Vanessa would say or Vanessa would do. Not me!’ And especially when you’ve been so intimately connected to a character for such a long time… You just wonder, ‘Am I Vanessa? Is Vanessa me?” she asks.

In the end, the finale of Last Man Standing leaves Nancy Travis asking “Where does one end and the other begin?'”

If one thing is certain for Travis, however, it’s that “[the cast’s] ghosts will be haunting Stage 9 for a very long time!”

Thank you for all the love and laughter, Last Man Standing! We Outsiders will sorely miss it.