Earlier this week I had the chance to chat with the fabulous Kate Walsh of Private Practice to get y'all some scoop on Addison Montgomery, the practice and, of course, Grey's Anatomy.
Let's get to it!
How cringe-worthy was the message Addison left Officer Kevin last week?
[Laughing]. That's a Swingers message! The quintessential worst message in the world... I think everybody at some point or other has made the impulsive--it's always at a point of heightened emotional state, late at night or something--and calling and being like, 'Oh no! Wrong person!' I think everyone's been there, right? You need someone to talk to so badly and then of course, well, that's classic. And you realize either during or after.
How has Addison grown since Grey's Anatomy?
I think that first season, part of it was the show finding itself, and Addison finding herself. All of a sudden she makes this big move. I can personally identify with that. Like, oh, I'm going to make a big change, and then you have to live with the consequences of the change, and I love that she's so courageous and perseveres even when she makes mistakes, she picks herself up and keeps going. So last year when you first saw her, she was sort of like a cat without a whisker, kind of off-balance. Sort of like a pendulum going that way a little bit and going this way a little bit... Then this season she comes back and has a little more of that strength, and that sort of alpha energy she started with on Grey's. And there's that whole dichotomy... like of that phone call versus her strength professionally within the practice.
It makes Addison more real.
It's been fabulous. If you look back to where she first came in all in black, saying she's a woman who slept with her husband's best friend, to the underbelly of the Addison reveal. She starts out a little reptilian and as we get to know her more and more, she becomes more humanized.
Do you ever second-guess your decision to leave Grey's, and does Addison continue to second-guess leaving Seattle Grace?
I think she probably does. Every time you make a big move, you can't help but look back. But personally, I think also she's a very pragmatic character when it comes down to it, and she's made this decision and she's strong and that's part of what makes her interesting. She's pretty willful and focused and driven and even when she has her moments of crazy phone calls, and who knows what she thinks about when she's standing on her balcony looking out at the Pacific Ocean.
I still watch Grey's Anatomy. I have it TiVo'd. I love it. It's sort of like watching a home movie or visiting my friends back home. So I always miss them and there's sort of a little melancholy there... I love the structure of the hospital there and I think the confines of Seattle Grace is so interesting to see everybody bouncing around, and all the chaos that ensues, so I still thoroughly enjoy it. But that being said, I love the new show and I feel like it's really found its own voice this season. It feels like we landed, sort of like a good bottle of wine that's opened up and breathed and it's tasting good!
If Derek and Meredith ever walk down the aisle, will Addison make an appearance at the wedding?
Geez, I don't know, that'd be fun! [Laughing] I would hope so, but who knows? I don't know. It'd definitely be dramatic and exciting and fun. Maybe I can walk Derek down the aisle.
Is Addison's relationship with men going to become a bigger part of this season?
You're definitely going to see her dating, and it'll start to balance out a little bit. The first couple of episodes established that the practice is in financial crisis... And then you will see her personal life start ebbing in and see what it's like to see her dating. It is pretty cool, I think... In Grey's it was so much about all the relationships that didn't work, like the miserable marriage and McSteamy who was just dangerous and out for one thing. You get to see a different side of her explored in the whole dating scene in L.A.
Naomi forgave Sam through "hate sex," but she hasn't forgiven Addison. How will that play out in their relationship?
There's definitely more tension. It's a complicated friendship that she and I have. I think generally with all the characters on the show this year there's more tension within the practice. You know last season it was much more like "friends who decided to work together!" And now, firstly because of the financial crisis, that sort of throws everyone off balance and they're squabbling with each other, but then you see Audra [McDonald] and I at different levels of tension. Work versus friendship and how to draw those boundaries. And so at that place it's a little more of a complicated relationship. We're still good friends but you see how that sort of plays out. Her character still feels very betrayed.
Do we see an end in sight to the money troubles?
It starts to become resolved in a very interesting way. It's all still kind of heightened and dramatic, but real at the same time. So we see them kind of scrambling and coming up with different ways to keep the practice afloat. And there's definitely twists and turns in there. But it's not going to be the main thrust. It's not like that's going to be the A-storyline for the whole season, but it's definitely there, like it's here in all of our lives, you know?
What's it like going to work every day with Taye Diggs, Tim Daly and Paul Adelstein?
It's not a bad way to make a living! It's great. Paul Adelstein and I go way back. We came up together through the Chicago Theater, so for us to work together on a TV show is really fun, especially since we've known each other for 15 years, so that's really cool... It's not a bad day at the office.
Note: When I asked Kate about an upcoming episode in which Addison gets the practice into trouble, she couldn't answer, and not because she didn't want to give anything away. Makes me think Addison gets the practice into hot water more than once. She also said, "Every episode, I can guarantee there's something about each character that's revealed that you'd never guess. That's a total surprise." Thoughts?
Get ready for even more Addison... Private Practice, which airs on ABC at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, just received a full season pickup. -- Jacki Garfinkel