Thanks to high profile gigs on FRIENDS, THE OC and KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, actress Bonnie Somerville hasn’t left this TV Addict’s radar since arriving on the scene with the brilliant-but-cancelled Darren Star laugher GROSSE POINTE.
Not one for the unemployment line, Somerville can now be seen playing Caitlin Dowd on ABC’s Wednesday night guilty pleasure CASHMERE MAFIA. And recently, was kind enough to take some time from her schedule to chat with reporters about her her role on MAFIA, being Darren Star’s unlucky charm and the inevitable comparisons to that other show about four beautiful New York women.
GROSSE POINTE and KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL were two of my favorite shows ever. It quite literally pains me to think that they had such short runs! What happened?
Bonnie Somerville: I’m still not over GROSSE POINTE. The show has such a fanatical fanbase. People just love that show. I’ll never be over it. It was one of the greatest written shows, but clearly ahead of it’s time. Before MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and SCRUBS single camera half hour comedies were rare. And the WB which aired it, didn’t believe in it.
KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL was also a blast. FOX only aired three episodes. No one got to see it, it was really hard. The cast was so close.
CASHMERE MAFIA is your third Darren Star show. Where are you hiding the incriminating photos?
I don’t know why he keeps hiring me. All of the shows keep getting cancelled! But he’s been very good to me. Most people in Hollywood say they like you, but he puts his money where his mouth is. I’m very lucky.
The success of the show really hinges on the chemistry between your co-stars. Did you know any of the actresses prior to shooting?
None of us knew each-other, but we did spend a lot of time together in New York shooting the pilot. A lot of lunches, dinners, we had so much fun on the set. We definitely had a lot of days where we got into trouble for laughing too much.
You play a high powered New York executive, how did you go about researching the role?
I’m from New York and my Mom is an investment banker, so I sort of grew up in that world. My character is loosely based on Sally Sussman, who heads up the Estee Lauder corporation and I met her and presented her with an award. She is an openly gay woman executive in the cosmetic industry. I got to know her a bit and she’s one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met.
What’s it like wearing costumes designed by Patricia Field?
I definitely love clothes, but not quite to the degree that this show has taken it to. It’s all new for me. Patricia Field (the award winning costume designer responsible for Carrie and the gang’s trend-setting ensembles on SEX IN THE CITY) she just puts these things on you and they work. In real life I’m a jeans girl. But the best part of the show is all the shoes that are sent to us. I’m a shoe addict for sure.
What are your thoughts on the inevitable comparisons to NBC’s LIPSTICK JUNGLE?
Most people want to pit us against LIPSTICK JUNGLE, but we never really talk about it. We knew we’d get the SEX AND THE CITY comparisons because of Darren Star, four woman and New York. But the longer you watch the show the more you realize it has nothing to do with the show. They couldn’t be more different.
Fans won’t want to miss tonight’s season finale of CASHMERE MAFIA (10PM, ABC, E! in Canada) as Somerville promises that, “there’s definitely a cliffhanger ending as far as the whole sex thing and what team my character’s choosing.”
Or for a more up close and personal experience, head on over to the Pebble Beach Invitational on February 9th, 2008. In her spare time (which thanks to the WGA strike, she’s had quite a bit of!) Somerville helps raise money for charity alongside Greg Grunberg, James Denton and Hugh Laurie as part of BAND FROM TV.