TV Addict Interview: CASHMERE MAFIA Star Bonnie Somerville

CASHMERE MAFIA Bonnie SomervilleThanks 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.

  • A’ndrea

    I just don’t get it. The critics are killing Cashmere Mafia, while the viewers love it. If it is being cancelled due to lack of viewers, I would have to guess it was due to lack of marketing. Most ladies who I mention Cashmere Mafia to, state “Cashmere what?”. I feel more are aware of Lipstick Jungle, which I think is a bit less entertaining than Cashmere. Cashmere is the best thing since SATC. I don’t watch much on TV so give me the least bit of female entertainment by keeping this show on air!

  • Ken

    I almost want to pay ABC to keep the show on the air. If viewers are willing to do that and many have professed their support and love for the show, what is ABC’s mindset?

    I pray that this is just a marketing scheme to bring further public attention to the show.

  • Kayla

    Cashmere Mafia was one of the only truly entertaining show left on tv, and it’s gone. will it come back????

  • mary

    I love Cashmere Mafia! I agree about the marketing comment A’ndrea. Because anyone who’s watched it loves it! Ah! I love it! I’m so sad they are cancelling it!

  • Jojo

    This is the best show on tv… and is by far better than lipstick jungle. i highly recommend abc to keep this show on air… or bring it back. i advise abc to boost its marketing, spread the word and bring this show back… everyone i know loves this show way more than lipstick jungle.

  • I agree that it is a better show than Lipstick Jungle even though I love watching both. I definitely agree it is due to marketing…there just hasn’t been as much for Cashmere and there should be more since it is a much better show. It is so great to finally have an interesting show that isn’t about murder and death, but one that is fun, entertaining and exciting! I’m hoping the rumors are just that; nothing but rumors….maybe sent out to see if the public begs them to leave it on….I’m begging!

  • I have to agree. I do not connect with Lipstick Jungle. It feels forced and I’m not buying Brooke Shields as miss Power Executive or whatever.

    I felt Cashmere Mafia, while it has it’s bumps, is a better show. I wish they would give shows more than just 4-5 episodes before they cancel them. Some of the best shows on TV are cancelled before they’re even given a chance. It’s all about the almighty dollar.

  • Cashmere Mafia has been an excellent show from the start. It’s improved each week, even if the ratings haven’t. Bonnie and her co-stars do a terrific job. It’s easier to identify with and sympathize with the women of Cashmere than it is with the women of Lipstick. I think that Cashmere is a much better show, and it deserves another chance.

  • Shawn McKinney

    I’ve watched both show and to tell you the truth I keep falling asleep on Lipstick Jungle ( Not so great) Now Cashmere Mafia is amazing…….I watched 4 episodes in a roll on my laptop in the middle of the night. LOVE IT!!!! I’d even pay to watch it weekly. It’s that great!

  • E James

    Even though Cashmere Mafia has now been cancelled for a while, I keep hopeing it comes back. I watch lipstick jungle only because they took CM off the air. CM what a much better show, and I agree, it wasn’t advertised as MUCH or as well as LJ. What a shame…..I still have it set on my DVR to record, you never know, miracles can happen!

  • I also like a Cashmere Mafia too. Waiting for comeback again.