They will survive. Despite weathering the not-so-perfect storm of plane crashes, tornadoes, cancer and money woes over the better part of eight seasons, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
most only stable couple is about to face their biggest challenge yet. But will Tom and Lynette Scavo actually utter the dreaded “D-word,” we caught up with Tom’s real-life alter ego Doug Savant to find out just that.
Having once heard creator Marc Cherry say that he would never break up Tom and Lynette, we first have to ask, should fans be concerned that Lynette and Tom might be headed for… divorce?
Doug Savant: I really believe that there was a moment about 4 or 5 episodes ago where Lynette insulted Tom to a degree that had never been insulted before. When she said to him in the kitchen, “Well, you’re 46 and you’re sort of nowhere,” and this, after years and years of jumping through hoops and trying every which way to please her. Well we’re certainly going into new territory where the dynamic has shifted more dramatically in the last year than it has in the previous seven. There’s a real power struggle going on now that Lynette finally goaded Tom into taking this job and leaving Carlos’ place of business and the irony is that he is now everything that she had wanted him to be and yet it’s not making her happy.
Over the course of seven plus seasons, the writers have done a remarkable job of crafting a realistic portrayal of married life complete with real arguments and emotions. Yet as an actor, do you ever worry that you character crosses a line?
Yeah we do, we both do. I think Felicity will occasionally feel like, “Oh gosh I don’t want Lynette to be too big of a bitch.” But we really try and leave our egos at the door and make sure that it’s true and authentic to this particular relationship. The greatness of the writing is that they’re both currently grounded in a very specific truth that is that Tom has indeed done everything that he could do to please her and now won’t back down from that, where as Lynette feels justified in her position that she no longer recognizes the man she married.
While we’re fairly certain you can’t spoil how Sunday’s season finale ends, can you at least assure fans that the most recent story arc for Tom and Lynette’s won’t end on a cliffhanger?
I believe we gain some closure, but there’s not a finality to it. This marriage and relationships in general are an ongoing evolution, but fans will be relieved to know that there is some closure to this particular issue. How’s that?
Are you a fan of the stability that is Tom and Lynette, or would you have preferred to see Tom “step-out” on her at least once over the course of the series?
Frankly. I’ve always been quite proud that Tom and lynette are perhaps television’s finest representation to America of what a good marriage looks like. It is by no means perfect, but I’ve always said at the core of the relationship is a deep, abiding and profound love for each other that supersedes any particular issue that had them in conflict. That said, the writers are pushing the relationship into unchartered territory by beginning to test this marriage by asking what happens when you get everything that you’ve ever desired and its not at all what you expected?
Full disclosure: We grew up with a poster of your real-life wife Laura Leighton iconic Rolling Stones adorning our bedroom wall. Raising the question: Has there every been any talk about having her drop by the lane? She’d make a great housewife.
Marc Cherry has flirted with the idea. Years ago, he had said to both Laura and [Felicity Huffman's husband] Bill Macy that he wanted to have a scene where Tom and Lynette go out to dinner and encounter a couple that happens to be Laura Leighton and Bill Macy. Marc cherry always like those ironies. As you know, Ryan O’Neal played my father on the show and there was a time — and it didn’t turn out this way so I guess I can share this now — that at some point he wanted to cast Mia Farrow as my mother because in Peyton Place Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow had been a couple. Marc is a lover of television, film and theater so he has all of these ideas running in his head and he enjoys — as anybody would in his position — getting a chance to cast actors that he’s loved and admired in the past and put them in unusual or ironic roles.
Having starred on both MELROSE PLACE and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES you’re primarily known for playing a nice guy, but in between those two shows you played a total militaristic badass on FIREFLY. Did you relish that opportunity to play such a out-of-character character?
Yeah. Nathan Fillion came on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, before CASTLE, and we were chatting about it. I was really only there, playing Commander Harken for an episode. but because the show has such a passionate fan base, every few months I’ll have a fan remind me about the role. I’m never forgotten by that fan base.
And finally, speaking of never forgotten. You’re journey as an actor has seen you star in not just one, but two shows that were lucky enough to tap into the cultural zeitgeist du jour. What’s it like being on the tip of America’s tongue like that and is it something you could ever get used to?
It’s like being at a birthday party all the time. It’s the luckiest coincidence I could have, honestly, I feel like I have a horseshoe in my back pocket because I have not had just one but now two shows that that tapped into the cultural zeitgeist of the day. It’s the greatest thing because you have a sense that this show is going to hang around, it’s significant and it resonates with the culture. You have a lasting place in people’s memory and that ‘s a great thing for an actor.
Don’t miss DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES two-hour season finale this Sunday May 15th at 9PM on ABC (CTV in Canada). Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv