BY Brandon Voss
September 08 2009 2:20 PM ET
Were you aware of your gay following back in the day?
Yeah, and I’m
so flattered by it. I had a terrific character that was so fun to watch
and talk about, so I was thrilled to have a following -- gay, straight,
anybody who appreciated the character. I remember back in ’90s people
saying they were going to parties dressed as Sydney. It was awesome.
Why did you leave Melrose Place at the end of season 5?
years is a normal run of an original contract, and the five years had
come up for most of the cast. A lot of us were reaching that point when
it just felt like a natural time to move forward and find out what was
next, and I fell into that category. I felt like I’d told as many crazy
stories as I could with the character at the time, and I didn’t want to
resent the character or the stories. Also, it was my very first job, so
my life kind of went from zero to 60. I was a bartender and a waitress
in Los Angeles in the same year that I suddenly landed on a hit
television show and found myself on the cover of Rolling Stone. It was
this bizarre, fast-moving train that didn’t stop for years. It was a
wonderful ride, but I felt a bit overwhelmed, and I didn’t have a calm
perspective. There’s something disorienting and disconcerting about
that feeling, so I wanted to slow down, process things, and be normal
for a little while. I remember my agents and people around me saying,
“You need to go right onto another show because they only want to hire
you for other shows if you’re on one right now. It’s going to be much
harder to get a job if you take a break.” But I just didn’t feel
comfortable jumping right into something else. I really needed a break.
I needed to go be myself.
Did you watch the show after you left?
No, I didn’t watch it, but only because I wasn’t ever really a very big TV watcher.
Did you have to fight against being typecast as a crazy bitch?
I first left Melrose I was really craving normal, smart women -- not
vixens and bad girls. I remember walking into auditions and feeling
that people were puzzled when they met me because they were expecting
someone much more obnoxious; I felt like they were disappointed that I
wasn’t nearly as interesting as the characters that I’d played. But
when you play a lot of lawyers and regular people without much
mischief, you start craving the fun again. Sydney was the most fun
character I’ve ever had, so to play her again is an unexpected gift.
It’s good to play a variety, but bad girls are more fun.
When producers first contacted you about returning for the Melrose update, did you remind them that Sydney was dead?
I heard they were going to make a new version of Melrose, I never
assumed I would be involved in any way. So I was completely surprised
when they called and said they wanted to talk to me about an idea for
how to bring my character in. I was like, “But I’m dead, aren’t I?” So
I was cautious but curious, and that’s the attitude I went in with to
hear their pitch.
It was leaked to the media months ago that
most of your scenes would be flashbacks since Syd’s found dead in the
apartment complex pool during the pilot. Why did producers spoil that
I think they felt like it would be too difficult to keep
it as a secret, and they wanted to confront the cool element that it
adds to the show rather than work so hard to conceal it.
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