Laura Leighton: The Bitch Is Back
BY Brandon Voss
September 08 2009 1:20 PM ET
Josie Bissett’s Jane, Thomas Calabro’s
Michael, and Daphne Zuniga’s Jo are all scheduled to appear in the new
series. Is there another original Melrose character you’d like to see
brought back — if for no other reason but to find out what became of
It’s been very nostalgic for all of us returning cast members, so we want all the old characters back — we’re very biased. Thomas and I were talking the other day about the period of time when Sydney, Michael, and Peter, Jack Wagner’s character, were all working in the doctor’s office together when I was the receptionist. We were remembering how the three of us were always laughing and goofing around when we shot those scenes, so we thought it would be fun to find out what Peter’s doing and if Peter, Michael, and Sydney could mix it up again.
Should producers pay Heather Locklear whatever
outrageous amount she’s currently demanding to get her back on the show
as Amanda Woodward?
[Laughs] You probably know more about all that than me. I’m always the last to hear.
husband Doug Savant’s character, Matt Fielding, technically died during the
original series as well, but we never saw his corpse either. Although he
currently stars on Desperate Housewives, would Doug do a Melrose cameo
if Marc Cherry and ABC allowed it?
Doug’s a great sport and always up for anything, but when I introduced Doug to our producers at our premiere party, they said, “Well, we don’t think we can have more than one character return from the dead.” Doug kind of went, “Oh, OK. So I guess I won’t be coming back.”
Why haven’t you weaseled your way onto Desperate Housewives in the past five seasons?
Funnily enough, I’ve known Marc Cherry since I was about 18 years old. He was involved in a nonprofit song and dance company called the Young Americans that I was a part of, and he wrote an original musical that I was cast in. So when Doug went in to audition for the Desperate Housewives pilot, Marc stood up to introduce himself, held his hand out, and said, “Hi, Doug, I’m Marc Cherry. I wrote the first thing your wife ever did!” But Marc has joked about wanting to write a scene for Doug and Felicity [Huffman] to have dinner with another couple played by [Huffman’s husband] Bill Macy and myself. That’s Marc’s fantasy, so we’ll see if it actually comes true.
Before you dated Doug,
you dated Melrose costar Grant Show. What’s your advice for the new
cast when it comes to dating other people in the series?
Well, Doug and I didn’t really begin dating until we were leaving the show, and we’ve been married going on 12 years now. Before that I had a relationship for three years with Grant, and relationships with somebody you work with don’t normally last that long. It is dangerous and it can be really awkward when you’re not together anymore and still have to work together, but I managed to have a potentially awkward situation work out pretty well. So I guess my advice would be to do what I say, not as I do [laughs].
Doug’s portrayal of Matt, a
gay social worker, gave a lot of positive mainstream exposure to
gay people, but his love life was painfully neutered. I still
remember the camera panning away from Matt as he was about to kiss someone in the
Yeah, it was ridiculous and annoying, and “neutered” is a great way to put it. I remember Doug being really frustrated by it and saying, “Why are we even doing this if we can’t really tell this story?” But things have come a long way since then, and I know Doug feels quite proud that he was a part of that.
In the new series, Katie Cassidy plays bisexual publicist Ella and Victor Webster plays
Ella’s gay boss. Will there be more same-sex action this time around?
I think so. There’s a lot more permission now to show different kinds of relationships, which is completely liberating for storytellers, for actors, and for all humans to finally be able to tell stories as they really are.
I always thought Syd might flirt with bisexuality,
but I lost all hope when she passed up a threesome with Traci Lords,
who played her cult member roommate Rikki. I mean, who turns down Traci
[Laughs] Yeah, maybe that was just a little too frightening. She was chicken. But it would seem like a natural direction for Sydney to take. Maybe there’s still time for another opportunity.