As fans of Desperate Housewives well know, the women of Wisteria Lane do indeed keep house, but when push comes to shove, these randy ladies aren’t often desperate for long. Case in point: Dana Delany.

Though her Katherine Mayfair is fresh out of the loony bin (more on that later), this Sunday she takes a new roomie — a stripper with a heart of gold named Robin — and promptly plants one on her ... and likes it.

As fans of the show know, Katherine is recovering from a broken heart: She lost Mike Delfino to his ex-wife, Susan (Teri Hatcher), and, in her attempt to move on, stabbed herself and pinned it on him. As the saying goes, “If I can’t have him ... ”

She got help and by some miracle managed to redeem herself to the other housewives. Now, in an attempt to move on with her life, Katherine’s going through a phase of self-discovery ... and what better way to test the waters of same-sex romance than with Julie Benz, late of Showtime’s Dexter.

Delany talked to The Advocate about what Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has in store for Katherine, why she’s comparing this to a Meredith Baxter–type story, and what she wishes she could have done with Jennifer Beals on the set of The L Word.

The Advocate:
So let's get right down to it… Katherine is doing a bit of a 180 with her love life.
Dana Delany:
Yes, she is.

How did you respond when the writers brought this idea to you?

Oh, I loved it — I thought it was a great idea. A lot of the ladies on the set have said, “Why has this not happened before?” I think everybody wanted to be the one who got to do it.

So far, we know you share an intimate moment with Julie Benz, and I’ve read that it develops in to something more. I know story lines there are a closely guarded secret, but is there anything else you can tell us?
Yeah, Julie moves in with me. She is totally an openly, out lesbian, and she’s very up-front about that. She moves in with me because she needs a place to stay. And then I think it makes Katherine question things about herself.

I thought it was interesting how you compared this story line to Meredith Baxter’s recent coming-out — she was very specific that she’d never ruled it out, it just wasn’t something that had ever occurred to her. Is that kind of the way we’re going to see things play out with Katherine?
Yeah, I think it’s going to take her by surprise, the feelings she’s having. I think that she’s still so emotionally vulnerable from getting out of the loony bin [laughs], and I think she and Robin [Benz] connect on a kind of wounded, emotional level. And I think if anything, she’s feeling this kind of emotional solace with her, and that draws her to Robin in a physical way, and that’s confusing to her.

And I just have to put it out there — if you’re going to play gay, Julie Benz is a pretty hot way to kick things off.

Oh, my God. Well, and not only is she gorgeous, she’s a really good actress. I think people get so lost in her looks that they don’t realize how good she is.

Desperate Housewives
has been criticized in the past, perhaps a bit unfairly, for introducing gay story lines and then letting them fade into the background. What would you ultimately like to see happen with this story arc for Katherine?

I just want it to be true, you know. I think it would be fun if Katherine did decide that she was gay. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, though, because story lines change a lot on the set. If anything, I think Marc is interested in playing the complexity of that. The moment you cross that line of having sex with someone — and I think there’s a lot of people who’ve been there [laughs], where you wake up and go, “Oh, my God. What did I just do? And what happens after that?” I think that’s familiar to people.

Tags: television