index_corner.gif - 11174 Bytes Banner.jpg - 11843 Bytes
Justice League
UPDATES


Follow Pazsaz Entertainment Network at Twitter!  Become a fan of Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Facebook!  Connect to Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Myspace!  See what Pazsaz Entertainment Network likes on Pinterest  Read the Pazsaz Entertainment Network Blog
OUR SPONSORS

index_center_banner.gif - 14958 Bytes

Bookmark and Share
 
Harry's Law Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Kathy Bates

This is an interview with Kathy Bates on September 6, 2011 about the show Harry's Law.

Question:
What would you do if you had to start all over again at your age?

Kathy Bates:
Oh my Lord. I don't know. I don't even like to think about the prospect of having to do that and I think that's one of the reasons why I'm so grateful to have this job. I know a lot of people my age are having to start over and I don't know what I could begin to do. I think I would probably try to get a job involving animals, something more quiet and less public.

Question:
We can say that you're enjoying this role on Harry's Law?

Kathy Bates:
Absolutely. I'm very happy to have a job every day and it's what I've come to love to do and how do - let's see. I'm not expressing myself very well this morning. I enjoy acting. I've always enjoyed it and I'm really enjoying working on this particular character and the challenge of also putting in the hours that we do for television and it's been difficult but a pleasure if that makes sense. I like getting up in the morning and going to work. I can't believe I'd say that but I do.

Question:
You've played so many different characters in your career, what do you find the most impressive or surprising about Harry?

Kathy Bates:
I think all of us have been in situations where we've maybe had a confrontation with someone and we walk away from it and then maybe a few minutes later or even a day later we think, ???Oh, I wish I had said that. I wish I had been clever enough to say exactly this to that person.??? And I think that's one of the things that Harry has is that ability that we all wish we had to say in the moment eloquently and forcefully exactly what's on our mind and what even makes the best argument at a given moment. And it's fun to be able to play someone that has that almost superhuman ability to express themselves in that way.

And I love playing a character whose blunt, who's irritable, who doesn't get along with everybody, who doesn't make any secret of her feelings and yet at the same time she's complex and we don't really understand everything that's going on with Harry at the moment and things are revealed in time. And I enjoy playing that complex character.

Question:
Do you think that the new characters that are coming in, Mark Valley's character and Karen Olivo's character are they going to help sort of dimensionalize Harry and bring out more of her aspects?

Kathy Bates:
I sure hope so. I have to say I'm one that really misses Brittany and Aml. I was very close to Aml especially last year and I miss very much having him on the show. I wish that he was still there. And I think both with Karen and with Mark who I already adore working with, Harry's got some issues with Mark's character, Ollie, he doesn't always rub her the right way. And I think with Karen's character, she's becoming a bit of a mentor. At first she's very blunt with Cassie and doesn't treat her very well but in the later episodes I'm discovering she's beginning to have a mentor relationship with her which is something that Harry detests doing but I think she's beginning to embrace more in her old age. But I sure do miss Aml and miss Brittany and I'm hoping that they'll be back at some point.

Question:
When they go into Season 2 and they sort of take these two characters out, do they deal with that sort of heavily or is it really brief?

Kathy Bates:
They do. Certainly they do in Jenna's case. In Aml's case, Malcolm is said to be off studying at school and so they haven't really dealt with him in the same way. I hope it leaves it open for him to come back. But they certainly do deal, and I don't want to give too much away, but they do deal with Jenna leaving.

Question:
You directed one of our episodes of one of our favorite shows Six Feet Under and I was wondering if you have any interest or plans to direct Harry's Law this season?

Kathy Bates:
Not this season certainly. You know, I have been thinking about it a little bit. Paul McCrane who has come back to the show this season has directed one and did a beautiful job and it's made me think about it but it would have to be an episode where or the previous episode I would be lighter in the episode so I could prep. I did a film for Lifetime called Ambulance Girl that I both acted in and directed so that isn't so much the problem, it's the time to really prep the show and that would require being in an episode less than I normally am.

Question:
Last season we saw an old boyfriend of Harry's. In this season will we get an opportunity for Harry to have a love interest? And if so is there any potential romantic interest between Harry and Tommy Jefferson?

Kathy Bates:
I don't think that there definitely is a chemistry between the two but I think it has to do with something a bit more basic and that is of all the people in the office, he's the one that understands her dilemma with getting older and how she looks at life. And he's the only one that kind of can commiserate. But I think Tommy has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he has a thing for the younger ladies and he usually pays to have a companion. So I doubt that they would have a romantic fling. I think he goes more for the younger ones. But and I don't know whether Harry would have a romantic interest. I think it would have to be somebody who would really would have to be somebody who would put up with how prickly she is certainly.

Question:
You had mentioned some challenges with working on the show and I wondered what has been one of your biggest challenges working on the show and how did you overcome that challenge?

Kathy Bates:
I guess my biggest challenge is learning lines every day and every weekend. Takes up a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of focus and just making peace with that and realizing that comes along with the job and that I have to just get the work done and not complain about it. That's been my biggest challenge. And not just learning the lines, but absorbing the lines and digesting them so that the lines disappear and Harry takes their place.

Question:
Do you consider Harry as a type of role model for women? I mean she goes by a man's name of course but maybe that's in an affectionate way but what do you think about her particular life in view of women today?

Kathy Bates:
I think she's a professional woman. I think she's a woman who's probably given a lot for her profession and I'm very curious about Harry's background. I know she's been married a couple of times and you never know with David whether a prodigal child will show up at some point or not. And so I don't know that she's necessarily a role model for women. I mean I think she is certainly a woman who speaks her mind and tries to stand up for those causes that she believes are right. And she certainly speaks eloquently in the courtroom and she's a smart woman. She's not particularly affectionate I don't think. I think she's got a heart of gold underneath all of that but she's pretty blunt and pretty straightforward. I guess I don't know that I think of her as a role model for women except for the fact that she is a strong woman and that she has made her way certainly in a world that is very difficult for women which is the law I think.

Question:
Do you struggle with aging? And please tell us some of your style secrets because you always look great.

Kathy Bates:
I'll answer the second question first. I have a lot of help certainly on the show. We have a wonderful costumer, Lisa Eisler, E-I-S-L-E-R, and she's worked a lot, especially this last year we've worked a lot with Marina Rinaldi. They have beautiful suits for women and that's what I've chosen to wear this year for Harry. And so I have a lot of help in that I have somebody to go and shop for me. I don't have to go shop for the show.

And I have wonderful makeup and hair people, Kelly Kline, K-L-I-N-E, and Jori, J-O-R-I, Genae, G-E-N-A-E, Murray, M-U-R-R-A-Y. She does the makeup for the show and she's very conscious about skin care. And at the end of every day she cleans all the makeup off and sort of gives me a mini-facial and gives me products to use at home to keep my face soft and supple and because it gets a lot of wear and tear on the set.

The first question is, yes, I guess I do think about aging certainly as I get older. And I'm happy that the show requires me to walk a lot. It forces me to get a lot of exercise whether I want to or not so that's a good thing.

Question:
You talked earlier about some of the principal cast changes that were going to be taking place this season. What about guest starring changes? Can you give us any kind of a little sneak preview of what we can look forward to whether it be guest stars or maybe some plot twists or interesting cases that Harry might be taking on?

Kathy Bates:
Yes, absolutely. The first three episodes actually involve a murder case. Alfred Molina, wonderful actor of stage and screen, plays a man who has been accused of murdering his wife. And Jean Smart who is the DA or who is prosecuting him is one of our guest stars. And there are a lot of twists and turns in that case over the first three episodes.

Also Paul McCrane who was the district attorney last year, he's going to be back this year. He's directing Episode 4. And it's a very interesting case about a young woman who's been charged with homicide because she outed a girl at high school for being gay on her blog. And it's a very timely subject. The girl committed suicide and so the young blogger is being charged with her homicide. So that's one of the cases that I found really interesting this season.

Question:
Are you all done with The Office? Any chance we'll see you back there at any point?

Kathy Bates:
No. I mean I'm all done. I think they've got James Spader now. I think they realized with my schedule with Harry it just wasn't able to be there as much as I wanted to. So unfortunately I wasn't able to do both.

Question:
Rosie O'Donnell said in a preview for her new show that's coming up that she gets mistaken for you in shopping malls. Is this really a problem? Do you ever get mistaken for her?

Kathy Bates:
No. I don't get mistaken for her but I know she's told me that on occasion so I think especially when we were younger. I think I look a bit older now since I've let my gray hair go.

Question:
Are you going to miss that kind of sidewalk lawyer, Fine Shoes and Law kids coming up helping with cases kind of an atmosphere that kind of more family casual atmosphere than what's going to happen to the law firm now that you're adding bigger guns?

Kathy Bates:
Yes. I think I will. I keep hoping that someone will wander into the shoe store and make it upstairs and it will be more of those kinds of cases. You know, I think it would be interesting to have a mix of both.

Question:
Is there something about Harry that we're going to learn this season a little more about that back-story?

Kathy Bates:
There are a couple of things that are revealed about her that I don't want to reveal now. But and it's always a surprise to me. David is very much the creator of the show and so I have little to no input about what happens to Harry. Although we do have some discussion at times if there's a question I have about where she's going in a particular scene or that I need help with. But he's very much in the driver's seat for the show so I'm always finding out along with everybody else what's actually going on with Harry.

Question:
You've talked a bit about the changes and tweaks in the characters but also the whole neighborhood there that the show is set in is going to be more upscale, less seedy. Was that necessary to be able to take on some of the bigger cases?

Kathy Bates:
That's a David question but my guess would be yes. And I think what you see in the very beginning of the opening season is the neighborhood has become a little more gentrified. It was going in that direction when Harry first opened the shoe store law firm and it's gone a little further in that way. You know, so I think in order to take these big cases on, it was a sort of necessary growth pain that the firm had.

Question:
The photo of you on the NBC site, you were holding kind of a red stress ball, a squishy ball in your hand, instead of a gun. Is that a change or are you still a gun-toting lawyer?

Kathy Bates:
That was all done last year. That was just an alternative to the gun. So I haven't used the gun this year but I'm hoping there will be an opportunity.

Question:
You've used words such as blunt and prickly and grumpy to describe your character. I'm just curious is there a balance that you have to watch as we want her to be curmudgeonly as it is written and yet she has to be somewhat accessible at the same time. Is that something that can necessarily be written down on a page or is that something that they trust you as an actor to kind of say like, ???We just need you to strike that balance between curmudgeonly and accessible????

Kathy Bates:
I guess I've never really talked about it with David. It's just been something that I guess I've sort of naturally been able to do. You know, they've never had to say sort of dial it back in terms of the bluntness or anything. I guess there's a likability there that I have and lucky to have it and that I don't have to worry so much about that balance. There are opportunities that David has written in some of the scripts for Harry to bare her heart to different people in the cast so that also helps strike a balance.

Question:
Have there ever been moments where you've been kind of looking at a scene and thinking to yourself, ???Geez, I'm not sure if she'd be this curmudgeonly,??? or on the other hand, ???I'm not sure if she'd be this open or this loveable,??? at times?

Kathy Bates:
Yes. I mean I think there are times when I think maybe she wouldn't be quite as loveable. And if I have problems like that I usually go to David and talk to him about it and see if we can make some kind of an adjustment or vice versa, you know. And but I try to respect his wishes as the writer and the creator of the show and sometimes there are directions that he is going in that I don't particularly know yet why we're going that direction until it's been written about in the next episode if you understand what I'm saying.

Question:
Has making this show changed in any way your personal perception of lawyers or the legal profession?

Kathy Bates:
It certainly has been a wonderful pretend for me. You know, my mother, God rest her, born in 1907, wanted to be a lawyer and I think there were so very few choices available to her when she was coming along. And when I got the script for Harry's Law I thought about my mother and I thought, ???Well this is I guess as close as she'll get.??? And it's a bit of a nostalgic trip for me at times imagining what kind of lawyer she would've been because she was awfully smart and blunt herself. And so I kind of feel like she's the Harry Korn in my life.

Question:
Has the Emmy recognition given yourself and your castmates sort of fresh momentum?

Kathy Bates:
Absolutely. It was a real surprise and I love the fact that Paul McCrane was also nominated. And I realize that means that people aren't just watching the show to see me, they're seeing other people in the show as well and that's a real excitement even though we just - as you say, we just got the 12 episodes. And I'm hoping that his year they'll give us a chance to do a back nine and stick around for a while.

Question:
Is there anything that surprised you about being a regular in a TV series? And did playing Jo on The Office kind of help prepare you for your role on Harry's Law?

Kathy Bates:
Nothing helped me prepare. I don't mean to complain. But it is quite a workout physically, mentally, emotionally to be ready to work every day at 7, 7:30 in the morning. I'm not a morning person at all. And so that's a bit of a challenge for me. And as I said before, learning that amount of dialogue and making it really real and natural and of the character and it was a steep learning curve last year but I'm really enjoying it this year. I feel like I've got the momentum under my belt and I really enjoy going into work every day.

  • Return to Articles at Pazsaz Entertainment Network

  •  
    Site Sponsors Check this out!    

    Disneyland
    ARTICLES
    OUR SPONSORS

    Search the Pazsaz Entertainment Network:

    Custom Search
    | Copyright & Disclaimer | FAQ | Privacy Policy | Partners | Discussion Board | Feedback |
    Copyright © 1991-2017, Pazsaz Entertainment Network, All Rights Reserved.

    Space