When many of us last saw Teri Hatcher she was arm-in-arm with Superman Dean Cain on Lois & Clark. While a stint as Sally Bowles in the national tour of Cabaret and the role of a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies followed, Hatcher intentionally dropped out of the limelight to raise her daughter (with her ex Jon Tenney), Emerson Rose. But Hatcher is back on the small screen in Desperate Housewives (Sundays on ABC) as Susan Mayer, a divorcee with a young daughter (art imitating life?) who gets caught up in her friends mysterious death (ummaybe not). Having adored her since her days as a manipulative vixen in the film Soapdish, we cornered Hatcher recently for a quick Q&A.
Did you do any research for the role of Susan?
I am a card-carrying member of the Desperate Housewifes Club! Im a single mom, certainly have related during my entire life to struggles and issues and insecurities. I have girlfriends who are all moms. Thats my life. I get up, I cook breakfast, I pack lunches, I take her to school, I try to work and pay the bills. Its my life.
I love how Susan is self-effacing and doesnt take herself seriously.
Its definitely the best material I have had in my career. Getting to play somebody insecure and bumbly, I jumped at that opportunity and worked hard to get it.
You also took on the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, a gay favorite. What was that like?
Life-changing. At the time, my daughter was one. I was still breast-feeding. I was on the road doing eight shows a week. [Openly gay director] Rob Marshall, whos the biggest genius of all time, had directed it. I could never do it again. It feels like, How did I ever do that? How did I dive off that cliff and do that? That was amazing opportunity.
Are you nervous going back to a heavy primetime schedule?
Part of what my expectation is, because its an ensemble and the storylines arent necessarily connected, I dont think were going to work every single hour of every single day or every single episode. Thats the scary thing for me. I have been very available to my parenting, to my daughter, and thats going to shift for the very first time since shes been alive.
Will she be on set?
Some. Shes starting first grade so it works well for me. Well get through it.
Will you let her watch the show?
No! [Laughs] I dont let her watch any television. She has never watched television.
Its a show created and executive produced by gay men. Whats that atmosphere like?
They should do a reality show on Mark [Cherry], just listening to him tell stories about his life. But Michael [Edelstein] is all about fashion and very into beauty. Its great. He knows wa-a-ay more about fashion than I do. I know nothing compared to Michael Edelstein.
Is there a difference working with gay men like Mark, Michael, and Roband working with straight producers?
Yes, theres a difference. Theres a different vibe. It feels right for me right now. It feels very right for my life right now.