By Jeffrey Epstein
We first got to know her as Ellen's best bud on the groundbreaking show Ellen. We adored her as a blackjack dealer/investigator on Wild Card (on Lifetime television for women and gay men). And we can't wait to love to hate her as Lynette's (Felicity Huffman) new boss from hell on Desperate Housewives! 'I am the new bitch in town!' she coos. We got a chance to chat with the actress and longtime friend of the gays.
So how did you land your Desperate gig?
It was like 10 o'clock at night and they said they wanted me there on Desperate Housewives tomorrow morning and I said, 'OK, why? What's happening?' And I went down there and, by the end of the day, I was part of the show. It's wonderful.
From Ellen to Desperate Housewives'one gay fave to another!
I'm gay friendly. [Laughs] I say that jokingly, but actually it's true. I surround myself with people that I love and they happen to be gay, most of them.
And you performed at the Village at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
I did. I did my one-woman show there when I was preggers and donated all the money back to the Center. I'm Better Midler!
A lot has changed for you since Ellen. For one, you have a daughter!
My daughter is 4 years old and she is ridiculous'ridiculous. She told me when I left, 'Au revoir, mommy. Au revoir.' I was like'ridiculous.
Did you watch Desperate Housewives before?
I had a bit, but it's really difficult for me to watch TV at all with a 4-year-old, and I was putting a music thing together'then I was in Toronto shooting a show for two years'I didn't watch TV at all. But now I've seen a bunch of them, so now I know where I'll fit in.
How bitchy can you be?
You know I am going to reach way down inside me and find my inner C-word. I'm going to torture [Lynette].
Now, were you nervous at all going into a show where the cast had already gelled?
Nothing really makes me nervous except flying.
Do you talk to anyone from the Ellen days at all, still?
I do. I'm in touch with Ellen and I run into Jeremy [Piven] and Clea [Lewis] every now and again. And Dave Higgins and I just recently did the commentary for the Season 2 DVD. So it's really funny.
Do you remember feeling like you were on a landmark show when you were on it?
Absolutely. I mean, that's what I said recently to someone. They asked, 'What does it feel like to be a part of [Housewives]?' I don't know why, but I didn't realize the enormity of the show just because I wasn't an avid fan. I didn't run to the TV to watch it just like everybody does. But when I was cast the publicity was crazy, and I thought, Wow, that's really wild. The only thing I can liken it to is being a part of Ellen because the press had a life of its own with that show, obviously for different reasons. But I am so proud to have been a part of that show. I mean we really changed television. I mean, we would not have Will & Grace if there weren't an Ellen. And I know all the boys watch Desperate Housewives.