Thursday, September 5, 2013

Interview — Rebecca Wisocky: From Fairy Queen to Ice Queen

Since its debut in June, each week “Devious Maids” — Lifetime Television’s original Sunday-night drama created and written by Marc Cherry, of “Desperate Housewives” fame — has seen a steady and record-breaking increase in viewers, myself being one of them. While I love all of the characters, I can’t get enough of Evelyn Powell, played by the exquisite Rebecca Wisocky. Her scenes with Thomas Irwin — who plays her husband, Adrian — are heartbreaking and breathtaking. And the rest of the cast ain’t so bad, either! I was thrilled to speak with Rebecca recently, and we talked all things “Devious” — and also a bit about her previous stint on another favorite of mine, “True Blood.”

Celebrity Extra: When you first read the script and got the call to audition, what made you want to be part of “Devious Maids,” and especially to play the delicious part of Evelyn?

Rebecca Wisocky: Everything. I respect Marc as a storyteller and as a writer a great deal. I know Evelyn is the kind of character that he excels at writing, and it’s just so, so juicy and delicious to play. I had just played a small part in a flashback in the final scene of “Desperate Housewives,” and had such a great time. I couldn’t imagine my good fortune that he chose me to do this. But it also felt like the perfect fit, to be honest. I’ve played a lot of bitches, and I try to lend some complexity and vulnerability to them when I can — and this was that, and so much more. It’s the kind of woman that I find desperately interesting.

CE: This might be impossible to answer, but what is your favorite thing about being on “Devious Maids”?

RW: Oh, I can’t choose one. I can give you a long list of things, but I really can’t choose just one. I love my primary scene partner, Tom Irwin — just in love with him. Love the whole cast. Love Marc Cherry. I love Evelyn. She’s allowed to be flawed and dangerous and vulnerable and wickedly funny and blind and still be likable. And I love her clothes. I love shooting in Atlanta. I’m having a blast.

CE: The revelation about their son who was killed as a child is riveting, and has me glued to my TV watching them deal with their still-raw emotions. What else about Evelyn and Adrian’s relationship is so compelling for the audience?

RW: Well, they’re sick and twisted, and the stakes are very, very high and very dark. But I think there’s something about that relationship that people can relate to. They’re in it together, for better or for worse. I’m hearing that a lot, and I’m very pleasantly surprised and interested in how much people seem to be feeling for Evelyn and rooting for her. Because let’s not forget she’s an evil bitch. She does and says things that are morally reprehensible. Yet Marc has allowed us to show this side of her in which she’s this very vulnerable, complex woman who’s endured a tremendous amount of pain. And I think it’s interesting to play on that. This is not a person you are supposed to like, and yet I think the way that she’s been painted in the places I’ve been allowed to go with her have made her a little bit likable. And that’s nice for me. I play bitches a lot, so it’s nice to play one who people love.

CE: You have to give me just a teensy bit of info on what fans can expect as the first season of “Devious Maids” draws to a close.

RW: I will say this: You’ve seen a lot of Evelyn and her story line lately, but for the next few episodes, she takes a little break. But for the final two episodes (airing Sept. 15 and 22), she comes back in full force, and a lot of things come to a head between her and Adrian. I will say that the season opened with a great big, chaotic, glamorous party at the Powell house, of which there are many. And the season also closes with a big, gorgeous, chaotic party at the Powell house — and similarly dramatic things transpire.

CE: Can you tell me how any of this will segue into season two?

RW: I’m not sure it’s there to know yet. I’m sure Marc has a lot of ideas, and I imagine that I’ll hear some of them soon. From my perspective, whatever he writes for me is going to be gold. I think he has a love for this character, and I’m very grateful for that. Whatever direction he decides to take this character in, I’m on board. I’m excited to see what happens with other people, too. By the end of the season, the question “Who killed Flora?” will be answered. But 10 more questions will rear their heads in its place — pretty significant questions. There are a lot of things in the balance.

CE: You have a devoted fan base on Twitter who call themselves the Devious Army. How great is it that they support your show and the actors in this way?

RW: That’s truly a testament to the fans who have come together for the show. There was an article — I think it might have been a blog on the Huffington Post — but it really draws attention to the fact that we’re live-tweeting and having this interaction with the fans of the show, and how it has really increased viewership. Our numbers have grown considerably since our premiere. I’m grateful and really tickled by all of the response that’s been so enthusiastic and so kind. I’m genuinely surprised, delighted and really touched that people love Evelyn.

CE: Another show that has a crazy-devoted fan base is “True Blood,” and a couple of seasons back, you got to play the cool part of the fairy queen, Mab. Tell me about that experience.

RW: It was so much fun. I mean, first of all, I’m a big geek for prosthetics and things like that. The makeup team over there on “True Blood” are such artists. I loved the process of being transformed into a gorgon. I loved it. We shot out in the high desert, and we’re running around like “Land of the Lost” extras. It was fun. I was bummed because I don’t think the fans really rallied around that story line, but I loved playing that character. Everyone on the set and in that crew and in that company was super nice to me.

CE: Your resume is so diverse: comedy, drama, film, TV and plays. Do you like mixing it up like that to keep you on your toes, or do you prefer one genre to another?

RW: I love all of it. I’m a character actor; I really genuinely feel very, very lucky to be working. I would love to do another play soon. That’s been a while. I’d love to do more movies. But again, I feel grateful. I feel like the right thing has kind of come to me at the right time. I feel that I’ve been allowed to play a wide range of characters, which is not always the case in Hollywood. As long as some of that continues, I’m pretty happy.

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