AE: Well, speaking of The L Word, I don’t know how plugged in you are to the lesbian community, but we have this sort of universal scale by which we measure things we hate on TV, and no one has ever reached “Kill Dana Fairbanks” bad. It’s the ultimate insult we hurl at TV writers and showrunners, like, “Ugh. God. He’d probably kill Dana Fairbanks.”
ED: [Laughs] That is hysterical. I had no idea. Actually, we were out at dinner the other night, with the whole family, which was quite an experience. There’s nothing like trying to take a ten-week-old baby to a restaurant. A woman sitting at table sitting next to us kept looking over like she was trying to put it together and then she goes, “Oh! From The L Word! You played the tennis player!” And then she gasped and said, “They killed you; that was terrible!”
AE: See? I’m telling you. We’re still mad. Lesbians never forget. Do you have an affection for your time on The L Word?
ED: Oh, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I have so many great friends from my time on the show. Kate Moennig has become one of my absolute best friends, which is really funny, because the first day I met her, she intimidated the hell out of me. I was like, “How can any one person be this cool? It’s not normal.” I was afraid she might roll her eyes every time I opened my mouth because I’m so not cool. But, ironically, now she’s like my sister. The L Word was such a unique experience. We were all in Vancouver together, away from home, and we hung out with each other all the time. It was so rare and so great to be surrounded by that many strong, smart women.
AE: Would you play gay again?
ED: In a heartbeat. Something gay recently came my way, and unfortunately it was too soon after the birth of my daughter for me to get it together and audition. You know, for me, it’s about the role, not about the sexuality. If it’s interesting and she’s gay, of course I’d jump at that opportunity. If the only interesting thing about the part is that she’s gay, I feel like TV should have grown past that by now.
AE: You know, The L Word, more than any other thing in pop culture, is what paved the way for that reality. It was the show that made people go, “Oh, so lesbians have more characteristics than lesbianism?”
ED: Right, which is exactly how it should be. People aren’t defined by a single quality. No one’s defining me by my sexuality as a straight person, and we shouldn’t be defining lesbians by their sexuality as gay people.
Photo courtesy of Logo
AE: If you were going to create the character of your dreams, who would she be? What kind of characters are you drawn to?
ED: I love funny characters, but I am also drawn to characters who are flawed, characters who are human and make mistakes, but who have a sense of humor about themselves. Sarcasm never hurts. One of the things I love about Dana was that she was sometimes hilarious and sometimes dramatic on the same page. Dana had real emotions. Sometimes her reactions were completely inappropriate, and that’s OK, because sometimes we all react inappropriately. I am just so proud of Dana, of how real and relatable she turned out to be. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Of course I’m holding one of the other best things I’ve ever done. [Coos at her baby daughter.]
AE: Well, that’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard while doing an interview.
ED: It’s true. You know, my dream project is one that allows me to spend a lot of time with my kids. My oldest son has been on set with me and with my husband, who is a producer, and it doesn’t phase him at all. And I love having him there.
AE: He’s not weirded out when he sees you on TV?
ED: No way. I think it’s because he sees himself on our iPhones and our iPads and our laptops. He’s probably like, “I’m on TV, you’re on TV, we’re all on TV!”
AE: Well, we hope to see you on our TVs soon and for a long, long time. Anything you want to say to your lesbian fan base?
ED: Yes! Don’t go nowhere! Wow, did I just say, “Don’t go nowhere?” See, that’s what happens when I try to be cool. Don’t go anywhere. Is that better? Yes. Don’t go anywhere.
AE: That’s the thing about lesbians. We never forget and we think self-deprecating humor is cool. I promise we’re not going nowhere no time soon.
ED: [Laughs] Good. And I promise to always wear my fabulous shoes for you.