Interview with ER’s Laura Innes

 
 

AE: That’s great. You know, Kerry Weaver had a lot of challenges to
deal with. She had a physical handicap; she came out; she dated a Latina firefighter
who died; she had a custody battle —
LI:
I know, I feel like Mr. Bill. What’s gonna happen next week? I’m
gonna get like run over by a truck or something?

AE: Did you ever feel like she was kind of the poster child for minorities? [Laughs.]
LI:
Absolutely.
I was like, oh my God are you just crossing everything off the list
with this one character? ‘Cause she was a middle-aged, disabled
lesbian. I sort of got three categories off your inclusion survey with
this character. Yeah, I definitely felt that way, though all that being
said, I just love the character, and I love that she was disabled and
nobody knew what was wrong with her, and all of that sturm and drang
was fun.

And she always was somebody who was not — well, sometimes she was self-pitying,
but usually not self-pitying. We had our indulgent episodes, certainly, but
mostly I’d say she was just kind of like a ball buster and fun to play and smart
and always really, really, really good at her job, and so all that stuff made
it palatable, you know. She wasn’t like the weepy disabled lady. She was kinda
like “Get out of my way and let me do my job.”

Kerry Weaver

And it certainly — for me dramatically and as a human being — was
wonderful to have the character go into this period of trying to figure
out who she was and admit to herself who she was and embrace who she
was, because I think that’s a metaphor for anybody. To just go, “Wait a
minute; who am I and how do I want to live my life?” And that takes a
certain amount of courage and introspection, and so I loved that part
of it. And as an actor, it’s just fun to play and try to figure out.

AE: How do you feel about the way she left the show?
LI:
Well,
they came to me and when we were talking about the end, I said, “I
really don’t want to die.” I didn’t want to have to … shave my head or
wear a bald pate or — I said I just don’t want to be like a big sad
thing. I just don’t want to do that. Plus it just seemed too pathetic.
It’s like, oh my God you killed off the old lady, you know. [Laughs.] I
said I really don’t want that, and I said … to them I would really like
it to be pretty short and sweet. I don’t want it to drag on, and I want
her to kind of ride off into the sunset. And I said to them too, it
would be nice if she was in a relationship and so it seemed like she
was having a good life.

That being said, it did feel a little truncated. [Laughs.] And I think that
had to do with a lot of the dynamic of a show like this, where so many people
have left, and how are we gonna do it this time? I really encouraged them to
keep it very simple, but I have had some people say to me, “Gee, it was so quick.”
It was kind of like, what happened? And I didn’t do a lot of publicity around
it. I guess I just felt like, let’s just have this end without it being a big
to-do.

AE: So is she still with her new girlfriend, Courtney?
LI:
In my imagination I am. [Laughs.]

AE: Are you going to come back for any guest appearances?
LI:
There’s
been some talk of that. Nothing is written down about that. And we’ll
see; I don’t know. One thing they said to me was we kind of did it this
way so she would have some potential reason to actually come back, you
know, that there was some news thing or … documentary or something
about the hospital changing. …So that was kind of laid out purposely
that there was a door that could be reopened, but I don’t know. I think
there’s a lot up in the air about what’s going to go on with the show.
The show’s definitely on for one more year, and I would imagine it will
go on beyond one more year just because it’s still doing so well.

AE: It’s really amazing that it’s still so popular right now, after so many years.
LI:
I know, it’s incredible. It’s amazing. And it’s an incredible group of people — just such a wonderful group of people.

AE: You just finished directing an episode of Studio 60, is that right?
LI:
I
did. In fact where I’m going from here is to the cutting room to finish
editing that episode. … And it was really fun. Really fun.

AE: Do you have any insider tips on whether Studio 60 is surviving another year?
LI:
You
know, I have no insider tips. I hope it does because I had such a great
time, and also I think the show is really getting better and better,
and they’re finding their niche. I just feel like they’re really
finding their rhythm and what the show’s about. So I hope they give it
a chance to keep going.

AE: If you could pair Kerry up again with one of her past lovers, any of them, which one would you choose and why?
LI:
Oh
gosh, which one would I choose and why? I guess probably for me I’d
choose Lisa Vidal, but I think it seemed like the audience was really
into Kim Legaspi. She was like all the rage.

We got a lot of response about Kim and Kerry. We in fact got this
series of postcards that I have somewhere that somebody made that were
very funny postcards that were sort of like Kim and Kerry —they were
like little Barbies, but they were dressed up like Kim and Kerry and in
little poses. They weren’t dirty or anything, unfortunately. But they
were shopping or at the beach or — so I got the idea that for the
audience, they would rather have me with Elizabeth Mitchell. But now
she’s pretty crazy on Lost, so I don’t know. She’s kind of scary. [Laughs.] She’s like some crazy surgeon.

I think I’d choose Lisa Vidal myself, you know, the fireman thing. [Laughs.]

A clip of Kerry and Sandy

AE: Did you like the fireman thing?
LI:
Yeah.
[Laughs.] I like the fireman thing. I always said she [Kerry Weaver]
must be so good in bed, because all of her girlfriends are so hot.

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