Last Sunday’s The Good Wife had one of Kalinda’s hottest scenes to date, and that largely had to do with her partner, Lana. Played by Jill Flint, Lana has popped up on the CBS series at least twice each season, and she never fails to leave us titillated and intrigued.
Flint talked with us about the careful choreography of her sexy scene with Archie Panjabi, the struggle their characters have and why she doesn’t think about Lana’s sexuality when it comes to playing the lesbian FBI agent.
AfterEllen.com: I have to start with the sexy scene which I’m sure you’ve seen is very popular on the internet. [Laughs]
Jill Flint: Oh, yeah.
AE: What did it look like, on the page when you got the script? How was that put into words?
JF: You know I have to credit Archie on this one. She looked at it and she really took the time and she saw an opportunity to expand on the relationship between Kalinda and Lana. Lana has been popping up for the last three years in Kalinda’s life. There was no real window into their lives to see what their relationship was really all about so we really worked on this. This is something that got workshopped and it took nine hours.
JF: Yep, nine hours, you know, of conversation and workshopping and choreographing and rehearsing the crap out of it to make it so good on so many levels. And I really appreciate that she wanted to take the time for it. I think it also shows another side to her character, so it was good.
AE: Definitely. So what do you think Lana really wants from Kalinda?
JF: That’s what I’m trying to figure out myself. It’s interesting being a guest on the show. To disappear for a year and then all of the sudden show up, you have to piece things together. You look at these two women and they are very solitary. If you look at Lana’s apartment, you can see it’s very sparse. She doesn’t have a lot of stuff, she doesn’t put down roots. She has her job that she’s very involved in, obviously. Obviously. [Laughs]
JF: And she met Kalinda, who’s obviously the same way. I don’t think Kalinda enjoys putting down roots either. So they are somewhat like kindred spirits. She keeps offering a job to her — “Come work for me, come work for me” — but she doesn’t do relationships. She doesn’t know how to do relationships. To make it super basic, she’s someone who doesn’t get super involved emotionally. But what do you do if you want to keep someone in your orbit? It’s a mystery sometimes looking at the script and you have to figure out, OK, what is really happening between these lines? What’s really being said here?
AE: When you first came back this season did you know you were going to have this storyline with Lamont Bishop? That you were going to put Kalinda in the position of maybe fearing for her life?
JF: I had no idea. I have no idea what’s coming her way. Each time I get a script I’m surprised. Lana’s been after Lamont Bishop for three years now and I never know at what angle I’m coming.
AE: Do you like that? Do you prefer not to know and then just play whatever comes your way?
JF: I love not knowing. I love the mystery of it, but I have to say that the scene that I was doing with Archie, it was a three-page scene and there was a lot of dialogue but I wasn’t quite sure exactly why I’m saying this right now, and is it motivating something that’s going to happen in the future? Or is it just something that’s just open for interpretation? Therefore I was really grateful that Archie wanted to take the time and really workshop that scene and have the two of us — well the three of us, the director sat down with us — discuss this scene and their future. Like I said, this is the first time we really see Lana and Kalinda privately.
JF: They aren’t in a hotel room; they are on each other’s turf. Mostly, they are on Lana’s turf this time.
AE: Since they both are so manipulative and they are both kind of the same person a lot of the time, do you think Lana could beat Kalinda at her own game? Or do you think it will always be a struggle between the two of them?
JF: I don’t know but I really enjoy the fact that there is a struggle between the two of them. I don’t think Lana wants to hurt Kalinda. I don’t think that’s her MO and that’s why in this scene she’s so torn again because she chooses her job because it’s safe for her. He job is a safeguard. It’s something that she’s sure of. Having all those emotions for someone in her life is scary but obviously they would have to give Kalinda the upper-hand. I mean, obviously, right? Kalinda would have the upper-hand. [Laughs]
AE: [Laughs] Do you think it’s possible for them to ever have something more than just a physical relationship? Could they ever move in together and be like actual partners?
JF: I don’t think that’s who they are as people. You see the way Kalinda is with other characters: She gets what she wants out of them and she’s smart, she’s mysterious, she’s sexy, she’s cunning and I think that’s what Lana admires and loves about her so much. But I don’t see them ever, as of now, getting together to cohabitate. I could be wrong, the writers can create anything. But as of now, especially the way things were left …
AE: Yeah. Well, what can you tell us about your upcoming scenes on the show? Can you tease anything about what going to be happening?
JF: Well, I’m not in the finale and they are on hiatus at the moment so they are currently back in the writers’ room, so I have no idea if there is a future or what might happen. I really, really wish I could answer that question for you.
AE: Would you be surprised if you just never came back? They left that wide open to be more of the storyline.
JF: They did and, to be honest, that’s something I always look for. Like, did they leave it open for me? Is there room for more? I absolutely love being on this show. Absolutely love it. I love working with everyone. It’s awesome. Yeah, the first thing I look for, is it open? [Laughs]
AE: [Laughs] The last time I spoke with Archie, she said she asked what was coming up for her character and she found out that you were coming back and that she was excited and that the fans would be excited too. So I know she enjoys working with you as well.
JF: She’s wonderful. She’s really great! I have nothing but great things to say about that woman.
AE: Do you think you bring anything to Lana, knowing she’s gay? How is she different than other characters that you’ve played? Or is that not part of how you think of her?
JF: You know what’s funny? I don’t actually think about her being either gay or straight. She’s just a sexual being. That’s so funny, I don’t really think of her as different. This is who she is as a woman and this is what she does, what she likes, who she likes. I don’t think of her differently.
AE: Yeah, well that’s good. I’m glad to hear that. [Laughs] I think that’s great because sometimes gay characters come across as stereotypical and that’s probably a great way to approach it so they aren’t stereotypical is to think of them as being not so different from straight characters or whatever else.
JF: Yeah, I mean, we’re all human. And that’s basically what I try to do is make characters as human as possible. I think it’s so funny the whole taboo of gay and straight on TV. I’m amazed how people get completely ruffled by it. I just don’t think about it. I don’t think about it that way. I think about it as this is who she is, this is what she does and that’s that.
The Good Wife finale airs this Sunday on CBS.