Erin Cummings joined the Season 2 cast of Dante’s Cove playing Van’s (Nadine Heimann) girlfriend, Michelle. Michelle starts off as a good girl just wanting a monogamous commitment from Van, but after one of Van’s self-taught spells goes awry and wipes Michelle’s memory clean of their relationship, Michelle falls into the arms of scuba instructor and bartender Brit (out actress Michelle Wolff). Saddled with confusing and emotionally distressing flashbacks of her past relationship with Val, Michelle turns to a drug to ease her confusion, but just ends up going out of her mind even more.
While Cummings has worked on television before in single episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, Threshold, Charmed and Passions, her starring role on Dante’s Cove has been her biggest break so far. Cummings recently talked with AfterEllen.com about her commitment to acting (she has even played Lady MacBeth onstage), her positive feelings about aging in Hollywood, and her support for the gay and lesbian community. And when it came to discussing her first lesbian love scene (a sort of ménage-a-trois with Wolff and Heimann in Dante’s Cove) she had no problem sharing all the juicy details.
AfterEllen.com: So Dante’s Cove to Lady Macbeth, what’s that been like?
AE: You have a little bit of a dark side to you.
AE: You mean risqué or risky?
AE: Risky as a career move?
AE: Oh yeah.
AE: I’ve seen four of the five episodes of this season’s Dante’s Cove, and from what I saw your character was pretty sweet, except for a little detour with some drugs. Is there a dark turn ahead?
AE: I kept wondering if you were going to get inhabited by an evil spirit or something.
But I think as far as this season, even though I didn’t do anything that was out of the realm of reality, I had to go to a lot of dark places. When Michelle gets the spell put on her and she’s sort of losing her mind, she literally is having a nervous breakdown. … As an actor [to] be effective like that, I had to go to some pretty dark places … So that’s what I mean [by] playing things that are a little more dark and visiting emotional places that are a little bit … harder to reach than just playing the girl next door.
AE: I was thinking of a bad girl more like Tracy Scoggins, who plays Grace on Dante’s Cove, just an evil character.
AE: I totally applaud any actress or actor who’s able to go to that darker side and be able to do the nudity and sexuality.
AE: Actually though, as much as you did on Dante’s Cove, what the guys are doing is way beyond.
AE: The women’s stuff is kind of soft-core compared to the guys.
AE: I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting.