Lesbian audiences may know out actor Michelle Wolff best as Lou in the 2004 film Mango Kiss, which AfterEllen.com spoke with her about in 2005. But with the third season of here! TV’s Dante’s Cove poised to reach more audiences than ever this summer as here! expands its availability, Wolff may soon become best known as Brit, the scuba diving instructor in this sexy, supernatural drama.
Before joining the cast of Dante’s Cove, Wolff appeared on episodes of Veronica Mars, ER, Chicago Hope and Boston Public. More recently, you may have caught her on Nip/Tuck or NCIS, as well as here! Films’ Trapped with Alexandra Paul (Baywatch).
Currently filming Season 3 of Dante’s Cove in Hawaii, Wolff took a break to talk with AfterEllen.com about the show’s new lesbian characters, shooting love scenes and being mobbed by women at Dinah Shore.
AfterEllen.com: How was it for you to join the cast of Dante’s Cove in their second season? Did you already know some of the people on the set?
Michelle Wolff: I hadn’t worked with any of the actors before, but it was wonderful to come in. I think bringing in new characters is always positive for a cast. For me, it just flowed really nicely. I loved it. Everyone was wonderful; there wasn’t any tension on the set. I completely enjoyed it, and I felt really welcome.
AE: Your resume mentions that you are scuba certified. Was Brit written as a scuba instructor originally or was that aspect of her character added after you were cast?
MW:She was written as a scuba instructor and initially, that’s all she was. But they liked the character and wanted to include her more in the second season. So there was a part of a bartender, and they ended up merging the two characters. Brit became both a scuba instructor and a bartender. And I am a scuba diver, so that definitely helped.
AE: You had a lesbian following pre-Dante’s Cove with Mango Kiss; do you now have a gay male following as well, since you’ve been in Dante’s Cove?
MW:Yes, I have developed a gay male following, which is really fun for me. A lot of it has come from MySpace, where people will say “Oh, you’re great, we love what you’re doing, we love that you’re on Dante’s Cove.” Dante’s Cove had a huge gay male following to start with. Now it’s expanding as they add more and more lesbian characters.
AE: What’s it like being in a co-gender queer project as opposed to a predominantly lesbian one like Mango Kiss?
MW:I like the fact that Dante’s Cove decided to expand that way, because Season 1 really didn’t have a whole lot of the lesbian element. Season 2 was much more balanced, and it’s going further with Season 3. I think it’s important to have projects out there that incorporate both gay men and gay women. A lot of time we get polarized in our community where it’s all about the boys or all about the girls, and I love the fact that we’re mixing and mingling on [Dante’s Cove].
AE: One of the fun things about Season 2 was the hot sex scene with your character, Brit, and Michelle [Erin Cummings]. The way it was edited, it looked like a threesome with Van [Nadine Heimann], since Michelle was having flashbacks about making love with Van.
MW:We talked about how we wanted that to look and how we wanted it to feel, because it was really important that that was the feeling that came across, like [Van] was there — but she wasn’t. We came up with a lot of that stuff amongst ourselves, as actors: how are we going to shoot this, how is this going to look. Sam [Irvin, the director] was great to let us collaborate with him on how this was going to work, and I think it ended up coming out well.
AE: What can you tell us about Season 3?
MW:There’s more stuff with out lesbian actresses: Jill Bennett [In Her Line of Fire] and Jenny Shimizu have been added to the cast. There’s a little triangle going on there, so it’s a lot of fun. Also there’s Reichen Lehmkuhl [The Amazing Race].