An interview with Sarah Shahi


Sarah Shahi moved on from The L Word to star on the short-lived NBC series Life, but she seems to have found her footing as the not-so-stable Kate on USA’s Fairly Legal. Kate is a hot mess in both her personal and professional lives. In fact, at the end of Season One, she was fired from her job. So what is going to happen for her in Season Two? I asked Sarah when she was at a USA Character Luncheon at TCA.

“A lot of change is happening,” Shahi said. “They want to shake Kate up a bit and they want her to fail. They want to set her up for a lot of heartbreak and a lot of kind of personal disasters and they want her to evolve. We kind of pull her foundation out from underneath her and force her hand to try and grow up a little bit and she’s not going to do a very good job of becoming an adult.”

Despite being fired, Shahi said that Kate assumes she still has her job, which will likely be kind of awkward, yet hilarious. Shahi appreciates any chance she gets to play the humorous side of things.

“We try to make the comedy situations more natural and organic .You don’t want to be cutesy for cutesy’s sake but the writers have done a pretty good job of creating instances that are pretty light and comedic,” Shahi said.

I asked her whether she prefers to play the personal or professional parts of Kate’s life best, and she said, without a doubt, it’s all about Kate’s relationships with people. “Personal! But the great thing is her personal life kind of is her work in a way.”

And then she admitted to me she doesn’t like law shows. Like, at all. “I don’t watch any of them! Unless you consider Sex and the City a law show.”

“I like being centered around people and relationships and having the heart involved,” she continued. “For me, I have to play that in her work life as well because that’s what Kate is, you know? Her being a mediator and fighting a system is almost like a drug to her — she has to do it. She’s like a moth to a flame with it. She’s so attracted to it.”

And with Shahi playing Kate, we can’t help but be attracted to her. I had to ask the obligatory L Word question before we ended our conversation, so I inquired about any possibility of a L Word castmate guest starring on an upcoming episode of Fairly Legal. Shahi said, “I’d love that!” And, not so surprisingly, her pick would be Kate Moennig. “I’m obsessed with Kate!”

Fairly Legal returns for a second season on March 16 on USA.