Kate Walsh on Private Practice's Return, Finale ('So Much Happens!'), and the Arrival of a Bratt
This Thursday at 10/9c, ABC’s Private Practice resumes its fourth season and in doing so hopefully sheds light on where things stand between Addison and Sam, whose never too-steady romance is being tested by her desire to have a baby and his preference to stand pat as not just a dad but a granddad. TVLine got a hold of Kate Walsh as she toured Paris, partly for pleasure but also for business, as she continues to boast about her Boyfriend (as in the fragrance). Though the Private Practice beauty was cheeky about revealing some of what’s to come, she expertly teased the season finale ahead –- and how one Benjamin Bratt just might rock Addison’s world.
TVLINE | How was your Boyfriend meeting with Sephora’s Paris office?
How did you know…?! Are you watching me on Twitter? Watching my every move?
TVLINE | Mayyybe…. In general, how are things going as a purveyor of perfume?
As a “Fragrance Mogul in Training”? I’m enjoying it, I’m very excited about it. And the meeting went very well, thank you. This is the capital of fragrances, so….
TVLINE | Now you’ll be pitching to [Private Practice boss] Shonda Rhimes that Oceanside Wellness get transplanted to the Rive Gauche?
I don’t think that’s so big a stretch, do you?
TVLINE | Do you feel like sufficient drama has come Addison’s way this season?
Oh yeah – and there’s more to come, baby! There’s a lot that’s packed into these last four episodes. You’re going to want to tune into every minute, because if you turn away, you’re going to miss something pivotal.
TVLINE | I was just rewatching the scene where Naomi (played by Audra McDonald) blasts Addison, saying, “You suck at relationships!” It’s rare to get such honest moments between women.
The scene where she verbally bitch-slaps me? I was like, “Bring it!” And she was right! Oh, Audra…. I will miss her.
TVLINE | How has it been for you, bracing for her departure?
I don’t like it. I don’t think she’s gone for good – she’ll make visits – but it’s hard. It’s hard. It’s four years we’ve been together.
TVLINE | Will the story moving forward be about Addison realizing that Sam isn’t the one, or Sam coming around to her way of thinking?
How can I tell you that? You know about the contracts we sign and how they involve blood! I will be in fear of my life. There’ll be no more Twitter, no more Boyfriend, no more Private Practice…. [Laughs]
TVLINE | OK, let’s talk about Charlotte and Cooper’s wedding day. Does the nature of the occasion weigh on Addison or any of her friends?
The wedding is really awesome, and lots of things occur because of it – not only for Addison but also for other people. But yes, there might be a tiny violin playing for her!
TVLINE | Do you like that Shonda keeps Addison flawed? A vainer actress might say, “Why can’t my character be more revered?”
“Why can’t I save the world?” I do like it. I came on [at Grey's Anatomy] as the “Wicked Witch of the West,” so I like that she’s constantly screwing up, and human, and struggling. By the way? Anybody who has that great a shoe collection deserves to be taken down a few notches.
TVLINE | I get a lot of mail asking about Addison and Sam maybe making a baby, Addison ever having any child…. But I wonder: Is Private Practice designed to be about Addison as a mother? Or is this more about a strong woman’s pursuit of all the things that she wants, but not always getting them?
I think it’s a bit of both. There’s not a real story being told out there for not getting everything you want – we’re constantly pitched, “You can have it all, all the time!” And while the reality is you can have a lot of it, it’s hard, and there is sacrifice. I love that Addison has a lot of advantages and privileges but she’s also deeply flawed and she doesn’t get to have everything. We’ve been talking about that one [viable] egg she’s got for four years now, but that’s a very real issue she struggles with, and it’s still an interesting story. What do you do when you want a child in your forties and you’re with somebody that you’re pretty happy with, but they don’t want to have a kid because they already have one and, in fact, have a grandkid? These are big-girl problems, and I love that Shonda and the writers take on these issues. That’s what’s made the show particularly strong this season.
TVLINE | Given the buzz that Grey’s Anatomy‘s Derek and Meredith might start a family soon, I hope one beat that Shonda plays is having that news makes its way to Santa Monica, and….
Right. Sure, why not? Put a little more salt in the wound! [Laughs]
TVLINE | What can you say about the season finale (airing May 19)?
I love it. I don’t know how to describe it except to say it’s like a great closing chapter in Part 1 of a massive, three-part tome. It’s a big closing-up of certain things, and then a total unraveling of others and “Wait until you see Part 2!” So much happens.
TVLINE | Do you sometimes leaf through a script and remark to yourself, “I can’t believe Shonda went there“?
I’m always like that. Because they’ll say they’re thinking about one thing, and by the time she gets her hands on it it’s different — and even better — than the pitches.
TVLINE | But have you ever read something and immediately grabbed the phone to bellow at Shonda, or gave her a jab in the arm in the hall?
We’ve been in a “relationship” now for seven years, so…. We’ve debated before, I’m not going to lie. But it’s fantastic. When I call her or email her, it’s 99.9 percent, “Yahoo, you’re amazing! There’s a reason why you’re a goddess!” And then there are a couple times where I’m like, “Wait a second, hold on, what?”
TVLINE | Tell us about Benjamin Bratt joining the cast in the season finale.
Ohhhh…. He’s a really lovely person, he’s very kind, and he’s very handsome.
TVLINE | And he is playing….?
I can’t tell you that. He literally doesn’t even have a name! I don’t know who he is, what he’s doing. All I can tell you is he shows up. That’s literally all I can tell you.
TVLINE | OK, what about this: Facial hair or no facial hair?
[Laughs] You’ll have to tune in! Listen, there were discussions about that, and decisions were made. Decisions were made about facial hair.
TVLINE | We were talking at the office about Bratt coming on board, and we reckon he’s gotta be for you.
Well, it would be nice if something worked out for Addison personally!
Judging by the brand-new ABC photo seen here, we surmise things just might!