This Tuesday on Body of Proof (ABC, 10/9c), Chrishell Stause – who on All My Children dealt with all kinds of drama, including a cancer scare – must face a possible murder rap, guest-starring as a party planner who’s got a secret or two. TVLine invited the actress to preview her visit to the ABC procedural as well as weigh in on AMC‘s needlessly odd (in retrospect) series finale.
TVLINE | Let’s start with Body of Proof: Who gets murdered? And how do you fit in?
I play Justine, a party planner, and when her boyfriend shows up dead, she ends up becoming a suspect. He was a lottery winner, so there are a few suspects because of the money situation, and Justine is actually preparing a big party for him when the detectives show up investigating his murder – and no one there knows that he’s dead. It all starts with this big lavish party, but obviously he’s not going to show up.
TVLINE | Let’s hope not. What kind of dead is he? Shot, poisoned, heaved off a balcony…?
He’s stabbed, and in a very, very brutal way.
TVLINE | Given the way you’re rocking the motorcycle garb and how you wear the hell out of a party dress, people are going to want to think you did it. How is Justine’s alibi looking?
Welllll…. She starts out as a good girl party planner, but when they go to look for his bike, which has been stolen, a bike chase ensues. You don’t know if it’s a man or a woman [they're chasing], but when the helmet comes off, it’s me.
TVLINE | That doesn’t bode well.
Exactly. That leads to an interrogation and this whole thing….
TVLINE | Did you do any of the riding yourself?
I luckily had a very good stunt double who knew what she was doing, so I just got to look cool. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Who did you get to work with most, John Carroll Lynch (Bud Morris) and Nick Bishop (Peter Dunlop)?
Yes, and they were both so lovely. It was Nick’s birthday the day after I started, so we all went out to celebrate.
TVLINE | I met the entire cast at a party in L.A. this summer, and John is just this big ol’ teddy bear.
He is! What’s funny is that I didn’t know that he was [Drew's cross-dressing brother] from The Drew Carey Show. The one who was in drag with the crazy make-up? That was him!
TVLINE | And Nick, the show’s “big heartthrob,” is almost surprisingly reserved….
He’s a character, in the best way possible. The whole cast and crew, by the end they were hugging me goodbye. You wouldn’t expect that from a different show.
TVLINE | You landed Body of Proof immediately after All My Children wrapped. Did that inform your decision to not sign on for Prospect Park’s online plan? Were you like, “I have some options here”?
No. To be honest with you, that Prospect Park thing was such a disaster. They came to people and gave one offer, and when it came time to renegotiate they never came back to the table. It wasn’t the actors that weren’t trying to make something work.
TVLINE | Were you also skeptical that it would ever come to pass?
I was always open to doing it as long as I could do it while doing other things. I certainly didn’t want [Prospect Park to have] exclusivity. I know how devoted the fans are, and if we could have made that work, it would have been great to do it. I’ve done a web series before, so I thought I could swing it and other projects on the side, but then I just never heard back. [Prospect Park has since abandoned its plan to take AMC and One Life to Live online.]
TVLINE | Let’s talk about that AMC finale. There on the set, was there any talk of, “Hey, maybe we should shoot an alternate version – just in case“?
We did shoot a different version, and I love the version we shot originally. But then the Prospect Park thing came about. We only had Kate Collins [who plays Amanda's mother Janet] for a few days, so we had to shoot our ending with her really, really early. And then the Prospect Park thing happened and they changed the ending to what you saw. What’s sad is that I know what the ending as supposed to be, so I feel like the fans were robbed. We all had these vignettes that were beautiful and really great, so that’s the biggest regret.
TVLINE | Instead, we were left with crazed J.R. firing off some phantom gunshot.
I know…. But the film for the ending that was never used is out there, somewhere!
TVLINE | What’s your plan now? To get in fighting shape for pilot season?
I just wrapped up classes at The Groundlings, which was very challenging and cool, to brush up on my comedy stuff for pilot season. And Luke 11:17 is the web series I did, and we’re going to shoot Season 2 in February. But yeah, pilot season is supposed to be great this year, and I’ve already started some auditions. I’m really excited to focus and hit it hard.
TVLINE | When I heard that you were leaning towards primetime comedy, I found it interesting given all the drama you of course handled on the soap.
I always saw myself doing comedy, so when I got the job on All My Children it was not my thing — I had to slowly get into it. So yeah, I’d like to switch it up, but I love acting in general so I won’t be picky. But the two things I want to check off my list for sure are a comedy, and any kind of scary horror movie. I definitely want to be the killer or the girl screaming away in the forest!