In a way, it is incumbent upon Private Practice‘s Charlotte to keep the circle of life going by giving birth to her triplets just as the ABC drama concludes its run with, as has been announced, the 13th episode of this season. But now that there’s a “hard stop” in place, will she deliver in time or be left to gestate in perpetuity?
TVLine spoke with KaDee Strickland about Charlotte’s amusingly ironic and increasingly expectant state, the other brand of high drama kicking off with this Tuesday’s episode (airing at 10/9c) and her feelings on Seaside Wellness and St. Ambrose closing their doors for good.
TVLINE | I was rounding up past quotes from you about Charlotte getting pregnant someday. There is: “I, KaDee, do believes she’s ready to have her own child. I want more of it!” And: “I think it would be so much fun. Can you imagine Charlotte pregnant?!” And now… here you are.
Three’s the charm! [Laughs] Of course, Shonda Rhimes will find a way to take what one might consider a conventional opportunity for a couple and turn it into the most unique, incredibly interesting circumstance. It’s pretty good stuff.
TVLINE | How hard was it not to spill the beans to the press at the 100th episode party?
Absolutely terrible. You know me, I get very excited about my storylines. It’s like, “What else is here for me to talk about? Nothing, because [the pregnancy] is all-consuming for Charlotte this season.” So yeah, that was a tough day – but in a good way.
TVLINE | Charlotte had that great line, “When I said I didn’t want to have any children, what I really meant was, ‘I want all of the children.’”
Yes! And we on the show use that line in our personal lives now. That line, “I didn’t want ___, I want all of ___”? You can fill in the blanks with a number of things and have it be a really fun game.
TVLINE | Speaking of Episode 100: Do you by chance know exactly why Standards & Practices pushed back on Shonda? Was it the drugs, the pedophile…?
I don’t know the full ins-and-outs, but certainly when one portrays marijuana, you have to go through some hoops to make sure you’re getting all sides of the argument. So she did not advocate [drug use], nor did she diminish the circumstances with which it pushed the story forward, that while Big Chill vibe. The pedophile story, meanwhile, is one that the country is definitely ready to see more of in lieu of the events of the past year with [disgraced Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky and other things, and I think it’s important to take a look at that culturally. And that storyline definitely impacts Sheldon a great deal. I’ll tell you right now, because I think Brian Benben is one of the most solid actors I’ve ever worked with: When you get to his episode [told from Sheldon's POV], it’s going to be phenomenal. You’ll finally get to see what our lovely Brian Benben is capable of, his entire bag of tricks.
TVLINE | What stages of pregnancy acceptance will Charlotte be moving through in the coming weeks?
I can say this: You haven’t lived until you’ve had to wear a triplet pregnancy belly. You would be amazed at what a girl can learn based on the different months of pregnancy to make her character more interesting. Shonda and the writers have done an absolutely wonderful job of keeping me on my toes with the triplet storyline.
TVLINE | Is there going to be a moment where the emotionality of it all wallops Charlotte, where the walls come tumbling down and she just kvells?
Have you ever seen a Shonda Rhimes show? [Laughs] I can’t truthfully answer that in fullness, but if I know Shonda and her writing, I’m going to be just as surprised as the audience to see what Charlotte does as we continue with her pregnancy. Trust me, I can’t wait to get my hands on that script.
TVLINE | OK, because as far as I can see, she’s still her snarktastic self at an Episode 8 birthing class.
Mmm-hmm. “Snarktastic” is exactly right!
TVLINE | This week’s episode looks pretty heavy-duty, when a little girl goes missing at St. Ambrose.
Oh my God, this episode…. It’s something we haven’t experienced [on Private Practice] for a long time, that ER madness – and all because it’s raining in Los Angeles. But if you’ve ever been to L.A., you know that all it takes is one day of rain to see why a hospital would run wild, because people don’t know how to drive or how to behave. They’ve taken that reality and turned it into an exceptional episode. And the actors that we got playing this family, I loved working with Charlie [Hofheimer, Mad Men] and Chryssie [Whitehead] — anybody watching this show can put themselves in the shoes of these parents. And that’s not the only thing that happens. We’ve hired a new doctor, played by Matt Long (Jack & Bobby), and they have a wonderful connection as fellow Southerners. It’s a great, interesting circumstance to have me on his good side.
TVLINE | What three words describe your feelings about Private Practice ending?
Bittersweet…. Emotional…. Forward-thinking. I saw this wonderful interview with Joshua Jackson, where he knew exactly how many episodes Fringe had left this season. I remember thinking, “I wish I knew,” because there’s something so comforting about that. We can give our appropriate goodbyes and know every day what we have left.
TVLINE | Do you know if Charlotte will give birth by the end of Episode 13?
I am pretty sure that everyone’s story is going to be tied up beautifully by the end of this. And I definitely think if you left me pregnant, you would have the audience’s heads exploding! That said, I wouldn’t expect anything to be uncomplicated just because the show is wrapping up. We haven’t gotten to the “Charlotte [POV] Episode,” so I don’t know what the plans are for li’l ol’ me, but Paul [Adelstein] and I just did a phenomenal script. The “Cooper” [POV] script is gorgeous; I loved doing that show. And I did hear that we’re going to have a wrap party. I can’t imagine what a wrap party for six years of work is going to look like, but I bet it’s gonna be a helluva good time!