Boss' Kathleen Robertson Teases What It Will Take for 'Decimated' Kitty to Reteam With Kane

Life these days is far, far, far from purrfect for Kitty O’Neil, Chicago mayor Tom Kane’s stalwart — and now former — righthand woman on Starz’s Boss (airing Fridays at 9/8c).

Though for eight years she was eager and fantastically able to do Kane’s bidding, Kitty (played by Kathleen Robertson) at the close of Season 1 decided that she’d had her fill of political and ethical gray areas, and quit her post. (Colleague Ezra Stone’s tragic snuffing surely didn’t help matters.)

How is Kitty managing these days, outside of the political fray? With what new ally might she strike up one kind of relationship or another? And what will it take for Kane (played by Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer) to stop giving Kitty the ice-cold shoulder? Robertson shared with us a preview.

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TVLINE | How are you comparing Season 2 of Boss to Season 1?
We just finished [shooting Season 2] about a month ago, and I was really happy — especially with the way it ended. The beginning for Kitty is a little slow because she’s not in his world anymore, so the challenge for the writers was figuring out how to bring her back into the fold. At the end of Season 1 she’s been completely decimated — along with, really, everybody on this entire show! — so the writers were like, “Why are they all still here, and how do we make them all fit?” I was definitely very, very, very thrilled by the way it all ended up.

TVLINE | It would seem that some of these people would only be in Kane’s orbit if they had to be.
Right. It’s weird, though, because I’ve always felt, within the character of Kitty, this kind of almost “father/daughter” affinity towards Kane. I always feel like he’s her blood line and without him she doesn’t feel alive. If he isn’t in her proximity she doesn’t really know who she is.

TVLINE | She does seem almost shell-shocked these days.
Her entire sort of identity is gone. She sacrificed everything for this man, her entire life. And at the end of the first season she’s left with nothing. So Season 2 is about her figuring out who she is and if she even wants to be in politics anymore. She even flirts with the idea of an “alternate Kitty.” Where she ends up in the end is where she belongs, where she feels most like herself.

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TVLINE | How would you describe the connection she makes with Sam the reporter (played by Troy Garrity)?
They both kind of need and want something from one another, so it’s a kind of mutually beneficial relationship. He sort of represents to her, at the beginning anyway, truth in a way. She’s intrigued by the idea of someone who is not political. But then she of course realizes he’s really not any different than any of the others. It’s an interesting relationship because it doesn’t seem like it should work, but they flirt with the idea of it.

TVLINE | It seems as if she might see a form of absolution in confiding in him….
Yeah, exactly. Kitty is a very socially awkward character, which is something I got to explore this year. Being out of the mayor’s office forces her to evaluate who she is outside of Kane and that world, so I have a lot this season with my personal life. She is a kind of shut off, closed down, self-aware woman, so [Sam] challenges that in her. He sort of doesn’t buy it and wants to know, “Who are you really?” For me its a very challenging character because she’s so different from me physically. I’m very animated and I’m emotional, and she’s not. She’s not somebody who knows how to be when she’s not in work mode.

TVLINE | There’s a scene this week where Kane completely blows off Kitty. What kind of circumstances will it take for them to even remotely relate to each other again?
Hmmm…. I can’t tell you… [Laughs] … but you basically have to think about it this way: Kane would only have her back in his world if she had something that he wanted. There has to be a specific circumstance. He’s not going to forgive her for what happened unless he has a reason to do so.

TVLINE | Kane already has Jonathan Groff (Glee) and soon Sanaa Lathan (Nip/Tuck) serving as new aides. Does Kitty even want back into politics?
She’s generally kind of torn, so she has to go on a journey and figure out who she is without the job that was her identity for so many years.

TVLINE | The job probably comes with a certain adrenaline rush.
Absolutely. She’s a political animal — even more so than anyone else on the show. That’s how she feels alive. So it’s really, really difficult for her being out of it.

TVLINE | And though Ezra has left us, we have seen that Martin Donovan is by no means gone from the show.
Correct. I love Martin — he’s the best and it’s such a great character. I was really happy to see that he was still a part of it.