Dirty Sexy Money Soaps Up
TWoP: I love Craig Wright. He came to a play reading in Portland, OR last year when a local theater company was putting on one of his plays, and I saw the play. He's amazing. And isn't he also a seminarian?
PK: He used to be. He's a heavy thinker.
TWoP: Yes. Didn't he also write some episodes of Six Feet Under?
PK: Yes. He wrote some of the best episodes: He wrote the episode in which Nate Fisher, the character I played, buried his wife, Lisa, with his bare hands. He wrote the episode with Nate's birthday where he breaks down with the broom to get the bird out of the house. He wrote "Static," after Nate is dead and he comes back to Lauren Ambrose's character. He wrote some really good episodes.
TWoP: You talked earlier about the show being more of a high-stakes, splashy soap this season. And there has been a lot of buzz about the show being dirtier and sexier this season. Can you tell me a little bit about what that means?
PK: Let me just explain that last year there was concern on behalf of the studio and network that the characters all be likeable and nice. When (ABC head) Steve McPherson and I sat down in May, we knew we wanted it to be more of a soap. We rolled out some episodes with (former producer) Daniel Cerone who had worked on Dexter. They didn't quite work. We got (new producer) Jon Feldman on board now with Craig Wright. They're a great match. We finally found someone that Craig could write with and get along with, because Craig's very particular. We didn't want to lose any of the poignancy, but we did want a prime-time soap that worked like Dynasty or Dallas. ... It's less mysterious, but there's also something virile beneath all the glitter. But at the same time we wanted to make sure the show is entertaining and could reach a large audience. That's the trick: You want a show that's artistically sound for the actors and writers to be satisfied, but also that's entertaining. ... So that's what we've done, and I think it's going to perform very well. I think there are some people who will be sort of put off because it was highbrow, but it will still be that. But it will also be a soap: Big story lines. Big things going on.