'Episodes' Star Kathleen Rose Perkins on Season 2 and Playing The Enemy
"My favorite thing this season was to work with Tamsin Greig, who plays Beverly," she said. "We've kind of developed this Lucy-Ethel relationship in a way, where we just go hiking and sit around and smoke pot together. A lot of pot. It's the most fun that I had in this season.
"I also have a running line with the guy who plays my boss [John Pankow]. I'm having an affair with him and that whole relationship goes to a couple of different levels which is very fun and gross and sad and funny all at the same time."
"I'm so proud of [Episodes] and I feel really privileged to be a part of it," she continued. "And I really love what they've captured. I love the character of Carol Rance. She's really impressive and really tragic; it's almost as if there's two characters in this character, and I love playing it."
Like many series, Episodes has grown just a little more now that it's past its first season, but its approach is still very different from your traditional sitcom.
"When they cast this show, they had written the entire thing prior to casting it. They wrote all seven episodes. Whoever they got to do it had to do whatever they had in mind. They're amazing writers, so it was easy to say their words," Perkins explained. "Then the second season came along and they knew who they were working with and what they could get out of us, what we were capable of. They wrote the entire season again before we shot anything. I got all the scripts at the same time.
"The first season it was like, 'Okay, just keep your job. If you can keep your job and not get fired, that's great.' The second season it was like, 'This is what they expect of you.' And they made it a really safe environment. We had a lot of room to play and ask questions."
And if, after tonight's premiere, you still haven't seen enough of her, you can next see Perkins in another entirely different role.
"There's a movie that I just finished shooting in New Orleans that's called Lamb of God. That'll come out next year. I play a small little role of a haggard Vegas prostitute," she said, then paused to reflect. "When I got that audition, I had to put it on tape in London because we were finishing up the season, and I was emailing my manager going, 'I love this part but there's no way they're going to give me this.' But they said, 'She's perfect.' I just chalk it up to commentary on how good of an actress I am," she quipped.
But perhaps she's not far off from the mark. There has to be a certain kind of fearlessness - or at least, a self-deprecating quality - in an actress who can play a more than slightly quirky pot-smoking network exec in one project and a Sin City hooker in another, and also be able to laugh while she's doing both those things. She's clearly ready to dive into anything and she's going to enjoy doing whatever comes her way.
In fact, sometime soon she might find herself in Sean and Beverly's position. "I want to write a series; what I'm working on now is writing the perfect pilot and it's very hard," she admitted. "If nothing comes from this at least I get a lot of sympathy for writers. I'll never knock them again because [it's] the hardest thing to possibly do."
That's the versatility of Kathleen Rose Perkins: she acts in roles that are completely different from one another, she writes, she can personally make you laugh like nobody's business...and as if that's not enough, she can also beat you up, because she's a martial arts expert, too.
"I've been studying tae kwon do for the last 12 years and I'm actually going to be testing for my third degree black belt at the end of this year," she told me. "It's something I wish I could get more work doing because it's something I've put so much effort and time and pain into."
Not unlike her early struggles as an actress. But those are behind her now, and we can just enjoy how talented and hilarious she is each week on Episodes - and remember that she's just as funny but much sweeter (and perhaps just a little more lethal) in real life.
Episodes starts its second season tonight at 10:30 PM ET/PT on Showtime.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.