What good is a show without an antagonist? Love her or hate her, Lauren Reed (Virginia Williams) gives us plenty of antagonism in Fairly Legal. And how could she avoid it? She's poised, beautiful, successful... and married to Kate's father.
During a recent visit to the set of Fairly Legal, Virginia Williams explained where Lauren is headed in season 2 and why her incredible clothes are a bit tragic.
On what's coming for Lauren in season 2Virginia Williams:
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Lauren does bring the firm back -- and better than before -- which is outstanding. I mean, they go through a hole, and it's extremely scary, and all these people jump ship, and Teddy leaves, but Lauren -- despite her age and despite some of her setbacks -- she's amazing at her job. And she ultimately brings on a new partner, the character of Ben Grogan.
We see me in different settings. We get to see me going on a date... You get nervous. I mean, my God, her husband died and she did love him. I hope that that came through in season 1. That she wasn't a gold digger. And that she did love him very much. And it doesn't make sense to the outside world, and she doesn't care.
There's a series of really great scenes with Gerald McRaney, who plays [Judge] Nicastro. In episode 3, he basically tells her, in his fabulous Nicastro way, "Get over it." Like, "Your husband would want you to move on. You got your whole life ahead of you." And she kind of reluctantly decides, "Okay, okay, I'll go on a date." We'll see as this develops.
I think that one of the best things you can give a character like mine is a love interest. Because there's nothing like someone new in your life -- in that capacity, in a romantic capacity -- that can fluster you, and make you vulnerable, and can do all of it in a look. And Lauren is so controlled at work, or at least she has such a desire to seem in control that she very rarely shows her cards. So, I'm hoping that a man might be able to allow me to show some more of those sides.On bringing Ben into the firmVirginia Williams:
Basically the firm is in a place of being in trouble. And, we find out in episode 1 of season 2, Lauren tells Kate that they can't even make payroll. I mean, I think my personal choice as an actor -- this isn't scripted -- is that I've not been taking a salary, and just trying to pay all of the employees. Because for Lauren, everything is the firm.
There's a great repartee between [Lauren and Ben], and Lauren is always very focused on justice and doing the right thing and being by the letter of the law. And Ben, I think, deep down, of course he's got a little heart of gold. Maybe. But he, to the outside world, would [say], "Oh, who cares about the right thing? Do it for the money."On Lauren's relationship with KateVirginia Williams:
I personally feel like at the end of last season it got a bit combative with the women -- and not in necessarily a fun way. I think that the trick is having all of the drama and the differences of these two women, but still making it fun.
As much as we approach things in completely different ways -- as much as Kate sees the world in shades of grey and Lauren sees the world in black-and-white, and they're clearly the mediator and the attorney, and one is very polished and one is very messy, and there's, you know, all the lovely differences between them -- they both are still phenomenal at their jobs. And they're both really smart. They just both have completely different approaches to everything in life. And so I think the trick is to keep getting back to a bit of the respect that each has for the other.
And I think we see a little more of that of Kate really recognizing what a great job Lauren has done.
I've always said, "If Kate and Lauren were merged into the same person, they'd be the perfect woman." One's a little too far this way, one's a little too far this way. If one would grow up, and one would take the stick out of her ass a little bit, they would ... they'd make the perfect person.On seeing Lauren as an underdogVirginia Williams:
I think the only way she can be successful as a character, and I can be successful as an actor is hold onto that gut feeling that I have of being the underdog. And always feeling like she is a woman in a man's world, she is judged before she walks in a room, because of who she married and what she's doing. And then she's judged even more once she walks through the room, because she is who she is or looks the way she does or whatever anyone... just having long blonde hair people automatically hate you.
I know when she goes home she's lonely. Her work is her life, and she's lonely. And I do think she sees herself as an underdog, which is why she fights so hard. I think she's scrappy as hell.On Lauren's incredible fashionVirginia Williams:
The sad thing about Lauren's clothes is that they're so fabulous. But sometimes... sometimes you don't necessarily see them if I only wear them for one or two scenes. And if I'm outdoors for one of them, and I have to have a coat on... When I was in the courtroom, I had my suit jacket on. And then, for a scene that we shot yesterday in the Hall of Justice, with Justin in his office -- and so the suit jacket is off -- but sadly I never stood up. So you don't get the magnificence of it.Fairly Legal
season 2 begins on Friday, March 16 at 9pm on USA.(Images and video courtesy of USA)