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Dana Delany on 'Housewives' Lesbian Romance, Kissing Jennifer Beals and Coming Out

Dana Delany on 'Housewives' Lesbian Romance, Kissing Jennifer Beals and Coming Out

Dana Delany discusses her "Desperate Housewives" character's newfound affections for Julie Benz, her near-kiss with Jennifer Beals on the set of "The L Word" and the Meredith Baxter storyline connection. On this Sunday's episode after Katherine Mayfair's release from the loony bin, she journeys into a world of self-discovery and takes up with her stripper roommate, played by Benz.

Dana Delany sat down with The Advocate to discuss her Desperate Housewives character's newfound affections for Julie Benz, her near-kiss with Jennifer Beals on the set of The L Word and the Meredith Baxter storyline connection.

On this Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives, after Katherine Mayfair's release from the loony bin, she journeys into a world of self-discovery and takes up with her stripper roommate, Robin (Benz).

Advocate: How did you respond when the writers brought this idea (of a lesbian romance) to you?

Dana Delany:Oh, I loved it - I thought it was a great idea. A lot of the ladies on the set have said, "Why has this not happened before?" I think everybody wanted to be the one who got to do it.

So far, we know you share an intimate moment with Julie Benz, and I've read that it develops in to something more. I know story lines there are a closely guarded secret, but is there anything else you can tell us?

Yeah, Julie moves in with me. She is totally an openly, out lesbian, and she's very up-front about that. She moves in with me because she needs a place to stay. And then I think it makes Katherine question things about herself.

I thought it was interesting how you compared this story line to Meredith Baxter's recent coming-out - she was very specific that she'd never ruled it out, it just wasn't something that had ever occurred to her. Is that kind of the way we're going to see things play out with Katherine?

Yeah, I think it's going to take her by surprise, the feelings she's having. I think that she's still so emotionally vulnerable from getting out of the loony bin [laughs], and I think she and Robin [Benz] connect on a kind of wounded, emotional level. And I think if anything, she's feeling this kind of emotional solace with her, and that draws her to Robin in a physical way, and that's confusing to her.

And I just have to put it out there - if you're going to play gay, Julie Benz is a pretty hot way to kick things off.

Oh, my God. Well, and not only is she gorgeous, she's a really good actress. I think people get so lost in her looks that they don't realize how good she is.

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Desperate Housewives has been criticized in the past, perhaps a bit unfairly, for introducing gay story lines and then letting them fade into the background. What would you ultimately like to see happen with this story arc for Katherine?

I just want it to be true, you know. I think it would be fun if Katherine did decide that she was gay. I don't know if that's going to happen, though, because story lines change a lot on the set. If anything, I think Marc is interested in playing the complexity of that. The moment you cross that line of having sex with someone - and I think there's a lot of people who've been there [laughs], where you wake up and go, "Oh, my God. What did I just do? And what happens after that?" I think that's familiar to people.

Lesbian fans in particular remember you from The L Word. What is your fondest memory from working on that show?

You know, I have to say ... even though it was only one episode, I will never forget, I arrived on a Sunday in Vancouver and they were shooting and Jennifer Beals asked me to come to her trailer and talk to her about the part.

So I went there and she was adamant that we not kiss because, she said, "You know, I've been cheating on my girlfriend for so long, now we're finally back together, and I just wouldn't do that. I really have to protect the integrity of this relationship." I was so disappointed [laughs]. I said to her, "Why else do you do The L Word ... if you don't get to kiss a girl?" So I said to her, "Could we almost kiss? Cuz that's even more sexy in some ways." And she said, "Yeah, that's fine." So that's what it ended up being, and I think, in some ways, it was sexier.

Read the full interview here.

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