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'Drop Dead Diva' Star Brooke Elliott Talks Season 2, Guest Stars & Paula Abdul

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jun 4th 2010 2:15PM
Brooke Elliott, 'Drop Dead Diva''Drop Dead Diva,' the surprise hit of last summer, is back for a second season (premieres Sun., June 6, 9PM ET on Lifetime) of out of body experiences, love triangles, guardian angels, courtroom antics, imaginative dream sequences and, after last season's twist ending, secret husbands.

If all of that sounds like a lot to fit into one show, it is, but 'Diva' pulls it off. Star Brooke Elliott plays whip-smart lawyer Jane Bingum, who has a hint of dimwitted diva in her thanks to the supermodel, Deb, whose soul is inhabiting her body, 'Freaky Friday'-style. Elliott manages to play both sides perfectly, juggling the load with an infectious laugh and one of the most endearing smiles on TV.

And she's just as bubbly in real life, talking about how happy she is that fans have embraced the show, what's next for her character Jane and the slew of fabulous guest stars this season -- including the return of Paula Abdul, who Elliott pays homage to in this interview with a little song.

I'm so excited for season 2 -- what can we expect for Jane this season?
Season 2 ... it's a lot of Jane thinking she kind of has it all, thinking she knows what she's doing, and she kind of takes two steps forward and two steps back as she gets presented with challenge after challenge. It really teaches her that she has more to learn, and more to do on this journey that she's on.

You realize you just quoted a Paula Abdul song, 'Opposites Attract' ...
Did I? [Laughs, then sings] "Two steps forward, and two steps back."
Brooke Elliott & Paula Abdul, 'Drop Dead Diva'
Amazing. How much fun was it to have Paula on set again this season for the premiere?
It was really fun to have Paula on the set. It was really crazy -- I mean, I grew up listening to Paula Abdul and watching her dance. She's such an amazing dancer and choreographer -- to get to dance with her was bizarre and fun and really great.


Rosie O'DonnellYou all get such great guest stars -- who else will we be seeing this season?
Well Rosie O'Donnell comes back, which is really fun. I always love when she's on our show. Cybill Shepherd was just here, and she was amazing. Faith Prince and Sharon Lawrence -- who play Jane's mom and Deb's mom, respectively -- they both come back. We meet Jane's dad, who is played by Kurt Fuller. And, let's see ... Robin Givens, Jasmine Guy, Ricki Lake, Leelee Sobieski, Vivica Fox ... lots of wonderful people. And then, of course, we have our lesser known guest stars who are amazing.

Devon Gummersall, 'Drop Dead Diva'And now we get to see more of Devon Gummersall, who provided the big shock twist ending to last season. How do things change for Jane now that she knows she's married?
I love Devon! Yeah, he's in our premiere -- you've gotta watch. I don't want to blow it for people [laughs], how she'll figure it out and how she'll deal with it, because Tony is still in the picture, the other lawyer she's been dating for the past four episodes of last season. So he's still in the picture, and she has to deal with the fact that she's married and dating Tony. And then, of course, there's always Grayson [laughs] ... just hanging around in her mind.

And we finally get Fred, your guardian angel, back! Fans were a little upset when he left last season -- how much Fred will we see this season?
Well Fred's a regular now. Ben Feldman, who plays Fred, is a regular on our show, so you'll see him in every episode.
'Drop Dead Diva' cast
All of these characters were so embraced last season. Were you surprised that the show was received so well?
You know, I was really relieved and really happy. You put your heart and soul into something, and you really hope that people love it as much as you do. But you don't know, so it was great to see that people saw what we were doing, embraced what we were doing and wanted to see more.

The show is set in L.A., but you all shoot in Georgia -- it must be kind of nice to get to just get away from distractions and focus on doing the show, huh?
Yeah, we're in a little bit of our Georgia bubble down there, and it's really great because I'm down there for about five months and I just literally focus on 'Drop Dead Diva' for five months. I'm working 14-15 hour days, so it's great to just kind of be able to focus and really get in there and play this character.


Do you have a dream episode for Jane?
That's a really good question! I don't know ... I know I have some dream guest stars that I'd love to have on the show ...

Rita Wilson & Tom HanksOoh, spill! Spill!
I would love to have Joan Allen on the show -- I think she's such a great actress. I want Kathy Bates, Joan Cusack, John Cusack ... I want Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Kate Winslet. [Laughs] I could kind of go on and on about it. [Laughs] I think they would be really fun to have on our show. I'll have to think about the dream episode question -- that's a really good question!

Well maybe now the dream episode needs to involve Tom Hanks ...
Yes! We could be castaways together. [Laughs]

I think you really could get anyone you wanted on the show because you give them all something different to do -- it's never the same old, same old. Have guest stars said the same thing?
I do know that they seem to really embrace the show, and they find the meaning in it, and they find the comedy in it, and its potential. We get to do such heartfelt dramatic moments to comedy, and every beat in between. I think they like that, and I like that they like the message of the show and that it means something to them. That's pretty special to us.

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June 13 2010 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeffrey H. Baer

I love how the press follows Ms. Abdul's every move since she bailed out on "American Idol." You'd think it was Joe Torre leaving the Yankees.

June 06 2010 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Drop Diva is terrific. So glad you brought it back.
loved the repeats because I had missed some nights........
Brooke is special. Where has she been all these years??

June 06 2010 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also love the show. And I especially love Jane's roommate. She keeps Jane focused, yet kicks her butt and picks her up when she's down. What a cute gal.

Hooray for the next season. We're all watching.

June 06 2010 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved this show. I'm not a fan of Rosie's though, so if they don't have her on the show, all the better.

June 06 2010 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with the rest of you. Great show. So upbeat and refreshing for a change. Thanks Lifetime, for bringing a 2nd season to us.

June 06 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love Drop Dead Diva. Looking forward to spending my Sunday evening watching. Hope that Grayson and Jane get together.

June 06 2010 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My husband and I had never seen the show before...but last rainy weekend, we watched the DDD marathon. What a great, funny show! Since TV pretty much stinks on Sunday nights, we now have something to look forward to! It's not raunchy, it has some funny moments, and some sweet moments too. I highly recommend it!

June 06 2010 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

One of the few new series that I've enjoyed. Sure hope season 2 isn't a let down.

June 04 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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