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August 30, 2015

That Girl! Kim Dickens

by Allyssa Lee, posted Jun 18th 2010 3:30PM
There's nothing like a hurl of expletives to show that you've made it. At least, if you're Kim Dickens, that is.

The actress says she often gets recognized as "that girl" from 'Friday Night Lights' or 'Lost.' But fans of her role as madam Joanie Stubbs from the profanity-laden David Milch drama 'Deadwood' tend to be the most colorful.

"I definitely get a lot of quotes" from devotees of the profanity-laden drama, Dickens says. "And some of them, of course, are littered with curse words. That's always fun."

"I was waiting in line at a restaurant, and this group of people walk out, and this woman says to me, 'We love Joanie Stubbs,' and I was like 'Oh, thank you so much,'" the actress recalls. The woman walked out, "and her husband came through, and he goes, 'It's nippy on my twat!'" she laughs, quoting one of her character's lines on the show.
It's hard to take offense when someone quotes your character's lines back to you. "They're just true blue fans," she says.

Dickens no doubt has inspired more supporters in her latest role as embattled chef Janette Desautel on HBO's 'Treme.'

"Janette has been challenged, that's for sure," she says of her character on the HBO series. And as Season 1 of the acclaimed New Orleans-based drama wraps up this Sunday, "Janette will probably continued to be challenged in the finale, and she'll make some big decisions," Dickens says.

"I love how resilient she is," Dickens says of her alter-ego. "She just keeps on going, you know? She's just intent on doing what she wants to do."

The same could be said of Dickens herself. Speaking on the phone from her home in Los Angeles, the actress talks to us about some of her many different faces.

Age: 45

Number of TV and Movie Credits: 30-something.

Go-to "That Girl" Part: The strong, understated woman. "You get this feeling that these characters have really been through something," she says of her characters. "They're survivors. You root for them." And usually, they have an accent. "Lately, most everything I've done is Southern. Even if it's not a Southern part, they'll kind of say, will you use your accent?" the Huntsville, Alabama native and Vanderbilt graduate says. "I don't know if that's a good thing, but I just go with it."

You Probably Recognize Her As: Joanie Stubbs from HBO's 'Deadwood,' Sawyer's love interest Cassidy Phillips on 'Lost.' Matt Saracen's mom Shelby on 'Friday Night Lights.' Barkeep and mother Kate Stark on 'FlashFoward.' A helpful schoolteacher on 'The Blind Side.' And the enigmatic Gloria Sullivan in 1998's 'Zero Effect.' "That has a really strong cult following, that movie," Dickens says. "I always thought there should have been a sequel."

That 'Deadwood' Effect: Dickens credits David Milch's drama for getting her guest spots on some of TV's best shows. "Although it may not have reached the widest audience, I think a lot of people in the business watched it," she says, "and a lot of people from 'Deadwood' show up all over television."

Not to mention that her character was so indelible. Joanie Stubbs "is sort of a dream job," Dickens says. "The language, the writing, the costumes, the other actors, the other characters -- it was just a phenomenal experience."

Favorite Roles:
Near and dear to the actress' heart is Allison Anders' 2001 film 'Things Behind the Sun.' "Once again, it was a survivor -- a rape survivor, and she struggled with a lot of drugs, and ways of medicating herself, and it was rewarding to play that journey and pull her through to the other side, if only barely," Dickens says. "It was just rewarding when people came up to me and would say, oh, that happened to me. You kind of remembered the reason you do what you do."

Never Before Seen Footage:
Another of Dickens' proudest achievements, sadly, never got a proper release. "HBO did a series called '12 Miles of Bad Road,' and I played a Christian evangelical in a Southern comedy starring Lily Tomlin and Mary Kay Place," she says. "We shot six of them, and they pulled the plug on it after the strike. And it was incredible and funny and so much fun ... and it never saw the light of day. That one hurt -- still, I have to say."

On Being a Regular: "I am so happy to have my own character and my own show right now," she says of her steady 'Treme' gig. "You can really sink your teeth into it, and you can tell your tale."

What's Next: A much-needed break, "sort of hanging out, and trying to get a film or something in my time off" before season 2 of 'Treme' starts up production in November.

Related posts:
That Guy! Denis O'Hare

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I remember first seeing her on HBO's "Out of Order"

June 18 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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