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Carrie Preston Previews Her Different 'Law & Order: SVU' Role and 'Good Wife' Future

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 15th 2011 3:00PM
Carrie Preston Law and Order SVU InterviewCarrie Preston describes herself as a chameleon actress, and for good reason. Known for serving up drinks with a side of sass as Arelne on HBO's 'True Blood,' Preston has used her hiatus from the popular vampire series to book a series of dramatic roles on top network shows.

After a recent stop on 'The Good Wife,' in which she received raved reviews (both AOL TV and EW thought she deserved an Emmy nomination), Preston will next be seen on NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU.'

In 'Educated Guess' (Wed., Nov. 16, 10PM ET on NBC), Preston plays Bella, the aunt of a troubled young woman, Gia, played by Natasha Lyonne. Bella and her husband George (Tim Guinee) took in Bella's sister, Diane (J. Smith Cameron) and Gia after some family problems.

"All the series regulars are wonderful on this show and it was really fun having these guest stars to share the experience with," Preston told AOL TV.

So, is her 'SVU' character like Arlene or her 'Good Wife' character Elsbeth Tascioni? Not so much, Preston said.

"She's much more uptight and has some co-dependency issues and some controlling issues, I think," Preston said.

Find out what else the 'SVU' guest star had to say about working on the show, her future on 'The Good Wife' and what's next on 'True Blood' below. Plus, exclusive first-look video of Preston in action with the 'SVU' detectives.

Can you tell me a little bit about your 'SVU' character?
I play the aunt of a rape victim. My character's niece has had a lot of troubles in the past, so no one is sure whether she's ever telling the truth about who raped her, if she was raped. There's a lot of mystery behind what actually happened to her. My character is in a very tight-knit family. She's very close to her sister, she's very close to her husband and so it's an upset when this happens.

What drew you to the role?
The showrunner for 'SVU' now is Warren Leight, and Warren is a playwright first and foremost even though he's been doing television for so long. I would say about 8 or 9 years ago I did a play of his at Baltimore Centerstage. He is so wonderful, dear and loyal. I would do anything for him. This came along, it just worked out schedule-wise and I liked the role, I thought it was challenging. Like I said, I'll work for Warren -- I'll go anywhere for him. The combination of all those things made it a very easy decision.

Switching gears a little bit: I've converted a lot of my friends to 'Good Wife' viewers and I told them I'd be talking to you and they said, "Shut up! She was so good, can she come back?" I said, "I'll ask!"
I'm trying, I'm trying! It's so complicated because I'm on 'True Blood' and that shoots in LA and 'The Good Wife' shoots in New York. But I'm hoping and hopeful that there will be a time when I get to come back. [UPDATE: Preston will be back on 'The Good Wife' later this year, according to TVLine]

It took a season for you to come back, but it was worth the wait.
I know, I know! It was worth the wait for me too. They're such wonderful people and the writing is really kind of unparalleled I think in some ways. It's just so good.

Going to 'True Blood' real quick: I know you guys have read the new script. What can you tell me?
I can't tell you anything. [Laughs]

I know there are a lot of werewolves coming to town.
Wow, OK. There are a lot of new characters, as is always the case with 'True Blood.' You will get some quick answers right off the bat. The show is not going to leave you wondering about some of the cliffhangers.

Have we seen the last of the demon baby in terms of possession?
I have no idea. [Laughs]

That was a very creepy storyline at some points.
It was, it was. I didn't even know where it was going.

Any chance we'll be seeing you on 'Person of Interest'?
[Laughs] Obviously I would love to do that, but nothing has presented itself yet. We're hopeful that one day I'll be able to guest star on his [husband Michael Emerson] show too. The thing that's great bout Michael's show is it's all guest stars really. There's only four series regulars, so the whole series really revolves around the guests. It would be fun to go on to do something, especially if it was a character who had some interaction with Finch.

You must get this a lot, but I'm going to ask again: Will Michael ever do 'True Blood'?
It's so funny. Everyone asks as if actors ever have anything to do with that. [Laughs] I mean, we just don't have anything to do with casting. I'm sure he would love to come on the show, but I'm sure there's also something to be said for us having our separate careers and supporting each other on each other's shows. I think it's a win-win situation.

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Her 'Good Wife' character deserves as spin-off.

IMO, it would be pretty awesome.

November 15 2011 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wafflemaster200's comment

Who would you put in the supporting cast?

November 15 2011 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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