Dana Delany is returning to ABC with Body of Proof, where she works on dead people. After a car accident hinders her ability to operate, Dr. Megan Hunt is forced to start a new career as a coroner. Delany dishes on the new medical series, which felt like home for the China Beach alum. Plus, find out if Nathan Fillion will make his way to her new show.
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5. What makes this series stand out?
Delany: We do have the mystery every week, which is something people like. We have a bit more character going on. We've got the office politics, which can be very humorous. I think Geoffrey Arend and Windell Middlebrooks are like Abbott and Costello together, or Laurel and Hardy. They've very funny together. There's also a lot of tension with my boss, played by Jeri Ryan.
4. Your character comes off as a stoic, strong female. Is there a softer side to her?
Delany: I feel like, underneath it all, she's in great pain. People say, "Well, why is she so combative?" I think she doesn't really know how to behave with people. Her whole life has been about going to school and being a success. Now she's having to be in the world of human beings, oddly surrounded by dead people. She's learning, from these dead people, to have respect for the living.
3. Can she find love around so much death?
Delany: People have asked whether Peter Dunlop (played by Nicholas Bishop), my medical investigator, and I will get together. At first, I was like, "Why? Why can't they just be friends?" My best friend is a guy, so I don't understand always wanting to hook people up, but I know people like that tension. We do have a very dashing FBI agent coming on for the end of the season, played by Cliff Curtis, and he's going to be a love interest for me. He's an old friend, so I wanted him for the role.
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2. As the promos say, Hunt lost her daughter to her job and then she lost her job. What will we see from that?
Delany: Joanna Cassidy is coming in as my mother, so you're going to see these three generations of strong women who don't really give each other an inch. I think you'll understand where Megan comes from once you meet her mother.
1. You have previous medical roles, having played a nurse on China Beach, so was it easy to pick it all up again?
Delany: I do like the medical roles, but I like the whole life-and-death aspect to it. But this one in particular was tough because I went and observed the autopsies and I certainly got that down. But it was the terminology that was the hardest. You have 10-syllable words that make no sense to you whatsoever. There's a phenomenon that happens when you get on camera: You know the words, you know what it means, you know how to pronounce it, but the minute the camera starts rolling on you, you cannot remember a thing. It's like white noise.
Bonus Round: You have worked with Nathan Fillion three times (He played her husband on Desperate Housewives, her lover in Pasadena, and Richard Castle against her FBI agent Jordan Shaw on Castle.) Might he appear on your show?
Delany: I would love it. I suggested it on Twitter that Mr. Castle should come to our coroner's office to investigate something; maybe he's writing a book about a medical investigator. I think that would be really fun!
We're off to start our "Reunite Fillion and Delany" campaign. Hit the comments with your thoughts on Body of Proof.