Kelli Williams with Tim Roth, Lie to Me
Following weeks of cruising comfortably on American Idol's coattails, Lie to Me now must face a hard truth: It has the burden of kicking off Fox's Wednesday line-up. Kelli Williams (who with Tim Roth plays a top-notch deception detector) previews the show's 8 o'clock debut.
TVGuide.com: As nice as it was to have the Idol lead-in, are you now nervous about having to kick off the night at 8 o'clock?
Kelli Williams: There's always a little concern when they start moving your show around, but it's good that we're at least on the same night. But yeah, I have one little concern. We were worried that maybe we'd lose some of the more adult themes, but so far so good!
TVGuide.com: Speaking of Idol, I have noticed that Simon Cowell often uses his middle finger to scratch his nose. Discuss.
Williams: Oh, he's consciously flipping people off! That's interesting... For a couple of months there, every time I would adjust my sunglasses I would "flip off" my husband.
TVGuide.com: President Obama does that too, right?
Williams: Yes, yes. We've shown that clip on the show.
TVGuide.com: Those real-life clips, by the way, are awesome.
Williams: Right? They bring us back to the reality of the deceit in our world.
TVGuide.com: And two-thirds of them seem to feature Dick Cheney.
Williams: Yeah. He's got a lot of them, doesn't he?
TVGuide.com: Lie to Me's first 8 o'clock episode packs quite the emotional wallop, with the case of a missing girl.
Williams: I know. It was quite something for my character, Foster, to deal with.
TVGuide.com: It sheds some light on a personal connection she has to the case.
Williams: Yes — well-put by a writer. It puts Foster through quite a bit emotionally.
TVGuide.com: And that in turn gives us a bit more information on the perhaps-shaky status of her marriage.
Williams: It's interesting how that has been leaked out bit by bit. The part I like is that it isn't necessarily what you think it is. That will reveal more of itself in the next few episodes.
TVGuide.com: It's nice to see you can still turn on the waterworks.
Williams: [Laughs] Damn it! I was trying to get away from that. But yes, I turn on the faucets. Inevitably you're given those scenes at like two in the morning, on a rooftop. They should teach you in drama school to be prepared to do the hardest scene either at five in the morning or at the end of the night.
TVGuide.com: Tell me about working with Tim Roth in his U.S. series regular debut.
Williams: It's been pretty awesome. He's really an actor's actor, and he really wants the material to be right. There's so much exposition on the show, and I always try to make it seem like I spout the science stuff all the time....
TVGuide.com: It's hard to repeatedly refer to "deception leakage" without evoking some sort of icky image.
Williams: So true. Now that's all I'm going to think about now! But yeah, I've liked Tim's work for a long time, so initially I was like, "I hope I can rise to the occasion." We've developed a nice relationship on set.
TVGuide.com: So many of today's prime-time leads are British or Australian. Is the American acting workforce concerned at all? Making anonymous calls to INS?
Williams: [Laughs] I like it, personally — especially when they keep their own accents. That Tim gets to have his accent is great.
TVGuide.com: When we spoke at the winter TCA (watch video here), you said you hadn't been using your "deception detection" skills in real life yet. What about since?
Williams: It's kind of crept into my life, and quite frankly I kind of resent it. [Laughs] It's mostly with people I don't know — I'll notice their expressions or body language, and I'll say, "Aw, she's not having a very good day." I've always liked to watch behavior, but now it's hit a new, crazy level!
TVGuide.com: When Boston Legal was wrapping up, I got a lot of mail asking if anyone from The Practice would be making cameos in the finale. Should that have been filed under the category of "Never could have happened"?
Williams: There was some talk of it happening, but it just didn't come together.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, had Men in Trees stayed on the air, would you have stuck around to make trouble?
Williams: Yes, the plan was for me to come back and profess my affection to James Tupper's character.
TVGuide.com: You hussy!
TVGuide.com: Instead, all you got were weeks and weeks of water-logged raft scenes.
Williams: That was ridiculous. Why did I even try to stay dry? I looked like a drowned rat.