Mary-Louise Parker and Matthew Modine, <EM>Weeds</EM> Mary-Louise Parker and Matthew Modine, Weeds

Nancy. Serious firepower aimed at her head. A missing stash. Silas and his trunkful of pot being approached by the cops. How does Agrestic's dealing damsel in distress get out of this one? TVGuide.com invited Jenji Kohan, the creator of Showtime's Weeds, to preview the new season, premiering Monday, Aug. 13, at 10 pm/ET.

TVGuide.com: I actually just got the press kit for Weeds. That's some foldout of Mary-Louise Parker, nude!
Jenji Kohan:
Yeah! Her ass looks good in that. Wish they hadn't used the snake, but what can you do?

TVGuide.com: Last time we spoke, you said Season 2 was about Nancy accepting her role as drug dealer. What's the theme for Season 3?
Kohan:
It's the education of a gangster. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: She has seen how rough-and-tumble it can get.
Kohan:
And she's got to learn the ropes. It's learning how to be great at her job.

TVGuide.com: My big question is how Nancy stays in this business after having a half-dozen guns aimed at her head. How is she not scared off?
Kohan:
Well, she has some debts to pay off.... You'll see.

TVGuide.com: Outside of the regular cast, who else is returning?
Kohan:
Zoe will be back in the beginning, and then [Zooey Deschanel] is off to do movies. This year we have Matthew Modine and Mary-Kate Olsen....

TVGuide.com: How does Matthew's character enter Nancy's world?
Kohan:
He's a developer for the town next door, a church-based town called Majestic.

TVGuide.com: What's the dynamic between them right off?
Kohan:
She's going to work for him for a while. They get along pretty well. And we've got Carrie Fisher for an episode, which was really exciting. She plays Celia's divorce lawyer. Mary-Kate is a love interest for Silas.

TVGuide.com: How does one choose between the two Olsen twins when casting?
Kohan:
One of them comes in and auditions and says she wants to be on the show, and the other one stays in New York and does her thing! [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Mary-Kate's character is from the Bible-thumping development. But are things not as they seem?
Kohan:
Well, she's fully comfortable in her Christianity... and her drug use.

TVGuide.com: Getting back to the Matthew Modine character, what sort of guy do you think it would take to hold on to Nancy?
Kohan:
We've been talking about that a lot this year. When you do what she does, the dating pool is rather limited. It's hard to find a good man! So she's looking around. I don't know if she lands anyone this year, but she's looking around. She'll have fun.

TVGuide.com: Is Conrad going to still sort of pine for her a bit?
Kohan:
Yes, and I think that relationship will progress a little.

TVGuide.com: Any flashback appearances for Jeffrey Dean Morgan [as Nancy's late husband]?
Kohan:
No....

TVGuide.com: What kind of arc are we sending Andy on this season?
Kohan:
First he's got to get out of the military stuff that's been following him. Then he's there to liven things up and try out different career paths, and sort of assume the role of adult in the household. He's got to parent to a certain extent. As Nancy gets more and more involved in the business, someone needs to be minding the store.

TVGuide.com: You and I talked about what a pickle you put Nancy in with the season finale. How long did it take the writers to crack that?
Kohan:
[Laughs] Everyone had been thinking a lot about it over the break, so we started getting it together in a week or two.

TVGuide.com: Any other casting news?
Kohan:
Brooke Smith, as [deceased DEA agent] Peter's ex-wife, shows up, and she's fantastic.

TVGuide.com: She can't be happy with Nancy.
Kohan:
Yeah, she's a bit angry. [Laughs] She's around for at least four episodes. The scenes with her and Mary-Louise are really exciting. They're friends outside, so that was great.

TVGuide.com: You have three extra episode this year, for a total of 15. What does that allow you as a writer?
Kohan:
To get more exhausted and burned out. [Laughs] It was rough, it was rough. We maintain quality through small batches, and it was a push to the finish to get the 15 out. We're proud of our work, certainly, but it's a long haul.

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