Why is Poppy Montgomery smiling? For starters, Without a Trace is now in its fourth season (Thursdays at 10 pm/ET on CBS) and consistently placing in the Top 5 on the ratings chart. But that's far from the only exciting thing going on in her life. TV Guide spoke with the cheeky Australian beauty about her on-screen loves, her real-life romance and her hot holiday movie, Snow Wonder.
TV Guide: What's happening this season with Samantha Spade and the men in her life?
Poppy Montgomery: We haven't resolved the situation with Samantha and Martin (Eric Close) or Samantha and Jack (Anthony LaPaglia). But things are going to heat up since Jack will have a romance with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's character.
TV Guide: Will Samantha be jealous?
Montgomery: She will get absolutely furious. She's going to be completely territorial because she loves Jack.
TV Guide: Still? That seemed to be over.
Montgomery: She's always loved Jack. I think they should get married in the last episode of the series — live happily ever after.
TV Guide: What about Martin?
Montgomery: I think that chapter is closed.
TV Guide: What advice would you give Samantha?
Montgomery: Go for Jack. Don't let him get involved with anybody else. Even though she loves Martin, she always thinks about Jack — he's the complicated one. But then Martin is so cute. [Laughs] You know, I'd tell her to keep both of them.
TV Guide: How has Roselyn Sanchez, who plays new agent Elena Delgado, fit into the team?
Montgomery: She's sweet, gorgeous... she's the best. She's added such a kick to the show. Everyone's thrilled to have her on.
TV Guide: Is Elena going to spark competition among the other characters?
Montgomery: No, [Roselyn and I] actually talked with the writers and said, "Instead of the stereotypical, 'Oh, now they're feuding,' why can't they become friends — two women who are on each other's side?" And the writers thought that was great.
TV Guide: You're starring in a holiday TV-movie, CBS' Snow Wonder [airing Nov. 20 at 9 pm]. What drew you to the project?
Montgomery: Mary Tyler Moore is in it, and anything she is in I want to be a part of. Even though I don't get to work with her.
TV Guide: Why is that?
Montgomery: It's a series of vignettes that are tied together by the snow element. I work with David Sutcliffe (Gilmore Girls) and Julie Ann Emery (Commander in Chief). She plays my best friend, who is getting married. I am secretly in love with her fiancé. And then strange things start to happen. It was supposed to be in Mississippi in the winter, so we're dressed in winter clothes. But we shot it in New Orleans and it was about 150 degrees.
TV Guide: When were you there?
Montgomery: I left a month before Hurricane Katrina hit. I love New Orleans. It was a city that I've always had a special feeling for. I did one of my first jobs there: a TV-movie, Jake Lassiter: Justice on the Bayou.
TV Guide: Snow Wonder is something different for you — a romantic comedy. How was it?
Montgomery: I have enormous respect for people like Debra Messing and the cast of Friends. Comedy looks easy, but it isn't. It was a good departure, since Trace is so dark.
TV Guide: On a lighter note, are you still dating actor Adam Kaufman?
Montgomery: We're going home to Australia for Christmas.
TV Guide: So it's serious?
Montgomery: Anyone who's going to go all that way to meet my family, it's got to be serious. It's a 14-hour flight.
TV Guide: Does Samantha have any major cases coming up?
Montgomery: She takes on a big case in the Dec. 8 episode and gets really involved in it. It's about a girl in her early 20s who gets amnesia and reminds Samantha of herself. You know Samantha has all these issues about living in a trailer park when she was young. She takes on this girl because she doesn't want her to be lost anymore. And that seems to be Samantha's cause — outside of wanting to have affairs with everyone in the office, she's always trying to work out her demons through the cases she gets.
TV Guide: Three years into Trace, is it still fun?
Montgomery: I love being on the set. I had a week off recently and I went bonkers. I got bronchitis and sat around and went crazy. I was like, "I never, ever, ever want time off from work again."