Following Charlotte's sexual assault and the gruesome aftermath, this week's episode will mark the beginning of her road to recovery on Private Practice. She may act like the same strong woman she's always been, but healing will not be easy.
"Those bruises may go away, casts may come off, the hair may become curled again — all of those outer things may change and may appear normal, but within her there is a whole other life happening," KaDee Strickland tells TVGuide.com. The 34-year-old actress also discusses how Charlotte will move forward from the trauma, and what's ahead for her relationships.
TVGuide.com: The reception to last week's episode has been overwhelming, I'm sure.
Strickland: I'm having one of the best weeks of my life and I don't say that lightly. I've had the most beautiful response from survivors and from the woman who runs the rape treatment center in Los Angeles, who I worked with, and of course, RAINN. Their phones haven't stopped ringing. It's not just people immediately saying, "I'm attacked." People go there for support, like the Coopers and the Addisons of the world. There's no better feeling in the world than to hear that.
TVGuide.com: Now that Charlotte is on the road to recovery, what can you tell us of what the journey is like?
Strickland: I know there were questions about the rape kit and her intentions with that, but you will find that there is a lot more involved with what happened in that scene with Addison [Kate Walsh] and I where she was performing the exam. You're also going to see Lee McHenry again, Nicholas Brendon's character. That is by far not over. And you're going to see how long Charlotte can live with this secret.
TVGuide.com: Clearly the secret will come out soon.
Strickland: You at least suspect, even if it's not spoken. You saw a lot of the characters live through that, that look crossing their faces. Obviously, people are going to do some adding up. She can't keep it under wraps, and the truth will set her free ... Picking up the pieces after her world's been shattered is what you're going to see for the rest of the season for her.
TVGuide.com: Will Sheldon (Brian Benben), who was in the interrogation with Lee, figure out that he was the one who attacked Charlotte?
Strickland: You see Sheldon add it up. Sheldon is probably the one person who knows how to deal with Charlotte the best. The feeling of helplessness for every individual in Charlotte's life comes up because there is nothing they can do to erase it and there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
TVGuide.com: What about Charlotte and Cooper (Paul Adelstein) moving forward in their relationship?
Strickland: You're going to see her intimacy with Cooper explored, and I'm not just talking about sexual. How can you be intimate with the person about what you're feeling and going through? Is there any way to let them in? You'll see how Cooper responds to the truth of her attack, which is pretty major.
TVGuide.com: There's been a lot of Emmy talk following the initial episode. How does that feel?
Strickland: That stuff is all good gravy. I would be lying to you if I said that wasn't an amazing compliment, but to know that people got help out of this, I'm just so happy. It's surreal to hear. [Executive producer] Shonda Rhimes wrote this thing, I just got to show up. If that woman does not get a nomination, there's no justice in the world.
Watch an interview with KaDee Strickland about Private Practice below.