Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

What's up with Willi? Ever since she became a new mom, she hasn't really been herself — falling asleep in the office, passing up a hot date with a pectacular manny. Sure, motherhood is difficult, but this is powerhouse editrix Wilhemina Slater; surely she can handle a diaper or two! As Ugly Betty returns from its spring hiatus Thursday (8 pm/ET, ABC), Vanessa Williams tells TVGuide.com about the changes in store for Willi as she questions the parentage of her surrogate son, mourns her lost love with Connor and recommits to her sinister plans for publishing-world domination. Plus, Williams the musician has a new album!

TVGuide.com: How do you think motherhood has changed Willi?
Vanessa Williams: I think she's making a valiant effort to try to do the right thing and be a better mom. I think that she truly has the intention to be a better person and to give the time and the sensitivity that is needed to be a good parent. But very soon it'll all start to crumble.

TVGuide.com: Why? Is she afraid of losing her edge?
Williams: I think that might be the case. But it won't happen.

TVGuide.com: She kind of seems not so into the baby. Is this why she starts to question his parentage?
Williams: You hit it on the head. The bonding issue is the trigger that will start the ball running in terms of investigating the DNA of the baby.

TVGuide.com: Why haven't they tested his DNA before, especially since she used a surrogate?
Williams: I think she just assumed [he was hers]. Of course, it also makes better TV if there's an issue.

TVGuide.com: It seems like Willi's whole tough-guy routine is really wearing on her. Are we in for a softer, gentler Willi in the future?
Williams: Yes, but her exasperation ends pretty quickly and she's back to climbing her way to the top.

TVGuide.com: I hear you might be playing some tennis in an upcoming episode.
Williams: Yeah, my character plays against [guest star] Christine Baranski, and Christine's character plays against Billie Jean King. That was phenomenal. We actually shot at [the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y.]. Her name was on the building and there she was standing right next to me.

TVGuide.com: Do you play tennis normally?
Williams: I do have a tennis court, but I don't play enough. I should be ashamed. I haven't been living [in New York] for the past two years, being out in L.A. But I do have the desire to get better. Once I have some time, hopefully with this hiatus, I will take a few more lessons.

TVGuide.com: I'm guessing the scene wasn't so much about tennis precision anyway as it was about comedy, right?
Williams: Yes, comedy and Willi getting what she wants, which is always her intention.

TVGuide.com: You have a new album coming out in June. Any chance you'll ever sing on Ugly Betty?
Williams: Yes, in fact, very soon! I sing "Man That Got Away" with [Baranski] on the May 14 episode.

TVGuide.com: Is there love in Willi's future? Have we seen the last of Connor?
Williams: Yeah, we've seen the last of Connor this season. Who knows about next season? I thoroughly enjoyed working with Grant Bowler, and I loved the storyline, and I would love to have him back. He left us to go back to New Zealand to do a run on a series there. So, who knows what will happen?

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