Apparently, NBC has saved the best for last. This weekend, the Peacock network will air the final four episodes of Boomtown, its critically acclaimed but prematurely cancelled cop drama. (Three episodes air on Saturday, 8-11 pm/ET; one on Sunday at 10 pm/ET). Each features Vanessa Williams, who plays Det. Katherine Pierce. We interviewed the former Miss America, before Boomtown was officially axed earlier this year, to ask all about her eclectic life.
TV Guide Online: For Detective Pierce's first episode, you had to chase a perp up two flights of stairs, down a hall and up more stairs. How hard was it to shoot that scene, take after take?
Williams: It wasn't too bad. I'm in good shape for a 40-year-old woman, fortunately. So I didn't get too winded.
TVGO: When you say you're in shape, how many flights could you do before you pass out?
Williams: Let's see. For that scene, I wore heels and took the steps two at a time, holding on to the rail. I went up about three different flights so, uh... [laughs] I have no idea what my endurance would have been! Fortunately, [Boomtown director] John Avnet is very quick and our cameramen are phenomenal. So a lot of stuff was captured pretty quickly.
TVGO: You play a tough boss. But are you a tough mom in real life?
Williams: Am I tough? Well, I definitely set boundaries. My kids [Melanie, 16, Jillian, 14, Devon, 10, and Sasha, 3] are definitely well-behaved. And so I would say that I'm loving, with clear boundaries, and very supportive and encouraging.
TVGO: You sell Proactiv Solution acne medicine on TV. That is really hard to imagine it's like if Calista Flockhart were selling Slim Fast! How can you be the acne spokesperson?
Williams: How can I? Because I suffer from it. I mean, obviously you haven't seen me up close, so you don't know what you're talking about.
TVGO: I really thought you were just acting! I didn't think you actually used the products you advertise.
Williams: Well, in terms of Radio Shack, I don't have every gizmo that they're promoting. But in terms of Proactive, I can call them on a monthly basis and say I need more body scrub and more makeup. If my skin doesn't look good, then it's not going to help them!
TVGO: You mentioned Radio Shack. When you go to the Shack, do they ask for your zip code like they do everyone else?
Williams: I've never had them ask for my zip code. But I haven't gone into a Radio Shack and purchased anything for a while. The last thing I bought was my laptop computer and that's been maybe two, three years ago.
TVGO: They'll sure be glad to hear that. Your husband, Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox, recently guest-starrrd on Lifetime's 1-800-Missing. What acting advice did you have for him?
Williams: When he was on [HBO's] Oz, he would tend to prepare his lines weeks in advance. Just a soon as he'd get the script, he'd start working. And I'd say, "Honey, it's television. It'll change. So don't get committed to the text." Well, he learned on this 1-800 experience that that's absolutely true. And I think that was his biggest lesson.
TVGO: Now that you're an NBA wife, what's something you learned about basketball that you didn't know before?
Williams: I'd hear [coaches saying], "Pick and roll! Pick and roll!" And I didn't know what they were talking about. But now I know what that and setting a pick is.
TVGO: Setting a what?
Williams: A pick. Basically, it's a stance. You're standing firm with your arms down to basically block the other player's lane. And then pick and roll is when somebody rolls off you or they're rolling their shoulder off the person setting a pick. That's about as good as I can explain it.
TVGO: That's much better than I could do. After Boomtown, are you planning to do another Broadway show?
Williams: I just left [Into the Woods] last December. So there's nothing really ready to go. But I would love to. I can't wait to get back.