Many fans were shocked by the season-ending death of Aisha Tyler's Andrea on Ghost Whisperer (Fridays at 8 pm/ET). But true to form, Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) picked herself up and found a new friend, Delia, played by Camryn Manheim. TVGuide.com got a chance to speak with the delightful former star of The Practice about what it was like stepping in for the CBS drama's second season, how she manages to juggle single motherhood with acting, and to find out what her costar is really like on set.
TVGuide.com: Delia's really a lot of fun!
Camryn Manheim: Yeah, I think as they start to figure out how to incorporate her into it, it's going to get more and more delicious.
TVGuide.com: She had this heartbreaking line about her husband recently. It killed me.
Manheim: I knoooow. "Why should I celebrate one day when I'm married to you every day?" Like, isn't that what you want your husband to say? And then I thought to myself, "He probably didn't say that. He's dead now, so she's just...." You know how you sentimentalize everything? Because what man says that?
TVGuide.com: Right. Well, you know, Jim seems like he might be that kind of guy.
Manheim: I know, isn't he divine? That David Conrad? Ohh!
TVGuide.com: So, is there going to be a love interest for Delia sometime soon?
Manheim: Well, I would tell people to keep their eyes open. I can't say, but I just did get a script that's kind of exciting.
TVGuide.com: Is it somebody we've seen before?
Manheim: I can't say, I can't say. [Laughs] I would just say, "Keep your eyes open." Delia has got stuff to deal with, but she's going to deal with it and try to find a companion.
TVGuide.com: Is she going to find out about Melinda's secret at some point this season?
Manheim: I think she is going to find out about the secret, but I do not know how she's going to handle it.
TVGuide.com: She's got to be getting skeptical by now.
Manheim: Well, she thinks the girl is just a little loony. [Laughs] You know, talkin' to herself....
TVGuide.com: And you're doing strange favors for her all the time.
Manheim: Yeah, she needs me to leave the room, I come back, she's talking to something. In an episode with Debi Mazar, she was talking about Jim and how he was a little kooky, and I'm like, "Really? They're perfect for each other." It's just the smallest hint that they're both a little oddball.
TVGuide.com: Something's a little off there.
Manheim: Yeah. But she likes her so much, it's not negative when she says it. It's just like, "You know... they're interesting characters."
TVGuide.com: Delia sounds like such a great friend for Melinda. I'm really happy.
Manheim: Me, too. I'll tell you something, there's nobody on this planet nicer than that Jennifer Love Hewitt. Nobody.
TVGuide.com: That's nice to hear.
Manheim: You never know, because she's been in the business for so long and you hear so many horror stories about young actors. The feeling on the set is the most important thing, because you're there for so long, and I have seen people who really poison the set and make it a horrible experience for everybody. And then on the rare occasion, there's an actor who brings light and joy to a set and makes it a very moving experience. I don't remember in my career knowing an actor who works as hard as [Hewitt] does, who never goes back to her trailer, who sits at what we call "video village" — where all the directors and the DPs sit — and talks to everyone on the crew, knows the names of their children, asks them about their weekend.... It's one of the most heartwarming things I've ever seen.
TVGuide.com: That makes it nice to go to work.
Manheim: And that crew would do anything for her. If actors only figured this out — that if you were kind to these people who spend their entire life away from their family and you become their family, they would do anything for you. They adore her. My first day of work, there was this huge balloon bouquet and the note to my son was, "Dear Milo, thank you for sharing your mom with us. Love, Jennifer Love Hewitt." Then the basket of flowers comes for me about how excited she is that I'm on the show. Then lunch comes for the crew. I've learned a lot from her by how gracious she is in the world.
TVGuide.com: Well, a lot of people learn by example.
Manheim: I love her, I think she's awesome. You know they call her Love, right? I call her "J. Love."
TVGuide.com: J. Love. I like that. Speaking of Milo, how has it been juggling motherhood and being on set all the time, since you have this big, new role now?
Manheim: In order to honor single mothers in particular and working mothers all around the world, I have to say, the television industry is particularly compassionate to mothers and children. Milo's been with me [on set] since he was born — on The Practice, there was day care. And now he's in school, so depending on my schedule, if I can grab him after school, he can come and visit. He has the biggest crush in the world on Love. Literally, he gets all sad and bats his eyes. He's in love with her. I mean, I think it's going to be traumatic.
TVGuide.com: Well, hopefully the show lasts long enough for him to continue his crush.
Manheim: I can't imagine it won't. It's got fantastic ratings, and J. Love plans to be with it for a while, so I can't imagine it won't be around for two to three more years.
TVGuide.com: It's funny — I know so many people who watch it, but they just don't talk about it.
Manheim: [Laughs] It's maybe like that guilty pleasure or that thing that you don't want to be caught watching, but you are. It seems to have this incredible following of, first of all, believers who get a lot of comfort from watching the show. Then there's this huge following of young people who... well, there are all these games, I guess, they can play online, things to spot in the show. So it's interactive in a way.
TVGuide.com: The show took a really dark and scary turn this season.
Manheim: It got very dark. I know, I can't watch it, it's too scary. That's the first time for me.
TVGuide.com: Were you at all apprehensive about joining the show this season, filling the shoes of Aisha Tyler's character?
Manheim: Honestly, my only apprehension was that I live in Venice and [Ghost Whisperer] shoots in Universal Studios. [Laughs] The truth is, it's easier for me to get to Las Vegas from where I live. I had fantastic meetings with the producers, and I had heard just glowing things about Love, which were true. I have a lot of friends who have guest-starred on the show.
TVGuide.com: Ghost Whisperer gets some great guest stars.
Manheim: Holy moly, don't they ever?! But my best friend Ann Cusack had been on the show the year before and just raved and raved about Jennifer, and I thought, "You know, I want to work on a really nice and warm set, where my son is welcome and people are accommodating. That's nice."
TVGuide.com: I was hoping we'd see you again on How I Met Your Mother.
Manheim: See? [Ted] needs to come back to my dating service.
TVGuide.com: He does, because he and Robin can't be together forever.
Manheim: No. Then, what's the story? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of Ghost Whisperer prior to getting this gig?
Manheim: I hadn't watched it entirely — I have now, obviously — but I probably was like, "Oh, Ghost Whisperer.... " And then I watched it one Friday night because there was nothing else on, and I'm like, "This is really well done!" The acting's fantastic, the writing is great, and the look of it is really wonderful. I don't watch a ton of TV — and when I do, it's, like, The Doodlebops and Hannah Montana, because I have a 6-year-old — but I had probably caught it four times over the season. I always thought, "Good for them for picking this subject matter and doing it with such integrity and class."
TVGuide.com: Do you get a lot of fans asking about crossing over and that kind of stuff?
Manheim: Well, it's really interesting, because I think people are either open or closed to ghosts. When I played [The Practice's] Ellenor, I would have every lawyer in the world come up and talk to me. With the paranormal... my father's a mathematician, and I think in terms of absolute and concrete evidence and proof. So I am not a convert to the crossing over, but I believe it occurs. I just don't know that it occurs for me, because I think that I'm too closed-minded about it. I think you really have to be open of mind and body and soul for that. So maybe people get that vibe from me, that I'm not going to have the gooey conversation about crossing over. Or maybe they're afraid of me, because I'm so highly identified with Ellenor Frutt that it's hard for them to make that crossover right now. But hopefully they will. I'd be fascinated to hear people's stories.
TVGuide.com: Do you miss Ellenor at all?
Manheim: I do. I miss her very much. Those are once-in-a-lifetime roles. I am aware of that and thankfully was aware of that the whole time I was doing it, so I could love her up as much as I did.
TVGuide.com: Any plans to write another book? Because as a slightly larger woman myself....
Manheim: One of my peeps!
TVGuide.com: Loved, loved, loved Wake Up, I'm Fat!...
Manheim: Oh, I'm very glad.
TVGuide.com: And I aspire to your "accept yourself how you are" attitude.
Manheim: Yeah, how's that goin' for ya?
TVGuide.com: I'm workin' on it!
Manheim: Good. Good. I think it's good, because like I said, you teach people how to treat you. You can't teach them to treat you other than how you treat yourself.
TVGuide.com: So, would you ever consider writing another book?
Manheim: Yes, but if I did, I would write it first [before shopping it]. I can't handle that kind of deadline one more time, it's just too much, having people all mad at you.
TVGuide.com: Yeah, but then you get to work at that fun-sounding set.
Manheim: I know. My life is good, I've got no complaints. I love it. I love her. I love the show. I'm very grateful.
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