Is ABC's Private Practice — which just had its back nine episodes picked up, for a full second season — more robust with romance and drama than ever? Kate Walsh sure thinks so. TVGuide.com invited the actress to diagnose the show as it enters its second season, take a temperature reading on Addison's latest romance, and reveal the Grey's Anatomy character she'd love to see stop by and "cause some trouble." Also, check out our new video Q&A with Chris Lowell (Dell).
TVGuide.com: Did [Private Practice creator] Shonda Rhimes have any discussion with you at the end of Season 1 about what was working and what could be better?Kate Walsh: The great thing about Shonda is she has many, many gifts, and one of them is that even if she has a storyline arced out for the whole season for every character, she also watches the episodes and she'll see organically what comes about. She'll take note of things she might not have anticipated with characters or story, and start writing toward those things. Or, she'll have epiphanies in the middle of the night and go, "A-ha, this is where we're going to go!" In that sense, we never really know as actors where we're going, but it keeps things very fresh.
TVGuide.com: I, for one, definitely welcome the return of Addison, Headstrong Surgeon Extraordinaire.
Walsh: Yes! It's funny because when I went back to Grey's last year for that [crossover] episode, it was really fun to go back and be Addison — the archetype of a strong female attending surgeon. I was more easily identifiable on Grey's because you have all these interns running around, like kids, and then you have the few attendings, the "parents." It was a totally different dynamic on Private Practice when we first started. We were veering a little more toward comedy, because that's one of my strengths and Shonda wanted to write toward that. But it was a conscious decision to bring Addison's strength back. This season that vulnerability and fallibility will contrast with the professional, alpha, aggressive, hipper and fabulous Addison. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: To that end, I understand Charlotte will try to woo Addison to work at St. Ambrose, with the promise of more surgeries?
Walsh: Yeah. I kind of pitched that last year: Wouldn't it be fun if Addison went on a surgery binge? So they wrote this great episode where Charlotte tries to woo her.
TVGuide.com: And next week, Addison takes a stab at fixing the practice's financial problem. Um, how does that go?
Walsh: Well, you'll see! [Laughs] It takes a definite twist and some turns. The great thing about Shonda and her writers is she's not afraid to move through story and pack a lot in each episode. It's fun to see how that turns out.
TVGuide.com: But it's safe to say she's a better surgeon than bookkeeper?
Walsh: Maybe! Although who knows? She is, after all, "double-board certified in neonatal" and she excels in other numerous areas, she bakes a mean soufflé....
TVGuide.com: How excited are you to flesh out Addison's family with the casting of Grant Show (as her brother)?
Walsh: It's thrilling. I love Grant, and we found a great dynamic between brother and sister. I look forward to seeing where that goes. [Thus far, Show is slated for two episodes, starting in late November.] It was just fun to play with someone whose work you've seen but you've never gotten to work with them. It's always been a strength of Shonda's that just when you think you know Bailey or Addison or Derek, some other little thing erupts and you're like, "Oh!" This gives me a whole other side to play.
TVGuide.com: Do Naomi, Violet or Charlotte take a particular shine to Grant's character?
Walsh: Oh, I think everybody does — how can you not? He's handsome and charming! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Is what Addison has brewing with SWAT guy Kevin the "real deal," or does she simply think it might be?
Walsh: That's what were going to explore. It's always hard to know if something is the real deal or just something you want badly. It's a journey.
TVGuide.com: Which character from Grey's would you like to see pay a visit? Who would it be fun to play with in the new sandbox?
Walsh: Anybody. But I'd love to see [Eric Dane's] Mark Sloan. I mean, he's a plastic surgeon after all. Shouldn't he be in L.A. for a little bit? [Laughs] It'd be fun to have him cause some trouble!