We've seen plenty of pregnant ladies on TV, but never one like The L Word's Tina Kennard, as played by real mommy-to-be Laurel Holloman. As befits the no-holds-barred lustiness of Showtime's lesbian drama (Sundays at 10 pm/ET), Tina's — and Laurel's — expanding belly didn't keep her from doing love scenes with ex-girlfriend Bette (Jennifer Beals) and the haughty Helena (Rachel Shelly). And how's this for a twist on life imitating art: Now that Holloman has had her child (6-month-old Lola), Beals has revealed that she's expecting! TVGuide.com touched base with Holloman a few weeks before she returned to Vancouver to shoot L Word's third season.
TVGuide.com: So now that Jennifer Beals is pregnant, you'll have to deal with her hormonal issues on the set. Fair play?
[Laughs] We're pretty good at it now. I'll take care of her this year, because she really took care of me!
TVG: Will Ms. Beals' pregnancy be written into the show like yours was?
Jennifer really didn't want to be pregnant on the show, and everybody has come to the conclusion that it would just be repetitive [coming right after mine]. But she'll look glowing in her close-ups!
TVG: You really struck a feminist blow by portraying a heavily pregnant woman as feeling strong sexual desires — and being very sexually appealing to others around her.
I was really pregnant, and I had gestational diabetes and was on insulin, which didn't make me feel so sexy. But I wanted to be part of something that was such a celebration of pregnancy and a womanly body. I thought it was very progressive. And a lot of women have sexual desire in the last part of their pregnancy, which is sort of interesting.
TVG: Kudos for your bravery. You were next to naked in love scenes and nude in the underwater labor scene.
And I [had] gained 30 pounds! As it was happening, I wasn't thinking about whether it was courageous or anything. I'd like to look at my career when I'm older and go, "Hey, I really did things that were hard." As an actress, it's one of the most cool things I've ever done. Also, I did The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love at a young age, playing a little baby butch dyke. So very early on, I just dropped vanity and preconceived notions of what I'm supposed to look like.
TVG: You had some hot scenes with Helena, especially in the pool. Will Rachel Shelly be back even though your characters have broken up?
Yeah! Helena will definitely be back. She's a great addition, and Rachel Shelly is a delight to work with. I was seven months pregnant in that scene.
TVG: Did your situation ever make you laugh? You were this massively pregnant, married heterosexual woman in steamy clinches with gorgeous women.
It was a little comical the first time I had to do a love scene pregnant. I was in the pool, and Rachel and I were laughing because the baby was kicking! It was easy to do [pregnant love] scenes with Rachel and Jennifer. I don't know if I could have done that with a man. [Laughs]
TVG: Speaking of men, what was your husband's reaction?
He [Hollywood production designer Paul Macherey] was very proud of me. He's an artist, so he would never tell me what to incorporate into my art, just like I would never tell him what to design.
TVG: You went through most of your pregnancy on camera.
In the first episode, I was four-and-a-half months pregnant — and I worked until the day before my water broke!
I didn't make it to the last episode. I had an emergency Caesarian section, just like Tina. On my last day, I was supposed to have a meeting with [L Word creator] Ilene Chaikin. My water broke and I was in the hospital that night in labor. I had to do reshoots for the final show five weeks after the birth of my baby. It was pretty interesting; they pretty much shot the emergency C-section in the final scene, after I had a real one.
TVG: Talk about art imitating life! Was Tina's story always written to include the emergency medical procedure?
Yes. They wanted to show how unpredictable birth can be. Which it can! I [personally] had no intention of having an emergency C-section. [Laughs]
TVG: Can you give us any hints about next season?
Everyone's back — and throw whatever you expect out the window. There will be lots of twists and turns. And again, there is material that hasn't been seen on the screen. It doesn't always end in a picture-perfect way.
TVG: Please, no more suffering for Jenny (Mia Kirschner). We can't take any more.
Things will get better for her. But, for some characters where you think it will be all better, it might not be.