by Jennifer Squires Biller
And she’s seen co-star Julian McMahon’s naked butt more times than she can count. (Lucky girl.)
Meet actress Kelly Carlson, who plays beautiful Kimber Henry on the cutting-edge drama Nip/Tuck. You also may have seen Carlson on CSI: Miami, Everwood, and The Bronx Bunny Show.
Carlson is more than a pretty face, as anyone who watches her portrayal of the tortured Kimber knows.
I spoke with her last week by phone, and it was one of the most delightful interviews I’ve ever conducted. We laughed, chatted about her career, and talked about all things Nip/Tuck. (No, ladies, I didn’t bribe her for Julian McMahon’s digits. I’m sure he’ll get around to calling me some day.)
Check out this interview with Carlson, as she discusses what it’s like filming those raunchy scenes with McMahon, what she really thinks of all the celebrity guest stars who stop by to get “nipped and tucked,” and the famous actress who inspired her sexy, short hairstyle.
Jennifer: In the season finale of Nip/Tuck, Christian and Sean decided to move from Miami to Los Angeles. Kimber fans are alarmed that she won’t be making the move to L.A. What can you tell us about that?
Kelly: I’m alarmed, too. (laughing) You know, I don’t know. I know nothing about this next coming year. I’m not worried about it though because Kimber is having a baby, and Matt needs to go there. They’ll work it in there. Kimber is always going to follow Christian. I assure you that. That I know. I’m sure there is going to be some storyline. It’s hard to guess what the writers will come up with. They come up with the most obscene things. If anyone is alarmed about me not (making the move) then write to FX.
Jennifer: Is there any chance of Kimber and Christian rekindling their romance?
Kelly: I hope so. I hope they do because I think that they’re one of the better couples. I think they’re so highly compatible and combustible. Julian and I work really well together, and I think that’s why (the chemistry) comes across. We have a lot of fun. We bicker, too. We have that energy.
Jennifer: What’s it like filming those graphic sex scenes with Julian McMahon? We’re all insanely jealous.
Kelly: If anything, it’s fun. It’s funny.
Jennifer: Really? It’s not awkward?
Kelly: Nooooo! (laughing) Julian and I are the type of people who would probably walk through a stadium naked and not be embarrassed. We’re very naturally comfortable with ourselves, to begin with, so working together is very easy. But it’s important to keep the mood on the set very light because it’s not the actors, I think, that get uncomfortable, but it’s also the people around you. They have to do their jobs, too, and it is uncomfortable for them, too. The sound guy is right there. They’re trying not to look. And believe me, they’re embarrassed for you.
Jennifer: I’d love to see the blooper reel. I bet that’s fun.
Kelly: (Laughing) Oh yeah, that’s true. But if you laugh and make some jokes and keep it light, yet serious, it makes for a good working day.
Jennifer: I’m going to get all girly on you for a second. Let’s talk about Kimber’s wedding gown for her non-wedding to Christian. That was the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen.
Kelly: Did you like it?
Jennifer: Like it? Honey, tell me you stole it from wardrobe and have it in your closet at home. You looked incredible. Was it Monique Lhuillier?
Kelly: Yes! She made it for me. It was gorgeous! I loved wearing it. They wouldn’t let me keep it. (Jennifer takes a moment of silence.)
Jennifer: Have you seen a script yet for the new season of Nip/Tuck? Do you know anything about the show storylines and what’s coming up?
Kelly: No. I know they’re working on it right now, but I don’t know anything about it. I would love to know, just like everyone else. I don’t know who is coming back or what guest stars are coming. They’re being real tight-lipped about it, to us even.
Jennifer: What do you think about all the guest stars? Last year we saw, Larry Hagman, Rosie O’Donnell, Jacqueline Bisset and it went on and on. Normally, I’m not a fan of stunt casting, but it seems like on your show it really works.
Kelly: Isn’t that funny that it does work?
Jennifer: Yes, because normally it just means a show has Jumped the Shark.
Kelly: I know that, and you’re right. But I think people know that these people come on our show not to get paid, but to actually do some good work. You know what I mean? We’re on cable, so it’s not like they’re guesting on Friends or Will and Grace. It’s not an exposure thing; it’s not a money thing; it’s what you get to do on the show, and the audience knows that. That’s why I think it works. It doesn’t seem like an act of desperation. These actors come on our show to have fun.
Jennifer: Joan Rivers cracked me up.
Kelly: Wasn’t she hilarious?
Jennifer: What’s it like for you meeting all these Hollywood heavyweights?
Kelly: I don’t always get to meet them. Jacqueline Bisset was amazing. Rosie O’Donnell could not be cooler. She’s one of those very warm, powerful people that you meet in your lifetime. She’s one of those people you meet who makes a difference. And she’s a great actress. She’s so funny. I think she’s coming back.
Jennifer: Yeah, I’ve heard that. I’m hoping. I lover her in the part of Dawn Budge. What a fun character. No one does white trash better.
Kelly: I know, right. (laughing.)
Jennifer: When we first met Kimber, she was perfect looking, yet that cad Christian Troy exploited her image issues and convinced her that she needed plastic surgery. Since then, we’ve watched her fall in love, go a little crazy, downward spiral to drugs, porn, and a series of bad relationships. What’s left for her?
Kelly: Politics? (laughing)
Jennifer: I think she should run for mayor. (more laughing)
Kelly: Or senator.
Jennifer: Can you tell us if Christian Troy is going to be a grandpa courtesy of Kimber? (Hooking up with your ex-fiancée’s son, by the way, kind of cold.)
Kelly: It is! You know, he could be a father or a grandfather.
Jennifer: I was so certain that baby was his.
Kelly: I know, me too. And I think his character was, too. I wouldn’t rule it out.
Jennifer: What storyline would you like to see for Kimber?
Kelly: I’ve thought of Kimber seeing ghosts. I can kind of identify with that…so many storylines have been covered in this show. Any stories you can think of are not as interesting or entertaining as the ones she’s already been in, like scientology and the adult film industry.
Jennifer: What did you think of the controversial scientology arc?
Kelly: I think it’s still gonna go on. I’ve tried to stay out of it. You know, you can’t have too many opinions in this business because it can turn around and bite you. So, I really tried to just be neutral.
Jennifer: What TV shows do you watch?
Kelly: I watch Family Guy, Grey’s Anatomy, and the National Geographic channel.
Jennifer: Would you ever do Dancing With the Stars?
Kelly: No, it would be embarrassing. I can’t touch my toes. I used to be a great dancer, but I’m so unflexible. I wish I could dance like that and be sexy like that.
Jennifer: Let’s talk about The Bronx Bunny Show, on Starz, you guest starred on. What was it like hanging out with those foul-mouthed puppets?
Kelly: The actual puppets are the cutest things you’ve ever seen. For anyone who is familiar with that show, it’s very male driven, kind of sexual. And my character on Nip/Tuck couldn’t agree with it more. They make a lot of references to my sex doll and (Kimber) as a porn-star director. They ask very cheeky questions
Jennifer: I assume that rabbit and his panda sidekick are trying to get you naked at some point.
Kelly: Oh, yeah. It’s funny. It’s senseless humor. It’s not the sort of program where you’re going to do any thinking. They’re razor-tongued puppets that are cute. They put the guests on the spot and embarrass the guests to see how far they can push them. If I could have taken them home with me I would have. They’re the cutest damn puppets I’ve ever seen. They’re so funny.
Jennifer: Were you nervous to do the show, considering it’s billed as the show that asks questions that Leno, Letterman and Oprah don’t?
Kelly: Yeah, I was a little because you can only take so much tongue in cheek. Just because my character (on Nip/Tuck) is so cliché and sexually oriented, I tried to balance it out a little. I was a little nervous about how far they were gonna push it, but I’m also very comfortable with myself, too. Not everyone would be able to do that show, though. I think there would be people that would be offended.
Jennifer: Last question, and it’s a shallow one. Let’s talk hair. Most of the leading ladies of nighttime TV have long, beauty-pageant hair, but you have a sexy, sassy short do that is to die for. Did you cut your hair for this part, or have you always had short hair? I admit I took a photo of it to my stylist to try and duplicate it, but it didn’t work. I didn’t come away with “the Kimber.”
Kelly: I cut my hair like this when I was 21. I just copied Marilyn Monroe’s hair. I used to always have long hair, but my mother does hair, and she has salons, and we kept cutting it inch by inch, and it worked. I get so many compliments, even from men. Most men prefer long hair. But it does look better on me than long hair.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
by Jennifer Squires Biller