Lisa Darr’s kiss-and-tell – actress; lesbian kiss on television sitcom ‘Ellen’ – Interview
On the October 29 episode of Ellen, Ellen Morgan met Laurie, her first love. And under the watchful gaze of a few million fans, they sealed their bond with a kiss. Was it daunting to deliver the smooch seen round the world? Not to hear actor Lisa Darr tell it. As a guest star on programs like Frasier, The Drew Carey Show, Murphy Brown, and ER, the 34-year-old Chicago native has survived most conceivable TV situations. She’s even played gay before, as the lover of lesbian detective Abby Sullivan (Paige Turco) on NYPD Blue. Will Ellen be Darr’s ticket to stardom? That remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Darr tells The Advocate, she’s proud to be along for the ride.
How did you come to play Ellen Morgan’s love interest?
It was very quick, actually. I auditioned on a Friday and went to work on Tuesday. It’s become this huge, wonderful thing, and at the time it was kind of like, Oh. Another audition. Whatever.
What qualities were they looking for in this character?
I think they responded to me because I have a fairly easygoing way about me and — at least on film — I come off as being quite self-confident, very comfortable with the material and with the subject matter.
Did you do research to play lesbian?
No, because I don’t see lesbians as different from other people. In fact, I might be messing up my process if I tried to say, “What’s a gay thing I could do here?” Like there was a gay handshake or something.
Tell us about the kissing scene.
We had a lot of masters to serve. We had to be faithful to the comedy, and it had to be a kiss that signified, I’m interested in you. Yet it couldn’t be a normal sitcom kiss, where you just jump all over each other. We had to be conscientious about what ABC and Disney [ABC’s parent corporation] wanted and having to find a happy medium.
Did you feel a lot of pressure at that moment?
No. It was really fun. Did I feel weird about kissing her? God, no. We just got to it and did it.
Is she a good kisser.
In your own life, have you ever been attracted to someone of the same sex?
Yeah, to the extent that I appreciate beautiful women. It’s never been an issue sexually, but it’s not something I scoff at and go, “Oh, God, never.”
Daily Variety’s columnist Army Arched pointedly said you have a boyfriend offscreen. Did your representatives request that?
Not at all. I don’t know where that’s coming from. Maybe — this is pure speculation — Disney’s anxious to get that message out. I couldn’t care less if anyone thought I was gay.
Has your boyfriend been joshed about your role?
A little bit. I think they tease him about losing me to Ellen. If anything’s stereotypical, it’s his response. He’s kind of going, “Fine with me. Just as long as I can watch.”
If you were your TV character and you had to choose between Paige Turco or Ellen DeGeneres, who’s more attractive?
Oh, boy. [Laughs] I certainly at this point know Ellen better than I knew Paige. [Pauses] Let’s just say that if it’s true that blonds have more fun, I would have to go with Ellen.
Can you tell us anything about episodes to come?
In our third episode [scheduled to air November 26] we end up going to bed together for the first time. It’s beautiful and touching and sweet and lovely, and they’d better not give us a problem about it.
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