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'Melrose Place' star Katie Cassidy on facing off with Amanda Woodward

October 14, 2009 |  7:58 am

Katie When Katie Cassidy was last on prime-time television, she was getting a knife to the gut from her groom, a just-revealed raging serial killer, on CBS' also ill-fated "Harper's Island."

Things have perked up since then. As the can-do publicist and resident man-eater Ella Simms on "Melrose Place," Cassidy is already being singled out as the show's deliciously devious one to watch. And coming up, she'll play Lucy Ewing in the feature film adaptation of "Dallas," which stars John Travolta as J.R. and Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen, and one of the haunted on "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

Til then, she was only too happy to talk about who killed Sydney -- yes, she knows whodunit! -- channeling "Sex and the City's" Samantha Jones, and going head to head with Heather Locklear.

Ratings for the show could be better. What do you think is going on there?
I don't know! I hope it’ll catch on and find its way so people will see how much fun we’re having.

Ella has the best lines and is clearly the best character so far -- you do bitchy well. Is there someone you base her on?
It’s so funny, our costume designer was on the phone with my manager the other day and told me, ‘Oh my gosh, I thought I was on the phone with you! I mean I thought I was talking to Ella!’ I mean, my manager is so funny and maybe part of that is what I’m picking up on. Sometimes I see myself weirdly channeling Samantha from “Sex and the City.” It just sort of comes out of me. I can’t fight it, it just happens. I’m like, “Hmm, I think I just sounded like Samantha!” But I’m OK with that because I was obsessed with Samantha.

You all said at the Television Critics Assn. tour that none of you had watched the original “Melrose Place.” Do you understand the importance of Heather Locklear now that you’ve worked with her?

The importance?

Yes.

Katie2 I understand what she brings to the show. Her character is great. And now, it is sort of making sense to me. I do think Ella and Amanda are different, though. Amanda is … she's mean! I think Ella does have a good heart.

And you still haven’t watched the original? Just for fun?
I just don’t think it would be relevant to what we’re shooting now. Our characters weren’t around then, so I don’t know what Ella would gain if I watched the old “Melrose Place.”

Heather's first episode is Nov. 17. How long after that will we have to wait for an Ella vs. Amanda smackdown?

Well, Amanda comes in and is the boss of WPK and Ella, you know, she wants to be in Amanda’s shoes. She wants to run the company. But Amanda comes in and puts her foot down and makes all these demands. Ella gets bossed around, and she doesn't like it. There’s a lot that's going to happen between them. You do get to see a different side of Ella when she’s around Amanda, which I think is nice. That relationship will grow and evolve but I don’t want to give anything away.

What about Ella and Jonah? When are they going to inevitably get together?
I can say this: By Episode 12, a whole bunch of craziness goes down. There’s obviously some tension between Ella and Jonah. She has a thing for him. Riley and Jonah are very much in love. That triangle gets confusing and difficult for all of them at some point, and it comes to a head later on.

Who should Jonah be with?
My opinion is that he wants more than Riley. He's so straight-edged, he needs someone who will mix it up a little more, someone who will keep him on his toes.

Thomas Calabro told me that Michael Mancini will see plenty of action with many of the women on the show. Is there an Ella-Mancini pairing in the works?
I actually haven’t really worked with him since the pilot, so as of now, not that I know of.

Do you know who killed Sydney?
I do! We actually all just found out. It is juicy and very good.

Someone you suspected?
I don’t think it’s going to be obvious – but you never know. It’s definitely really good. I was so blown away when I found out.

Any hints? Is this person a series regular?
I can’t say!

Speaking of killers, "Harper’s Island" was crazy and scary and awesome – and it’s just a shame it was on CBS.
Yeah, I’m not sure the network was the right one.

Your character, the Bride, almost lasted until the end. Did you know who the killer was?
I had no idea. Nobody knew. The killer didn’t even know who he was until later on. I found out right before we were going to shoot Episode 12. It was a ton of fun, but also really tiring. It was emotionally and physically draining.

-- Denise Martin

Related:

The best of Amanda Woodward, as relived on YouTube

'Melrose Place' duo Laura Leighton and Thomas Calabro together at last

A return to 'Melrose'

Complete cover of 'Melrose Place' on Showtracker

Photo: (Top) Katie Cassidy as Ella. (Bottom) Jessica Lucas as Riley with Cassidy in "Melrose Place." Credit: The CW
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