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'Melrose Place': Michael Rady talks about Jonah's Hollywood dream and more

March 9, 2010 |  4:10 am

Michael rady Our favorite West Hollywood tenants are behind on the rent! It's been several months with no new episodes while they went and did some remodeling or something. Since the show returns on Tuesday, Michael Rady -- who plays "Melrose Place's" resident film geek/Don Juan -- acts all suave and secretive as he attempts to get out of his late fees by answering some burning questions about what's in store for the rest of the season.

We've been told "Melrose" was going to go through a bit of retooling. Can you tell us why Melrose 2.5 is worth checking out?

We amp up the fun factor on it. The murder mystery gets wrapped up so you're not swept back into these flashbacks. They replace that with fun L.A. stuff. And they also add a lot more sex. We did a shoot at the [Speedzone in City of Industry] and it was so much fun. At seven in the morning I'm doing drag races in zero to four seconds. People are going to watch and be like 'wow L.A. is a really cool place to live.

Wow. What brought your character there?

[Jonah] had this opportunity to work on his film and he's working on casting and one of the crazy eccentric Hollywood A-listers that he's courting to be the lead in it loves arcades and my character meets him out there for a business meeting.

It sounds a little bit like "Entourage."

Now that the murder mystery is wrapped up, it's really moving into that space of just fun and kind of exciting and interesting situations and not kind of dark, whodunit sorts of things. They wanted to come out the gates with a big amount of intrigue, but they want to spring board off that into what I think what "Entourage" does with this larger-than-life, is-this-really-how-people-live? vibe.

Well, there was a bit of a "Melrose Place" storyline on "Entourage" last season. Will there be an actual "Entourage" crossover on "Melrose"?

(Laughs.) Not as far as I know, but I'd love that.

How do you feel about the comparisons of your character to Andrew Shue's Billy Campbell from the first "Melrose" or to other romantic geeks like Seth Cohen from "The O.C." or Zachary Levi on "Chuck"?

That's fine if that helps people making that comparison. I don't watch Andrew Shue or draw comparisons from that. I don't have that sort of hindsight perspective of what Jonah was in that show. He's changing and developing in the next half of the show. He goes places you don't quite expect. He earns a certain status in the first half with the choices he makes and what you expect of him. Which is good, but he's allowed to make mistakes now. He doesn't always do what is necessarily considered right. He's living out here in this crazy world and that's been fun in these last crazy episodes. I'm so used to saying "we're rooting for Jonah" in that scene.

Michael rady jessica lucas What about some mistakes in his love life?

In regards to the choices he makes in relationships, it'll be interesting to see if the audience takes his side. I take his side, but I'm curious to see if the female set will agree. I love that ambiguity. I love that it's not black and white. At the end of episode 12, you see Jonah finally break off the engagement with Riley after five years. She's the girl of his dreams and after they get engaged she proceeds to get weird and strange. Something is off in his relationship and he gets to a boiling point and says, forget about the wedding. For me, I fully am rationalized in Jonah doing what he did. Jessica Lucas [who plays Riley] and I go back and forth on set defending our characters.

What about the fact that Jonah slept with two different women in the same day in that episode, Riley in the morning and Ella at night?

He's pissed and really hurt at Riley wasting five years of his life. If she loves him, then why wouldn't she want to marry him? Does she not love him enough and want to commit to him? Then I'm (i.e., Jonah) really hurt by that and I wish we had this talk a long time ago.

Speaking of Billy Campbell, there's the actor who is joining the new cast, (not the character from the old cast) ... tell me a bit about what's going on with the new cast members. 

He comes in through Heather Locklear's character, [Amanda]. He's her boyfriend on the show, and they use that to spice up things between Jessica Lucas' character and her relationship to Amanda and her relationship to Ben, Billy Campbell's character.

Before the hiatus, Ella got her man. Does she get to keep him for long?

There's frustration and hurt. Oh you'll see.

What's going on with Nick Zano's new character?

He's our tenant. They bring in and have a great amount of fun with him. There's a random scene at the end of the episode where you're going to be like, "Wait, what?" Mostly he's there for fun but he adds a layer of intrigue.

Oh wow. Now you've got me going all out there like that Famke Janssen twist in "Nip/Tuck."

Can't say anything ...

Can you elaborate on that? Are there any more plot twists?

No ... just ... watch. Fun. Sex and fun.

-- Whitney Friedlander

Top photo: Michael Rady as Jonah Miller in "Melrose Place." Credit: Patrick Ecclesine / The CW. Bottom photo: Michael Rady as Jonah and Jessica Lucas as Riley. Credit: Scott Humbert / The CW