Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
February 18, 2007.
ever met someone and just instantly known that they were special and that
you could become fast friends? Well, that sums up speaking to Kathryn
Hahn. This talented actress, now in her sixth season playing Lily Lebowski
on NBC's popular Sunday night drama Crossing Jordan, is as friendly
and sweet a person as she is an excellent actress. Her positive energy and
zest is contagious to those she meets.
Though acting has always been her love, Hahn is now cherishing her exciting
new role – as a mother to 3½-month-old Leonard. Calling the experience
“heaven,” Kathryn and her husband (and cast-mate) Ethan Sandler are enjoying
every moment of the wonderfully challenging new role as parents.
Though not everyone will know her by name, most will recognize her face.
Hahn's impressive body of work continues to grow since being discovered by
a NBC casting director while performing in a theater festival. After being
flown to Hollywood to read for the part of Lily, Hahn landed the role she
loves so, which has also professionally helped to open so many doors for
her. Now with film credits like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Win
a Date With Tad
Hamilton, Around the Bend, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
and The Holiday, Kathryn is enjoying acting, Crossing Jordan,
movies, motherhood... and life!
There is a lot more on the horizon for this talented, theatrically-trained
actress. Without a doubt, we will be seeing a lot more of Kathryn Hahn in
years to come.
How has becoming a mother changed your life?
It’s heaven. They have been so good on the set. He's able to come to the
set with me, which is just fantastic. Of course the crew has just fallen
madly in love with him. Every Friday night they have a draw where we all
put our names on a $5.00 bill and throw them in a pot and whoever’s name
gets drawn wins it. Leonard won the last pot, which was fantastic! So, he
won $140.00 bucks and one of the crew members was having a big Super Bowl
party, so we just said Leonard would buy the drinks. (laughs)
That's great! His first time being the big spender.
I know! Exactly!
is now in its sixth season and still going strong. What do you think it is
about the show and the characters that keeps your fans coming back for more?
I think that as opposed to a lot of the other investigative shows – the
procedural dramas – there is so much character involved in Crossing
It has a little bit of a soap opera and a little bit like a CSI or
another procedural show. That kind of puts it in its own category. It’s
enough of a serial for people to come week to week and to look forward to
the next week’s episode. They are not such stand alone episodes like some
of the other procedural shows on television. And I think that the
characters are not often what you see on television – not so typical. Steve
Valentine who plays Nigel and Ravi (Kapoor) who plays Bug and Jordan (Jill
Hennessy) and Lily who I play – I think they are so unique. It's fun to
kind of see these people in hero positions, which you rarely get a chance
very true. Now, I know you weren't on the last episode. Did you take off a
while and miss a lot of episodes after having the baby?
Yes, I took off three months, so there were seven episodes I missed. They
wrote my pregnancy into the show, which was just a dream. My husband –
Ethan Sandler – he's been playing my character’s lover for a while now, so
that's been a joy to be able to go to work together. And to be pregnant
actually, it’ll be fun for my son to be able to watch these episodes and
know he's in my belly.
Oh, that's great. Now, what's it like working together on the show?
It's been hysterical. We had worked together in theater about a decade ago,
so we hadn't had it for a while. It's just been so funny. I mean he'd tell
you that I am just as bossy on screen as I am off. (laughs) There's
a lot of eye-rolling going on here by Ethan. It's just like vacation. I
can't believe I can drive in together with him in the morning. It's so
fun. Of course, both families are over the moon. Both families basically
have viewing parties. They are so excited!
Was it weird leaving him at the altar last season?
Oh, that was horrible! It was horrible! I was pregnant then but no one
knew yet because it was early on. So, my hormones were all over the map
anyway. I had such morning sickness. When we shot that episode, the nausea
of leaving him was as bad as the nausea of the pregnancy.
I really love Lily's character. She has a sweet, caring innocence to her
but is strong and passionate about her beliefs. Do you enjoy playing this
I love it so much. I have loved it from the beginning. The storylines have
been so rich and so unexpected. I mean with all of the stuff with her
mother – Lesley Ann Warren. We have just been able to have so much fun
together – the writers and I – figuring this girl out. I feel like because
she's a supporting character in the show, we are able to take bigger risks,
story-wise. So, I'm not always married to the “whodunit” storyline. It's
been fun to kind of stretch my acting muscles in this part and not just have
to say a lot of medical jargon.
been playing the grief counselor for so long I was blessed with being able
to have most of my scenes be across from these amazing guest actors who had
to come in and mourn the loss of their loved ones. I was just constantly
taken to school by these people who would come in and have one scene an
episode in which they would have to find out that their daughter died or
father died and these really difficult things. (They’d) come into a set
that has been working together for five years and I have just been blown
away. So, that's also been really fun. But, the storylines that I do have
that have been involved in the “whodunit” have also been really fulfilling
as an actor – just as a witness to other people’s work.
job was a really intense one. Do you think you could do what she does as a
Umm… I think that you have to be really good at compartmentalizing, which I
don't think Lily is. I think that's why inevitably she had to leave the
morgue – because she feels things too deeply and couldn't shake it off. I
don't know if I’d be able to do it. I mean, right now, while I’m such a
hormonal mess, I’d be sobbing right alongside with them and probably be the
worst therapist on the planet.
think it would be so difficult. I mean to work in the coroner’s office or
morgue anyway takes a particular type of human being. We were able to go
into the LA County Coroner’s Office when we first started shooting. I mean,
I have been to an Irish Wake before and I thought I knew what it meant – but
this was a completely different. I walked out with a cup of coffee and then
had to sit in the parking lot for about twenty minutes before turning the
ignition, because I couldn't believe what I had seen.
say that there was definitely a gallows humor between everyone who worked
there. I think that is the only way you can get through it. Not in any way
to be disrespectful to the bodies that are in there, but just with each
other. There is so much ribbing going on and so much joke-telling. I think
that's how they kind of go through it. Of course your social life becomes
the people you work with, because of no one else will really, really
understand how you could do that. It makes me laugh, because I understand
when watching Crossing
I think – oh my God, they have no other life but these people. It's just
their entire support system and it's just really realistic, I think. We
have the visiting medical examiner, who comes to the set to help train our
actors. He is married to another medical examiner as well. That’s another
indication as to how realistic Crossing Jordan really is in that
department. This group of characters are
each others’ family.
Now, it seems to be gearing up for a serious love triangle between Lily,
Bug and Jeffrey? What can we expect this season?
Lots of drama and lots of Lily. Lily is really interesting because she is a
little dark. She's not as innocent or sweet as she once was. She really
makes some interesting decisions that you don't expect. I think she is
really thrown by being pregnant and really thrown between these two men and
is just not sure what direction is up. Definitely in reading it myself –
she did a lot of things that shocked me. I thought Lily, she did that?
What happened to her? (laughs) She used to be such a sweet girl. I
think it will be interesting. A lot of people are going to feel really bad
for Bug, I have to say. Poor sweetie.
Really? Oh, no!
But he's so sweet.
I know. He's the best. Isn’t he the sweetest? I just love him.
I guess I have to wait until Sunday evenings to find out.
Yes, just don't hate me. Don't hate me. (laughs)
far as with Woody (Jerry O’Connell) and Jordan (Jill
Hennessy)… now that
their love interests are both off the show, can we expect to see something
happening between those two again?
Absolutely, I don't think that Jordie and Woody (laughs), I mean
Jordan and Woody. Jordie???
No, I like Jordie. That's my little girl’s name.
Is it really???? I love it!
Yes. I named her
Not after the show, of course. I just thought it was a great, powerful name
for a girl.
It's a sweet name and a powerful name. And Jordie is a really cute
nickname. I don't think that their relationship or their mishegas
between them will ever be completely resolved. There is too much. I think
they are too close to date but the tension is never going to dissipate.
There are things in the season that definitely will happen that I think
will shock you in terms of their relationship.
Now, it seems like they are also watching Dr. Macy's (Miguel Ferrer)
character pretty closely. Is that going to be a big part of the season too?
Yeah. He goes through a lot as well. I mean Dr. Macy had a lot of drinking
issues last season. He’s still recovering and coping with that and with the
potential loss of his job – there is a lot going on with Dr. Macy.
I don't think Lily and Dr. Macy have ever been quite resolved either. They
had a huge flirtation in the first couple of seasons. So, it will be
I remember the last scene in the one season where you guys were on top of
a roof, I think and everyone wanted you to get together. People were really
passionate about that.
It's true. People were so passionate about it. There is a lot of joking
around on the set that Lily has become the “morgue slut!” (laughs)
She's basically been with every person in the morgue except for maybe
And there is still time for that…
Right, maybe next season. (laughs)
But you're a Mom now so they might have to straighten her act up now…
That's right! Poor Lily!
saw a quote from Jill where she said that Lu's (Leslie Bibb) death would
make for wonderful television, but she wasn't sure why it had to happen.
You've been a tight-knit cast of five from the beginning. How easy is it to
let new characters in – like Leslie Bibb, Jennifer Finnegan and Charles Mesure?
You know what? I cannot imagine walking on a set with a cast that has been
together for so long and that is this close. I mean five is very small but
I think the casting directors are incredible. They pick not only incredible
actors but really, really, really incredible personalities. So, everyone
who has come in has been welcomed with open arms and we have all become
really close friends with them. Like Brooke Smith is on this year and is
just an incredible actress and such a great egg, a really good person.
Leslie was the best and we all just adored her. There is always the core
of us and some amazing actors who come and go and sometimes come back. In
that regard, we have been really lucky with the guests and recurring
How did all the work you did in theater prepare you for everyday life on
a weekly TV drama?
Wow, man, I think that there is a work ethic that is imperative for working
in the theater that boded really well for this kind of television. Because
it's just so fast and you have to really trust your gut.
like boot camp almost. There are a lot of things I had to let go of as a
theater actor in terms of working on television. In the theater you are
really in control of your own arc as a character. You know how the play
ends and you work towards that last act. In Crossing Jordan and in
television you have to give that up because you don't know where the
character is going. The writers often don't let us in on the big picture,
so you just have to dive in and have faith and commit to whatever is in
front of you. It has been really fun to just let go as an actor. Just in
terms of storytelling, the theater of course prepared me.
Do you miss acting on stage and are you planning more roles in the
I do and I have been lucky enough to work in theater at least once a year
since Crossing Jordan started – either back east or out here. Last
year, I did something at the Ahmanson Theater (in LA); a play called Dead
End, which I had also done in Boston before Crossing Jordan. I
was able to do the show during the day and go to the theater at night. That
was just heaven. So, yes, I absolutely am able to still do theater along
side of Crossing
It’s important to me.
Lately, you have been adding more and more movies to your resume. Your
latest, The Last Mimzy, was just at
Sundance. What kind of role did you play in that?
I played a little bit of a dilettante. She's a yoga instructor, lingerie
saleswoman, Buddhist… She's kind of a new age chick, who dates a grade
school math teacher played by Rainn Wilson. It was hilarious! We just had
so much fun together. He's a hysterical human being. Through the course of
the movie, he has been having these very strange dreams. I try to convince
him that the dreams are telling him something and we kind of go on a hunt to
find out what those dreams mean.
That sounds like a fun movie.
I haven't seen it yet, but I think it is going to be one of those good
classic family films, like War Games.
In both How to Lose a Man in 10 Days and A Lot Like
you played the main character’s best friend. What do you think it is about
you that suggests "best friend" to casting directors?
I ask myself that all the time. (laughs) Yes, I should write a book
called Best Friend. I know I am a character actress and I hope that
one day I can be considered for leading material. But I have been so lucky
because I think that sometimes the character parts are: A. Funnier, and B.
Are able to have more flexibility in terms of character. I don't know.
Maybe I complement gorgeous movie stars well. Maybe I'm the Ying to their
filmmaking something you would like to do more of?
Yeah absolutely, I can't wait. I really, really, really have loved making
films and have been so lucky that Crossing Jordan has been flexible
with movies that come up. Every hiatus, I have been able to do a movie. So
it's been really fun and lots to knock on wood about. But nothing new since
Last Mimzy on the horizon, but after Crossing Jordan wraps for
the season, we'll see what happens. I love it and have been so blessed to
be able to have been cast in those films. How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days
was such an unexpected surprise in how well it did. We were like,
“what?” It just seemed like a quiet romantic comedy and just took off. Of
course, now I am kind of spoiled since that was my first film, so now I
think… What it didn't make a hundred million...? Get serious! I was just
incredibly, incredibly spoiled by that experience.
Do you have any desire to do what so many of your fellow actors have done
and move to the other side of the camera?
You know what? I do. In a lot of different ways. I would love to try my
hand at writing. And I would love to try my hand at directing at
some point. That would be fantastic! You know, I worked with Nancy
Meyers on The
wrote, directed and produced. She was such an incredible role model.
So, we'll see what happens. That would be fantastic.
So, what is on the horizon for you this year, besides being the best mommy
Definitely, being the best mommy and seeing this little boy go through his
first year would be the best way to spend my time in the next couple of
months. We'll see.
There are a couple of things here and
we'll see if anything works out. I think it will have to be something
incredibly special this first year, because you never get this time back.
Movies and TV are always going to be around. I mean the newborn is already
gone and he's a little baby. I can't believe it. I just look at the
pictures from when he came home from the hospital and think where did the
newborn go already?
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