Ed Loves Bacon - Speakeasy with ... Kate Levering
The Drop Dead Diva star gives insight on her not-quite-so bad girl character.
- Kate Levering is Kim Kaswell on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva.
The jury is still out on whether or not Kate Levering's character, attorney Kim Kaswell is the queen of mean on Lifetime's dramedy Drop Dead Diva. On the show, the sultry, smart and ambitious Kaswell pits her venom towards her in-office nemesis, rival attorney Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott) who unbeknownst to everyone is really Deb, a bubbly L.A. model who was killed in a car accident and wakes up in Bingum's body. Sandwiched between the office politics and her stony approach to practicing law, Levering's Kaswell character slowly sheds her armor-clad, cold persona and glimpses of her true self to seep out weekly.
Kim Kaswell is just the latest character in the Levering's arsenal. Levering, a veteran of stage and the small screen received a Tony nomination for her role in Chicago and has appeared in more than 20 television shows spanning over 10 years. With Drop Dead Diva gaining momentum in the midst of its second season on Lifetime Network, Levering's character comes back with a new look and a new outlook - but not too much, she still has it out for Bingum. Recently CL spoke with Levering about her role on the show, the new season and what its like living in Atlanta where the series is filmed.
Drop Dead Diva starring Brooke Elliott, Margaret Cho, Kate Levering and Jackson Hurst airs Sunday nights at 9 P.M. on the Lifetime Network.
So now tell me about your character. You play a no nonsense lawyer on the show but I feel that the jury is still out on you - are you good or bad?
Obviously because I play her I cannot like see her as bad, because you know, nobody is all good or all bad. I think that she’s conflicted and I think that she’s misunderstood by a lot of the people around her but I think, the key to, you know, playing a character who’s seemingly a villain or a nemesis you know is breaking it down into everybody behaves the way they do for a reason. She can’t be your stereotypical bitch, and I don’t think the writers want her to be so last season and this season-towards the end of last season- she softened up and continued to see that through this season. And I think that her actions come from insecurity and you know fear of being hurt, fear of love, fear of not being in love, fear of not succeeding, the same, you know, issues we all deal with, hers just manifest themselves into you know this hardened kind of exterior.
What is the tension, in your opinion, between your character, Kim, and Jane (Brooke Elliott)?
That’s a great question. You know it’s interesting because as writers we haven’t really gotten into it. I think the underbelly of the conflict that the audience sees right away is that Kim has only ever dealt with old Jane-old Jane, the pushover, old Jane the, uh, you know the kind of grumpy, insecure version of Jane. So what they haven’t addressed is Jane is now Deb or that Deb is now Jane, Kim is dealing with a totally different person. So all of a sudden, overnight, Jane is standing up for herself, dressing differently, Jane is pushing Kim’s buttons in a way that she doesn’t recognize. And so I think that a lot of reactions from Kim are because she’s like “Who is this person, you know?” So that creates a really fun push and pull as actors for us to recreate. But I think it hasn’t really been addressed with the audience that this is a totally different personality Kim’s dealing with at work that she’s not used to. She did not have any competition in that law office until Jane came back as Deb, you know.