Sarah Shahi Interview

Carmen from The L Word

Sara Shahi playes Kate Reed in USA Network's "Fairly Legal"
Thomas Attila Lewis/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 2.0

Sarah Shahi was the guest of honor at Wolfe Video Party in Boston to Celebrate the 2006 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four. The party was amazing, with guest appearances by Sarah Shahi and Sheryl Swoopes. I had a few minutes to talk with Sarah Shahi about her role as Carmen on The L Word and how she feels about lesbian culture. Also, check out photos of Sarah Shahi, Sheryl Swoopes and all the other ladies who packed Club Cafe in Boston for the party.

Kathy Belge: How did you feel about what happened to your character at the end of season three?
Sarah Shahi: I felt great about it. I feel like it was unpredictable which as an actress I enjoy playing things that other people don’t foresee.

K: You thought it was unpredictable?
S: I do. I think there are a lot of people out there who really wanted Shane and Carmen to be together and thought their chemistry worked. But it’s always interesting when things don’t work out the way you want them to. Also Ilene (Chaiken) and I discussed it, so it wasn’t a big surprise to me.

We had discussed it for quite a while that it was leaning towards that. The other thing about it that is so great is that it’s so open-ended. So, I’m curious to find out, just like everyone else. I’m also open to what happens next.

K: Going back to when you first started. What was it like to join a cast where everyone was already bonded?
S: The good thing is that the girls for the most part are wonderful. I’m not the kind to go on a set and automatically assume we’re now best friends. I have good boundaries. I go to work and I do my job and slowly the girls got to know me and I got to know them, it was all organic the way we all started hanging out and became friends. The girls all knew each other for a year before I came in. I was the new kid on the block. But it was easy. As women and as people, we bonded and we really got along.

K: What did you learn about lesbian culture by working on the show?
S: The one thing I always say over and over again and I’ll say this to the day I die is “What the f**k is the big deal about? Leave them alone.” You know what I mean? The more I learn about it, the more I know it’s just like straight people. You have the same problems. You have the same issues in your relationships, when it comes to sex, when it comes to monogamy, when it come to having children. It’s just like everyone else. So why do they have to have so much attention on them? I don’t get it. That always confused me and I always get so irritated. What the f**k is the big deal?

K: I heard a rumor that you weren’t going to be back or at least that you have some other pilots going.
S: I do. As an actress it’s always good to expand your roles and sink your teeth into other things. But I don’t believe that my stint on The L Word is quite finished. You’ll have to talk to Ilene [Chaiken] about that, so don’t quote me. I need, like everyone else, to wait and see what happens.

K: What else do you have in the works?
S: I did six episodes of a show called Teachers for NBC that is airing right now. And then I just got a pilot for Fox where I play a lawyer. It’s called Damages. So we’ll see.

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