TV GEN/Yahoo!

Kelli Williams, September 28, 1998

TVGEN: Welcome to the TVGEN/Yahoo! Chat Auditorium. Our special guest tonight is actress Kelli Williams. Kelli is quite busy as Lindsay Dole on the hit ABC series The Practice. Her character instigated the push for partnership, but her ambitions won't end there. In the coming season she will lock in new, respectable business clients, redecorate the office and try to persuade Helen Gamble to join the firm. Welcome, Kelli, glad you could join us this evening. Kelli Williams: Hi and thanks for watching! And hopefully we'll stay on Sundays forever! Well maybe not forever...

ana_ski: Where are you from and when did you get your first big break?

Williams: I'm from Los Angeles. I guess this would be my big break. I mean I've worked consistently for ten years, but this is the longest lasting job.

TVGEN: How many seasons has The Practice been on? Williams: This is technically the third, but we had a half season to start so it's like 2 1/2 years now.

jana_ski: What else have we seen you on or will we see you on?

Williams: I guess I have done a lot of movies of the week, those true story sagas, you know. I had a series, New York News, with Mary Tyler Moore that didn't last young. And a series called Elvis The Early Years, that gets run a lot. They play it so much that my residuals are like a dollar now.

cooljool: Hi Kelli, from Australia I absolutely LOVE your show. Can you tell me if you find mastering the legalese difficult and how you manage it?

Williams: Yes, yes, yes! It was like a foreign language at first. Now, after looking up a lot of words and asking a lot of questions from the producers, who are lawyers, I have gotten a bit more comfortable with it. But it's not easy to just improvise some law jargon when you lose your line.

_llush_: Were you ever interested in going into law at some point in time?

Williams: Never. And not now either. No way. I couldn't do it .Especially criminal law, no way.

_llush_: I thought that the episode w/the cast of Ally McBeal was great. What was it like doing your show similar to theirs? If you were on Ally how was that and if you weren't, how do you think it would've gone?

Williams: The shows actually stayed true to each other. The Practice stayed The Practice and when we went to Ally, everyone from The Practice got a little kookier but stayed true. I had only one line in the crossover episode. I said hello to Peter McNichol and Greg Gernan. But I would have loved to have done more. It was a scheduling nightmare though; I don't think they'll ever do it again.

KAF55: I was so excited when the show won the Emmy. You really deserved it but were you surprised?

Williams: Completely. We never thought we'd win. We were the underdog, you know.

gentlemenCaller_98: Would it be impolite to say that I think you are the most beautiful woman on television? I'm sorry if it is.

Williams: Very kind, very kind. No it wouldn't be impolite, but I don't think I'd agree.

Jazz__404: What's it like to work with Dylan McDermott AND David E.Kelley?

Williams: Dylan is totally far out. David is just a trip. They're great.

girlzrule_99: Are there many practical jokes pulled on the set, I mean with Cameron being such a mad hatter?

Williams: LOL! No. Our gag reel is pretty depressing. I don't think we have one, our show is too serious. We have fun though, don't get me wrong.

txk23: How did you get started in show business?

Williams: Oh, I just started auditioning right after the writers' strike of 1988 ended. There weren't that many jobs available for a first timer. My first job was a McDonald's commercial. I beckoned you in for a new McChicken sandwich.

YuleCFirst: Do you hang out with any of your cast members off the set?

Williams: I do. I've hung out with Lara Flynn Boyle, and Cameron. But I have a new baby so I don't hang out so much any more.

Jazz__404: Which episode touched you unlike any other?

Williams: I don't know the name of it, but it was when I represented a woman who swallowed a bunch of heroin. It was very poignant. It made me question, why? Why am I lawyer?

Rick4President: How do you feel about the Stars vs. Paparazzi debate?

Williams: I don't even know. I think there could be some kind of middle ground.

_llush_: Do you think that the show has affected your life in a positive way?

Williams: Absolutely. It's just great to be working and have a steady job. To be able to have a family. And the show has certainly made me more aware about things. I look at cases in the news differently, and understand better what they are talking about.

evans19_67: How many hours of work does it take to film one show?

Williams: Average is an eight-day shoot, and the average is a 12-hour day. So I'd say about 100 hours. gentlemenCaller_98: Do you ever worry that the serious tone of the show will alienate people?

Williams: It will only alienate those that don't want to watch. It's a serious show, there is no way around it.

_llush_: When you first started acting did you get really nervous and shaky or did it just come naturally?

Williams: Probably both, but actually I've gotten more stage fright during this job, doing opening arguments and court stuff usually,than I have during any other time in my career. You really have to perform.

Rick4President: Do you get any feedback on the show from attorneys?

Williams: Yes. I have a few friends who are attorneys. And they let me know if it's either realistic or if it's just pure TV. They usually think it's realistic.

ezquire: So Kelli, how do we know it is really you out there chatting?

Williams: Well you probably don't know anything about me to know it's me. You have to take my word for it. You'd have to ask me something specific that only I would know from the show.

canadakicksmajorass: Have you ever been on Jay Leno's show, or been asked? If asked would you go on his show?

Williams: I would definitely go on the show. But I haven't been asked yet. I just started doing publicity. I have good Johnny Carson stories! I used to live across from the street from him! I used to sell Johnny Carson lemonade when I was a kid. For 35 cents too!

Kelly_4_fun: Is there really a casting couch in show business?

Williams: Yeah, I'm sure there is, but I've never come across it.

king4evermore: Do you think Lyndsay's slick remodeling will affect the show's gritty atmosphere?

Williams: We were worried that it might, but it hasn't so far.

Jazz__404: Who inspires you the most on TV and/or film?

Williams: Growing up it would have to be Meryl Streep, she's so great. And Jodie Foster, too. Now, I'd have to say the same people.

cooljool: Kelli are you similar to your character on the show, or are there a lot of differences?

Williams: I think I'm more similar than not. But Lindsay can sometimes get a little bitchy, and I'm not usually that way. Oh, and also, I'm not a constitutional law expert, I'm not a smarty like that.

ezquire: What was it like working with John Laroquette? He played such a good psycho.

Williams: I wish I got to work with him more, I didn't have a lot of scenes with him. He was a really nice guy.

cooljool: Kelli your show stays very true to the law. Do you have a huge team of researchers and legal advisers to keep it that way?

Williams: David Kelly is a lawyer. Bob Breech, one of our producers,is a lawyer. So it's pretty much accurate. They've got serious pet peeves about not getting every little detail right. Like if the judge has us come up to the bench, you cannot touch the desk. Even that kind of specific.

simplelyric: Kelli, what made you decide to audition for The Practice? Script, money, producer...?

Williams: I heard David Kelly had a new show. And I was doing his old show Picket Fences at the time. So I wanted to get in on it while I was in one of his shows. So it worked out kind of well. When I went in to audition for The Practice for the first time, I was working on Picket Fences playing a Mormon girl who had just gotten beaten up. So I went in with a black eye for my audition.

girlzrule_99: Did you enjoy doing Zapped Again, or did you do it for the money?

Williams: What money? I did it because it was one of my first jobs.

Kelly_4_fun: Do you have any tattoos or body piercings?

Williams: I have one tattoo.

barblr: I love the show is it going to continue and are you and Bobby going to get back together?

Williams: Well, you'll have to just wait and watch. There are things in store, but you'll have to watch and see. We always make jokes that Bobby is going to sleep with everybody in the office.

cooljool: Do you find the attention from the media and the invasions into your personal life difficult to deal with?

Williams: I get it on such a minimal scale that it doesn't bother me. If it were like ER status, I'm sure I would feel differently. But right now people just feel like they've met me before, but they don't know where to place me at first.

HeavenLeigh000: What was your most embarrassing moment on the set?

Williams: It was probably at some time when I was hugely pregnant, and not remembering my lines, and hiding behind paintings and stuff.

TVGEN: Thanks for joining us tonight, Kelli. Please join us again sometime.

Williams: Thank you for asking all those questions and spending an hour with us. And I hope you keep liking the show!


The Kelli Williams Website would like to thank June for providing this transcript.

Transcript courtesy of TV GEN/Yahoo!1998 All Rights Reserved


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