Interview with Kathy Bates from Harry’s Law

Kathy Bates, star of NBC’s Harry’s Law, recently spoke to press about the show and the upcoming season.

From NBC: “In Season 2, Harry is back with an attitude as she hones her courtroom arguments and winning style. On the heels of Harry’s rising reputation, Harry’s Law and Fine Shoes starts landing larger cases, and alongside her newfound success, Harry is looking to bring in some new hotshot attorneys to help out the team.

Rising star Adam Branch (Nate Corddry, The United States of Tara, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) introduces Cassie Reynolds (Karen Olivo, Law & Order, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds), a young and smart attorney, who has the gumption to stand up to Harry. Confident attorney Oliver Richard (Mark Valley, Human Target, Boston Legal, Keen Eddie) joins the firm as well, and also back for Season 2 is the cocky Tommy Jefferson (Christopher McDonald).

Expect higher stakes cases, new energy and more drama as the curmudgeonly Ms. Korn continues to lay down the law. Don’t worry though… she’s on your side!

Jump with us to see what Kathy had to say.

On what she likes best about playing Harry

Kathy Bates: Well I love playing someone – I think all of us have been in situations where we’ve maybe had a confrontation with someone and we walk away from it and then maybe a few minutes later or even a day later we think, “Oh, I wish I had said that. I wish I had been clever enough to say exactly this to that person.” And I think that’s one of the things that Harry has is that ability that we all wish we had to say in the moment eloquently and forcefully exactly what’s on our mind and what even makes the best argument at a given moment. And it’s fun to be able to sort of – to play someone that has that almost superhuman ability to express themselves in that way.

And I love playing a character whose blunt, who’s irritable, who doesn’t get along with everybody, who doesn’t make any secret of her feelings and yet at the same time she’s complex and we don’t really understand everything that’s going on with Harry at the moment and things are revealed in time. And I enjoy playing that complex character.

On how the new characters and exiting characters are going to affect Harry

Kathy: Well I sure hope so. I have to say I’m one that really misses Brittany and Aml. I was very close to Aml especially last year and I miss very much having him on the show. I wish that he was still there.

And, you know, I think both with Karen and with Mark who I already adore working with, she – Harry’s got some issues with Mark’s character, Ollie, he doesn’t always rub her the right way. And I think with Karen’s character, she’s becoming a bit of a mentor. At first she’s very blunt with Cassie and, you know, doesn’t treat her very well but in the later episodes I’m discovering she’s beginning to have a mentor relationship with her which is something that Harry detests doing but I think she’s beginning to embrace more in her old age.

But I sure do miss Aml and miss Brittany and I’m hoping that they’ll be back at some point.

On the chemistry between Harry and Tommy, and whether or not Harry will get a love interest

Kathy: Well, you know, I don’t think that there is a romantic chem – there is definitely a chemistry between the two but I think it has to do with something a bit more basic and that is of all the people in the office, he’s the one that understands her dilemma with getting older and how she looks at life. And he’s the only one that kind of can commiserate. But I think Tommy has demonstrated on more than one occasion that he has a thing for the younger ladies and…he usually pays to have a companion. So I doubt that they would have a romantic fling. I think he goes more for the younger ones.

But and I don’t know whether Harry would have a romantic interest. I think it would have to be somebody who would really be used to – would have to be somebody who would put up with how prickly she is certainly.

On whether or not she considers Harry as a type of role model for women

Kathy: Well I think she’s a professional woman. I think she’s a woman who’s probably given a lot for her profession and I’m very curious about Harry’s background. I know she’s been married a couple of times and you never know with David whether a prodigal child will show up at some point or not.

And so I don’t know that she’s necessarily a role model for women. I mean I think she is certainly a woman who speaks her mind and tries to stand up for those causes that she believes are right. And she certainly speaks eloquently in the courtroom and she’s a smart woman. She’s not particularly affectionate I don’t think. I think she’s got a heart of gold underneath all of that but she’s pretty blunt and pretty straightforward.

I guess I don’t know that I think of her as a role model for women except for the fact that she is a strong woman and that she has made her way certainly in a world that is very difficult for women which is the law I think.

On upcoming cases and guest stars

Kathy: The first three episodes actually are – involve a murder case. Alfred Molina, wonderful actor of stage and screen, is – plays a man who has been accused of murdering his wife. And Jean Smart who is the DA or who is prosecuting him is one of our guest stars. And there are a lot of twists and turns in that case over the first three episodes.

Also Paul McCrane who was the district attorney last year, he’s going to be back this year. He’s directing Episode 4. And it’s a very interesting case about a young woman who’s been charged with homicide because she outed a girl at high school for being gay on her blog. And it’s a very timely subject. The girl committed suicide and so the young blogger is being charged with her homicide.

So that’s one of the cases that I found really interesting this season.

On balancing being blunt, prickly, & grumpy with being accessible & if she would change that sometimes

Kathy: Well I guess I’ve never really talked about it with David. It’s just been something that I guess I’ve sort of naturally been able to do. You know, they’ve never had to say sort of dial it back in terms of the bluntness or anything. I guess there’s a likability there that I have and lucky to have it and that I don’t have to worry so much about that balance.

There are opportunities that David has written in some of the scripts for Harry to bare her heart to different people in the cast so that also helps strike a balance.

I think there are times when I think maybe she wouldn’t be quite as loveable. And, you know, if I have problems like that I usually go to David and talk to him about it and see if we can make some kind of an adjustment or vice versa, you know. And but I try to respect his wishes as the writer and the creator of the show and sometimes there are directions that he is going in that I don’t particularly know yet why we’re going that direction until it’s been written about in the next episode if you understand what I’m saying.
Don’t miss the season premiere of Harry’s Law tonight on NBC at 9/8c!

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