Christine Lakin, who played Paris Hilton’s BFF in The Hottie and the Nottie isn’t in need of a drastic makeover these days. On Valentine, the perky actress plays romance novel writer Kate Providence, a woman so conversant with love that she consults for Valentine, Inc., a company of Greek gods that connect soul mates.
Lakin, like her character, is good with the words, so she was happy to share her thoughts with us about love, her character’s penchant for appearing only in her undies and the show in general.
What drew you to Valentine?
Lakin: I had been a fan of Kevin Murphy’s for some time, having worked with him previously on Reefer Madness and of course from watching Desperate Housewives and Reaper so I was thrilled when I read the script for Valentine. I loved the sense of fantasy it had-the thought of Greek gods and goddesses living among us in the Hollywood hills enclave of Mt. Olympus, helping people find their soul mates, was an idea just outlandish enough to create drama, yet it’s perfectly blended with Kevin’s style of wit and sarcasm. The main focus each week is intervening in people’s lives as their "fate" in a sense, helping two people who are about to miss their chance at love. So sometimes we pose as lawyers, dog walkers, wedding photographers, etc., in order to get close enough to change these people’s lives for the better. So in that sense, it’s a blast because every week presents something different for our characters –from posing as college students at a party to a huge Bollywood wedding (including complete musical dance number). I just think it’s completely different from anything on television right now and more than anything, it’s a fun escape. And on Sunday night, who wants to think about work or school right?
How does Kate interact with the Valentines?
Lakin: My character Kate Providence is a romance novelist, a quite successful one actually, who comes into the gods’ lives after being spotted by Grace (Aphrodite) at the bookstore reading of her novel. Grace uses her goddess powers of persuasion (they are all very persuasive when it comes to getting their way, as you’ll see) and they venture back to the Valentine mansion where she asks Kate to join them in their quest to bring soul mates together. After being initially freaked out by the whole "god/goddess" thing, Kate accepts Grace’s offer and eventually moves into the mansion to become the "mortal conscience" of the group, if you will. At first everyone is generally threatened by Kate’s presence (a mortal in the house is akin to a spy in the god world) but she proves to be quite helpful to them, having much more experience with mortals in the twenty-first century and the ways in which we communicate these days. So it’s a love/hate relationship between Kate and many of the gods, which provides for a lot of comedic moments so that’s fun for me.
Describe Kate’s outlook on love. Is it realistic?
Lakin: Realistic? Well, whose is these days? I mean, Facebook, MySpace, JDate… everyone’s looking for love aren’t they? Or trying to anyway. And you’d think with all these new inventions it would make it easier wouldn’t you? Ah, I digress… I don’t know if Kate’s outlook is completely realistic but she’s a romantic at heart, and with that comes a territory of fantasy. I think every girl wants "the fairy tale" and Kate is definitely no exception. She has had plenty of relationships, as you’ll see in episode 5 when an ex boyfriend resurfaces and causes her to analyze why she hasn’t found "the one" yet. I can tell you this; Kate is adorably neurotic (or at least I try to play her that way!), really intelligent and successful. She has a lot of confidence but is more of a homebody, has always been a little bit of a nerd… so she’s not super savvy with the opposite sex. I think she’ll be blind-sided when she does finally fall in love with the right person. It will be someone she would have never expected.
What types of people will we see fall in love on the show? Any disappointments?
Lakin: The Valentines (and Kate) help all kinds of mortals falls in love; young college age, 30-somethings… all different ethnicities, religions… we even have a lesbian couple. So every week is completely different as we try and figure out how to get these two people together. There are always bumps along the way — it doesn’t always turn out exactly how we expect… and sometimes our meddling backfires. You’ll have to watch to see our track record of success. Although I can say this, the consequences of not bringing two soul mates together are really grim, which reveals the dark side of the show as well.
Should we expect Kate to have romance on the show?
Lakin: Ahhh… well I will say this, Kate winds up in her underwear not just once but twice in the first 5 episodes… so she definitely has a few romantic moments, if you can call them that! I’m sure she will eventually have a real romance of her own, although I don’t know who it will be with. Her relationship with Danny is an interesting one. It’s a lot of Love-Hate, very reminiscent of Sam and Diane on Cheers… which is a terribly fun relationship to discover acting-wise.
What’s Kate’s ideal romantic date?
Lakin: Oh goodness… likely something really overwritten and overdone. haha.. It would probably go like this: her date would arrive in a limo with flowers and whisk her off to a picnic dinner on a cliff with violins serenading them… to dessert in a horse drawn carriage and a champagne nightcap in a hot air balloon. Actually, what am I saying — that sounds pretty fantastic! In all reality though because Kate’s such a romantic, with the right person she’d likely be just as happy having a date on her couch in her socks watching a movie with a glass of wine.
What do you like the viewer to take away with them?
Lakin: I just hope the viewers have a good time honestly. It’s a really fun, feel-good show and if it makes people smile and forget their troubles for an hour, heck, we’ve done a great job. But if they could also walk away with a completely renewed and passionate belief in love again, that too would be awesome. Come on, not to much to ask is it?