On Thursday, Jan. 20, USA Network premieres “Fairly Legal,” starring Sarah Shahi as San Francisco mediator Kate Reed. Unlike her dressed-down police-detective character on NBC’s “Life,” Kate is a bit of a fashion plate.
In the “Fairly Legal” pilot, that includes black peep-toe Louboutin pumps with sky-high heels.
Asked how she liked chasing after a cable car in those shoes, Shahi tells Zap2it, “That’s the first question every girl asks. It was very stylish, but it hurt like hell. At one point, I just threw them off, and I yelled at the director, ‘I’m not running around San Francisco looking like this!’
“It was hard. I looked like one of the aliens from ‘District 9.’ I could barely walk in those things.”
“Oh, my God, that’s funny,” says Shahi when told of her footwear connection with Perabo. “I don’t know how she does it. I wonder, there’s different kinds of heels. There’s the six-inch heel, and then there’s the three-inch heel. I wonder if she wears the lower heel.
“[If she wears the high one], you know what, it’s amazing. The girl needs an award — now. You know, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Either she’s a one-of-a-kind girl with really, really messed-up toes now, or it’s all smoke and mirrors.”
After the pilot, of course, it’s possible that Kate could revert to sensible flats.
“No,” says Shahi, “there’s nothing sensible about Kate, including her shoes. I just wound up wearing the lower heel. Because, my character, I don’t even think she knows how to walk. She just runs everywhere.
“There were times when, in the pilot, especially when it’s the 15th hour, you start to take your shoes on and off between setups. It still hurts, because you’re in them all day long. I just don’t want anything to hinder the scene.
“If that’s the difference between a six-inch heel and a three-inch heel, and the three-inch allows me to do the same things but quicker, and look sexier, then I’m going to go for that.”
Even if she’s not wearing six-inch heels, Shahi says Kate is not giving up on high fashion.
“Kate has a whole new look in the series [after the pilot],” Shahi says, “a much better look. But she is still very much head-to-toe designer. Stella McCartney, Gucci, Lanvin, you name it, she wears it.
“She’s a very stylish creature, for sure.”
But did Shahi enjoy playing dress-up?
“Oh, my gosh, is the pope Catholic?” she says. “Yes, of course I enjoyed it. Here’s the thing — I came from a show where my character was very straight-laced and by-the-book, and didn’t get to wear anything fun, and was very masculine.
“Now, to be the opposite of that … Kate is incredibly feminine. It was so much fun.”