When Teri Hatcher signed on to appear in four episodes of “Jane By Design,” she was originally supposed to show up in the fourth episode of the ABC Family dramedy’s summer run. But star David Clayton Rogers says everyone was so eager to have her on set, the writers penciled her in earlier.
“She was excited to come on and everyone was so excited to have her [that] they went ahead and condensed some storylines to get her there sooner,” he tells Zap2it.
Hatcher will debut on Tuesday, June 19 as the absentee mother of 16-year-old Jane (Erica Dasher) and her older brother Ben (Rogers). Why she comes back is still unknown, Rogers says.
“Her exact reasoning is a little bit of a mystery, and she doesn’t really open up to us for a while. The basic vibe she gives off is of that free spirit — spend a little time here, spend a little time there, maybe I wanna go explore wine-making in Italy, oh look there’s an ashram that I could go be the chef at for a week. We pretty quickly get that that’s her vibe.”
While Jane is happy to have her mom back in her life, “she was sort of too young to really be hurt by mom leaving, sand he’s sort of idealized this mom figure from old photographs,” Rogers says, Ben is not too pleased. Besides, he’s been the de facto father for a while now, ever since their dad died. “Ben was definitely old enough to feel the rejection of a person saying ‘I choose to be somewhere else than with you.'”
The mama drama will spill into other parts of Ben’s and Jane’s lives. “We see Ben being rude to Rita for the first time because something bigger than everything else is on his mind,” Rogers says. “As sort of a footloose, fancy-free guy, he’s now really having to wrestle with the big picture things. It definitely affects Ben’s life with others around him at school, and it affects Jane’s life too — for good and for bad.”
Read: that delight in having her mom back in town won’t last forever. “Mom is a handful, so it’s not long after mom’s return that she finds herself in the middle of Jane’s school life, her internship. She’s sort of trying to make up for lost time, and so she’s inserting herself into Jane’s life — and Jane lives a very complicated life.”
While Hatcher causes plenty of drama on screen, Rogers says she couldn’t have been better to work with behind the scenes.
“It was a lot of fun acting opposite her. It was kind of difficult
because for the most part I’m pissed at her, but at the same time I’m
going ‘Hey, this is Teri Hatcher! This is pretty cool!'”
Her character is a little hippy-dippy, which isn’t necessarily what you think of when you picture the actress, but Rogers says it made sense.
“The sort freewheeling, high-energy characteristic of that did seem to
be a part of her. I was excited that
she came to our show, and she seemed very happy to be there, so that
sort of ‘Hey, let’s have fun, let’s play,’ was definitely a part of Teri
that made sense with the Kate character.”
Although Hatcher was supposed to direct an episode of the series, Rogers tells Zap2it exclusively that it’s not happening in Season 1. “I don’t think that there was time to really get involved with this round of episodes, to do the necessary prep and everything, but I think the plan is if we were to come back to do more episodes for a Season 2 that she would direct then,” he says.
He continues: “She was great on set, and definitely made scenes more dynamic just with the simple thoughts of ‘instead of just sitting here, what if I was going from here to here.’ Some fundamental things that made scenes richer and better emotionally, [which is] a clear outcropping of her having spent years and years in front of the camera. So I would be very excited to have her direct one.”