'Desperate Housewives': Brenda Strong on The Fairview Strangler, season finale and boss Marc Cherry

hatcher-cross-strong-huffman-dh-320.jpgThe identity of The Fairview Strangler will be revealed just a few episodes before the finale, my friends.

On Sunday, April 25, "Desperate Housewives" will flash back to a time when Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) was alive, to help tell the story of who this person is. 

He or she has apparently been living amongst the women of Wisteria Lane for some time. 

Brenda Strong talks to Korbi TV about what we can expect, why the show is still doing so well and which characters could be in danger of losing their lives during this year's season finale...


So this "Desperate Housewives" phenomenon is still going, huh?
Brenda Strong: [Laughs] Yes, you know, "Ugly Betty" came and went and we just feel so lucky that we're still kind of on the radar and that people are as enthusiastic about Season 6 as they seem to have been about Season 1. And I really have to say, I attribute a lot of that to our writing team and the fact that [creator] Marc Cherry never left the show. I think that with some other shows -- I certainly don't want to name names -- but when the creators or the show runners leave, some of the quality and the direction and the specificity seems to suffer. And I really think Marc felt this was his baby and he didn't want to put it in anybody else's hands. He wanted to make sure that it maintained the tone and the rhythm and the essence that it initially had.

If you really look at the series with a critical eye, it did seem to lose its way during Season 2, but it certainly recovered and has been very solid ever since.
BS: Absolutely. And Marc will be the first person to tell you that Season 2 was the season that he took his eye off the ball. He was so busy. I mean, we were getting so many accolades and so many awards and he was being invited to so many different events that he turned the show over to someone else to run a bit more. And it showed. Though, now I have to say, that [executive producer] Bob Daly is so deeply in tune with our distinct style of comedy and with our characters and he is wonderful as Marc Cherry's right hand. So if Marc's not around, we are very lucky to have Bob at the helm. Our whole writing team is spectacular. 

Yes, it comes across on screen. And I hear you are going to be back on screen soon.
BS: Yes! Mary Alice is back in the flesh, which is very exciting. You know, occasionally we get these opportunities to have a standalone episode where we can go back into the past without interrupting the flow of the forward movement and really give the audience a slice of life as it was at one time. We did that in the 100th episode with Beau Bridges, I think, beautifully. And we're doing that with this episode. Mary Alice comes back to help illuminate one of our more mysterious characters on Wisteria Lane, so we get a little more backstory on who they are and why they do what they do.

Yes. I'm hearing that mysterious character is The Fairview Strangler who attacked Julie Mayer in the beginning of the season.
BS: Yes. Mary Alice actually had some past history with the strangler.  

I'm guessing that, like the Beau Bridges episode, we're going to see how each of the ladies on Wisteria Lane sort of had their own moment with this person.
BS: Exactly. And, really, it's an opportunity to show that life experiences do help to mold and shape who we are and how we see ouselves. We have many opportunities to become the hero and many opportunities to become the victim and it's so beautiful to see those moments where it could've gone one way or the other and [how these experiences] shape whole lives. I oftentimes think it would be great to become a psychologist, just because the psychology of the human psyche is so fascinating. I think a lot of our writing comes from the understanding of who we are and why we do what we do. 

Now, how surprised are we going to be about the identity of The Fairview Strangler? Will the reveal tie into things we've seen throughout the season?
BS: You know, I think that what's beautiful about the way Marc Cherry and our whole team writes is, once you know what you know, if you go back to episode one of this season, and re-watch everything [leading up to the reveal], you'll find all the strings and the seeds that were planted. You'll see them and you'll go, oh! That was a clue! So it's not going to come out of the blue, but I guarantee you'll be surprised. 

How surprised were you?
BS: Well, of course because I read all the scripts, I knew after the first couple of episodes who it was. As soon as Julie was strangled, I was like, I know who did it! But that's just me, because I'm always looking for clues and it's a little clearer [when you get the story in written form]. But I do think the audience will be surprised. It's going to be very, very good. And it's scary too.

Now, since you did mention that you get to read all the scripts, can you tease to anything that's coming up in the season finale? I assume the Drea de Matteo mystery will be tied up.
BS: It definitely will. Things are coming to a head very quickly in the last three episodes that follow [the one that I am in], episode 20. Things progress quite quickly in 21, 22 and 23. And I'm really excited because I have a feeling it's going to surprise everybody, including some of our main characters who are going to be involved in ways that they probably never imagined. 

Ohhhhh...
BS: (Laughs) Exactly. So you can quote that.  

Because they haven't shot the finale yet, so the actors haven't seen the script, but you get it ahead of time.
BS: Exactly. So there is going to be jeopardy of main characters that they don't even know about yet.


Gah!

Is Marc Cherry killing another main character off?


Check out Zap2it's The Dishrag for that story.

For more on Brenda Strong and her groundbreaking efforts in the fields of yoga and infertility, visit www.yoga4fertility.com


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Photo credit: ABC
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