'Psych's' Kirsten Nelson reminices about 'The West Wing' and the late Kathryn Joosten
In the Season 2 finale of NBC's political drama, titled "Two Cathedrals," Nelson played the younger version of Mrs. Landingham, secretary to President Bartlet who in present-day had just been killed in a car accident.
Nelson tells Zap2it that it was actually due to Kathryn Joosten, the actress who played present-day Mrs. Landingham and who passed away herself in 2012, that she auditioned for the role.
"That is still one of the roles that's closest to my heart. I knew Kathy Joosten, we worked together on a very short-lived series called 'Thanks' for CBS," says Nelson. "I ran into her outside a comedy club in Hollywood, she was coming out, I was going into the next show and she goes [ imitates Joosten's distinctive voice], "Hi! How ya doin'? Hey listen, I'm doing this show called 'West Wing'' and I'm like 'Yeah, I know. That's a pretty big show.' [ laughs] And she says, 'They're lookin' for the young one of me, you should go in.'
"We were both from Chicago, so I could do her Chicago accent. And I went in and got the job ... and one of my first scenes, you know 'West Wing' was famous for its walk-and-talks, and I finished my walk-and-talk as her and the camera guys lean out from behind the cameras and they were all just staring at me. I was like, 'Well, was -- was that OK?' and they're all like, 'You're a dead ringer for her!'"
"Kathy was a wonderful, wonderful woman, it was an honor to be her," Nelson finishes, but then adds there's a running joke between her and "Psych" co-star Dule Hill, who also starred on "The West Wing."
"The joke with that is I was 19 weeks pregnant with my first child, I was almost five months pregnant on ['The West Wing'], and then when I was cast on 'Psych,' I was eight months pregnant with my second child. And I told Dule, 'I'm done. I'm done having kids, so we can't do any more TV shows together because I seem to get pregnant with any TV show you're attached to,'" says Nelson with a laugh.
The final five episodes of "Psych" kick off with Nelson's first time behind the camera on "1967: A Psych Odyssey" on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA.