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CultureMob Speaks Exclusively with Sarah Shahi of USA Network's 'Fairly Legal'

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The cast of USA Network's 'Fairly Legal.'

You might have missed USA Network’s TV show Fairly Legal which premiered last year. Now in its second season and airing Friday nights the show has grown wings. Writers are creating characters you can both enjoy and identify with. Season one wasn’t an immediate success but the show did well enough to warrant an ordering up of 13 episodes for 2012.

Now slightly tweaked for the better, Fairly Legal is getting it right and airing entertaining hour long episodes that deliver equal amounts of drama and comedy. This year’s writers are creating story-lines that allow its cast to have more range and depth creating an overall satisfaction that warrants better ratings. The show still retains a lot of its Season one charm, but expounds its assets like Barron Vaughn’s comedic touches, Michael Trucco’s overt sex appeal, and leading lady Sarah Shahi’s endearing moments that play up her sexiness, yet maintain that everyday-girl appeal.

CultureMob caught up with the cast on-set and here’s an interview with the show’s female lead, Sarah Shahi.

Sarah Shahi as Kate Reed

Allie Hanley: Could you compare the real Sarah Shahi and the character Kate Reed you portray?

Sarah Shahi: Yes. At the end of the day, Kate is a big part of me. And it’s nice to be able to play something that is so closely related to myself. She is a part of myself that I can kind of slip into without, you know, any vanity.

But the ways in which we’re similar, we’re both very, very feisty, very passionate, and – you know, love life. We’re flirty and love clothes.

The ways in which we’re different,  Kate is kind of irresponsible and she is a bit childish and immature. Whereas I’m a wife and a mother, and I just don’t have that much room for immaturity in my life, though I would love to have more. Everyone knows that it is kind of the woman that holds the family together in a way, and so it’s – I do feel that responsibility.

AH: I love the character that Kate Reed is progressing from; Writers are giving her a lot more depth and she’s very relatable. Could you go into more detail, as much as you can, about what’s going to happen between you and Michael Trucco’s character?

Undeniable chemistry on the screen between Sarah Shahi and Michael Trucco
Chemistry between Shahi and Trucco is undeniable.

Sarah Shahi: Yes, and it just gets even better between us. And there’s just so much natural chemistry that it’s just so – it’s so fun to watch.

We are going to – we’re going to go through it. You know, it’s – you know, he’s going to you know drop the hammer on me in the first episode on how he behaved during our marriage, and then from that we’re just going to – it’s the roller coaster. We get divorced. Kate becomes a little cold towards him. She starts being a flirtier towards other people, and then they get back together and they’re going to try being together.

But they’re just sleeping together, but they’re not really dating. And then he kind of comes to her and he’s like, “Okay, well why don’t we start dating?” And she’s like, “Okay, why not. Let’s just start dating.”

And then there’s Ben, and then Kate starts looking at Ben a little – you know, more and starts holding his gaze a little too long. And you know, she goes back and just isn’t sure about Justin anymore. And you know – and then – so yes, so we’re just going to keep going round and round and round until the season finale.

AH: And thanks for giving me all that heads-up information. Tell me a little bit about Leonardo, are we going to see more of him and Kate’s relationship?

Vaughn adds comedic dimension to the show.

SS: Yes. Yes, we do. You know, we get to see Kate’s relationship more with everyone this year, which is nice. But yes, we do. But you know, Leo is – Leo and Kate are kind of unflappable in a way, but they’re not going to really – they’re brother and sister, you know. He knows her better than she knows herself. He knows what she’s going to do before she even does it, and so it’s more of that.

Their dynamic really doesn’t change too much this year. You know, the only difference is Leo is having to serve as everyone that sits in the office, and you know Kate doesn’t really like that too much. And he has to come to my defense at time with some of the other characters. But other than that, Kate and Leo are you know, true and true.

AH: I’m really enjoying the different dynamics they wrote in through the first season, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with Season 2. Thank you very much.

SS: Oh, well thank you. I hope you like it.

More on Sarah:

Look for her in the recently completed filming on the feature Bullet to the Head, starring alongside Sylvester Stallone and Christian Slater.  She will also appear on the big screen in Static, starring opposite Sara Paxton and Milo Ventimiglia.

Shahi’s other feature-film roles include East Fifth Bliss, opposite Lucy Liu and Michael C. Hall and Shades of Ray, in which she plays a feisty East Indian school teacher who inspires American-born Ray (Zachary Levi) to take risks in love.

Shahi starred opposite Tony Shalhoub in the 2007 film American East, about Arab-Americans living in a post 9/11 Los Angeles.

Fans of the series Life remember Shahi as ‘Dani Reese,’ a LAPD beat cop and recovering addict battling her demons opposite Golden Globe Award nominee Damian Lewis.  In 2008, Life won an AFI award for Television Program of the Year.

Fairly Legal combines some lite comedy, sexual tension and good-natured competition amongst it’s talented cast. This season features more depth and colorful characters . Not just another drama, or another comedy, but a blending that doesn’t always follow a predictable formula. Look for more cast interviews in the weeks that follow to the season finale.