Lesley Ann Warren is one of “those” actresses, like Raquel Welch, Bernadette Peters, Helen Mirren or Sophia Loren, who continually defy age and preserve their sex appeal while still working in a tough business for women over 40.
Warren was first on my radar when she was “Cinderella”, paired with the uber sexy Stuart Damon. She later garnered an Academy Award nomination for 1982’s “Victor/Victoria.” She received Emmy nominations for “Family of Spies,” and a Golden Globe Award for the miniseries “79 Park Avenue.”
More recently, Lesley Ann has delighted fans of “Desperate Housewives” as Teri Hatcher’s bawdy mom, and on “Will & Grace” as the mistress of Will’s father.
Warren does lusty very well.
The new USA drama “In Plain Sight,” is Lesley Ann’s first regular series role since her “Mission Impossible” days from the sixties. In a classic scenario of the child parenting the parent, she plays Jinx, the feckless sexpot mother of Mary McCormack’s deadpan Marshal character, also named Mary.
True to the network’s rallying cry of “Characters Welcome”, the role of Jinx in the hands of Warren will certainly fill the USA bill for the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based noir dramedy that is infused with lots of male eye candy and compelling storylines.
Monsters and Critics spoke to Lesley a few days ago.
Many of our readers want to know how you stay in such incredible shape. You’re ageless and you bring so much vitality in your character Jinx to the show. We want to know what your secrets are?
L. Warren Thank you, first of all. The last 25 years of my life I have been living a really, I would say holistic lifestyle. I got very sick in my 20’s and early 30’s because I was a ballet dancer when I was young and I was starving myself and all this stuff.
I had a lot of health problems when I was in my 20’s and I came upon this doctor, this naturopathic doctor, in my early 30’s and I just knew inherently that that was for me, and so I’ve been doing Chinese medicine, homeopathics, acupuncture weekly for a long, long time.
Plus I exercise a lot because of having been a dancer, and I don’t drink coffee. I stopped drinking coffee in my early 30’s.
I don’t ‘drink’ drink. I have like a half a martini once every three months or something. It’s like I live a pretty healthy life and I do believe that it’s mind body spirit connection and so I think that that really contributes greatly to my energy, my sense of well-being and my physical well-being.
Of all the male energy that’s in the show, who are you routing for to capture Mary’s heart?
L. Warren That’s an interesting question because both Frederick Weller and Cristian de la Fuente have different qualities that would be and are really good for Mary, as a woman and a person.
None of us know where this is going to go, by the way.
None of us have the answer to this question, so I would have to say that as her mother, I want her to be happy and fulfilled. Who that person may or may not be is up for grabs at this point. I think each man in the show brings her different gifts.
What challenges you about playing Jinx?
L. Warren It’s interesting because I don’t know how much of it you see in advance or whatever, but if you’re just seeing the first two episodes, she is so much more complex a character than is apparent initially.
I knew that going in because I had talked with the creator, David Maples. But what you will get to see is, what is revealed along the way, is her broken dreams and her sort of heartbreak and what motivates her to behave in the ways that she does initially, which seems like she’s just this great party animal.
But she adores her daughters, but has no clue as to how to raise them and gave up her own dreams in order to try to do this mothering.
What captured your heart about the role of Jinx?
L. Warren It is something that drew me to the character because when I first read the pilot, my character had a really small role in it, but I loved the writing of the show. I thought the show was really smart and sophisticated and edgy and very sort of cool and a unique tone for television, or anywhere actually.
I went in and met with David Maples, the creator, and it was his revealing to me where this character goes and the journey that she takes and the sort of heartbreak that’s at her core and that’s what really drew me to her.
I don’t feel like I have ever played a character like her before and as an actress, that’s what is ultimately the most challenging to me.