By Nic Baird
The golden era of soap operas didn’t really end in the nineties. When TNT revitalized Dallas last year, it gave fans hope for a new wave of the serial dramas. Genre loyalists might have felt threatened when NBC ended The Young and the Restless in 2008, but they’ve responded with an interesting mid-season replacement this winter.
Katherine LaNasa stars as Sophia Bowers in Deception, which premieres tonight at 10/9c. This soap opera centers on the mystery of a famous dead socialite, Vivian Bowers, and her childhood best friend, Joanna Padget Locasto, a narcotics detective who returns to uncover the true story of her friend’s death. LaNasa, who recently starred in the summer comedy The Campaign as a peppy and ambitious senator’s wife, now plays the much more sombre and maleficent stepmother of the Bowers’ family. She describes her character as dark, brooding, smart, alcoholic, tricky and slippery. “It’s a fun role to play,” she says.
It’s the first time that LaNasa’s been able to play a woman with this much weight, darkness and stillness. Underneath all the poise of a cultured matriarch, there’s a deep sort of power she unleashes to protect her family. LaNasa admits she doesn’t exactly know what her character is scheming, but she definitely makes the detective’s investigation even more challenging. “When Sophia yells, she’s not screaming; she’s roaring!”
LaNasa is eager to play someone who takes themselves so seriously, so Sophia is a nice change of pace from her recent roles. As a New Orleans native, she’s often called upon to play southern belles; even so, her characters range in intensity from her upbeat portrayal in The Campaign as Will Ferell’s wife to the pious school teacher she portrays in the upcoming film The Frozen Ground. “I get a lot of really different parts.”
Deception will, of course, feature all the romance, love triangles and twists that are known as soap opera staples. As for her own character, LaNasa hints that Sophia may not be as malicious as she seems.“I really think she just doesn’t understand where the danger lies,” she says. “It keeps coming up in these weird places.”
Besides her new series, LaNasa landed a new husband this summer. Fellow soap opera star Grant Show, best known for his role as Jack Hanson on Fox’s Melrose Place, and LaNasa exchanged vows this summer. “He’s a total sweetheart,” she says. “And very loving.”
While neither one was looking for another spouse, LaNasa says that she eventually wanted more from her man, and Show obliged. The two tied the knot in a romantic ceremony set in the scenic canyons of Topanga, California on August 18, 2012. Months later, she still gushes about her husband. “He’s just so handsome,” she says.
After two previous marriages, one to Dennis Hopper and another to French Stewart, the actress approached her most recent courtship with caution. “I was very careful getting to know Grant, and I didn’t have any expectations of it, ” she shares. “I wasn’t looking to get married again. It wasn’t a goal or a destination for me.”
Of her husband, she adds, “I’m just surprised by him all the time!”
Despite her hesitation, LaNasa finds herself completely enamoured with Show. The newlyweds don’t have any problem spending time together, and they often have simple dates where they can just enjoy each others’ company. The pair find a lot of couples’ activities to do, she says.
LaNasa also mentions high energy dates like bowling and karaoke as well as romantic evenings at a lighthouse and spaghetti dinners. The couple has plans to play at Susan Sarandon’s new ping pong club SPiN Galactic in Manhattan too. “I have so much fun with him,” she shares. “We’re really in love!”
Currently, LaNasa lives in New York where she works on ‘Deception,’ which airs on January 7, 2013 at 10/9c on NBC. She can also be seen in the upcoming films ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car,’ directed by Billybob Thornton, and ‘The Frozen Ground’ opposite John Cusack. For more information, you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.