Things aren’t getting any easier for Ray Donovan (but did you really expect them to?). Making Ray’s life more difficult is dogged journalist Kate McPherson, played by actress Vinessa Shaw. We sat down with Vinessa on Thursday to discuss what it’s been like for her to bring more drama to the second season of Showtime’s hit series.
“It’s interesting,” she said. “It’s kind of like life in a way. You have to just let the days unfold and let the episodes unfold. I kind of just go with the flow and allow whatever the creators and the writers have in mind. [You] expect that you’ll just be around when you’re needed. And this character has influence in a way to cause trouble and be the thorn in the Donovans’ side.”
As is befitting an investigative journalist, Vinessa isn’t going to give up too many spoilers about what’s ahead, but she did reveal enough to keep us interested. “I think as is typical of Ray Donovan, things kind of unfold slowly, but pick up very quickly toward the end of the season,” she teased.
“Things start to turn very quickly, and there’s a lot of exciting revelations and there’s a lot of heated moments between characters, including one for me where something totally unexpected happens. It’s rather shocking. And Kate has to deal with it…She has to make a decision that’s kind of hard for her to make.”
Of course, playing a character who’s going head to head with the star of the show usually doesn’t endear an actor or actress to a program’s loyal fan base. What kind of reception has she been getting from playing Kate? “I haven’t been on the social media to check, but I’ve gotten from my friends who love the show nothing but excitement,” she said. “What they love about the show is that there’s always something unexpected around the corner. The way that they write for the show is very, it’s kind of slow and methodical in a way, but it really gets under your skin.
“A lot of my friends have already loved the show, and loved these characters that are all unlikeable yet likeable, and can’t wait for the next storyline to come into play.”
This is also a very different role for Vinessa, whose past resume goes back to a project that couldn’t be farther from Ray Donovan. “Most people recognize me because they grew up watching me in Hocus Pocus, the Disney movie,” she laughed. “They remember me from that because as we do when we’re younger everybody does watch the same thing a jillion times in a row. How could you forget a person’s face after that?
I think what I’m really proud of is after that, Eyes Wide Shut,” she continued. “That was a huge turning point in my career. Stanley [Kubrick] himself was a huge influence on me, and really encouraged me to continue acting when I was thinking of quitting. More than even just the movie itself, it was the experience I had. And also more recently, Two Lovers, I just love that movie.”
When you’ve worked with Stanley Kubrick and shared the screen with Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, maybe playing someone who has to square off with Ray Donovan isn’t so intimidating. In fact, Vinessa told us she’s loved her experience so far. “I’m really just excited about being on this show,” she enthused, “and I feel honored to be a member of the second season cast.”
An all-new episode of Ray Donovan airs tonight at 9 PM ET/PT on Showtime.