Kathleen Robertson: Big 'Boss' Lady
Thanks to Starz's sublime new series, Boss, fans of Kathleen Robertson from Beverly Hills, 90210 are about to learn what fans of Kathleen's independent film work have known for years -- this girl is one of the most multifaceted actors of her generation.
Starting tonight, you can catch her as the divinely named Kitty O'Neill -- assistant to Mayor Tom Kane, played by Kelsey Grammer, in a career-redefining performance. On the eve of the show's debut, I caught up with Kathleen to find out what attracted her to this series, where it goes and why banging the hand that feeds you can sometimes be a good thing!
Insider.com: First things first, your character's name -- Kitty O'Neill -- is pretty much the best name for someone who is not a stripper, ever.
Kathleen Robertson: [laughs] I know! That's why I love the scene where that guy asks her real name and she deadpans, "that is my real name." It's so good. A lot of people love her name; thought it was a genius little touch. And I am one of them. When you look at the character, you think she's an Amanda or a Stephanie – something like that. So it bumps up against her persona, which is great.
Insider: Aside from the name, what attracted you to Boss?
Kathleen: Gus Van Sant was a huge component. This is his first TV series and he is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. I grew up with My Own Private Idaho and To Die For. I'm like the biggest Gus Van Sant fan. I even loved his Psycho remake. So I was pretty excited to work with him. The script was also so incredible. And let me tell you, they just get better and better. It was one of those things where we'd run around set asking if the new scripts were in. They're unusual and beautiful – it's a dream job.
Insider: What is it you want people to know about this show that the pilot may not tell them?
Kathleen: Pilots have to set up a lot of stuff, so even though it's about politics, this show becomes much more about these characters and their relationships. As the season wears on, it becomes much more of an ensemble. Everyone has their own journey and arc – Kitty in particular goes on a pretty shocking, intense, emotional journey. She ends up in a shocking place at the end of the season. It gets really dark and messy and juicy.
Insider: The premiere sees her engage in a very risky sexual relationship -- that moment kind of caught me off-guard.
Kathleen: Did it? Good. At first I wasn't sure either, but it was explained to me that she's very political so everything is calculated – for her, the relationship almost starts out as her getting a chip in her back pocket. She's very meticulous in her professional life, but kind of reckless in her private life. She should know better but she does it anyway. That's why she’s so fascinating. We all know when we’re doing things we shouldn't, but sometimes you just don’t care. There's a bit of self-sabotage with Kitty for sure.
Boss premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on Starz.