What’s the saying – “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way”? A similar sentiment could apply to Ella Simms, the ‘Melrose Place‘ minx whose slinky style goes a long way toward her getting what she wants – be it from a man OR a woman. Katie Cassidy gave us a look at the bisexual bad girl’s latest endeavor, previewed her face-off with the one and only Amanda Woodward, and then offered a peek inside her own closet. (The CW’s ‘Melrose Place’ airs Tuesdays at 9/8c.)
What can you tease about this week’s episode, in which Ella introduces Riley to modeling?
Riley (played by Jessica Lucas) is very green and not really comfortable in her own skin – but that may be what the client is looking for.
Since Ella pines for Jonah, does she privately want Riley to fail?
No, because if she fails Ella fails. Selfishly, she does need her to do well. Riley is Ella’s competition, so to say, so yes, it’s hard for her. But at the same time I think Ella deep down is a good person. So I think she feels for Riley during these next few episodes.
What do you think Ella sees in Jonah?
She’s attracted to the artistic, creative, driven side of him. She respects that and likes it. He’s the kind of guy I would be attracted to – the smart, creative artist type – so it makes sense to me.
Tell me about your first scene with Heather Locklear (in the episode airing November 17). Were you at all nervous?
She was great. Fantastic. It’s nice to see a different side of Ella when she’s around Amanda. You don’t see the confident, strong, spunky Ella, because Amanda’s her boss [at the PR firm]. Instead, Ella is vulnerable, intimated, and ultimately scared.
Did Heather offer any tips on how to play a ‘Melrose’ b-i-t-c-h?
No. [Laughs] She was like, “You’re doing a great job.” She likes what I’ve been doing.
Turning to the first season’s central murder mystery: Do you know what Ella was in fact up to the night Sydney was killed?
OK. Is the person responsible for that death definitely leaving the show?
I don’t really know if there’s any way around it! But [the reveal of the killer] is good. I was completely shocked when I found out.
Ella is so cocky and colorful and armed with juicy dialogue. Do you ever watch yourself on screen and think, “I can’t believe that’s me!”?
Absolutely. It’s so strangely disconnected [from Katie Cassidy] sometimes that I think to myself, “OK, I must be doing a good job.” [Laughs] If I’m buying into it and I’m my hardest critic, then I hope other people are buying it as well. She’s a lot of fun to play. She has a lot of flavor to her.
How does Katie Cassidy’s closet compare to Ella’s?
When I go out at night, if I’m going out to an event, I do like to push the envelope. That’s what Ella does as well. I like to be creative in what I wear – sophisticated with a little crazy flavor to it, depending on the event. So I think they’re similar, but you can tell when its Ella and you can tell when it’s Katie Cassidy.
Does the shortness of Ella’s skirts or the plunge of her tops ever give you pause when wardrobe hands them to you?
That’s just Ella – the shorter, the tighter, the better. But for me personally, yeah, sometimes I’m like, “OK, hold on one second…” But it’s all good!