This Sunday at 9/8c, ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives‘ will take viewers back in time to reveal the origins of the Fairview Strangler. Who is this Eddie? And how might have the women of Wisteria Lane unwittingly nudged this kid down a dark path? Brenda Strong, whose Mary-Alice resurfaces in these “new” flashbacks, gave us a peek at the illuminating hour.
Mary-Alice last appeared in ‘Housewives’ 100th episode with guest star Beau Bridges. Why this time?
We’re going back to find out how the Strangler’s past interactions with each of the characters may have led this person to become who they are and do what they do.
But in the present on Wisteria Lane, everyone’s still in dark?
No, it won’t be until toward the finale that it’s revealed to them. But it’s an interesting approach we’re taking here, because when you get to look at “nature versus nurture,” you can see how people become either heroes or victims. You’ll see with more compassion why this person is who they are. It deepens our understanding of what evil is, really.
But we won’t develop so much compassion that we want the Strangler to keep on killing, right?
No, no, no… [Laughs] But it’s also not one of those black-and-white things. We’re all very complex creatures, and a lot of who we are is based on how we perceive events.
Do we see any new side of Mary-Alice?
The thing that I love is that she in the past has been very reserved and dignified and compassionate – aside from the fact that she murdered someone, but that was out of protection! Here you get to see a fierceness in her that heretofore has not been present. I was really grateful that the writers gave me a little more fat to chew.
Here Wisteria Lane is in the midst of another series of killings. Are you ever tempted to have Mary-Alice’s narration comment on how twisted a neighborhood it is?
[Laughs] “And another ones bites the dust.” I think it would be interesting for her to go, “Wow, there is a lot of death and mayhem on this street” – and occasionally we will do that and it ends up on the gag reel. Like when Carlos’ mom took the demise she did, during the voiceover I did something funny like, “Annnnnd there she goes! Poor Juanita!”
What else is keeping you busy these days?
I’m the voice of ‘Desperate Housewives’ on Wisteria Lane, but I’m also in some respects the voice of desperate housewives across the world, as a spokesperson for the American Fertility Association. There are a lot of women who sit at home, very depressed and in shame, because they can’t conceive naturally and easily. Everyone assumes that having children is a natural birthright, but not everyone has that opportunity. Being a yoga teacher has offered an amazing opening for me to help those couples, because it helps to reduce stress and access their own healing capacity. And I just came out with a patent-pending Fertility Ball, which helps you access the acupressure points on your body that support the reproductive organs.
That is a great cause to support, the propagation of human life.
It’s interesting because my father passed away recently, just before an event where [the AFA] honored the right to become parents, so his timing blew me away. I wouldn’t be who I am without his wisdom, values and his take on life. That’s an extraordinary gift to be able to give a child.