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'Wonder Woman' Goes Bad for 'Law & Order'

(Posted September 26, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( After many years of playing heroines -- including the red-white-and-blue (and gold)-clad "Wonder Woman" on television in the 1970s -- Lynda Carter is tickled pink to be a villainous con artist on the Tuesday, Sept. 27, episode of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," and on the episode of NBC's "Law & Order" airing the next night, on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

"I've been working for so long," Carter says, "it's nice to be doing a role in which there are so many dimensions. She's got quite a character arc. That's always wonderful, instead of just playing that same old heroine that I always play -- save the day, save the day. I'm not saving the day."

The episodes focus on Lorraine Dillon (Carter) and April Troost (Estella Warren), a con team that manages to evade the clutches of Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) on "L&O: SVU" only to face prosecutors McCoy (Sam Waterston) and Borgia (Annie Parisse) on "L&O." Also guest-starring on "L&O: SVU" are Julian Sands and Mark McGrath.

"I am a grifter," Carter says, "a pretty shallow character. But where it comes to my daughter, I am -- or at least I think I am -- a great mother. I teach her all my tricks and how to earn a living without having to work. I think that's being a great mother, but I obviously screwed her up pretty badly.

"We get away the first time, but the second time, we get a little bit over our heads."

According to Carter, a friend mentioned her name to "L&O: SVU" executive producer Neal Baer. "Neal called me when I was just finishing up [the movie version of] 'The Dukes of Hazzard' and asked me if I would be interested in this part. He sent me the script, and I said I'd love to do it.

"As it turned out, Estella Warren is an old friend that I had met several years before when we were both in Scotland together, so it was really nice. Then right during all the time when 'Sky High' and 'Dukes of Hazzard' were coming out, they called me to say they wanted to do another one, on the regular 'Law & Order.' I thought that was fantastic. I love Sam Waterston, so I jumped at the chance."

Asked if Lorraine might return one day, Carter says, "It all depends on the ratings. You know never. It's possible. I'm not dead, so who knows? This character's got a lot of ways to go. She's a perfect narcissist and self-involved. Her worth was her beauty, and in this episode, she's learning that she's not all that anymore, but she still thinks she is."

From her perspective as TV's original "Wonder Woman," Carter ponders the question of who should play the DC Comics superhero in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film, to be directed by Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Serenity"), who's also penning the screenplay.

"I don't know that the people that are doing 'Wonder Woman' are too interested in my point of view," Carter says. "That's the way that goes. But I think unknown, not necessarily inexperienced, but unknown is the way to go, because it will make all the different in the world to try to discover her. That's the way the baton will be passed.

"Someone without a lot of fame baggage is important."

About the time her "L&O" episodes are airing, Carter will be in London, performing in a version of the musical "Chicago." Now that her children are teenagers, she's even considering a return to series television as a regular.

"It's a possibility," she says. "The thing about series television is, you need writers that are willing to keep you challenged, so they've got character arcs that are moving all the time. That's the key to being really happy in a series, is to be challenged."

In this regard, Carter heaps praise on a friend of hers, movie-turned-television mogul Jerry Bruckheimer (the "CSI" franchise, "Without a Trace," "Cold Case," "The Amazing Race," "Just Legal," etc.).

"The thing about Jerry," Carter says, "and the way I believe he gets underestimated, is that he is all about character development. He may have lots of flash and bang, but you love the characters. You love the characters; you go with them; you feel familiar with them; you care about them.

"It's sometimes overshadowed by the fact that there's so much else going on and so much flash, but he won't do anything if he doesn't feel the characters are strong."

Source: Zap2it

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