Fans of Laura Slade Wiggins were ecstatic to see Laura reprise her role of Karen for Showtime’s hit series ‘Shameless’. The season three finale airs tomorrow night a 9PM ET/PT. You don’t want to miss it! Read our interview with Laura below. We discuss Karen’s future, Sleeping Beauty, and Mandy Milkovich.
Obviously Karen’s back on ‘Shameless’ (yay!). Was her return difficult to keep as a secret?
“Oh my gosh! It was SO hard, because I love to tweet and interact with my fans. I wanted everyone to know that I didn’t just get written off the show [laughs]. But, it was kind of fun keeping my mouth shut.”
Last time we talked, we chatted about Disney Princesses, and you sort of got a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ storyline this season. How did you react to finding out Karen would be in a coma?
“It was actually really scary for me, because I was dealing with some PTSD from the last time I was in the hospital. [Laura had been in the hospital with a case of botulism in 2012]. Being on the ventilator was really scary, but at the same time, the way the writers decided Karen should have brain damage after she gave up Hymie and ditched Jody was genius. She kind of had it coming [laughs]. I don’t think anyone should EVER be hit by a car, that would suck, but Karen isn’t the nicest person. At least she wasn’t, now with the brain damage she’s become a nicer Karen, which is cool!”
Do you prefer playing bad Karen, or brain damaged Karen?
“I actually like playing bad Karen better! She has so much spunk. Even though she would do horrible things, it was fun to get inside her mind and be like “I’m going to call Mandy up, and tell her exactly what’s on my mind, and not care about the consequences”. But, it’s also fun now playing her without having any of her bad memories. I like her scenes with Lip now, and I like that Karen doesn’t have any memory of the Frank drama from season one. I also like that she remembers having a baby named Hymie, but now she likes him. I really do like both versions of Karen!”
What did you think of the way the writers decided to wake Karen from her coma?
“[Laughs] At first I didn’t like it, you know because I’m from Georgia, and down South we don’t really talk about oral sex. My first reaction was OMG that’s so vulgar, but now I just think it’s so funny. It totally worked for the scene and the characters! I mean they’re both sex maniacs so it was perfect!”
How long did the coma makeup take?
“I had to be at work at 4 am at Warner Brothers. Makeup artist Tammy Ashmore did it. It took two hours to put that head piece on. The head piece actually gave me nightmares. I thought it looked so ugly and scary. My dad told me to get a Halloween mask and look in the mirror (with the head piece also on), and think that I was just wearing a Halloween costume. It made it less scary! [Laughs].”
Are you personally Team Jody or Team Lip?
“I’m Team Lip, because I’ve been playing Karen since season one. I know things are so messed up between them, and I understand why they can’t be together. That would just make Lip look crazy! But, then again now that Karen has brain damage her and Jody are kind of perfect for each other don’t you think?”
Mandy did turn pretty crazy. Maybe Karen is now the lesser of two evils?
“I know! I was actually trying to figure out who was worse! Is it worse to have sex with your boyfriends father and post it online or to maliciously hit someone with your car with the intent to kill them? I wouldn’t do either! Mandy is a Milkovich though so does that excuse her behavior?”
This season of ‘Shameless’ has been crazy and intese for EVERY character. Besides Karen, which character had your favorite storyline?
“I’ve really enjoyed watching Emmy’s storyline. I love the journey they’re taking her on. You get to see how brilliant, sweet and smart Fiona is. I also think Cameron/Ian’s storyline has been extra compelling!”
Cameron [Monaghan] has made us cry so hard the past few episodes. Ian’s storyline is breaking our hearts. #TeamIanandMickey.
“I know! Me too! I was on set when they filmed it and I still cry when I see the episodes now.”
Season two ended with Karen leaving, and from the promo’s for the finale tomorrow we know Jimmy’s fate is up in the air. What can you tell us about Karen’s future?
“I don’t think Karen will be back for season four. I can’t say what happens though! I think the writers want to reinvent and focus on the Gallagher’s. I don’t know Jimmy’s actual fate, but whether he lives or dies, his relationship with Fiona is obviously over. He’s not staying with Fiona no matter what happens. He’s either going to Medical School in Michigan or dying [laughs]. Lip has gotten into MIT, but Fiona needs his help taking care of the other kids. Frank has cancer (from what they showed in the promo), and he’s going to be really sick, so the Gallagher’s have a lot of stuff to deal with in Season four. Karen may come back for like an episode! She’d probably do something crazy. I’d totally be down to make an appearance!”
Can you tell us about your upcoming role on TNT’s ‘Perception’?
“‘Perception’ is about a paranoid psychophrenic played by Eric McCormack, from ‘Will & Grace’. His hallucinations help him solve cases. I’m doing a lot of dying lately. I don’t know why! My character has a heart attack and dies, and Eric’s character is able to realize that I was murdered, or at least someone attempted to murder me, but then I have a heart attack. I’m a subconscious hallucination of Eric’s. It’s confusing!”
That sounds like a crazy episode! Besides ‘Perception’ what else are you currently working on?
“I’m working on a movie called “The Cheating Pact”, with Daniela Bobadilla and Lauren Samuels (an up and coming actress). I play the nerd, but my character actually dies again [laughs]. I was so glad I got to play a nerd! It’s about these girls trying to take their SATs, and the hire my character to take the SAT for them. My character ends up getting hurt and dying.”
Did you get to wear Harry Potter glasses?
“I did get to wear glasses, which I loved! They were really nerdy glasses, and I got to wear comfy, baggy clothes. My character doesn’t fit in with anyone, so she’s definitely the super nerd, and her outfits show that.
So the exact opposite of Karen.
“Exactly! I’m probably [personality wise] closer to the super nerd character, than I am to Karen. I’ve got Karen’s spunk, but that’s about all we have in common.”
Besides your Clementine EP, do you have plans to release new music?
“I do. I’ve been recording A LOT of songs! I can’t talk too much about it, but I might be working with a pretty famous producer. I’m just trying to get all my songs recorded. I do plan on releasing a full length album. We’re going to re-record some of the songs on the Clementine EP. I will still go by the name Clementine though! It was my great grandmother’s name, and I’ve always loved it!”
Favorite book?“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Favorite type of junk food? “I love sour straws. I love anything sour. I’ll eat any sour candy!”
Favorite movie? “Sleeping Beauty. I love EVERYTHING Disney. Classic Disney.”
Favorite color? “Purple.”
Favorite time of year? “The fall.”
Favorite concert you’ve ever been to? “Radiohead at Bonnaroo in 2007, or Bob Dylan, or Willie Nelson. I think I’m actually going to have to go with Willie Nelson.”