As Addison Montgomery, Kate Walsh has gotten to play one of the smartest, sassiest women on TV. Addison entered Grey's Anatomy at the end of the first season and quickly became a favorite — so much so that she scored her own spinoff, Private Practice, last year. Earlier this week, I got a chance to chat with Walsh about some of the changes to Private Practice this year and her all-time favorite Addison moments. Here are highlights:
What do you think has changed about the show between season one and season two?
I think that the show has really found its voice and center this season, and everything is flowing a lot more seamlessly between medical cases and the character relationships. In every case, there's an issue of ethics to debate. And then of course, the personal dynamics playing out as well. It's action-packed and there's more surgery so you get to see Addison back in that position of strength, while you still have this dichotomy of her personal vulnerability and fallibility. I liken it to a good bottle of wine that's opened up and breathed and it's ready to be tasted.
Are there any similarities between working on this show and Grey's, and are there differences?
As soon as I'm in the scrubs I feel kind of like old Addison. It's a familiar archetype for me and I really love playing that, so I'm happy that there's more surgery for me to do this season. And then it's totally different in the practice and the dynamics, and we're all sort of adults who sometimes behave like adults and sometimes behave like kids. But I think in Grey's I was definitely more the adult as the attending and the interns were a little more the kids, at least professionally. It's interesting — it's totally different in the sense that the hospital is much more the kind of archetypal structure where the doctors sort of ping-pong around like little pinballs but they're confined by the walls of the hospital, where this is much more about progressive medicine and ethics and social issues and the city plays a character in itself. You see people at home, and you see everybody sort of coping with where they are in their adult lives that didn't turn out the way they might have thought they would.
To hear how Addison has changed this season and learn Walsh's favorite Addison moment, just read more.
How has Addison changed between season one and season two?
I think that she's much more grounded this year and has sort of found her sea legs, as it were, and much more in an alpha position. so the outsider thing is just not really there — she's still new, personally, to a lot of these characters, but professionally she's really on her game and definitely in a power position.
Yeah, she does seem to have a lot more power this time.
Yeah, I think that's something that we realized we kind of missed and wanted to implement again. . . . She's really strong and really super-skilled and one of the best at what she does, and we wanted to make sure that we show that both in her status within the practice but also doing more surgery and handling more cases and not being afraid to debate and piss people off.
When is Addison going to find a good man?
She's looking. You're going to see her dating. I think you'll see Addison happy and appreciated by a man, so that's been super fun to play.
Addison initially went to Oceanside to have a baby. Do you think that will come back at all, either through adoption or something else?
I think it might. It's certainly not playing out now. . . . It's all about work right now, and dating. She's let that go for the time being, that's shelved, and she's exploring all this other stuff.
From the four years of playing her, do you have a favorite Addison moment?
There's this moment when I was sitting at one of the nurse's stations in one of the episodes of Grey's and I'm watching Karev walk by and am sort of like a hungry animal. There's like this one moment where he's walking by, like, pushing a cart and then Callie busts me salaciously looking at him. There are tiny, little moments like that.