The fabulous Loretta Devine stopped by the TCA press tour earlier this week to talk about the upcoming second season of Eli Stone, in which she plays the title character's sassy but loving secretary. Between that and her recurring role on Grey's Anatomy, playing the sometimes-estranged wife of Seattle Grace's chief of surgery, Devine is showcasing her acting chops (and, in the case of Eli, her lovely voice) all over the ABC schedule — so I feel lucky that I managed to snag a few minutes with her in the hallway! Here's what she had to say:
Can you compare your experience working on Grey's Anatomy and Eli Stone, whether there are any similarities or huge differences between them?
They're both very extremely wonderful writers, and my relationships — it's so funny, because in Grey's Anatomy, I have a love relationship with my husband who doesn't spend enough time [with me], and in Eli Stone, I have this young man that I love so much and that I influence from the outside. I feel like the two characters are totally different from each other, so that's a good thing, because it's easy to keep them separate.
What's it like working with James Pickens Jr. on Grey's?
He is such a handsome man and such a debonair man. I learned about him cheating on me watching TV like everybody else, and I was like, "Oh my God! My husband's cheating!"
Even though you're not on the Grey's set all the time, do they keep you in the loop?
No, I'm not in the loop at all. They just call and say, "What's your availability?" and then they use you when they use you.
To hear about some of Devine's dream singing partners on Eli, just read more.
You said you didn't know about the singing on Eli Stone when you auditioned. When did you find out?
When I got the script! I was so excited because I got to sing some on Boston Public, so I'm really happy about that. And I really hope I get a chance to do more of it. You never know till you get the script. I'm not singing in the first two [episodes of the new season] and I'm sad!
The first season was all George Michael songs. Do you have a dream musical guest for the upcoming season?
I don't, to be totally honest, but Beyonce would be great to come on the show. I think she would be so beautiful. Jennifer Hudson, any of the Dreamgirls!