TV's grand tradition of women you love to hate is alive and well on Lifetime's delicious Devious Maids thanks to Rebecca Wisocky's lip-smacking embodiment of Evelyn Powell. Draped in couture and drenched in decadence, Evelyn represents a woman so elite, she wouldn't deign to star in a Real Housewives franchise (despite being richer and bitchier than two seasons combined).
But what makes Wisocky's performance so exciting is her ability to effortlessly -- and silently -- convey that there's much more to Powell than La Mere and Lalique. Characteristics that will be deeply explored in the coming weeks, according to the actress, who recently rang up ETonline to talk about Lifetime's addictive new series!
ETonline: What went through your mind when you read this role in the Devious Maids script?
Rebecca Wisocky: "Yes please, yes please! I'll show up and be early!" It's smart, sexy, dangerous soap and satire at its best and this is just the kind of character [Marc Cherry] writes incredibly well. And it might be sick, but she's the kind of character I love to play. I'm fascinated by it, totally drawn to it and, just you wait, she gets even juicier!
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ETonline: Having watched the show, I feel like a lot of the pre-premiere hubbub about it reinforcing negative Hispanic stereotypes was unfounded. Were you surprised by that reaction?
Wisocky: Popular entertainment has a rich history of exploring society through a fun house mirror and pointing out its flaws and inequities. I think our show really adds to that discussion. There are 14 major characters you meet in the pilot, so they're all drawn in broad strokes a little bit at first, but as the season goes on, all of the characters become much more nuanced. My God, my character is initially painted as an arch, slick, cruel, icy bitch -- but I think even in the beginning if you're listening and looking, you can see cracks in the shell.
ETonline: What's the biggest challenge for you in playing a character like that?
Wisocky: It's always interesting to play a character who is so seemingly ignorant and blind, yet wields so much power and privilege. That's dangerous and exciting for me as an actor because I have to find a way to empathize with someone who is doing and saying things that are, let's be honest, reprehensible. But I find that fascinating and if I can get you to empathize with and root for the villain for just a moment, then I'll be happy.
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ETonline: Looking at the rest of the season, what are you excited for audiences to see?
Wisocky: There's so much coming, you just have no idea. The pilot set up a murder mystery, a sex scandal, a story about immigration, a story about what it's like for a woman to raise another woman's child while she's separated from her own child and The Powells are the freakin' Macbeth's of Beverly Hills. My character walks around with a shell of armor that's concealing a whole lot of story -- and that's just me. There's 14 other characters who will unravel and reveal themselves to be a lot more complex.
ETonline: And how many of those mysteries will be answered by the end of season one?
Wisocky: You will have a lot of questions, but you will know who killed Flora by the end of the season. Along the way, you'll be surprised by some alliances that form and you'll see so much more from all the characters. Every character is either not what they seem or changes significantly throughout the season. A lot happens. A lot.
Devious Maids airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.