Ooh la la! “HawthoRNe” is doing a full court press with l’amour in the season of the TNT show launching Tuesday (6/22). According to Michael Vartan,the romance soon to break out between his and Jada Pinkett Smith’s characters”feels like deep, intense love and passion — messy, dark and powerful.
“There are a lot of emotions running very deep between these characters. There is the obvious workplace conflict. There is all the history they have,” he continues, speaking of his Dr. Tom Wakefield being chief of surgery and Smith’s Christina Hawthorne being head of nursing at the fictional Virginia hospitalwhere the show takes place. Tom, as viewers know, was also the physician whotried in vain to save her late husband’s life.
“You can either go the ‘Moonlighting’ route and keep the characters apart for 17 years until the audience can’t take anymore, which people have come to expect,” Vartan observes, “or you can take a risk and just do it right away. The writers felt that getting these two together romantically would cause so much conflict it would be interesting and good for the show. It really feels like adifferent show this season.”
Will Smith hangs out on the “HawthoRNe” set a lot. What’s it like doing those sexy scenes with Mrs. Smith in that regard? And how about Vartan’s fiancee, Lauren Skaar?
“Oh, she and Jada are totally cool with one another,” he says. “They’ve had their powwow, I guess. It’s part of the business. It’s also television — a lot tamer than features.”
As far as Will, Vartan gushes to such a degree it sounds like bromance time. “I’d like to say we’re best friends, but that would be me exaggerating. He’s a great guy and one of the nicest guys I know — so much nicer than he needs to be, if you know what I mean. I see him around fans, he truly extends himself …I always like to spend time talking to him because I know he’ll say something ridiculous that will make me laugh.”
Vartan tells us that he and his beautiful blond bride-to-be, who works in real estate, have picked April 2, 2011 as their wedding date — even as his legions of female fans are adjusting to the news that the one-time “Alias” hunk is taken. “We’re still looking around for the place,” he says, “but it will definitely be in the Southern California area.”