Fi­nally, a right Raver

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - ERIN McWHIRTER

PREG­NANT and feel­ing frumpy, the last thing Kim Raver felt like do­ing was jump­ing into a love scene. ‘‘I have to say that was re­ally in­ter­est­ing. It was re­ally tricky, but I was put at ease and the di­rec­tor as­sured me it (the bump) wasn’t go­ing to be an is­sue,’’ 39-year-old Raver says of the scene in new se­ries Lip­stick Jun­gle.

Hav­ing spent two sea­sons star­ring along­side Kiefer Suther­land as Au­drey Raines in Emmy Award­win­ning se­ries 24, Raver pleaded with her agent to find some­thing a bit lighter, fun­nier and per­haps more fem­i­nine. Lip­stick Jun­gle was her tonic.

Raver plays Nico Reilly, the hard-as-nails ed­i­tor-in-chief of a fash­ion mag­a­zine who starts a steamy af­fair with a younger man.

The se­ries, in­spired by the novel from Sex And The City mas­ter­mind Can­dace Bush­nell, fol­lows the lives of three in­tel­li­gent friends: Reilly, movie stu­dio ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Healy (Brooke Shields) and fash­ion de­signer Vic­tory Ford (Lind­say Price).

Af­ter three years in 24 ‘‘be­ing tor­tured, stabbed and in­ter­ro­gated, I rang my agent and said, ‘I bet­ter find a com­edy and quick’,’’ Raver (right) says with a chuckle.

‘‘That was the cat­a­lyst for get­ting Night At the Mu­seum with Ben Stiller and made me look for some­thing in that vein. What I love about Lip­stick Jun­gle is that there are comedic com­ments, but you have that weight of drama. For me, that is an amaz­ing com­bi­na­tion.’’

Though the girls break out some envy-wor­thy out­fits, it has to be said their out­fits aren’t up to Sex and the City stan­dard.

As the com­par­isons be­tween the shows flow thick and fast, Raver tack­les ques­tions align­ing the pro­grams in her stride.

‘‘I find it a huge com­pli­ment (be­ing com­pared to Sex And The City),’’ she says.

‘‘Can­dace Bush­nell wrote both, so in­evitably peo­ple are go­ing to com­pare them. At the same time, it’s a dif­fer­ent book. Can­dace says it so per­fectly. She says that in Sex And The City they are look­ing for Mr Big and in Lip­stick Jun­gle they are Mr Big. That is what she is say­ing about the times we are in now, women find­ing a fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence.’’

In a fickle in­dus­try, where you can be thrown to the kerb as fast as you make your leap to the top, Raver knows the im­pact of poor rat­ings.

The ev­i­dence is there with Cash­mere Mafia, which was billed as the next Sex And The City but failed to ex­cite view­ers.

‘‘If we can get half the amount of view­ers from Sex And The City over to our show I will be thrilled,’’ Raver says.

‘‘You just can’t try to do Sex And The City, they did it so well. I don’t think we are try­ing to do that.’’

The shows, how­ever, do share as­pects: both trade heav­ily on the ups and downs of fe­male friend­ships.

On screen Raver and Shields have a solid chem­istry. It may have some­thing to do with the fact they are moth­ers and en­joy each other’s com­pany.

‘‘Brooke and I have known each other since high school. We didn’t re­ally con­nect in high school, but sev­eral years ago our kids started play­ing to­gether.

‘‘Our kids brought us to­gether and both our hus­bands have loads of fun to­gether. Then Lind­say came into the mix— it’s just re­ally or­ganic and hap­pened re­ally fast,’’ Raver says.

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