THE BIG ASK JU­DITH LIGHT

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News - Ugly Betty

HLight first found fame as Karen Wolek on the US soapie One Life to Live, but it was her stint as ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive An­gela Bower on the sit­com Who’s the Boss, costar­ring Tony Danza, that made her in Hol­ly­wood.

She brings au­thor­ity to her re­cur­ring role as Judge El­iz­a­beth Don­nelly in Law & Or­der: SVU, but it is Ugly Betty, where she plays Claire Meade, the al­co­holic mother of Daniel and Alexis Meade, that she is at her best. OWlucky is Ju­dith Light? At a time when most ac­tors are out of work, the 59-year-old is star­ring in two shows— Ugly Betty and Law & Or­der: Spe­cial Vic­tims Unit. You must be hav­ing a wow of a time play­ing Claire Meade on Ugly Betty. To do Who’s the Boss and then to not do any­thing for such a long time or to do some se­ries that didn’t make it (an­other sit­com Phe­nom lasted one sea­son) and then to come back in some­thing that’s al­ready a hit and to play this kind of char­ac­ter, it’s fan­tas­tic. What makes Ugly Betty so spe­cial? It’s so dif­fer­ent. You haven’t seen any­thing like this be­fore. In the United States peo­ple are long­ing to see some­thing that makes them laugh and also touches their hearts. I’m so glad it caught on and peo­ple re­ally re­sponded to it. What’s also great about this show is it’s an en­sem­ble cast. You have Betty (Amer­ica Fer­rera) sort of the core of ev­ery­thing. But it re­ally is an en­sem­ble, and ev­ery­body is work­ing to­gether and ev­ery­body loves work­ing to­gether. No­body’s snooty be­cause that’s not where we all come from. Al­most ev­ery one of us on the cast comes from the the­atre and that, I think, makes a huge dif­fer­ence in the whole process of how we work. We don’t re­ally know why Claire be­came an al­co­holic. Was it be­cause of her phi­lan­der­ing hus­band? You can never blame it on some­one else. It is your own re­spon­si­bil­ity. If Claire is ever go­ing to go into any kind of re­cov­ery, she’ll stop blam­ing ev­ery­body else for her own prob­lems. The is­sues are her is­sues within her­self, which are her own lack of self-es­teem, her own lack of se­cu­rity in her­self. It’s only nat­u­ral that she would marry a man who would be phi­lan­der­ing. If you had your choice, who would you like to get on the show? An­thony Hop­kins, I’d take him . . . and Gena Row­lands, a great ac­tor. I hear you are into cook­ing? I love to cook. My hus­band (ac­tor Robert Deside­rio) and our busi­ness part­ners own a restau­rant in Aspen and I’m a big foodie. I don’t have one spe­cialty. I like to do a lot of dif­fer­ent things— to ex­per­i­ment. I like to cook for a lot of peo­ple. We had about 10 peo­ple stay over for Thanks­giv­ing. You’ve had a long ca­reer. How has TV changed over that time? They don’t leave things on for much time th­ese days. Who’s the Boss tested through the roof. ABC so be­lieved in it they moved us around un­til they found the right slot. They don’t tend to do that any more. So when you get a show that’s a hit like Ugly Betty you are grate­ful be­cause peo­ple are less in­clined to leave a show on and see how it de­vel­ops.

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