Proof’s in the body

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - LYNN CAMERON

SHE may have en­joyed the glitz and glam­our of life as a des­per­ate house­wife on Wis­te­ria Lane but Dana De­lany is rel­ish­ing ex­plor­ing the darker side of life in her new role.

De­lany, who was sur­prised to dis­cover she was be­ing writ­ten out of Des­per­ate Housewives, stars in Body of Proof as med­i­cal ex­am­iner Dr Me­gan Hunt, an ex-sur­geon whose job it is to es­tab­lish the cause of death in sus­pi­cious cases.

‘‘ It kind of came out of the blue,’’ De­lany says of leav­ing Des­per­ate Housewives af­ter more than four years as home­maker Kather­ine May­fair.

‘‘ I got a call from the head of ABC say­ing, ‘ We’ve en­joyed hav­ing you on the show but we don’t know how much longer you’re go­ing to be on it’.

‘‘ And then he said, ‘ We have this other show we’d like you to think about’.

‘‘ I was kind of taken aback but I’m not stupid: I saw the hand­writ­ing on the wall, so I thought, ‘ Why not try it?’.’’ The re­sult is Body of Proof. And the role of ca­reer-driven Hunt is some­thing De­lany says res­onates with her own life.

‘‘ In terms of be­ing driven and work-ori­ented, I kind of re­late to that,’’ she says.

‘‘ My whole life, I’ve loved to act; that’s pretty much all I’ve done. I’ve never been mar­ried. I think it’s re­ally hard to have a bal­ance there.’’

An­other at­trac­tion for De­lany was the au­di­ence’s po­ten­tial am­bi­gu­ity – even dis­like – to­wards her char­ac­ter.

Hunt’s fail­ure to cope with the work-life bal­ance has cre­ated a char­ac­ter filled with com­plex­i­ties, which doesn’t make her es­pe­cially like­able. ‘‘ I’m glad that she’s tough,’’ De­lany re­veals.

‘‘ I’m glad that you’re kind of like, ‘ Whoa, I don’t know if I like her’.

‘‘ She’s re­ally, re­ally good at the science but re­ally, re­ally bad at her per­sonal life.’’

Hunt’s per­sonal life goes some way to ex­plain­ing the ag­gres­sive as­pect of her na­ture.

A for­mer head of neu­ro­surgery at a prom­i­nent Philadel­phia univer­sity hos­pi­tal, Hunt’s pro­fes­sional ded­i­ca­tion led to a break­down in her mar­riage and the loss of a cus­tody battle over her seven-year-old daugh­ter.

Then a car ac­ci­dent left her with a de­bil­i­tat­ing hand con­di­tion that ended her sur­gi­cal ca­reer.

In­stead of tak­ing care of the liv­ing, Hunt is now tasked with tak­ing care of the dead.

‘‘ Hunt had no re­gard for peo­ple when they were alive, so now she has dou­ble re­gard, prob­a­bly more than that, for them,’’ De­lany ex­plains. ‘‘ I think that this new job is her re­demp­tion. ‘‘ At the end of al­most ev­ery episode, we have her say­ing good­bye to them, but those peo­ple are not cov­ered up un­til she knows ex­actly what hap­pened to them.’’ As part of grisly prepa­ra­tions for the role, De­lany and her co-stars ( in­clud­ing Aus­tralian ac­tor Ni­cholas Bishop) at­tended a real-life post mortem.

It may have un­set­tled other cast mem­bers but De­lany found it en­thralling. ‘‘ It was an hon­our to get to see these au­top­sies,’’ she says. ‘‘ I re­ally feel we were given such a gift. When you see that body cut open and you see ex­actly how that per­son lived and how they died, you start think­ing, ‘ My God, I’ve been given this gift of this body and I want to take care of it. And it’s com­pletely up to me what I do with it’.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.