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Amy Brenneman Talks Private Practice

Published September 24, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of ABC.
Amy Brenneman Amy Brenneman in Private Practice
Fans of Grey's Anatomy already got a taste of the spinoff Private Practice in one episode earlier this year. They have already been introduced to Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman) and her love interest, Alan (D.W. Moffett). But Moffett has his own show on the CW, Life is Wild, so Brenneman doesn't know what's up for her character's romance.

Amy Brenneman on Private Practice

"Remember Carlton the doorman?" she joked. "I don't know. I know that I am hung up on Alan in a pretty serious way for the foreseeable future so I really don't know if it's going to be recast. I have a great imagination so if you don't want to spend the money, that's okay. No, I think that is her motherlode right there."

Brenneman used to have her own TV show, so she didn't really need to go back down that road. "They cancelled Judging Amy and about two weeks later, I gave birth to my son. So really TV was not the first thing on my mind and I was tired. I have been doing some movies. I did some theater and I really thought it's going to have to be the perfect fit for me because I had such a great thing going. It's just going to have to be at a really high caliber and also, frankly, fit with the lifestyle of having two small children. So it's interesting. I passed on some stuff where I would have been the series lead. Then, as a woman, you are left with being a wifey for the guy, and I don't want to do that."

Then there's Shonda Rhimes who gives all her supporting players something to do. "The amazing thing about what Shonda does is she tells these stories in a true mosaic fashion and she spins themes so you get your chunky stuff to do and this amazing stuff to do but we share the load. It's such a gift on so many levels and I think it makes for better storytelling because you don't have the traditional lead everybody is supporting. It's constantly shifting and that's kind of unique. I was really excited when this came along."

In choosing the show, Brenneman acknowledged that it was a pretty sure thing. ABC wasn't going to pass on the spinoff to Grey's Anatomy. "For me, because it was fairly sure it would be on the air, that's the deep thinking that had to go on. It wasn't just a pilot, who knows what's going to happen? It's like no, this probably is going to go and it may go for a while. As somebody who was on a television show, it's like okay, really think this through. It's not on a whim. It's actually a real job that may go on for a while. So it felt important. It felt like this is not just oh, you try to do a pilot and who knows what's going to happen? It was exciting in that way."

Private Practice premieres September 26 on ABC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of ABC.

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