We recently caught up with Harry’s Law star Kathy Bates and spoke to her about her role as obstinate lawyer Harriet Korn. She revealed her love for British filmmaking and the joy of working with guest star Alfred Molina (Law & Order: Los Angeles).
What’s the biggest challenge when making the move from film to TV?
Well I think it’s quite simply the amount of dialogue to learn and also keeping the character really consistent from episode to episode and from director to director. We have two directors who direct the first couple and the last couple, but in the meantime we get new directors every episode, so that’s a real challenge working with someone that you don’t know who is new to the series, so it is always a question of chemistry. Sometimes it fits comfortably and sometimes it doesn’t. The difficulty with television is that you’re moving so so quickly. You have to be able to move quickly with it.
Are there any other fictional lawyers in TV or film who you took inspiration from for your portrayal of Harry?
I’m sure back there in my DNA is Perry Mason, and I recently watched quite a lot of trials on television whenever I can, because there have been really big ones in the news recently. There’s the Michael Jackson trial at the moment and I really learn a lot by watching the real lawyers in court arguing and how they speak to the witnesses and the jury, so those would be my examples.”
Which guest star on the show has been the most fun to work with?
Alfred Molina. I shouldn’t play favourites but we all adored him and days before he was due to finish we were all moaning about how are we going to come to work without Alfred. He’s such a delightful man, so funny yet so professional. I’d do these scenes with him and just watching the way he would deal with the dialogue in such a colourful and real way but with so many different levels going on. I wanted to say ‘can you just be my acting coach?’ We loved having him on the show and I wish there was a way for him to come back.”
If you could ask any actor in the world to appear in one episode of Harry’s Law who would it be?
Maggie Smith, I would adore to work with her. I am so enamoured with the British sensibility of actors and film making, it’s always been a benchmark for me.
Harry’s Law continues every Monday at 10pm.