"It's different from any part I've ever played before," Lana Parrilla observes about her role as the sexy Trina Decker in CBS' summer series Swingtown. No doubt about that. After all, the show, set in Chicago in 1976, is about a couple of swingers—in the wildest sense of the word—who initiate their new neighbors into their sexually permissive lifestyle.
The titillating pilot, capped by a wife-swapping party, was designed to hook viewers and get them talking—if not protesting. "It will obviously raise some eyebrows, but at the same time I don't think we're exploiting any more than Desperate Housewives or Lipstick Jungle," Parrilla points out. "The sex is there, but there's a deeper element to the show. There are the relationships and familial aspects. You see how the children are affected by their parents' lifestyle. And there's a lot of heart to our show."
Parrilla, who originally auditioned for the role of new neighbor Susan but was asked to return and read for Trina, sees her as more than a seductive vixen. "I'm constantly surprised by her. "She's very maternal and very intuitive, very sensitive and very sensual. And there's a loneliness that we explore."
The role casts her opposite Grant Show (Melrose Place) who she'd previously met via mutual friends. Is the on-set intimacy awkward for her? "Sometimes," she admits, "but he's a pretty handsome man so it's not that difficult," she laughs, noting they've become good friends over the course of shooting the series.