Eyebrows rose all over Hollywood when Oscar winner Holly Hunter signed on to star in the TNT drama series "Saving Grace." Why would the star of The Piano, Broadcast News and Thirteen take on the weekly grind of TV in yet another police procedural series? Well, this is no ordinary cop show, and Grace has more complicated issues than an astrophysics library's magazine rack.
She's smart and good at her job, but Detective Grace Hanadarko is also a hard-drinking, hard-living woman who has an honest-to-God guardian angel (Leon Rippy) and an active sex life—she has lots of rowdy romps with her married partner (Kenny Johnson). Hunter couldn't resist playing such a juicy character and detailed why during a visit to the "Grace" set midway through filming its second season, which premieres July 12.
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"It's a dream come true to play somebody who doesn't have normal limitations. She doesn't censor her own needs, her own desires. I find it refreshing to have that to express," says Hunter. "In American movies nobody's talking about a woman's sexuality. You've got to search a little bit to find a good example. And in the pilot alone there were two very intimate examples of this woman's sex life. I have an appetite for it because there's so little exploration of that. There's some real intimacy to it and I love that."
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She has her theories about Ham, Grace's partner at work and in bed. "I feel like Ham really gets Grace, on many different levels. I think that there's a reason why they're partners," Hunter believes. "The partnership is multi-layered. Their ability to read each other is very acute. Their ability to trust each other is also pretty unlimited. Obviously both are required for an exceptional partnership."
His marriage, of course, conveniently allows Grace to retain her independence. "There is a certain inherent desire for a man to be the answer to all of women's dilemmas, and in Grace's case I don't think that's the deal," Hunter opines.