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An Evening with "Desperate Housewives"

The Cast on Stage with Quotes by Steven Culp

February 22, 2005

Thank you for the transcript, Amy! :-)
Introduction by Leeza Gibbons:

Then we have Steven Culp: Rex Van de Kamp, who as you know likes to be sexually dominated, which does completely horrify his wife Bree, played beautifully by Marcia Cross. With absolutely the perfect flip and so perfect that she has been said to be almost laminated.
Leeza Gibbons: Steven, why does it work? Why does this show work as well as it does?

Marcia Cross: because he's on it…


Steven Culp: Eh (half-laugh), beside the fact that I'm on it, um, I, you know the short answer is it is really entertaining. Uh, its well written, the cast is great, its well produced & directed, it moves fast, its got comedy, drama, mystery, everything that you want and I think people want to find out what is going to happen next in the story and I think that's the real short answer. It's entertaining. But then you could also go farther than that too, I mean I think a lot of what happens with these people is sort of far out & heightened as we get is that its I think there's things in people's lives that everybody can relate to, I mean just in our story, I mean there's the whole thing about how do you keep passion love alive over 18 years of a marriage. You know what happens when you're in the middle of your life and you're trying to find passion again somewhere. Um, I think there's things like that about all the characters that people can tune into and that makes it more than just a simply entertaining show. But the bottom line is that its just fun to watch. It's addicting.


Leeza Gibbons: Steven, can I ask you something that I'm sure has been asked of you before…

Steven Culp: I'm not… (laughs from audience) You've got a question?
Leeza Gibbons: Well I wasn't gonna go to the place where I really wanted to go which was in all the work that you've done before have you ever had to dress up and have this sort of sexual fantasies that you've had for THIS part?

Steven Culp: On camera, no, I mean I've done a lot of … (laughs from audience) (affecting deeper male-diva voice) "I've always refused to do that stuff on camera, I only do it live on stage…"

Steven Culp: I only do it in dark bars. Um, no, at least roles on camera, no. I've never gotten to go to these places, I mean it actually is more like a character I would do in a theatre piece, to me, I mean its that complex, and that varied, and more and that contradictory and more sides keep appearing to him as we go on. And I find, you know, a lot of the time that, at least roles done on camera, I play a lot of agenda driven people, you know, they walk into the room and know exactly what they want, and it was very confusing to me at first with Rex because the only thing Rex knew is that he was confused. And I would actually show up on set going I don't know how to play this scene, I don't know what I'm doing here. And it really, it was great cause it's been a great process for me because what I started to do was realize that all these were appropriate feelings for Rex and as soon as I embraced them and was not afraid of them the character began to unlock himself more for me. So it's been a great thing about trusting uncertainty I mean this whole process. So, now I'm just reveling in all his contradictions & his quirks, and I'm just looking forward to what comes next.

Marc Cherry: Steven didn't know, we didn't know what Rex's secret would be at first, so I told Steven "you go do some research, give me something unusual," and he had a good one that we didn't ultimately use…

Steven Culp: I said, I actually went on the Internet (he laughs) it was very useful you know, I was like looking up sexual fetishes and its amazing what you find…but (audience laughs)

Leeza Gibbons: They'll arrest you for that, I think, and take your computer and everything…

Steven Culp: I, I, I, you know I think it's a big thing about Rex, too… if you just, you know a lot of this stuff you have to go into like, pay to go to download porn and I don't want to do that, but you can surf into different chat rooms and find out that there's, I think like Rex, a lot of people out there who thought that they were the only one. The whole time they were growing up and suddenly over the Internet they found there's whole communities of people like them. And I imagine it would be empowering…

Doug Savant: Feel free to raise your hand… (audience laughs) anybody? No takers…
Steven Culp: but it's empowering and frightening as well. Um… but anyway the thing I came up with is that Rex doesn't like, he's not into men, he's into women dressed as men, and I'd sort of spun out this whole thing, you know, that he'd tell Bree and they'd really, they'd have this passionate sex life for awhile, but then she'd get so obsessed about what she was supposed to wear that she'd ruin the fantasy… (audience laughs)

Marc Cherry: Steven, the one I was thinking of was, it was the other one which was he could only make love to Bree in filthy surroundings…

Steven Culp: you guys came up with that one… the writers came up with that one…

Marc Cherry: oh, that was my assistant who came up with that one. Because it wasn't me because when I heard it I went "hmmm, dare I?" And I thought no; let's go with something conservative like S&M, conservative! (audience laughs, male audience voice says "oh!)

Leeza Gibbons: It had to make you feel really vulnerable to do that, doesn't it?

Steven Culp: Yeah, it's terrific, I mean I loved it, it was just great, uh, I…

Marcia Cross: she said vulnerable…

Steven Culp: no, but its great, I, you know, I like being that vulnerable you know when I first read the scene I told Marc, I said man this really, it's really scary in a really good sort of way, it's really dangerous and I loved it… you know, more! (Marcia laughs)

Wrap up comment by Steven Culp:

I don't think I could be anymore articulate or insightful than anyone who just spoke. As far as being grateful for this opportunity, grateful to you people for having us here. It's a very weird thing that happens now because you've got, no one could have predicted this "thing" that we're doing, you know, when you've got Marc's writing, you've got all the people who are bringing their thing to the show, we're bringing our thing, then you bring, the audience brings their thing and this other thing happens that is somehow outside of us all, and it's nothing we could ever have planned for or controlled and we're just enjoying it. Thank you for having us here and thank you all very much. (audience applause).

Wrap up comment by Marc Cherry:

My final hope is that, 20 years from now, when we do the reunion show, we're all still speaking to each other. That is what I want more than anything.

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