'Private Practice's' KaDee Strickland on Charlotte's journey: 'There is no going home'
This is what KaDee Strickland told Zap2it when we spoke with her about her character's journey after being brutally raped on "Private Practice." In Thursday night's (Nov. 11) episode we learned that Charlotte's journey may be moving forward faster than she'd like when Addison ( Kate Walsh) reveals to Sam ( Taye Diggs) that Charlotte was raped. Sam then tries to talk Violet, ( Amy Brenneman) who is also a survivor, into speaking with Charlotte. It seems every character will slowly begin to realize what exactly has happened to her, which Strickland says will feel like yet another violation to Charlotte.
"One thing that I learned from survivors, in those first months especially, the idea that anyone violates them. It could be specific. Moving something on someone's desk can set them off," she explains."Any opportunity we can take to communicate that this is an ongoing process, that violation becomes searingly obvious to them at all times, we took."
As for Addison's betrayal of her trust, Strickland says Charlotte will not be happy about it. "Addison is of course taking a tremendous responsibility and really comes from, I want to believe, a place of love and protection. I would think that that's her intention, to be helpful," she says. "Of course, Charlotte cannot comprehend that in those moments as she realizes this and the shame involved of having her laundry aired. That's huge for her."
Though she wouldn't say under what circumstances, Strickland says Charlotte has not seen the last of her rapist, Lee McHenry ( Nicholas Brendon). "I have worked with Nicholas since episode seven. That's the way I'll answer that."
Strickland doesn't know yet about the status of Charlotte and Cooper's ( Paul Adelstein) wedding, but does have absolute faith in Shonda Rhimes (show creator) and has her own hopes for the characters. "I would like to see these people be able feel as much security as one could and that's in every way. I'd like to see a sense of security restored in this character because she's got a long road ahead of her."
Speaking of the road ahead, we will see her deal with past substance abuse problems. It was alluded to to back in Season 1 that Charlotte is a recovering addict. "Charlotte's definitely in the world of 12 step. You will definitely see that again, which I love. We've been alluding to my mother and her addiction."
Her past addiction will serve to bring her closer with an unlikely character: Amelia ( Caterina Scorsone). "You'll see she and Amelia develop a really interesting relationship. I love it," she tells us. "I think it's just so interesting to take the account of someone trying to put themselves back together and to be in program. You'll see some interesting stuff with Amelia coming up."
When we asked what kind of feedback she has been receiving since the storyline began, Strickland told us her Twitter follows increased by over 4,000 people. "That's kind of crazy and wonderful because most of them were survivors and most of them were saying "Thank you," she says. "To have that type of response, it meant the world to me and out in the real world people have certainly been very generous. Certainly RAINN ( Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) has received just an absolute sort of blow-up on their hotline."
The one person's feedback that stood out the most for her? " Gail Abarbanel, here at the RAINN treatment center that had helped me and taken me through the facilities for my research. I heard from her after she'd seen it and that was one of the most rewarding conversations I could have possibly had," she says. "The pride she took in it and the honoring for me of having her, that our show articulated between Shonda's writing and the performances of the cast have been something she's never seen articulated before on TV.When you hear that from someone who's been living with this daily for 36 years, that is a powerful thing to hear."
Filming the Nov. 3 episode "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" was obviously tough for her, but two scenes specifically spoke to Strickland. The first was Charlotte being examined (and having a rape kit performed unbeknownst to her) by Addison. "The way that I've had it articulated from survivors is that that was almost as if they were being raped all over again in those moments. For me as a performer, I was so surprised by literally the minute I laid on that table what happened to my body. It's hard to talk about."
The scene at the end of the episode where Cooper is dressing Charlotte also moved Strickland. "That scene was shortened, but I can tell you that for me as a performer, that's some of the purest experience I've had with another actor. It was beautiful," she says. "It was just like there was no one else in the world in those moments and that felt so appropriate to what she's going through because I got to say to him, "Take me home." The truth is, for Charlotte especially in that episode, there's no going home. I mean her home has been burned down."
For information on RAINN call 1.866.656.Hope or visit them online at www.rainn.org
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Photo credit: ABC