From soap star to veritable lesbian icon, Executive Producer and actress Maeve Quinlan’s on the cutting edge of scripted comedy with the hilarious and irreverent lesbian-themed Internet romp, 3Way.
Along with her former co-workers and best pals, Nancylee Myatt and Paige Bernhardt, Quinlan conceived of and created the sensation that has become 3Way, about a straight soap actress who moves her best gay girlfriend into her home only to be followed by an array of whacky lesbian characters.
Billed as, “The hottest lesbian comedy NOT on TV,” the little Internet show that could co-stars Jill Bennett, Cathy Shim and co-writer Maile Flanagan.
But with wildly inventive guest appearances by the original “Buffy,” Kristy Swanson, as a loopy stalker and The L Word’s Elizabeth Keener as compulsive liar and overly friendly ex-girlfriend, 3Way is already created much buzz and a can’t-get-enough fan base.
Quinlan, who appeared in the juicy soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, gained near cult status playing the homophobic mom of a lesbian teen in South of Nowhere.
But her character Siobhan, the straight actress surrounded by gay women on 3Way, is much closer to Quinlan’s own experience.
LesbiaNation caught up with Quinlan to chat about Dinah Shore 2008, 3Way’s outrageously hot guest stars and whether or not fans can anticipate another season.
LesbiaNation: It’s great to get the chance to talk with you. I know you recently returned from the Dinah. How was it?
Maeve Quinlan: It was amazing. I’d been there for the first time the year befor with Nancylee Myatt and Paige Bernhardt.
We discussed 3Way in an interview with AfterEllen.com. We just shot the season finale at the Dinah.
LN: Kind of like a bookend.
MQ: Last year we knew that South of Nowhere wasn’t coming back.
LN: And you all worked together on that?
MQ: Yes and we were mourning it. I had done Girltrash with Angela Robinson on the Web. I had this idea of a straight woman living with two lesbians, which was loosely based on my life in some capacity.
I thought about blowing it up and making it bigger than life. And Nancylee said, “That’s a great idea!” So the blueprint for 3Way was sitting around like the rest of the garbage in my head and would have stayed there if not for Nancylee and Paige.
LN: It’s great that you were all able to collaborate on getting 3Way off the ground.
MQ: We had a loyal fan base from South of Nowhere. While we were mourning not working together we thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to put out a great lesbian comedy?”
Nancylee’s pedigree is in sitcoms. She’s won an Emmy. And we were lucky to get Mary Lou Belli, an incredible sitcom director.
LN: I’m curious about how you became a lesbian icon. Did you ever think when you were on The Bold and the Beautiful that you’d become so popular with gay women?
MQ: (Laughs) Probably not! You know, so many of my best friends are either lesbian or gay. I was on South of Nowhere playing this righteous homophobe. Actually, Paula Carlin doesn’t even think of it in those terms. She’s just so righteous.
It’s so different from who I am. At that time, I was living in this house and one of my best friends had moved in with me. And she happens to be gay. But on South of Nowhere, I was playing a homophobe.
LN: That’s quite a dichotomy.
MQ: I was reading on the message boards, which you should never do, about my character being a homophobe. “Maeve is such a homophobe,” people were writing, not separating me from my character. But I was out at The Abbey on the weekends. I go to The Pump.
LN: The Abbey is like West Hollywood’s gay ground zero.
MQ: I thought, this situation is funny. My friend and her girlfriend would coach me on my dating life and I would coach them on theirs.
LN: I read something on Wikipedia and when I saw it, I thought, “It must be wrong,” but I have to ask, since it seems like such an anomaly. Were you really married to Tom Sizemore?
MQ: Yes I was in the nineties. We split in November 1999. It was a very respectful divorce.
LN: How did you get together?
MQ: We met on the set of Natural Born Killers. Back then he was working with A-list directors. He was a fabulous actor.
LN: Wow. The craziness in his life seems worlds away from where you’re at.
MQ: It was in another lifetime, a case of opposites attract.
LN: I wanted to ask you a little more about the Dinah this year. You said you were shooting the finale there but did you get to play all?
MQ: We were pretty much working, working, working. But no, we did go to the White Diamonds party on Friday night. We went to the fashion show and supported the wonderful Jill Bennett. On Saturday we shot at the pool party.
LN: You’re not going to give me spoilers though are you?
MQ: I’ll just say it’s a pretty funny scene. But Kristy Swanson is back stalking Geri and Elizabeth Keener is back.
LN: How did you nab all of these great actresses for the guest spots? Kristy’s got her own sort of cult following and Elizabeth is hot off The L Word. Plus, Cathy DeBuono. That’s quite a feat.
MQ: Mostly through friendships. Kristy and I have been friends for years. Liz Keener is Jill Bennett’s friend. And we have others who want to come on.
Kelly Hu, Melinda Clark, Jennifer Finnigan. People have said they really like the show and have asked to be on. And then there’s the whole Ladycops thing with Christina Cox and Liz Vassey, you know, the show within a show.
LN: Right. I love it. I think it’s perfect.
MQ: Christina and Liz worked with Nancylee on Nikki and Nora. We want to do more with that.
LN: How much is left of the season? Do you even call it that?
MQ: We’re calling it a season. But, what is a season on the Internet? We are on 15 episodes now. And there are many more “Confessionals”.
LN: Are you already thinking about another season?
MQ: Response has been really great. We’ve got people interested in picking up advertising. But the advertisers tend to take a wait and see approach, to see if the hits will continue to be good. But we have lots of ideas for a second season.
LN: It looks like you’re all having a blast on the set? How has it been?
MQ: Nancylee and Paige and I worked together before and I love their brilliant comedic minds. They’re two of my best friends. It’s just been magic in a bottle doing this show.
And Maile Flanagan is the funniest person I know. She writes on it as well. It’s all been pretty amazing and I don’t do comedy.
LN: You wouldn’t know from your performance. You’re hilarious being surrounded by all the whacky lesbians.
MQ: Playing the “straight” woman, pun intended. It’s thanks to the writing. I’ve done romantic comedies but never a sitcom before. I just grip and hang on for dear life. I love to do drama but I’m finding that comedy is so much harder.
LN: You mentioned Maile. How is it working with Jill and Cathy Shim?
MQ: Jill Bennett has brought so much to the part that we never imagined and Cathy Shim. I love her. She was the biggest find.
LN: Now that you’ve been in a couple of lesbian-themed shows, is the next logical step to play a lesbian?
MQ: Yeah. Definitely! I played bisexual on Girltrash but that was one episode. I’d love to play a lesbian or to create a role to play.
LN: Is there anything you’d like to say about 3Way that we haven’t hit on?
MQ: I want to give major props to Nancylee for doing this with me. And I want to thank the fans for their support.
I can’t thank them enough. We have so many ideas for a second season if we get one, so please keep the hits coming.
LN: I’m not alone in saying I hope you get that second season.
MQ: Here’s to the future.
For more on 3Way, visit 3waytv.tv
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