At the set of "Harry's Law," reports star Kathy Bates, "We're trying to be green. We recycle all of our old scripts. We recycle bottles and cans of course." At home, "I try to do the same, recycle paper and bottles and cans," she says. "We separate everything."
Back on NBC for its second season Sept. 21, the legal drama opens with a murder case that will play out over three episodes, with Alfred Molina as a man accused of murdering his wife and Jean Smart as the prosecuting D.A. Bates' Harry Korn gets two new associates played by Mark Valley and Karen Olivo. "Mark's character doesn't always rub her the right way, and she doesn't treat Karen's character very well in the beginning but later she becomes a bit of a mentor to her," says Bates, adding that Emmy winning guest star Paul McCrane will return as Josh Peyton and direct the fourth episode, "a very interesting case about a young woman charged with homicide because she outed a girl at high school for being gay on her blog. The girl committed homicide so it's a very timely subject."
Bates admires her on-screen alter ego for her "ability that we all wish we had to say in the moment eloquently and forcefully exactly what's on our mind and what makes the best argument at a given moment. It's fun to be able to play someone that has that almost superhuman ability to express themselves in that way. I love playing a character who's blunt, who's irritable, who doesn't get along with everybody, who doesn't make any secret of her feelings and yet at the same time she's complex and we don't really understand everything that's going on with Harry at the moment and things are revealed in time. I enjoy playing that complex character."
On the other hand, it's not an easy job carrying an hour-long series. "My biggest challenge is learning lines every day and every weekend. It takes up a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of focus. It is quite a workout physically, mentally, emotionally to be ready to work every day at 7, 7:30 in the morning. I'm not a morning person at all so that's a bit of a challenge for me, learning that amount of dialogue and making it really real and natural and of the character," admits Bates. "It was a steep learning curve last year but I'm really enjoying it this year. I feel like I've got the momentum under my belt and I really enjoy going into work every day."
Bates next appears in a small role in the romantic comedy "You May Not Kiss the Bride," playing Dave Annable's mother. "It was actually written to be on the phone and then we expanded it to have a few scenes," she says.