RB: Do you think it's easier now to be an actress on TV? It seems like there may be many more opportunities.

LE: It depends on who you ask. Some would say there are less because there is so much reality television, but I've been lucky enough to be on this show for six years, so when I hear about what's happening out there for actors and actresses, it sounds like it's pretty brutal. The economy is bad; there's certainly not the pay that we've been getting available. There's a lot of things being done nonunion or low-budget and for people to make a living these days has gotten more challenging.

That said, the opportunities that do exist are definitely more interesting. You're definitely allowed to be in your 40s now. I think if you look back, so many great famous movie stars by the time they are in their 40s were still trying to play in their 20s because all the stories were about women in their 20s. But now you can be in your 40s and not be playing just a mom of the main character—you can actually have a substantial role and interesting part. I think what's happening now also is that television has gotten so good that the competition between what used to be a very divided field between TV and film is no longer. People who are working actors are competing with people who are movie stars for television roles.


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