USA Network’s Satisfaction is a drama that follows Neil Truman (Matt Passmore) and his wife Grace (Stephaine Szostak) as they make unconventional choices to preserve their marriage. It explores the statement, “What do you do when having it all is not enough?” When Neil accidentally finds the phone of the male escort that Grace is secretly hiring to make up for feeling underappreciated, it sends him into the world of male escorts. He cross paths with Adriana, the madam who runs the male escort service. Katherine LaNasa plays this sexy madam and is here today to talk about her role and the show.
Katherine LaNasa is an American actress, former ballet dancer and choreographer who is taking Hollywood by storm. This New Orleans native took the stage as a dancer at the age of 12. During a chance trip to LA for a LIFE Magazine shoot with her ballet company, Katherine met former husband, legendary actor Dennis Hopper. She later made her way into acting with her feature film debut with a small role in the 1990 film Catchfire. She continued to appear in numerous roles in tv and film, such as The Night Shift, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, House M.D., Private Practice, Justice, and Two and a Half Men, and Seinfeld to name a few. She was the lead in Three Sisters. Film credits include The Campaign, Jayne Mansfield’s Car, Alfie, and Valentine’s Day. LaNasa had personal highlights which included her recent marriage to Melrose Place actor Grant Show and the birth of their daughter Eloise McCue Show, earlier this year.
Satisfaction is a tantalizing and provocative show. And Adriana is such a great character. Is there anything unique about her compared to other madams on tv?
The network has kept her very high end and very classy. She is a completely fictional character who is fun and mysterious. I’m tattooing somebody. In another scene I’m skying and I’m doing some money brokering with a Japanese man and I’m speaking Japanese. She’s a little bit of a jack of all trades. She’s not a person that has to be a pimp. There is something that is obviously deviant in her. This is what she wants to do. She gets off on getting to control people. She is into power and power over people.
When I was in my 20’s, I was living in New York. I was in this high level art world. I was a professional ballet dancer and the person who was doing our set and costumes was a painter named David Salle. He was at the highest level of the New York art world. It was a really small troupe and I was traveling all over the world with them. It was a specific world to be in. Obviously most of the people in that world were older than I was. Women in those circles were in their 40’s. They had a value because of the man they had been with or they were able to translate these social connections into their own business and move through the world in this opportunistic way. Very smart, socially, and work wise.
I recognized that there was an opportunity to make the Adriana character more like that, than just a generic person from Dynasty. It felt like you had to be domineering. I thought there was something interesting about bringing this clever worldliness to her. Not that it wasn’t on the page, but I wanted to make her cooler than perhaps what she could have been. That was important to me. There is something about when people really inhabit a certain world as opposed to it being a fantasy. You really can bring a lot more reality to it. I know how those girls would dress and act. It comes along with thinking like an ex-fashion model.
Adriana is someone that is able to work a high social level, exciting life and move her way through the world. I think she did grow up with money, well educated, the best social training, and went to best summer camps. I don’t think this woman is desperate in any financial way. I don’t think pimping has anything to do with that. You know, Heidi Fless’s father was this man who had a ton of integrity. For Heidi to do that, there was something deviant in her. She was not lacking or impoverished or indigent in any way. I put some of that into Adriana.
We get a peek into who Adriana is, but as the series progresses, will we get a lot more backstory about Adriana?
You get some. You don’t get a lot. A lot is coming from my imagination. I have an idea of what I think happened to her that made her who she is, but there is something twisted about it. Sometimes I’m not sure where things come from. Is it me or is it the script? It is kind of a meeting the two is where I create the character. I have stuff in my imagination when I read the page . I come up with my ideas. I really love that she does all these really f****ed up stuff, but acts like it is perfectly normal. I’m not twirling my mustache. I’m just saying I’m perfectly normal doing all this stuff. I think it is very complicated. I get involved with all of the other characters.
I like to take really big risks with my role. Sometimes I’m really very naturalistic and the other times, it feels like it is some type of noir movie, because she has so many personas. Hopefully it congeals so it can be fun for the audience. But I’m having a lot of fun playing her. She has a lot of levels. And other times she’s very vulnerable.
How did you become involved in the show?
I was home in LA in rehearsals for another movie I was about to start. I had gotten fired because I was pregnant. That same day I was supposed to meet with my coach to break down the script for this new movie. I had gotten the script for Satisfaction on my way there after a call from my agent. I was upset because I wanted to play the part in a movie I got fired from. Instead of the movie script, I read the Satisfaction script in her house. I went home and taped it in my bathroom. The tape I made on my ipad went to network and got me the job. I wouldn’t have been able to do the series if I had done the movie because the pilot shot the same time as the movie.
When you started out in your acting character career, did you study with the famous acting teacher Sanford Meisner?
Yes. I always use what he says. I think about him all the time. He was very present for me. It always reminds me to prepare for the first moment, to be in the moment, and not to do something until something happens to make you do it. The journey of acting can be satisfying when you feel like acting is an easy craft. Meisner used to say it takes 20 years to be an actor. I thought, really? Now I feel I understand. I am so relaxed. It’s taken me a long time. It’s nice to feel like it’s real easy now.
Would you say that influenced the type of roles you want to portray or are offered to you compared to 20 years ago when you first started?
The roles certainly change. I always find it fascinating how you seem to draw certain roles to your self. There was a time when I played all these f****ed up chicks. Part of it was I was the chic who could play those parts. Truthfully, I’m a character actress even though I look like I could be the leading lady. When I was younger, I played the single mom living in a trailer. They were these victimized white trash chics. I played a lot of those.
Then I got my role in Three Sisters where I was the lead in this sitcom. She was a straight down the line, yuppie kind of gal. I played a lot of pregnant people. Then I started to play these cheesy bitches, and a few southern roles in there. The last role I played was this very powerful woman that did what she wanted, but she was an alcoholic. There was a weakness there, kinda like Sue Ellen in Dallas. Now, I’m playing a powerful woman who isn’t an alcoholic. She ‘s more present. She’s not in her drink or in herself. It’s interesting how roles gravitate to us when you’re ready. It was easier for me when I was screwed up to play all those screwed up parts. Now, I know I can play them but for me, it has been something to play people open and clear with a big soul.
I really want to do a funny part, like a person that has explosion hair that stands up. I want to do the movie Brazil or a Wes Anderson movie or a big silly kids movie. Something really stylized or really over the top. I want to do something exaggerated.
Are there any surprises that the audience can expect to see in Satisfaction?
I do get very involved with all the other main characters. There’s a lot of complications and twists and turns and danger in the character. She takes over and she does what she wants to do. I don’t even know how it’s going how to unfold since we’re not done yet. I’m all mixed up with everyone. All the characters overlap on each other. It is not simplistic. The show is really complicated which is really fun. I’m often surprised by what is going on. The characters as we go on particularly to episode 1.05 gets complicated. We start to see the vulnerabilities and characters do things we don’t expect them to be doing. It is like Pandora’s box. I read that episode and I thought this is nuts. It is amazing.
Catch Satisfaction on USA Network every Thursday 10/9c!
Official web site: http://www.usanetwork.com/satisfaction
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Courtesy of USA Network