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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

Some intimate moments

September 02, 2007|Choire Sicha | Special to The Times

Ally WALKER doesn't have a nude sex scene in the first episode of HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me," the explicit new series that premieres Sept. 9. She starred in "Profiler" and "Moon Over Miami" and has also appeared on "L.A. Law," "The Shield" and "E.R."

One of the things I was concerned about with the new show was what seems to me the very short duration of heterosexual intercourse.

What are you saying?

Look, I'm not an expert in this field.

You know, the show's only an hour long. You can't spend 20 minutes on people [doing] each other. Let's say: I think the format has been changed to fit your TV.

What did you do all day?

Do you really wanna know? I got up really early, like 6:30, I called my best friend in New York. Then I made breakfast for my little boys, just Cheerios, some fruit. Then the two boys went to sports camp. Then the little boy screamed at me and then we went to Costco. Have you ever been to Costco? Costco is the most exhausting experience of your life. And then I came home and I put the baby down for a nap and we had lunch; then I'm doing paperwork and I talked to a couple girlfriends. Really, this is the most hellish day! Then I'm going to pick up the kids, meet the accountant. Are you writing that down?

Uh, yes?

It's the most depressing day of anyone's life! The carts at Costco! The carts are heavy enough just empty. Seriously, have you been? They're huge. I was like holy moly.

You've been married 10 years -- do you have advice for all of us?

I have always found that ignoring a lot of things -- well, no I don't! I wish I did.

So, the explicit sex: Was that an opening conversation or a later one?

Well, it wasn't hard to figure out when you read that script. You kind of wanted to talk to them and see what they're doing. I didn't know how it would be handled. It's not about titillating people; it's about depicting intimacy. You have to be able to do these sex scenes and not be freaked out about it. I've never done that -- I've always had clauses where there was no nudity whatsoever. But the writing, I thought was so wonderful that I wanted to do it.

The show is voyeuristic, and that's a part of it, but there's not filters and special lighting and music -- it's actually quite dull if you think of it!

And you actually shot the show in L.A.! And it looks like Canada!

That's a mean thing to say! No, it's everywhere U.S.A. It was on a soundstage basically and little places here and there. It's your town.

And yet you didn't have to go north.

No, I wouldn't move. I refused to move. They make you shoot everything far away now. The business has become much harder in the last 10 years.

Tell me about that. You're a TV veteran -- please note I'm not calling you old.

Twenty years in this business. I've just seen a lot of vertical integration in the business. There are less studios, and they're mainly owned by the networks now. But there's a lot more cable stuff -- so it's in some ways gotten better. But shooting in Canada has hurt Los Angeles and hurt the industry at home. They stayed here, that's the truth, because I refused to relocate.

What are you doing this weekend?

It's my birthday! I'm gonna be 27! Again! It's my 20th year in a row. No. I'm just hanging with my friends. Going out to lunch with the girls, a massage, my nails done, playing with my boys, just going to have fun. One thing I'm not doing: Not going to Costco. That'll make all of us happy.

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