Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

A salute to TV's bitchiest

A salute to TV’s bitchiest — Characters from ”Glee,” ”Ugly Betty,” and ”Vampire Diaries” have turned the B-word into a badge of honor

Posted on

TV’S REIGNING BITCH QUEEN IS BACK!
Turns out you can go home again. EW talked to Heather Locklear about bringing back TV’s best bitch ever, Amanda Woodward, for seven episodes of The CW’s ratings-challenged Melrose Place reboot. — Lynette Rice

What was your first day like on the set?
It took a bit of adjusting because there’s this whole new office [where Amanda works] that is very glamorous and I have these see-through stairs to walk up while wearing high heels and short skirts. I had to hope that all the people were cleared out beneath them. I don’t think anyone thought that one through.

Was it difficult finding Amanda again?
Every once in a while I go, ”Hmmm…that’s not quite what she would do,” but I have to go with what they’ve written. Time has passed, and this could very well be who she is.

Will there be an explanation for where Amanda has been? The last time we saw her, she had faked her death and gone off to that island with Peter (Jack Wagner).
She’s been on the island, but you won’t see her in tattered bathing suits. Now she’s back, and there will be an explanation.

Why did you agree to return?
When somebody pitches you something, it’s hard to see at first…. Amanda’s here and she’s getting into this whole new group? It didn’t sound right. But as soon as I saw the second episode, I said, ”I’d watch this.”

How did you first develop Amanda?
Amanda wasn’t based on anyone, she’s her own person. She isn’t a bitch, she’s just misunderstood. If she were a man, no one would comment about how she conducts business. She understands human nature; she doesn’t have time for the weak.

What makes a good TV bitch?
Not trying to be a bitch. Just trying to be strong and do what you are supposed to do.

You saved Melrose Place once — are you ready to do it again?
It adds a lot of pressure. We just have to remind people that it’s a good show.

Any chance your boyfriend, Jack Wagner, will reprise his role as Peter?
Sure…as long as he could be with me. I know that’s what he was trying to do all along.


Angela Kinsey as…
ANGELA MARTIN ON THE OFFICE
Not surprisingly, Angela’s attitude comes naturally with the hairdo. ”I wear a bun for half a day on set, and I [become] a miserable B-I-T-C-H,” says Kinsey, who based her rigid, judgmental character on a series of white-collar employees she met while temping. The actress still finds it difficult to verbally abuse her Office costars — especially Phyllis Smith (sales rep Phyllis Lapin-Vance). ”She is the sweetest person with the most loving eyes,” says Kinsey. ”Sometimes I have to shoot her the nastiest look, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t do it!”’ — Kate Ward

Kristin Cavallari as…
KRISTIN CAVALLARI ON THE HILLS
MTV had good reason to lure the former Laguna Beach star to The Hills to assume diva duties from her old nemesis Lauren Conrad: This is a woman who causes drama no matter where she goes (e.g., targeting her frenemy’s boyfriend; causing strife in an ex’s relationship). Says Cavallari, ”If I had to pick between being the sweet, innocent angel or the bad girl, I would definitely go for the bad girl — it’s more fun.” And why is being bad so good? ”You get to do things that maybe you wouldn’t do in normal life,” the reality star admits. ”It gets people talking. People either love me or love to hate me.” — Tim Stack

AnnaLynne McCord as…
NAOMI CLARK ON 9021O
To hear McCord tell it, bitchiness is nothing more than a high school survival technique for the scheming Naomi. ”She has to say what’s on her mind,” McCord explains of the teen queen, whose cattiness coup de grâce involved sexting a topless photo of rival Annie (Shenae Grimes) to all of West Bev. ”She has to tell you how horrible your lacy top is because you’re going to make her look bad by walking in it with her! And she can’t ever look bad.” But she does have at least one redeeming quality: ”At the end of the day, she’s the most loyal friend you’ll ever have — as long as you don’t screw her.” — Tanner Stansky

Ian Somerhalder as…
DAMON SALVATORE ON THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
Take James Spader’s rich jerk Steff from Pretty in Pink, add some fangs, and you’ve got Somerhalder’s wickedly cocksure Damon Salvatore. ”Damon looks at women, and clearly the things going through his mind are so profoundly wrong that it’s visually disturbing for them,” says the actor. He adds that costar Candice Accola (who plays Damon’s occasional snack, cheerleader Caroline) ”looks at me sometimes and goes, ‘What is going through your mind right now?’ I just say to her with a smile, ‘You so do not want to know.”’ He wouldn’t tell us, either. — Mandi Bierly

Christine Baranski as…
DIANE LOCKHART ON THE GOOD WIFE
For her role as Julianna Margulies’ haughty boss, Baranski accepts the ”bitch” mantle, but only in the best sense of the word. ”If bitch means a strong woman with a bit of topspin, then yeah…she’s a bitch!” says Baranski. ”There are so many stereotypes about women who, if they are in a position of power, that automatically makes them a bitch.” — Lynette Rice

Katie Cassidy as…
ELLA SIMMS ON MELROSE PLACE
We don’t know who Cassidy hangs out with, but we’re a little bit scared of them, considering they’re the inspiration for Ella, a lying, manipulative publicist with an acid tongue (and, deep down, a loyal heart). ”Ella is a combination of people in my life,” says Cassidy. ”Though sometimes out of nowhere Samantha from Sex and the City will come out of me.” With Heather Locklear joining the cast, does Cassidy worry about being outbitched? Says the actress, channeling her alter ego, ”I wouldn’t worry about Ella.”

Jane Lynch as…
SUE SYLVESTER ON GLEE
Lynch doesn’t just steal scenes as the series’ venomous, politically incorrect cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester — she tears into them with the fervor of a mountain lion dressed in a tracksuit. So whom does the actress visualize when acting so damn nasty? Glenn Close on Damages…and one of her old college professors. ”Sometimes she would do something really evil and just laugh,” remembers Lynch. ”She amused herself with how evil she was. I have that with Sue: She delights in seeing the horror on people’s faces after she says something.” — Tim Stack

Josh Hopkins as…
GRAYSON ELLIS ON COUGAR TOWN
Jules’ (Courteney Cox) mocking Cougar Town neighbor, Grayson (Hopkins), is the human embodiment of the show’s dreaded magnifying mirror: He calls attention to Jules’ insecurities about her fortysomething body, her sex life, and society’s infuriating double standards for men and women. Despite Grayson’s lack of mercy, Hopkins thinks viewers like the guy because he’s often the sole sane voice among a gaggle of unhinged characters. ”He’s a misanthrope, for sure,” he says. ”But not a villain.” — Michael Slezak

Vanessa Williams as…
WILHELMINA SLATER ON UGLY BETTY
A dangerously arched eyebrow. A slicing turn of the heel. A blunt-force quip. These are the weapons magazine editrix Wilhelmina Slater uses to vanquish her enemies and keep her minions in check on Ugly Betty. Williams, who’s earned three Emmy noms for her role, says the key to her character’s delicious treachery is infusing Willy’s tongue-twisting lines with a ”smooth sophistication.” Explains the actress, ”To play Willy as hard, crabby, and crass would be easy, but it would also be grating. Of course, you don’t want to make her completely human, either, or it wouldn’t be any fun.” — Michael Slezak


THEIR BITCHIEST SOUND BITES

”You know, a baby conceived out of wedlock is still a bastard.”
— Angela, to her pregnant and engaged co-worker Pam, on The Office

”I don’t speak skank. Maybe I could find an interpreter.”
— Naomi, to Annie, on 90210

”Is it gonna be like this? Because if it’s gonna be like this, it’s f—ing on, bitch. It’s on!”
— Kristin to Audrina, who accused her of boyfriend theft, on The Hills

”You confuse me with someone with remorse.”
— Damon, to Elena, on The Vampire Diaries

”Put your junk away. Just because it’s British doesn’t make it any less offensive.”
— Ella, to a randy British actor, on Melrose Place

”It is kooky how many women find me attractive….They range in age from 18 all the way up to, like…well, how old are you?”
— Grayson, to Jules, on Cougar Town

”The way you use your mental illness to help these kids is really inspiring. And I’m shocked you’re not married.”
— Sue, to OCD-afflicted counselor Emma, on Glee

”All those face-lifts must have affected your speech. What did you say?”
— Wilhelmina, to nemesis Claire, on Ugly Betty

”She’s a junior associate who doesn’t think she’s a junior associate. Her husband was the state’s attorney…. It’s not just trying to teach an old dog new tricks. It’s trying to teach an entitled dog new tricks.”
— Diane about Margulies’ Alicia, on The Good Wife