The ''Party of Five'' guest star tells EW Online that the pair's girl-on-girl action was more sweet than scandalous

By Sandra P. Angulo
Updated May 05, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Credit: Art Streiber
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Wednesday, in one of the most anticipated sweeps episodes of the TV season, blond beauty Olivia D’Abo kissed Neve Campbell on ”Party of Five.” D’Abo — who is best-known for portraying the ultra-liberal older sister, Karen, on ”The Wonder Years” from 1988-1994 — plays lesbian author Perry Marks, Julia’s writers workshop teacher, who takes the impressionable Salinger under her literary wing — leading to the inevitable Sapphic moment. But for all those male comedians who’d been hamming it up, waiting for some girl-on-girl titillation, D’Abo has some disappointing news. ”It was a very strategically choreographed kiss,” she tells EW Online about the 10 takes required for the scene. ”It’s sweet and innocent — not what I would call ‘hot.”’

For D’Abo, 32, playing Perry meant a chance to keep her real-life British accent instead of disguising it. (D’Abo’s family moved to America from England more than 20 years ago). ”The creators wanted Perry to be really worldly and different from the other characters on the show,” D’Abo explains. Another perk of her three-episode run (which ends next week) was simply being on the set, since several members of the creative team had worked with her on ”Wonder Years.” ”It seems I can’t get away from that show, but it’s a good thing,” she says. ”I got called in to meet with the producer, who was one of the ‘Wonder Years’ producers, so I walk in and there are all these familiar writers (from ‘Wonder Years’). It was deja vu.”

This time around, however, D’Abo’s character is no longer a teenage hippie, but an emotionally-withdrawn author: ”My character complements Julia, who’s always confrontational and emotional. For Perry, it’s all in her writing. She’s socially inept.” But you shouldn’t confuse Perry with the actress who plays her. ”I’m much more like Julia, in-your-face with my feelings,” says D’Abo.

As for the much-hyped smooch, it wasn’t the most relaxed on-camera experience: ”There was all this pressure, because there were so many little marks we had to hit. They’d say ‘This needs to happen. That needs to happen. Hesitation, pull back, and then … go in for the kiss.”’ Hey, who ever said true love came easy?

Party of Five

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