In the final minutes of last night’s Nip/Tuck, Kimber took a suicidal dive into the ocean, leaving her fate uncertain. Will she be picked up by a fishing boat? Wake up and ask for a margarita? Or is our favorite dysfunctional bombshell really a goner? SPOILER ALERT: She’s dead. The first step in the grieving process is denial. The second is reading a Q&A with the dearly departed character’s portrayer — in this case, Kelly Carlson. The actress dished to EW.com’s Sandra Gonzalez exclusive deets about Kimber’s death, TV mom Melanie Griffith, and the end of Nip/Tuck.
A decoy script was passed around that had Kimber surviving the jump. How did you find out that she was actually dead?
KELLY CARLSON: One of our writers told me. The truth is that Kimber was just supposed to be in the first episode, so this character wasn’t completely created before I got there. We all did it together. So Kimber is very close to my heart because I feel so responsible for creating her – just as much as anyone else. But truthfully, the show is ending, so I was totally fine (Laughs). But it’s still sad because I love her, and that character is very special to me.
What do you think led to Kimber’s demise?
CARLSON: Kimber lets men define her. That explains a lot of her bad, bad choices. Christian or some guy is always defining her as a person. And when all the men are gone, she has to be gone. There’s no more story for her if the men aren’t there.
Did you think it was an appropriate ending?
CARLSON: I think Kimber would absolutely have a tragic ending. Everything she does is tragic and also very predictable. She just never learns from her mistakes; it’s like Groundhog Day with her, and it ends up being kind of funny sometimes. I think she died a little too soon, but with that said, it’s not the end of seeing her. Kimber will still be there.
I heard rumors about that. Care to elaborate?
CARLSON: She does come back, and kind of in Nip/Tuck style. Christian always has hauntings, right? So Kimber will come back as his subconscious really.
How do Christian and Sean react to her death?
CARLSON: I wasn’t so concerned about Kimber and Sean because that’s just one of the affairs that always happens on Nip/Tuck. But with Christian, I know it deeply disturbed him, and he had some regrets. You’ll see him go through that process. And then the storyline immediately following with Melanie Griffith as my mother – I don’t know if I can say, but I’m telling you – he has an affair with her to find closure with Kimber. Kind of like a forgiveness coming from her mother.
What do you think of the casting of Melanie as your mom?
CARLSON: It’s perfect because Melanie has this very demure softness to her. But at the same time, she’s a tough person underneath it all. And I see myself — not as demure — but something like that. And there’s a lot of me in Kimber. So I thought she was absolutely an appropriate cast for her.
Have you read the ending of Nip/Tuck? Will fans be satisfied?
CARLSON: Yes. The very last scene — I can’t describe it — but the very last scene is great for me. It rounds out the show. I hope the audience will be satisfied. For me as an actor, it went start to finish and ended in a great place.
Reflection time: What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to do during the course of the show?
CARLSON: I would have to give you like a top ten. I don’t know that I could pick one. I mean, wearing the fat suit and doing a sex scene was pretty nuts. It was a short scene, but a grueling process.
Last thoughts on Kimber?
CARLSON: I know this is my last interview for Kimber (Laughs). So that’s bittersweet. I just loved playing her, and I hope to find a character as equally dynamic as her one day. But I dyed my hair black to put her to bed.
CARLSON: I did. Because no matter where I go, I look like Kimber, right? So I can’t really bring it to other shows. So, I dyed my hair dark, dark brown. That was sort of my, ‘Okay, Kimber. I love you. Goodbye.’