Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva returns Sunday night, and with it, guest star Paula Abdul, who’s been known to pop up in Jane’s dreams when she has a crisis with Grayson. And him being in a coma after getting hit by a car and finally calling her “Deb,” the name of his late fiancée whose soul is now in attorney Jane’s body, certainly qualifies. Diva star Brooke Elliott never thought she’d be in bed with Paula Abdul. “Who would?” she jokes. “You know, when you grow up listening to Paula Abdul’s music, and then you’re in bed with her, it’s really surreal. It was a fun scene to do. We just had to get the logistics of both she and I being in there and then Fred [Ben Feldman] joining. You can’t see Fred at first, or it’ll blow the whole thing. It was like, ‘Well, if Ben’s just under the covers, you see the bump. How do you get Ben in the bed?!'”
The premiere finds Jane representing a movie star accused of a hit-and-run whose soon-to-be ex-wife (LeAnn Rimes) decides to testify on his behalf. “We always make a joke on the set to all the guest stars. We’re like, ‘Um, by the way, I always win. It may look like in Act 2 that I’m not going to, but I will. I come through in Act 3 and Act 4. Just when you think you have it, you don’t,'” Elliott says, using her best Deb-in-Jane inflection. The Broadway vet was excited to work with Rimes. ”I told her I used to drive around in my parents’ minivan belting out her songs,” she says. “And then I felt really stupid.'”
Kim (Kate Levering), meanwhile, handles a booty call gone bad in the season opener. Was Elliott sad she didn’t get the booty call case? “You know, I felt okay giving that to Kate because I knew that I was getting the lapdance in episode 3 [at Grayson’s bachelor party], and I thought, ‘Well, it’s not fair for me to get the lapdance and the booty call,'” she laughs. “I thought, ‘I really should give this to Kate.’ I like to share with my fellow actors.”
As Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman has already teased, Grayson’s wedding to Vanessa will move forward and is scheduled for episode 4. (Though, he noted, “I can tell you that it doesn’t end in a way that anybody will expect, or see coming. And that there’s a camel in the episode.”) Jane will try to move on in episode 2 — by dating Grayson’s neurologist, played by recurring guest star Ben Shenkman. “I don’t know if it’s getting him. I think she goes back and forth between, do I push and push to make this thing happen that should’ve happened in my other life, or do I accept that I’m in a different time, a different place, a different body, and a different world, and that maybe my path is supposed to be something different and maybe his is, too,” Elliott says. “I think Jane goes back and forth all the time saying, ‘No, I don’t want to give up!’, and then, ‘But I love him so much that if this is what he wants, then I can’t stand in his way.’ I think it’s this constant struggle that she’s always going through.”
Fore more season 3 scoop, read our interview with Berman.