Natalie Zea Reflects on DIRTY SEXY MONEY - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Natalie Zea Reflects on DIRTY SEXY MONEY

August 9, 2019 by  

Dirty Sexy Money

DIRTY SEXY MONEY season 2 cast. Credit: ABC

In 2007, ABC debuted the delightfully soapy family drama DIRTY SEXY MONEY. The series followed the ultra-wealthy Darling family and their quasi-reluctant lawyer/long-time family friend Nick George (Peter Krause).

DIRTY SEXY MONEY also boasted an incredible cast—Krause, Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh, Natalie Zea, William Baldwin, Glenn Fitzgerald, Seth Gabel, Samaire Armstrong, Zoe McLellan, Blair Underwood, and Lucy Liu—but the writers’ strike cut its first season short. Then, only nine of the second season episodes aired in-season, before the network burned off what would be the final four hours of the series in the summer. (The finale aired a decade ago, on Saturday, August 8, 2009.)

Though the series bounces around on streaming platforms (it’s currently available on ABC’s official site), it has remained beloved…including to those who worked on it.

“That was a huge turning point for me in my career,” Zea, who played the often-married socialite Karen Darling, says. “I struggled to not only get work, but get it in front of anyone. It felt like it was the last hurrah for when network shows were celebrated in a really, really big way. It was right before all shows were created equal. Not too many years before DIRTY SEXY MONEY, people were being given cars as bonuses. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

“We felt very special,” she continues. “We felt that people felt we were special. That doesn’t really happen a lot anymore the way it did then. It was the end of an era. I’m so happy and so pleased I got to be a part of that. And a part of something so fabulous. And I love those people so very much. To this day. I have nothing but incredibly fond memories of working with all of them. I haven’t been that close with a cast since. It has nothing but wonderful memories for me.”

When the series wrapped up, longtime off-on loves Karen and Nick had finally reconciled. But a decade after saying goodbye to Karen, Zea isn’t entirely optimistic about where her character would be now.

“Karen was supposed to be played by a woman considerably older than I was at the time…I think I was probably 32, 33 at the time, and I always thought of Karen as being closer to 40,” she says. “So she’d be approaching 50. God love her, she’s dead! She drank herself to death. I don’t want to think about who she is as this aging socialite. I want her to always be this 35-year-old [entity]…I want her to live in that reality forever and ever.”

“Or we can be cliche and say she met the nice guy and had kids and is living upstate or in the Hamptons,” she adds with a laugh. “It’s one of the two.”

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