Evelyn Powell started off Lifetime’s “Devious Maids” as a frosty, upper crust Beverly Hills housewife, who was more upset about the stain of blood on her carpet than a murder in her house. But recently, things have changed for the character played by actress Rebecca Wisocky.
Just a week ago, fans of the show (from Executive Producers Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria) found out that Evelyn is still grieving the loss of her son, who died many years ago and whose death, her husband, Adrian Powell (Tom Irwin), suggested was her fault.
Turns out, she’s also in a marriage as frosty as her usual behavior, and another man she has real feelings for (who happens to be getting divorced), was recently swept up (unknowingly) in Adrian’s dirty prostitution ring.
AccessHollywood.com caught up with Rebecca about playing the character who is both devious and delicious, and the redheaded star hinted at what’s to come.
AccessHollywood.com: Did you know from the beginning that Evelyn had this horribly sad backstory?
Rebecca Wisocky: I certainly suspected that that much armor was concealing a whole lot of pain and it turned out it certainly was. I didn’t know exactly that storyline from the get go, but I suspected as much. You don’t create a character that is that cold and cruel and ignorant and blind without suggesting that she is all those things for a reason and I think you’ll find our more about that and that relationship certainly.
Access: Was it hard to film the revelation scene where Evelyn and Adrian talk about how they lost their son and how bad their marriage really is?
Rebecca: I think it’s a beautifully crafted scene and it was directed really well by David Warren and written really well by Marc and, I’ll say that Tom Irwin is one of the best scene partners that I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and we really — we speak the same language and we’ve got great chemistry and really wanted the same things and wanted to bring the same sensitivity to the scene. We knew how important it was to explain a lot about how they are why the way they are, both in the world and to one another.
Access: Adrian is so creepy! Does Tom just turn a switch and bring that character out?
Rebecca: It’s worth noting that Tom Irwin is one of the nicest, most likable guys that I’ve ever been around, so yeah, I think he enjoys tapping into that side. It’s fun to play the villain, it’s fun to play these kind of characters, especially when you know that there’s a lot more complexity underneath and I think as character actors, both of us don’t mind being unlikable or unattractive for a while, until the screw turns.
Access: Now that that the secret is out, will we get to see more of the heart of this woman who isn’t just this horribly mean lady?
Rebecca: Well, yeah, but make no mistake, she still is kind of ridiculous and blind to a lot of things and that blindness is very dangerous when coupled with great privilege. I think that’s one of the things that the show is kind of doing a very good job with, so I think you see why the she is [the way she is], but she still is riddled with problematic behaviors, I’ll say that.
Access: And she’s got a crush on a handsome guy who is getting a divorce. Should we follow that line? Is that going to go somewhere?
Rebecca: I think you should definitely be interested in Evelyn’s loneliness and heartbreak and whether or not she ends up finding her way back to a love with her husband or someone else, I think is of interest (laughs). I think by the end of this season, the love story between Adrian and Evelyn, while very twisted, will be enjoyable and satisfying to watch that play out, however it resolves itself, if it even does. You’ll go on a great journey with these two and I feel very lucky to be in that partnership and to be playing the character opposite Tom.
Access: Adrian has his eye on Ana Ortiz’s character, Marisol, and is a little suspicious of her. Do you think Evelyn is too? Marisol is donating all her free time to clean their house.
Rebecca: I think it’s one of things that’s very interesting about the show. The spine of the show is certainly these five women who spend much of their lives working amongst the privileged and the depraved of Beverly Hills and it’s a common theme that we take their presence in our homes and in our lives for granted and making someone invisible is both cruel and very foolish, because they know everything about you.
Access: Can they become allies? Marisol clearly has Adrian’s number. Can you see a kinship between these two women?
Rebecca: I think you see a little spark there when I’m interested in her relationship with her son. The idea of children and being around children is certainly very fraught and very complicated for Evelyn and you are going to see a little more of that throughout the season. She will be forced to be in the same room with a small child.
Access: Have you met people like this woman in your real life?
Rebecca: I think my comment about blindness and privilege says a lot and I think all of these characters are a little bit outside, of course. So have I met someone like her? No, but have I been fascinated by playing Patrician, misunderstood bitches? I’ve played a lot of them. So yeah, I’m very fascinated with that kind of character. It’s the kind of character that Marc Cherry writes really, really well, so I feel very lucky and I’m having a blast for sure.
Access: Will we figure out who was really behind the murder by the end of the season?
Rebecca: Yes, you will find out who killed Flora and I have to say this whole, ‘Who killed Flora?’ business online, I think I have the most votes, which I’m personally offended by (laughs). … It’s a general vote of confidence for my capacity for darkness and evil, I guess, which maybe I should be flattered.
“Devious Maids” airs Sundays at 10/9c on Lifetime.
-- Jolie Lash