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Courteney Cox Dishes Dirt on Dirt

Dirt, the FX series starring Courteney Cox as a tough-talking tabloid editor, returns Sunday for its second season. I've already admitted I wasn't a huge fan of the show in its first season, but having checked out the way this season starts, Dirt may have gotten me back. The show seems lighter this year, with more self-contained plots and a few intriguing new characters. I'll write more about the show before Sunday's premiere, but today, I wanted to share some of what Cox had to say about the show in a recent conference call with reporters, where she touched on her own relationship with the paparazzi, how Lucy changes this season, and this season's new approach to celebrity stories. Here are highlights:

  • On why they're going for the ripped-from-the-headlines approach: "We usually do a hybrid of celebrities and then add to the story maybe what happened to cause this to happen to them or sum it up in a different way, just for fun. It’s definitely relatable this year and I think it makes for just a more exciting television show. . . . I think there’s a fine line that the producers, even me as a producer, will take. We don’t ever intend to hurt anyone. And as a matter of fact, sometimes we make the characters sympathetic just by showing our creative version of what their life must be like or how they got to the place where they did something outrageous. It’s all in fun. It’s much lighter this year and it’s funnier, and I don’t think anyone’s going to get upset. And if they do, it wasn’t intentional."

Lots more from Cox, so


  • On keeping the show from being too outrageous: "You would think that that would be a problem, but really, if you just look at any magazine or follow any celebrity that people are fascinated with, they seem to do the outrageous things on their own. We’ll come up with something that we think 'OK, now that’s really shocking,' because we want to make good television, so obviously we want to shock people. But then, lo and behold, it ends up happening or something. Life is outrageous enough."
  • On how being stabbed and nearly dying changes Lucy: "She is ruthless, but she definitely has a different outlook on life. She doesn’t take it quite so seriously. I think she’s a little more appreciative of what she has and . . . she just likes her job more as opposed to needing to tell the truth for some personal reason. It’s more like hey, I’ve got a great job. This is fun. I want to be the best I can be at it. And I think that she’s a little more daring in certain ways, but for a better reason, just for a more fun outlook as opposed to for, like I said before, some personal vendetta against people."
  • On how the relationship between Lucy and Don will change this season: "I think they’re kind of the core of the show, and that relationship is really important. And Don . . . he’s on medication now, so his schizophrenia has been toned way back, and he’s much more in control, which makes him have to look at what he’s do for a living and how far he goes for Lucy. So they’ve kind of reversed roles a little bit. As opposed to her taking care of him, he’s taking care of her more."
  • On whether the show has changed her own perspective on paparazzi and tabloids: "Playing this character and working on this show has definitely shown me how hard it is and how competitive it is. It’s just really hard to run a successful magazine. I get that. And I’ve gotten just how many paparazzi there are out there and how hard it is to get the exclusive picture. So yes, I guess I’ve learned. It doesn’t mean that I agree with it all, and I definitely don’t agree with the obsession on certain celebrities. I understand the fascination, but when it gets obsessive I think it gets dangerous. So I haven’t changed my view, but definitely I’ve learned all sides of it, for sure."

Photos courtesy of FX

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