‘Desperate’ delivers on eccentricity

Worthy of attention: Marcia Cross

Best part about working in TV? “The family atmosphere: You just become this big family and you work together and take care of each other. I love being part of that.”

Hardest part about working in TV? “The hours. The literal amount of hours that you need to put in.”

Favorite scene this past season? “It’s hard to say since there’s been so many.”

TiVo season passes? “Lost,” “Real Time With Bill Maher,” “Boston Legal”

Bree Van De Kamp, who out-Stepfords “The Stepford Wives” on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” frightens a lot of people, even the actress who plays her.

“Honestly, she scared me to death,” says Marcia Cross, who went in to audition for the role of deceased narrator Mary Alice but was asked to read for Bree. “And you know, I guess I had it in me to do it, but it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Although Cross has earned critical appreciation and a passionate fan base, the thesp thought what she brought to the character’s physical and emotional maturation might not fly with Marc Cherry, the show’s creator, originally intention.

“It’s making strong choices, whether it’s her hair or how uptight she is at times.”

Ah, the hair — that perfect flip, the bounce, the shine, the gorgeous color. It’s Bree styled into tonsorial perfection.

Cross took her cue from a line in the pilot, when Bree’s hubby, Rex, comments that her hair never moves. “It was this one line that I just ran with it,” says Cross, laughing.

The clothing also helps Cross transform into Bree’s persona.

“I can’t wait to take the pantyhose off at the end of the day,” laughs Cross, “All the girls tease me because I’m there in pantyhose, but there’s something about (the hose) that make you feel a certain way.” Indeed.

Cherry’s accessibility to the cast obviously helps in the creative process onset. “Every time I think I can’t play a scene and I say, ‘Marc, I can’t do this. Who’d do this?,’ he’d come on set and say, ‘Well, when my mother …,’ ” Cross says, dissolving into laughter. “Well, I’m sunk, I have no argument, right? I just have to do it.

“I don’t think it was an easy part to cast. I’m not saying that I don’t think other people could have done it, but … it’s something that really has to develop.”

Despite all the attention the series has been receiving and the disruption of the actresses’ personal lives, Cross says the show’s success outweighs any negatives.

“We are having the times of our lives. Sometimes I feel like I’m friends with the coolest girls in high school.”

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