Since the '80s, Kelly Lynch has been the kind of beautiful actress who knows how to be taken seriously. The same year she popped up in a ridiculous Patrick Swayze sex scene in "Road House," she delivered a stunning turn in Gus Van Sant's junkie saga "Drugstore Cowboy." Since then she's jumped back and forth between blockbusters and smaller, more character-driven work. She's sometimes done that with her husband, producer, writer and director Mitch Glazer. The two reunite for the second season of "Magic City," airing Fridays on Starz, in which she plays the increasingly involved former sister-in-law of '50s Miami hotelier Ike (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
A lot of film actors are gravitating toward television these days.
Our whole cast off-duty makes movies. And we all come from movies. A lot of movies are either $1 million things that you hope will be really cool, or they’re giant cartoons. Storytelling, like in the great ‘70s movies like “The Godfather” — those aren’t made anymore. Those are now TV shows on cable.
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What’s it like not always knowing where your character will wind up versus a film, where there’s a definite ending?
In a film you’re stuck with a script. Television is open-ended. You never know who’s going to live, who’s going to die. I live with [Glazer], and until we get the scripts, I have no clue what’s going on. Some of them have been shocking. I love that element of surprise. It keeps me very nimble as an actor. It’s different than any way I’ve worked.
How do you work with your fellow actors?
The more a group of actors feels like a family to me, the safer I feel. If I go to a place with another person as a character, there’s a foundation of friendship and respect that’s really helpful. The fact that we all love each other helps. Mitch put this group together. Everyone makes me better.
What about working with your husband?
At home he’s my husband. At work he’s my boss. It’s a very weird dynamic. It first happened years ago that we had a chance to work together [on 1993’s “Three of Hearts”]. Both of us were driving to work, and one of us went, “Oh, we’ll be working together.”
Some film actors are amazed at how quick television shooting is.
I always felt as an actor if I didn’t have it by the third take I was in trouble. I did a pretty big movie with an actor who did 56 takes, during a shot where I had to cry. He was trying to get to a place, and by the end of it I looked like a raccoon or a squirrel, a monster. Shooting fast, it separates the grown-ups from the little kids. You just have to do it. You don’t have that safety net [on TV] where you can reshoot or come back. Movies shoot three pages a day. We can shoot 12, easily. It probably doesn’t sound like much, but it’s daunting.