Aside from the odd film role, Calista Flockhart stepped out of the limelight after wrapping up Ally McBeal in 2002 to focus on raising her son, Liam.

Then, three years ago, Liam started elementary school and Flockhart went back to work, joining the cast of another network drama, Brothers and Sisters.

She’s been happily part of the ensemble, but now Flockhart finds herself front and centre once again as the new season of the ABC series focuses on her character Kitty’s battle with cancer.

The hardest part of the job? “It’s itchy,” she says, motioning to the wig on her head. “Have you ever worn a wig for a long period of time? I’m going to need Tylenol by the end of the week.”

Not that she takes lightly the duty of depicting such serious subject matter. “As an actress, it’s interesting to explore going through that, but it is a bit intimidating and challenging,” Flockhart admits.

“I’ve had days where I cry a lot and it’s absolutely challenging. I’ve done a lot of research and my life has sort of been all about cancer the last couple of months… It’s a frightening place to be.”

Despite that, Flockhart says she never lets work follow her home. “Work for me is work, and the minute I’m finished with my work, it’s gone,” she says.

“I go home and I’m just me and living my life.” Of course, that must be pretty easy when you’re going home to an adorable third-grader and Harrison Ford.

Depending on the fate of her character, Flockhart says she could get comfortable in the Walker clan. “Who knows what the future will bring,” she says. “When this show is over … we’ll see where my life goes. But I’m not planning on taking another break or doing anything like that.”

And while she’s enjoying the steady life of a TV actress once again, Flockhart’s theatre roots are never far from her thoughts.

“There are a lot of reasons why I decided to take another television show as opposed to doing film or theatre,” she says.

“When it’s the right time for my family, I think I’ll probably end up back in New York doing some plays.”