If this whole acting thing doesn't work out for Sarah Shahi, the star of USA's "Fairly Legal," she's got a backup plan ready to go.
"A couple years ago, I helped give birth to my manager's baby," says the actress, who herself opted for a water birth when it came time to deliver her own son. "To be able to see the miracle of life that up close and personal, I felt such a rush of emotions and I got such a high from it. I called my husband and I was like, 'I think I'm in the wrong field. I think my calling is to become a midwife.' I just felt so fulfilled in that moment. Maybe I am doing the wrong thing, but who knows? Maybe I'll be an acting midwife."
For now, at least, it's the acting part that's coming first: Season Two of "Fairly Legal," in which Shahi plays Kate Reed, a San Francisco lawyer-turned-mediator, is in full swing. The actress dished to us about the challenges Kate faces in the second season -- including a love triangle that even she admits she doesn't know the outcome.
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"We're gonna take all of Kate's security blankets away," she says. "We're gonna make her uncomfortable this year. She's gonna be homeless. We're gonna take [her ex] Justin away and then we're gonna introduce a new guy who Kate would rather have surgery in her eye than be with, and then she's gonna end up falling in love with him."
The show will also welcome guest star Meat Loaf ("He likes to be called 'Meat,'" she says) as a union worker heading up a strike.
"He was very nice. He said that he watched Season 1 and I was a big reason of why he came onboard for the show. He liked me and wanted to work with me. It was pretty surreal."
'One of the most honest characters'
For Shahi, the role of a strong, feminine lead on prime time "is just wonderful." And, she tells us, she shares more than looks with Kate.
"We're both very feisty, loud and outspoken, and like to drink and flirt. But she has this quality about her that is very childish, and she can rub a lot of people the wrong way. She doesn't really realize sometimes her unstructured behavior doesn't really work in a very structured world, or the best intentions create consequences, so she can be selfish in that respect. But that's also part of why I like her so much -- her flaws. She's the one of the most honest characters I've ever played. You want to kiss her one minute and then punch her the next."