Amanda Peet and David Walton are going head to head on the new NBC series Bent. On the show, Peet plays Alex, a high-powered lawyer and single who hires Pete (Walton), a flighty and womanizing contractor to remodel her Venice Beach home. We talked to both the stars about the real-life misery of home repairs, parenting strategies, and the show’s classic “odd couple” story.
DivineCaroline: Amanda, what attracted you to the role of Alex?
Amanda Peet: I love the idea that Alex is a single mom trying to recover from an unfortunate situation with her ex-husband who was involved in securities fraud. Add to that, she has a ten-year-old daughter and is forced to start over and find stability in her life. I also like how Alex is incredibly attracted to this bad-boy character who I know she can’t stand. See why she is fun to play? Once we got David Walton, needless to say I was smitten.
DC: Amanda, when you were single, were you attracted to the bad-boy type?
AP: Yes of course I was. I wasted so much time on the wrong guys.
DC: David, you play a contractor. Are you handy around the house in real life?
David Walton: Absolutely not! I did however once put a dimmer [switch] in, which—believe it or not—actually works most of the time.
DC: So no experience with a hammer and nails?
DW: I did construction when I was sixteen years old, which was more like dumpster consolidation. I got disenchanted by the whole experience.
DC: Have you ever worked with a contractor?
DW: I am actually redoing my apartment right now. It has actually helped me in terms of research for season two, which will help me be a much better contractor.
DC: How would you describe the experience?
DW: Right now it is horribly bad. I can’t name names because we are in a lawsuit. Kidding! No, but I am really building a house. The problem is there are so many pieces that need to come together and nobody is responsible to the other person. It is a nightmare.
DC: How awful for you!
DW: That is why the kitchen my character Pete is redoing for Alex is going to take five seasons, which is about the time it takes us to get into syndication.
DC: Is there any sexual tension between Alex and Pete?
DW: If there was no sexual tension we would be canceled after the first episode.
AP: We are hoping that is what’s happening on the show.
DW: Let’s put it this way, the second they shake hands you know something is going on.
DC: It is spring after all, so could a romance blossom?
DW: You will be watching a great love dance unfold.
DC: Amanda, why is Pete good for Alex?
AP: I don’t know Pete is really good for Alex. She is dating a heart surgeon who is really stable, lovely and seems to care about her. The thing about Pete is he is really cocky and a total bad boy. I don’t think they are well suited for each other.
AP: Their lifestyles and where they are in their lives are totally different. However, those tend to be the fieriest types of attractions in life.
DC: David, why is Alex good for Pete?
DW: Pete’s life is in shambles. He is a gambling addict and his construction crew hates him because he sold a van on craigslist to keep gambling—
AP: And he sleeps with my nanny.
DW: Yeah, Pete sleeps with a lot of people.
AP: You sleep with her five seconds after I hire you. The question is, why don’t I fire him?
DC: Why don’t you?
AP: Because I can’t. He is too irresistible.
DW: Animal attraction!
DC: Amanda, do you catch them in the act?
AP: You will have to watch and find out. (laughs) Let’s just say a line has been crossed.
DC: David you play a real ladies man on this series. Does art imitate life?
AP: I will answer for him—yes! Now he is married to a beautiful woman who is both lovely and gorgeous.
DC: You also share the screen with TV icon Jeffrey Tambor.
AP: We worship the ground he walks on. Truly worship him. We want to mow his lawn, at least I do. I will even do his grocery shopping because I always want to be near him.
DC: Amanda, you are also a mom in real life. Does this make you more selective about the parts you choose?
AP: I am more careful about location. I don’t want to go away from my kids. I mean, it is okay to do things with adult content because they won’t see them until they are older. To me quality is more important than anything else.
DC: Would you let your daughters follow in your footsteps?
AP: I think I would do what my parents did.
DC: Which was?
AP: Go to college or else. Then you are on your own!
Bent airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC