If you miss hearing this every Sunday night before being engulfed in all the scandalous drama of Wisteria Lane, join the club. This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the Desperate Housewives premiere, one of the sexiest, most iconic guilty pleasures in TV history. VH1 reminisced with America’s dream husband Mike Delfino (James Denton) and lovable loon Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) about the series and what made it so juicy, on and off set.
Delany (Hand of God, The Comedians) and Denton reveal who was the biggest ladies’ man on set (was it Jesse Metcalfe or Josh Henderson?) and scenes they shot that were too naughty to air. It’s clear they just as much fun shooting with the cast — Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross — as we did watching. Until our prayers of a Desperate Housewives reboot are answered, here are some things about the beloved series that you didn’t know.
1. Bree and Katherine were possible love interests… sort of.
Well, in Delany’s mind anyway. The actress tells VH1 another scenario she had dreamed up for Katherine’s happily ever after: “I really thought that Bree and Katherine should be together. I really did. I felt like they were two sides of the same coin and there was a lot of shipping going on about those two and I think it would of worked. I think it would of been one of those relationships with women in their older years going ’Oh it was you all along!’ Why not?”
2. James Denton actually made Teri Hatcher blush after the iconic bush scene.
When we saw the naked, accident-prone Susan (Hatcher) fall into the bushes only to be caught by her love interest Mike (Denton), we were immediately hooked. Denton tells us the episode three scene holds a special place in his heart as well: “Believe it or not, that’s not why it was my favorite episode. Susan and I walked across the street and it was their first date and she says: ’Thanks for being such a gentleman, when I was outside naked you know’ and I say something like, ’You know I had to be honest I did take a peek and for what it’s worth WOW’ and walked away and she just literally blushed in the scene. It was really, really great.”
3. Felicity Huffman and Marc Cherry threw the best parties.
What did the cast do when they weren’t on their hectic shooting schedules? Delany gives us the scoop: “I’ve gone to Felicity’s house a few times to play charades. She really is a killer charades person — really good at it! Mark is a great entertainer. He has crazy, good parties at his house!”
4. An (almost) nude sex scene with Mike and Katherine didn’t make it to air.
Denton and Delany both make it clear that their respect for one another and real life chemistry is what made shooting their short-lived romance so enjoyable. Almost a little too much, according to Denton:
Dana and I were in Bree’s kitchen completely doing it on the kitchen counter and we shot it almost completely naked — like, with very, very little clothes on — because they wanted it to look like we had nothing on. Those scenes are so important because it depends who you do it with and how comfortable you are with each other. We had so much fun shooting it — it was really, really hot and great and everybody loved it, and it was just too much for ABC. It was supposed to be black and white in the security camera, you know kind of grainy. They didn’t use it, which was really a bummer. I thought they might find a way to make it blurry enough to use, but they never did. That would have certainly gotten a lot of reaction because we didn’t do a whole lot of that.
5. The show was mistaken for a reality series at first.
Even before The Real Housewives existed, Denton had mistaken the series for a reality show: “I didn’t even read it, I let it sit on my desk for a week and finally my manager was like, ’Read it.’” Ever since, The Real Housewives franchise has BLOWN up. With so many commonalities between his 2004 scripted series and the Bravo reality stalwart (which began in 2006), it’s likely some of their on-screen antics may have been inspired by Cherry’s series. Delany agrees:
I’m amazed that Marc doesn’t get some royalties for that! Desperate Housewives started that whole industry which is all over the world now. What cracks me up is the way the people dress and look because that is kind of what we did on our show! It was very colorful you know and a lot of big hair and [being] very conscious of your makeup and your figure and high heels. I mean, I’ve never worn such high heels before I was on [the show] and I was the housewife that didn’t really get that dressed up except on occasion, but yeah you realize, wow this is a look that has been set now for the world which you know, for better or for worse. I get that Bree character completely. If you’re from Connecticut, you understand! I mean, I know a lot of women like that.
6. Josh Henderson was the on-set flirt.
But are you really that surprised? As far as the show’s other young hunk Jesse Metcalfe… oddly, not so much. “[Josh] came in for a little while and you knew he was there. I mean that in a good and positive way — young and dreamy and kind of just breaking in,” Denton said. “Jesse kind of kept to himself — [he] got off the show pretty quickly. They were kind of young and hip. Josh is definitely a flirt, but in a good way.”
7. Mike Delfino and James Denton are basically the same person.
Denton is just a simple guy who knows his way with a wrench: “You know [Mike] was a real blue-collar guy with a dog and a pick-up truck and that’s me exactly. He’s kind of a handy man guy who knows if he was even a plumber or not, we don’t know, but I do all that stuff myself. I’m always building something, working on something around the house. So aside from the pain killer addiction and cop killing thing, we’re pretty much alike.”
8. Desperate Housewives is really just a Shakespearean drama.
If you felt like the show’s themes and dark comedy were familiar, this may be why: “Shakespeare is very elastic in that you can be as broad as you want and it can support a lot of big emotions, but you can also be subtle and I felt that way about Desperate Housewives,” Delany said. “You could really be kind of outrageous but you could also be real at the same time, so I really enjoyed the work.”
9. James Denton was happy to be killed off.
Denton tells us Marc approached him in a “gentlemanly” manner when show writers determined they wanted to kill a character off before audiences expected it in the season’s last few episodes:
I said I think it would be great to go out with, I don’t want to say with a bang, but with a good send off, because Tom and Carlos just faded away and Mike got to have this big, really great death scene with a great montage of his life flashing before his eyes. And also the producer had to pay me anyway so it worked out great for me so when people say “God I’m so sorry,” I just kind of chuckle and I appreciate it, but it really worked out perfectly for me.
[Photo Credit: ABC/Bravo]