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Meet 'Deception' Star Katherine LaNasa

Ever wondered if you’re a controlling mom? Then check out Sofia Bowers, the super-manipulative mama on NBC’s spicy primetime drama, Deception (Mondays, 10pm/9c) and you’ll feel better. The show centers around the mysterious death of Sofia's stepdaughter, Vivian Bowers, a party girl from a wealthy, powerful and highly dysfunctional family. Joanna Locasto, a detective and Vivian’s estranged best friend, reconnects with the family and goes undercover to investigate the drama.

mom.me recently caught up with Katherine LaNasa, who plays the evil Sofia, to hear about how being a mom in real life helped her get into character as the mom of Mia (played by Ella Rae Peck) the surviving Bowers heiress.

On tapping her mom guilt:

"At 22, Ella is just a week younger than my own child [Henry Hopper, her son with former husband, the late Dennis Hopper]. One of the hard things about playing Sofia is that it’s all so dark; everything is coming from secretive place where there is a lot of remorse. But honestly, I think that most mothers feel that they’ve screwed something up, you know? So I can pull up that part of myself."

On the flip side of Sofia—who can also be loving:

“It’s very easy to feel loving and affectionate around Ella Rae in the scenes, and that comes from being a mother. There is nothing as strong as a mother’s love; it’s a primal thing. I don’t think it has anything to do with virtuosity; I think it’s very animal.”

On her inspiration for Sofia:

“Mildred Pierce! I don’t know if my character is the mother or the daughter, she’s sort of both. Barbara Stanwick, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis are also great inspirations.”

On real life mothering:

“Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. You have to know your kid and what is right for them. I have a son with a very high IQ who had a lot of really valid learning disabilities, and that can be a hard kid to educate. [In retrospect], I would probably let more go. I thought that I had to shape my kid into something, probably more than I needed to, and he turned out just fine. For me there was a lot of pressure from the school to have him be a certain way, which then makes you feel like you are doing something wrong.”

On instilling good manners:

“I showed Henry a move that this older gentleman did to me once. We were walking and then he pulled this swicheroo where he had me walking on the inside, away from the sidewalk, and he had looped his arm through mine; so I taught this to my son. He said, ‘Mom, that’s the best move you ever taught me; I look totally cool, I look like a gentleman, and then I’ve got her arm and arm.’ He worked it all out!”

As for how it’s all going to work out on Deception, all LaNasa would say only this: “Whosie whatsit shows up and does some business and mystery ensues!”

Works for us; we’ll be watching.

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