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Hart of Dixie - Season 3 - Leila Gerstein Interview

Thanks to Tracie for the heads up.

This summer at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX, I had the pleasure of interviewing “Hart of Dixie” creator/writer/executive producer Leila Gerstein to talk about that little Alabama town that we all know and love, Bluebell. “Hart of Dixie’s” season premiere is Monday, October 7 at 8 pm on CW69.

What was the inspiration for creating the show?

Gerstein: Well, I wanted to do a show about a small town. I was working on “Gossip Girl,” and I kind of was New York City’ed out. I was tired of doing a show about a big city, so I wanted to do a show in the vein of the old WB shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Everwood.” The South was in the news a lot, so I felt that it would be the perfect setting for a big fish out of water story with some romance thrown in.

Who was the first person you cast for the show? Was it Rachel Bilson?

Gerstein: Yes, it was Rachel. We cast her first for the show. I already had a relationship with Rachel from working on “The O.C.” and we signed her up first when we got the go ahead to do the pilot.

Rachel’s character, Dr. Zoe Hart, is one of those characters that you just want to reach through the screen and shake, as she brings a lot of drama to the story-lines. Bilson does a wonderful job bringing a likeability to the character which is so important because in the wrong hands, Zoe could be a character that you could actually hate.

Gerstein: Absolutely. Rachel is amazingly likable, and she is in real life too. Rachel Bilson is one of the most warm-hearted, generous, wonderful people in the world. You can see it in her face and her eyes. She is one of the very few actors out there that is appealing to both men and women. Someone once said to me about her “Men want to sleep with her and women want to be her best friend.” That’s a really rare thing to find, and that’s what you want in your leading lady.

What’s character on the show that you like to write for the most?

Gerstein: We all really enjoy writing the Lemon (Jaime King) / Annabeth (Kaitlyn Black) scenes. Annabeth’s character is going to become a series regular this season, which is very exciting for us. Writing their Southern flavored dialogue and their cute little passive aggressive dynamic are just so much fun to write. Really, all the Belle scenes are fun to write. But, we also had a lot of fun writing for George’s (Scott Porter) character this year because we got to make him the straight man for the show. Scott Porter was amazing this past season. We also really love writing for the Lavon Hayes character (Cress Williams) because the mayor is a really fun character to write for.

So Wade (Wilson Bethel) and Lemon have gone into business together with the Rammer Jammer. Are we going to see romantic sparks between the two? You did mention today at the panel the name for the two characters being together, Lemonade.

Gerstein: I honestly don’t know. I think it’s possible, but we will probably have them stay more like brother and sister with their relationship.

Source: Full Interview @ CWAtlanta

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