Practice Makes Perfect
By Dennis Hensley

(This article was published in the Sept '99 issue of Cosmopolitan on p. 238. It is copyright protected and no copyright infringement is intended by this duplication. This is for entertainment purposes only.)

Kelli Williams makes the case for threesomes, kissing Dylan McDermott, and why keeping order in the court isn't so easy.

According to Kelli Williams, her hit series, The Practice, is one of those shows that gets people talking - sometimes at inopportune times. "It's weird when you're in the dentist chair and you're asked about your castmates," says the 29-year-old actress, who plays the ardent attorney Lindsay Dole on the Emmy-winning drama. "Meanwhile, your mouth is wide open and you can't talk."

And what's the most commonly asked question? "What's it like to kiss Dylan McDermott?" Williams says instantly, referring to the impossibly handsome actor who plays Bobby Donnell, her colleague and current love interest on the show. So, what is it like? "He's a good kisser, sure," admits Williams, "but not as good as my husband." An appropriate answer, considering Williams has been happily married to writer Ajay Sahgal for three years and the couple has a year-and-a-half-old son, Kiran.

Last year Lindsay and Bobby rubbed more than just briefcases, a situation complicated by the fact that Lindsay's roommate is Bobby's ex-lover, Helen (played by Lara Flynn Boyle). Are we sure this isn't some plan cooked up to let Bobby have both gorgeous ladies at once? "We keep joking about that," laughs Williams. "There was one line from the script where Lara says, 'You remember our experimental days in college?' and I was like, Oh no, where is this leading? I guess we'll see."

Famous Friends and Food Fights
Given her background, it's not suprising Williams ended up on a hit TV show. She grew up in Bel Air, California, across the street from Sonny and Cher ("Chastity hit me in the eye once with a softball").

Williams' acting fever kicked in as a student at Beverly Hills High School, where she played Juliet to a surfer dude Romeo (General Hospital's Steve Burton) and occasionally gave co-thespian Monica Lewinsky rides home from rehearsal.

While Lewinsky incorporated her flair for drama into her real life, Williams saved hers for the screen, landing small parts on Law & Order and Party of Five before landing her big break on The Practice. And while she loves the intensity of playing a serious lawyer, her favorite part of the job is when she gets to goof off a little - like last season's catfight with Camryn Manheim's character and the whipped-cream battle between Lindsay and Helen. "I was so nice to Lara with the whipped cream. I didn't get her that badly at all - only on her clothes - but then she got me all over the face. We had a blast," she says.

And while she had fun with the whipped cream, she admits there's an entirely different food experience that bothers her. "I always think I have food in my teeth," she says. "I actually had food in my teeth at my wedding. My husband told me afterward. He said that any time he thought he was going to start crying, he'd think, Don't cry. Look at the food."

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