Perception Q&A: Rachael Leigh Cook on Donnie/Kate Confrontation, Potential She's All That Reunion

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Kate and Donnie seem to be headed for major trouble on the Perception Season 3 summer finale.

I recently spoke with Rachael Leigh Cook about the Kate and Donnie relationship... dealing with his new and attractive campaign manager... and a possible future relationship with Daniel. And might there be a She's All That reunion on the horizon?

Read on for excerpts from the interview...

In a Sniper's Crosshairs - Perception

Kate and Donnie’s relationship has amped up for Perception Season 3. Were you surprised that your character was engaged at the start of the season, and in Paris?

I was especially excited about the Paris part. I think we were all surprised to see the very sudden Kate/Donnie engagement turn of events. I was probably surprised as anyone, but those two crazy kids have thrown themselves back into it. I think they are two people who don’t like to look at the past, or maybe their real issues, and they are just diving in. I think it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

Do you think Kate shying away more recently stems from Donnie’s past affairs or her desires to put work first?

I think it’s absolutely both. She’s someone who cannot and does not know how to deprioritize her career for anyone or anything. And yes I think she still has her misgivings about his dalliances in the past, but he really saved her hide in [Perception Season 2] when she was in some really hot water. So for all intents and purposes, he redeemed himself. She’s decided to look the other way and just go for it again.

Do you think Donnie’s career shift and the introduction of another woman throws another problem into their relationship?

Kate is beyond threatened by her. She is not good at fighting her feelings, and she does not appreciate one bit the highly skilled, absurdly attractive campaign manager who has taken such an interest in her husband. She would rather she be anywhere but close to him.

Kate and Donnie have kind of danced around their issues. Will their be an honest conservation between the two in the summer finale?

It’s about time those two had an honest conversation. It doesn’t seem like that’s happened yet, that’s for sure. They are people who are blinded by wanting to see things in the best version that they can be. They are not very good at taking an honest look at the past or what the future could hold. It’s a fault they both have, clearly. They will probably pay the price for that one way or another, but that’s life I guess.

Would you say there’s maybe still hope for fans who want to see Kate and Daniel together?

I would definitely say there is still hope for fans who are interested in that relationship happening. Their professional relationship is still very strong, and they are both truly learners. So whether they realize it or not, they are incredibly important to each other. That is only going to become more obvious to both of them. So yeah, I think it’s definitely possible, but what shape that takes, you’ll have to ask the writers.

Donnie and Moretti

Have you had any different approaches to playing Kate now that you’ve had time to really get into the character?

I feel like [Perception Season 1], I was playing a side of Kate that was trying to walk around with heavy footsteps and command as much respect as possible, you know, in my tiny form, and try and do it all. And in the second season, her personal side of who she is, I think I pulled back and let the character breathe and sort of let part of who I am partially back in there. And third season, I don’t know. I think there have been so many high powered cases that I probably brought back the hard headed, tough talking Kate, all while melding in parts of myself. I hope it all seems cohesive by the time it ends up on screen.

Will you get a case where Kate really gets to one up Daniel?

I love that you noticed that because whenever I do something that actually solves the case, that’s a really big day. Will I ever get to solve a case as the FBI agent on the show? I think the answer is probably a solid maybe.

I mean [Daniel] definitely gets it wrong several times before we get to the end. But yeah, he ultimately deserves the props for getting us there, eventually.

What was it like having LeVar Burton direct Perception Season 3 Episode 9 and Perception Season 3 Episode 10?

LeVar was amazing, and so was Eric [McCormack for his directing Perception Season 3 Episode 2]. I love working for both of them. Working for an actor who truly has your back during a performance and allowing you to say what you want to say and play things out the way you’ve wanted to is great. LeVar was really supportive and playful and fun. That guy has so much energy. He and Eric are absolutely my favorite directors this season.

What can you tease about the summer finale?

This one is definitely a cliffhanger, and the episode will absolutely have those who both love or hate Scott [Wolf’s character Donnie] cheering at one point or another.

And do you ever think we might get to see a She’s All That reunion on Perception with you and Freddie Prinze Jr.?

I would love that! I would so love that. I would love to see him again.

The summer finale of Perception airs 10/9c tonight on TNT.

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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