Diarra Kilpatrick made a small but significant change to the Perry Mason script (Exclusive)
In episode 7 of Perry Mason Season 2, Clara Drake decides to help her husband Paul - who is overwhelmed with the ongoing investigation - with his work. In the process, she gets more than what she bargained for when she comes across an intoxicated Constance (Andrea Gabriel).
Actor Diarra Kilpatrick, who plays Clara, really relished her role and told SK POP about a small change that she made to the script based on her experiences.
She also discussed her incredible chemistry with Chris Chalk, who plays her husband, ace investigator Paul Drake, on the show. And finally, why the language of the 1930s did not make her uncomfortable.
What is the secret to Kilpatrick's chemistry with her Perry Mason co-star Chris Chalk?
In Perry Mason Season 2, the ongoing case takes a toll on Paul Drake. This causes a rift in his marriage with his wife Clara. In reality, Kilpatrick was delighted to work with Chris Chalk again, after starring in a movie together a few years ago:
"We had a great time and I didn’t see him again for years. So, it was just nice. We had that sort of foundation and our chemistry has certainly benefited from it. But, we were able to really dig into these people together."
According to the Twilight Zone star, what made the couple so great on-screen is the fact that they are both happily married:
"I think we’re also both married in really beautiful marriages ourselves. And I really think we know what it is to be married. What it is to have somebody else’s back. And so, it’s really nice to work with someone like that."
While Perry Mason maintains the whodunit legacy of the original books and series, there are themes like racism that are explored in the HBO rendition.
Addressing the same, Kilpatrick claimed she did not feel uncomfortable with the language used in some of the scenes:
"I think it’s important that we honor the historical accuracy. I don’t think we should sanitize what that time was like. I think there’s only so much people can take. That’s true. But I think it’s important to honor it."
That said, she made a small but significant change in Perry Mason Season 2 Episode 7, where her character comes across Constance going into convulsions right in front of her. She elaborated thus:
"That was a really interesting scene because as scripted initially Clara went up to her and removed a needle from her arm. And I remember saying that as a black woman today, if I rolled up on a white woman that was going through that, I don’t think I would touch her. I think that my fear for my own safety and well being and having to explain the whole story would override my compassion."
That said, did her character have a blast participating in the events of Perry Mason actively, just as her husband had in the previous episodes? The answer was a resounding yes! Kilpatrick elaborated:
"I’ve thought about that a lot. How tough it must be for her to watch him go out of the door and do all of these interesting things. When marriages work, and partnerships work, it’s often because these people are mirror images of each other."
New episodes of Perry Mason air every Monday at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. After the exciting events of Episode 7, the season finale is sure to be must-watch. Stay tuned to SK POP for more!