Part six of six of Wilson Bethel’s interview with Afterbuzz.
The CW’s “Hart of Dixie” is our new favorite source for a serious weekly rom-com fix. Luckily, there’s no shortage in the love interest department on this show — it seems like everyone in town is involved in a love triangle… or two… or three. One of the most intriguing and surprising relationships is the one between Lemon (Jaime King) and Levon (Cress Williams).
Lemon is engaged to childhood sweetheart George (Scott Porter), but she’s still troubled by her affair with the mayor, Levon, who she clearly still has strong feelings for.
For King, it’s secrets like this that keep her Southern Belle character from becoming too typical. “It’s a great example of why she isn’t just a caricature,” King tells Zap2it. “The scene in the pilot between Levon and Lemon was the highest tested scene in the pilot. That moment is so real, and it’s something we can all relate to. We all have had a time in our life when we wanted to be with someone that we thought we couldn’t be with, or we wanted a job but we thought people wouldn’t understand, or we wanted to wear something but we thought we’d be made fun of. We can all relate.”
Even her fiance George is experiencing his own pull outside of their relationship, as his chemistry with new doc Zoe (Rachel Bilson) heats up. Just don’t expect it to get too hot. “There are these real attractions in real life that people have, in the workplace or in the community, and they don’t necessarily act upon the attractions,” Porter tells us. “In a couple of places, certainly with Lemon and Levon, something has been acted up on. The difference between that and what’s going on with Zoe and George, is that there’s an interest and a connection there, in that they have something in common. That’s New York. That’s the window into his past and a little bit of a life preserver for her going forward. I really feel that George is the type of guy that would never do that to Lemon.”
The love triangle is further complicated by the history that all three share together in their fictional (and adorable!) town of Bluebell, Alabama. Williams explains that the connection between Levon and George will be explored in future episodes. “I talked to Scott about this,” he tells us. “We’re both from the town, and it’s such a small town, we grew up together. That’s going to get sticky. He’s not a stranger, he’s a friend.”
We’ll soon see just how hung up on Levon Lemon is when another woman comes to town with her eye on the mayor. So if these two are so in love, why has she agreed to marry George? Though it won’t be addressed in early episodes, one of the factors keeping Lemon and Levon apart is race.
“We have the ability to walk that line of being lighthearted but then really being able to hit something hard,” Williams says. “I think that’s going to be a great opportunity when we really discuss the whole racial issue. It’ll be cool. It’s important for America to see. Maybe it’ll generate discussion in people’s households. As that love triangle comes about, the drama will come in. You can’t do a story about a small town in the deep south without touching on race.”
For Lemon’s part, she’s trying to fulfill a role that her father has established for her. “Lemon is trying to be this perfect person on the outside because she thinks that’s what her father wants. In the deep south, there’s a lot of traditional things where you have to do what your family wants. That’s a very revealing, true thing. Everybody has their traditions - whether you’re a Jewish family or an Italian family - she’s trying to do what her father wants, rather than what she wants.”
That said, look for some serious sizzle between Lemon and Levon in tonight’s episode. “Cress and I have amazing chemistry, and when I do a scene with him, I melt,” King says. “Sometimes you don’t have that relationship with actors and you have to pretend that you really like them. You have nothing in common and nothing to say to them.”
Porter and King have also worked very closely to build a believable relationship between George and Lemon. “They have a very real love from childhood, from being high school sweethearts, and now being engaged,” Porter tells us. “There’s a reason they’re together and you’re going to see that on the show. You want people to root for them to make it. After all the crap hits the fan and some of the stuff about Lemon and Levon starts to come out, if Jaime and I do our jobs, then I think yes, people will be rooting for Lemon and George to work out. There is a great little love story between the two of them. They have an odd sense of humor, and a way of speaking to each other that people don’t understand. Funny little voices and inside jokes. We’re really trying to put that out there. Lemon is not a villain.”
Regardless of who you’re rooting for Lemon to be with, you’ll feel a certain sadness as the love triangle begins to complicate their engagement. “I was married. I was in a relationship for six years,” King says. “When you’re with someone for a really long time and all of a sudden that love fades, you still really care about each other because you can’t take away history and you can’t take away friendship. There is a genuine love between Lemon and George and we’re making it very clear that that’s present, so that when the audience watches, they know that something’s being ripped apart.”
Tune in to our new favorite love story (or, as we should say, love stories, plural) on Monday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW. [x]
As if the Wade x Zoe x George x Levon dynamic wasn’t enough - we have Levon x Lemon x George dynamic too ! Things are bound to get complicated and interesting in our sweet little town Bluebell.