Exit Interview: Kim Delaney

She made you cry when she died in a Jet Ski explosion on All My Children. She made you care as a no-nonsense detective on NYPD Blue. And she made you cry again when her valiant attempt to put her hometown on the map with Philly lasted only one season. But Roxborough’s Kim Delaney is back — and with her guest run on the sizzling Fox hit The O.C. (with which Exit Interview is intimately familiar), we couldn’t be happier. The ageless Delaney checked in from Los Angeles, and Exit Interview is not quite sure whether she thinks Exit Interview is hysterical or a complete jerkhole. You be the judge.

You started out as a model in Philly. Any embarrassing work, like a bra ad for Wanamaker’s?

You’re so funny. I’m sure there’s tons. I did, like, commercials for, like, ski magazines, and … you’re funny.

You were also on the cover of this magazine. Was it difficult to reach that pinnacle so early in your career and then slum it in TV and film to make a buck?

Whoa. Go back. Slum and do TV?

I mean, going from Philadelphia magazine to those low-rent gigs like All My Children and NYPD Blue. You really went downhill.

You’re funny.

One of my first TV memories was the time on AMC when a gorilla escaped from the zoo and kidnapped you.

I don’t think so. A gorilla?

I swear that was you. Or maybe it was on Ryan’s Hope.

You’re funny.

Do obsessive fans think you’re really Jenny Gardner or Detective Diane Russell?

Yeah. They are probably the two characters they say.

Do you and Tad Martin still keep in touch?

I don’t really talk to him. Larry Lau, who played Greg, my boyfriend, I’ve seen him.

Ever see Detective Sipowicz in the Big Apple?

In the Big Apple?

New York?

I know.

Just trying to spice up the language a little bit. Why do you think Philly didn’t work?

Hmm. There’s no rhyme or reason, you know?

Is there some bias against Philly shows? I don’t see CSI: South Philly or Manayunk Legal taking off.

Manayunk Legal. You’re funny. I think it’s just politics.

Meaning, in TV-speak, the show didn’t have enough time to establish itself and find an audience.

Absolutely. Yeah.

Do you ever come back home?

Whenever I have a break. I was just back for my brother Keith’s wedding out in Wayne. The rehearsal dinner was at Georges restaurant. You know Georges Perrier? He’s sweet. I usually just hang with my nephews and brothers. And I go to Eagles games. Jeffrey Lurie is a good friend.

Are you single?


Any chance that a guy who runs into you at a Birds game might have a shot?


Guess it depends on how good his seats are.

I’ll pass on that one.

On a serious note, 2002 was the beginning of a tough time for you. Does this feel like the start of a mini-­comeback?

No. You just keep working.

What inspired you to get through that tough time?

What tough time?

Um, the period with the ­alcohol-related incidents …

We’re not going there.

It’s just that you have a lot of fans here, and they’re concerned for you. So suffice it to say, you’re doing well and things are looking good for 2005.

Um … a lot of people made different mistakes.

Uh … so tell me about The O.C.! Is your character a wicked soap-opera bitch?

Oh no, no. She’s a long-lost love and she messes things up. But she’s also sweet.

So you won’t end up catfighting in a pool or a mud pit? Or banging the gardener?

No. Never. [laughs] We’ve been working nonstop. And I have a miniseries after that.

The sequel to 10.5, which a critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer called “the epicenter of imbecility.” Since it was a huge hit, care to respond?

No. There’s nothing to say, other than it was NBC’s highest-rated miniseries in the past five years.

Take that, Jonathan Storm! Back to The O.C. Please tell Summer I’m a big fan and she should move on from Seth.

It’s good writing.

Yeah, it’s great. Just let her know that if she needs ­another geeky-on-the-inside-but-endearing kinda guy, who may or may not have a past connected to Dungeons & Dragons, she should give me a call.

You’re right there? Willing and waiting?

If you can just pass that along, that would be great. Happy belated birthday, by the way.

Thank you.

Can you help me narrow down which one you celebrated, since published reports put you anywhere from 21 to …

I’m not going to say anything.

Our research indicates you’re 43, but we’ll go with 35.

That’s good. Like, why does it matter?

Well, you’re on one of the hottest shows around, so I guess it doesn’t.

You just nailed it.