Despite her ever-peppy name, a year ago Poppy Montgomery was feeling a tad wilted; the Aussie actress’s Queens-set procedural Unforgettable had been canceled. The star was forced to bid adieu to her alter ego Detective Carrie Wells, a redheaded wonder who’d nabbed perps by employing a rare, real-life ability called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory that disallows forgetting a single moment of one’s life. Then word came that Unforgettable would return for a second, special summer season this July.
“I was over-the-moon ecstatic,” says Montgomery, 38, who’ll just have delivered her second child when her sleuthing resumes. “To me, this is all like that Dallas episode where you thought Bobby was dead, but it turned out it was all only a dream!”
Watch!: But it was not a dream. Carrie lives, baby!
Poppy Montgomery: Amazing. I’ve played great cop roles on CBS and loved ’em all, but Carrie is particularly dear to my heart. She’s a badass supercop who throws back cocktails, has one-night stands, possesses a perfect memory and hangs off the sides of buildings while taking down 250-pound bad guys.
Watch!: All while dressed in skintight cat burglar ensembles.
Poppy: Expensive cat burglar ensembles. The boots, leather jackets and tank tops are all, head to toe, Rick Owens.
Watch!: Chic. I love that Carrie is such a sex bomb—the show’s trademark seems to be that it’s the CBS procedural that embraces nookie.
Poppy: That could be due to my bad influence. Yeah, that’s probably me going to the writers saying, like, “You know, I think Carrie should have more sex. Look over there; there’s a hot guy. Let’s get him on the show for her!”
Watch!: Or you could just look in your own backyard and do your TV cop partner and former amour, Dylan Walsh’s Detective Al Burns, again.
Poppy: Tell me about it. Though, in the last episode of the first season we did have some seedy motel sex on the sink.
Watch!: And it was steamalicious. But will the heat between the two simmer anew in Season 2?
Poppy: I think they’ll always be on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again. What I know for sure is that Carrie and Al will be moving out of Queens and into Manhattan, which is a sexier borough for Carrie. Sexier, not because Queens doesn’t have enormous talent, but because I think Carrie’s been through all of its talent already. [Laughs.] So she’s heading to Manhattan, because word has gotten around that she’s a star with a crime solve rate of, like, 100 percent. I like the idea of us doing Manhattan for a year and then maybe going somewhere else.
Watch!: Like Brooklyn?
Poppy: Oh, no, no, no. If I were an executive producer I’d be thinking Carrie should take her special gift to Paris, then Rome and on to Sydney. On a satellite tour, Jane Curtin [who plays medical examiner Dr. Joanne Webster] and I literally tried to pitch a Hawaiian vacation for the show, too. We were all like, “What about Unforgettable goes to Hawaii Five-0?” to anyone who’d listen!
Watch!: You’ve spent your own “vacation” from Unforgettable pregnant with your second kid. Whatever happened to the chick who once said, “Women are supposed to settle down and have a family… but that’s not for me … because I love the idea of, on a moment’s notice, saying, ‘Let’s go to Vegas!’
Poppy: Oh, I still stand by that. I just take the kids now. I’m like, “They can gamble, too. Let’s go!”
Watch!: Your attitude is so Carrie. In real life, are you as brave and tough as she?
Poppy: Oh, hell, no. That’s why I do it on TV. I’m, like, “Yay, I get to live out all these fantasies!” because, my 5-year-old son, Jackson, is stronger than I am. I take out all my frustration in stunts, but in real life I’m a big girlie girl who likes her manicures and pedicures and pink dresses.
Watch!: Speaking of girliness, you’ve posed for a slew of lad mags through the years in less than a dress. Where does your head go when you do cheesecake?
Poppy: I don’t know where my head goes. It’s no different from wearing a bikini on the beach to me. I mean, in Sydney, where I grew up, all the beaches are clothes optional, so it’s just second nature to me. And, anyway, it’s always fun to wear pretty, lacy, glammy underclothes and pretend you’re a lingerie model for a day, right? Nothing wrong with that. But I think I may have passed that point in my career.
Watch!: Ah, well, you must be happy that the body is documented for posterity.
Poppy: I’m not so sure how happy Jackson will be about it in a couple of years, but, yeah, why not? Document it all!