Lex Medlin has had a good run playing Owen on Lifetime's series 'Drop Dead Diva,' but the carpet was almost pulled out from under that at the end of last season.
On his wedding day, Owen suffered a heart attack when he saw his fiancée, New Jane (played by Brooke Elliott) making out with Grayson (Jackson Hurst). It appeared that Old Jane had returned to Earth and into Owen's body.
But, as the fifth-season premiere showed, Owen is okay. Well, as okay as you can be after your lady makes out with someone else.
Medlin said that moment almost drastically altered his future on the series.
"I felt like we shot it that way [with Old Jane coming back in Owen's body]. We didn't use a crane shot from the roof that implied something entering Owen's body. But I also knew the show might not go that way. It's not afraid to go into any direction you might not believe. So we got canceled and I told Josh [Berman, creator and executive producer], ‘You gotta give me the heads up on which way you're going to go. If I'm playing a woman, as an actor that's very enticing to me, but I need two months to prep. If not, that's fine because I'm very curious what happens with Owen. But you gotta let me know either way.’ After we were canceled, I knew there were talks going on. I went to Josh's house and had dinner with him in the middle of our cancellation and said, ‘Let me know now.’ He told me then what was going to happen, and I said, ‘OK, great,’" said Medlin.
Medlin found himself not knowing what his future held.
"I kept myself in the middle so I wouldn't get enticed either way. The only thing that made it more interesting as a woman was that I needed to prep more, and I needed to know one way or the other. But I stayed in the middle, so I knew I would be happy either way. I didn't let myself get attached to either direction. That was my little safety mechanism," he added.
While Medlin is still playing Owen, it did not look like that was in the cards earlier this year when Lifetime cancelled the show. Yet, two months later, it reversed course. Medlin was already preparing for life after 'Drop Dead Diva' when he got the good news.
"It was in pilot season, and I was not having a good time. Pilot season for me is really rough, and I was standing in my kitchen at 4:00 on a Friday. I live in the [San Fernando] Valley, and I had a 6:00 pilot audition. I'd had one in the morning, and another one at Sony. The idea of getting on the 405 to spend two hours to go to another pilot audition and then get back in my car and drive back home on the 405 was daunting. So somebody leaked the news [of the renewal], and somebody sent me a link or something, and the next thing I know, my people called me and said, ‘Yeah, this is breaking.’ My very first response was, "I don't have to go to this audition, right?’ And they said, ‘No, you should probably go,’ and I said, ‘No, I probably shouldn't. I am going to get my wife and kids and have a giant celebratory dinner and see what you can confirm so I don't have to get on the 405,’” he said.
'Drop Dead Diva' airs on Lifetime at 9 p.m. Sunday.