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OUT Magazine
December 2000

The Doctor is Out
An ER doc's sex life gets some much-needed mouth-to-mouth

When the producers of ER sat down and told Laura Innes that her character, Dr. Kerry Weaver, would start a journey of sexual awakening, she had an interesting reaction.
"I started laughing," recalls Innes, whose character has recently found herself attracted to another female hospital employee.

Relaxed and sipping an iced coffee drink outside a cafe near her home in Santa Monica,Calif., she has an earthy beauty that's often masked beneath her scrubs.

"They were looking for something that could really rock her world."
It also rocks for Innes, whose character has had a whopping two sexual partners (both males) during her six-year residence on the NBC drama.

"It's very important that someone with a disability [Innes' character walks with a brace], who's already marginalized by the culture, is not seen as asexual," says Innes who has been married to actor David Brisbin for 12 years and has a ten-year-old son, Cal.

Innes was familiar with the ER long before she landed her role, making numerous trips to the hospital over the years for a variety of reasons, including a three-month stay in 1990 when Cal was born two months premature.

"I had been in this play, Paradise for the Worried, the night before," remembers Innes. "and one of the nurses holds up The New York Times and she goes,'You got a good review in the Times!'. Only in New York."

Recently Innes has been working behind the scenes, directing episodes of her show as well as The West Wing. "The producers on [ER] were incredibly supportive," she says. "they saw in me something that I didn't have the confidence to see in myself."
The Northwestern University graduate clearly is full of confidence now and is ready to get on what's sure to be a roller-coaster ride for her control-freak character. But, she admits, her husband was a bit,well surprised by the new story line at first.

"He said, 'It's really strange because I feel a little threatened. What if you like her better than me?" Innes giggles. "And we started to laugh."

"There are going to be ramifications for me and my family," she continues, "because I am sure there will be people who think that I am gay. And that's fine." It's even fine with her son. "He was like. 'OK. Whatever.' He thinks it's kind of cool."

Laura Innes and Elizabeth Mitchell in the Media

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