Lie to Me made some behind-the-scenes changes this season, translating into on-screen changes for Kelli Williams' character, Gillian Foster.
The 39-year-old former star of The Practice says the addition of executive producer Shawn Ryan and a focus on character-based stories has helped the series, which premiered as a midseason replacement in January. Williams says she welcomes the changes, which have opened numerous possibilities for Foster's future.
"Foster was in a much heavier place at the end of last year with her marriage falling apart," Williams says. "This season there's a little bit more levity in the office. And since I'm no longer with my husband, there are a lot of places they can take Foster."
For one thing, the writers chose to make Foster less of a stickler. When investigating a cultlike religious group for tax fraud earlier this season, Foster was less interested in making a case for the IRS and more focused on helping one of the families escape from the group's leader.
"I like that my character is doing things that she wouldn't otherwise do," Williams says. "Because Lightman (Tim Roth) is always breaking the rules, Foster has always been in the position of having to be the one that is the rule follower. It's so much more fun to break the rules, and I think it's good for her to be uncomfortable in that. She's being driven by something else, and she's having to say, 'F--- it, I'm going to do this because I'm passionate about it.' It's fun, short of her getting arrested."
Monday's episode finds Foster and all the Lightman Group employees in danger when a man (guest star Garret Dillahunt) takes the scientists hostage to prove he didn't murder his wife. Foster says the episode allows Foster and Lightman to get a little closer.
"There's definitely a few moments in that episode that Foster really feels for Lightman and falls apart," Williams says. They've been stuck with each other for years, and they've been really supportive of each other. They care for each other a great deal, but I don't know if it makes sense to get them together."
"We can care for each other and be supportive and have those more tender moments and not need to become a couple," Williams continues. "Sometimes it's more fun to keep that flirtation there. Personally, I'm not ready to consummate anything."
But Lightman is going to need her support in the coming episodes. "Lightman is going to get into a lot of scrapes. He gets his butt kicked for reading people," Williams says. "It's fun to see that the truth can truly hurt."
Lie to Me airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.