TONIGHT GAUTENG

I’d like to say Teri Hatcher is hitting on me because I’m a strapping, good-looking fella (and outstrip Ryan Seacrest – her latest love interest, according to the tabloids – in every department), but I’d be lying.

The real reason Teri Hatcher is “hitting” on me is because I’m African. Correction: South African.

In a makeshift room on the Desperate Housewives set, the United Nations of scribes present introduce themselves, name and country, to Ms Hatcher.

When it’s my turn, she quips, flirtatiously: “Love South Africa” – the only journalist to have elicited a response other than the obligatory nod during the introductions, I might add.

Naturally, I take it as a signal that she is into me, and is waiting for me to lead this love tango (I may not be a Zulu, but like Jacob Zuma, I know that direct eye-contact, a friendly smile and a compliment paid to a male means that the “deal” is as good as sealed).

Later during the Q&A session, an Aussie journo informs me that Teri Hatcher and her daughter were out on safari in South Africa last year and hence her fond associations with South Africans.

“Bugger,” I mutter, and then for no reason in particular, I curse: “a plague on all the light bulbs in this house”.

I then sit back, and listen intently as the steno-grapher hired by Desperate Housewives’ distribution company transcribes the entire interview.

If one word could describe Hatcher (judging from the 20 minutes we are allowed to speak to her) it would be “excitable”. It’s a peculiar state to be in, especially when personal questions about love, life and relationships are being fired at you for the umpteenth time from strangers waiting to pounce on any statement you utter and manipulate it for their preconceived story angle (case in point, my introduction).

Nevertheless, Hatcher is personable, and surprisingly candid in her views.

She confesses her daughter has never watched Desperate Housewives. In fact, she does not allow her child to watch TV. Period.

A case of biting the hand that feeds?

Hatcher explains that her 8-year-old daughter, Emerson (Hollywood seems to frown on conventional names like Kate or Sue) – her father is the actor Jon Tenney and Hatcher’s ex – attends the Waldorf School

The private group of schools advocates a holistic approach to education, where the child’s true potential can be reached.

On television, the Waldorf website states: “Waldorf teachers are concerned that electronic media hampers the development of the child’s imagination. They are concerned about the physical effects of the medium on the developing child as well as the content of much of the programming.”

Ironic then, that when Teri Hatcher – one of Hollywood’s biggest names endorses their school, a TV icon inadvertently becomes their biggest marketing tool.

As for her relationship with her daughter, Hatcher believes it differs enormously from her character, Susan Mayer, on Desperate Housewives.

“We are very different parents. I’m definitely a boundary setting, conscious parent, great relationship with my kids, but I’m not at all like the ‘floundering look for the answer in your child to help you’ kind of person that Susan is. And, yeah, I mean, I think people like to make that comparison, like somehow, because we’re both single moms, but no,” she says.

Following her divorce, Hatcher doubts she will ever tie the knot again.

“I don’t think that I believe in the governmental system of marriage. I just don’t understand the government’s need to be involved in two people’s relationship,” she notes, subversively.

Based on this viewpoint then, will she ever commit again?

“Susan is more of an optimist. I would probably use the word ‘survivor’ for myself, so yeah. I think I need to be more of an optimist. Thanks for reminding me…”

Please note: It was reported last week that Teri Hatcher injured her eye on set when a light bulb exploded (yes, really). The author refuses to take responsibility for the mysterious occurrence.

Desperate Housewives is on M-Net, Thursdays, 8.30pm.

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