2007_05_annanic.jpgTonight's episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent features its ripped-from-the-headlinse take on the Anna Nicole Smith soap opera. Playing a blond bombshell named Lorelei Mailer is Kristy Swanson, best known as the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer; playing her manager/boyfriend is David Cross (!). TV Guide interviewed Swanson:

TV Guide: How did this Criminal Intent job come about?
Swanson: Law & Order called my agent and said that they're doing the Anna Nicole Smith story. They knew I had just given birth a month before and asked, "How does she feel and how does she look?" My agent said, "Well, she's a little heavy, because she just had a baby," and they told him it would work for the story, because the character just had a baby, so she's up a few pounds, too. [Laughs] So after much discussion with [boyfriend] Lloyd, I decided to do the show...

TV Guide: You sort of look like Anna Nicole on CI. Was this a role you were born to play?
Swanson: I don't know about "born to play," because I'm really sad she passed away. She seemed like such a fun girl. But once I read the script and saw that it wasn't exploitative, I wanted to do it. I know the media has been accused of overdoing her story, but the fact that you have two family members die within a few months and all this money's involved... it's an interesting story. Sorry, but it is....

TV Guide: How much does the episode mirror the real story? Is there a dead, rich old husband? A kind of sleazy companion? A dead son? Does Lorelei herself die?
Swanson: Yes to all of that. And in our story line, I have a sister and the question is whether the deaths are accidental, suicide or murder.

TV Guide: I hear that you and Chris Noth, who comes into the case as Logan, had a fun time together.
Swanson: Oh, yeah. We were cracking up about bodily functions. Locker-room jokes.

There's also an explanation to why Swanson's character is named Lorelei Mailer, but any Marilyn Monroe fans will be able to figure it out right quick.

In other Law & Order news, Gawker looks at whether it's news or gossip that Cynthia Nixon is starring in the L&O: SVU finale.