.: Cinescape September 2002 :.
Cinescape September 2002
"In our fifth season, we definitely know how to do what we do," says Combs. "We're comfortable but at the same time want new ideas, so we value it, when directors suggest ways we can do things differently." Combs attributes the show's success to a constant influx of new imput and ideas. "It's really easy to become complacent and let your character become you, when it comes to 15-hour work days, I'm acting like Piper more often then myself. This season however we will endow Piper with certain physical trait that will make it easy to distinguish Piper from myself," says Combs.

"For most of the year I'm going to be pregnant, which is a new experience for me, It's something I have never done before, I'll have a prosthetic belly. It's weighted so I'll walk funny, with a little waddle. We've got the best prosthetic guy around making the belly, the guy did Jennifer Aniston's, so I'm in good company. With her character going though such a big life change, Combs is sure she'll have plenty of material to keep her performance vibrant. "The pregnancy gives me something new to act out. It will be exploration. This is real-life stuff that I think makes this show so endearing, people can't relate to fighting demons, but they can relate to either having or being parents."

Charmed might be a show that centers around the use of magic, but Combs insists that the fantastical elements are only a vehicle used to transmit serious drama. The pregnancy, for example will be as real as possible, says Combs . "Being a woman's show, we absolutely have to do it that way, so I want to be cranky and have swollen ankles and all kinds of stuff, like in real life."

Of course, a pregnancy in the family isn't the only thing that viewers will have to look forward to. "We're going down the road with Piper and Leo's marital problems," confides Combs, "We have to do the marriage counseling thing, because there are many unheard of sources of comedy in that."

Combs has only seen a few of the scripts for the new season, but she's already pleased with the direction of the show. "In the fifth year of the show , we're just flying by the seat of our pants , we've got no plans , so we're just going to do what feels right for stories, the network has given us a little freedom, and we're going to use it.

Apart from new storyline additions, Charmed will also be starting in a new time slot. Now that we're going to be on Sundays, which is a hell of a lot less competitive," she says, "that I don't think anyone's expecting a lot out of us-and that's a good thing. It gives us room to be what we want to be, not what anyone else expects us to be."

Combs is convinced that, especially thanks to the creator's newly increased creative freedom, Charmed could continue for years to come. "We could keep doing this for a long time, because the show is all about family," says Combs, "that's why the dynamics keep changing, we're happy with our little family. I know we'd like to keep making Charmed as long as people keep watching it."