'Private Practice's' Paul Adelstein Previews Charlotte and Cooper's 'All Hands on Deck' Situation

"He's thrilled and happy but he's just a wreck and he's spinning out of control a little bit in the preparations [for the babies]," the actor tells THR of Tuesday's Cooper-centric hour.
"Private Practice's" Paul Adelstein and KaDee Strickland

Private Practice turns its focus to Cooper on Tuesday as the Shonda Rhimes medical drama breaks the fourth wall while exploring the early days of Charlotte's pregnancy.

During the episode, co-star Paul Adelstein will pull a Zack Morris and speak directly to the camera in a very Saved By the Bell narrative style that will shine a greater light on how he navigates the emotional land mine that is a pregnant Charlotte (KaDee Strickland) and the couple's squabbling that will take a sudden back seat when a medical emergency puts mother and babies in jeopardy.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Adelstein to discuss how Charlotte is faring with the triplets, trouble ahead with Mason and his dream ending for his character.

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The Hollywood Reporter: You're filming the series finale right now, what's the mood like on set? 
Paul Adelstein: It's a little nostalgic, but people are still having a really good time. Everyone is appreciating every last moment of it. I would not say it's somber by any stretch.

THR: Charlotte is now at 26 weeks, what kind of mood is she in heading into the final stretch of her pregnancy?
Adelstein:  Not good! Charlotte does not enjoy being pregnant very much (laughs). It's been incredibly hard on her with triplets and she's having a bit of a rough time. Cooper is very excited and a little worried about Charlotte's reticence, Charlotte's health and the babies. Multiples can be risky for mom and babies so he's mother-henning a little. Charlotte hates every minute of it but she knows it's coming from a good place. Once he convinced her that she needs to start taking care of herself better, she knows he's doing it for their family. She's physically uncomfortable and him hovering around her doesn't help things much.

THR: What about Mason, is he on board with his family drastically changing again so quickly after his mother's death?
Adelstein:  He's such a good kid and he's so loving and he's really on board but we do start to see some behavior from him that could be described as acting out and it certainly makes sense why. Some things happen that are really out of the ordinary and that drives him into a bit of a spin as well.

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THR: Have Charlotte and Cooper discussed what happens after the triplets are born? How will two docs care for four kids, three of them newborns? 
Adelstein:  They do start to talk about it but they keep getting interrupted. Obviously something has to change and that becomes the point of some serious discussion.

THR: Might that be what they're fighting about in this episode?
Adelstein:  Not explicitly but those are the concerns that are fueling that conflict; they're both very anxious about what's coming down the pike.

THR: Charlotte and Cooper face a big crisis this week -- are the babies safe?
Adelstein:  Multiples can be dangerous for the mom and for all three babies and what happens certainly puts any serious fight they're having on the backburner and they have to deal with this emergency situation as it comes and all the doctors jump in to help. It's an all hands on deck situation.

THR: Who will Cooper turn to for support?
Adelstein:  He's a total wreck. Violet is there for him and we see Cooper being more and more distracted. He's thrilled and happy but he's just a wreck and he's spinning out of control a little bit in the preparations [for the babies].

THR: The episode is different from any other in the series thus far in that it breaks the fourth wall. What was it like filming that?
Adelstein:  I spent so long tying not to look into the camera it was odd to be told to look into the camera. It's a well-written episode and fun to do because we did a lot of stuff where it's not just interview style, he's in a scene and then turns to the camera and starts talking. Mark Tinker, who directed the episode, came up with some interesting ways to do that throughout the episode so the device was used differently. It was really fun to do because it added another layer to what's already there.

THR: How does it feel to have something in common with Saved By the Bell's Zack Morris?
Adelstein: I'll take it! (Laughs)

THR: In a perfect world, what's your dream ending for Cooper?
Adelstein:  We'd all like to see our characters live happily ever after but I also would like to see as a fan to know that they'll go on. There's nothing too final going on for Cooper and Charlotte and hopefully a bunch of children will be them just moving down the road a little bit.

THR: Would you be interested in doing a Charlotte and Cooper spinoff?
Adelstein:  (Laughing) Oh my goodness, I don't know about that! Sure!

What are you looking forward to seeing with Charlotte and Coop? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Private Practice's final season airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit