The episode is based on the story of Constance McMillen, who was banned from her high school prom when she revealed that she was planning to take her girlfriend.
Lance and Drop Dead Diva's executive producer Josh Berman recently chatted to reporters about Sunday's instalment, so read on to find out what they had to say about the episode, their disappointing prom experiences, and whether Lance based his "smarmy" character on anyone...
Lance, how did you get involved with Drop Dead Diva?
Lance: "Well actually, my friend Josh here - we've known each other for a few years - was kind enough to ask me to join this season and do an episode. And I'm so glad this is the episode that he chose me to be on because it does mean a lot. I think the story of Constance was something that really hit home with myself. I am from Mississippi where this happened, and when I heard the news about this girl getting denied going to her prom, I actually sent cameras down to Mississippi and still have them down there right now, as we're shooting a documentary about gay youth in the South and how they're dealing with it these days and how they're standing up for themselves. So once I knew Josh was writing an episode about that story, I was just so intrigued to be a part of it."
So you've met Constance?
Lance: "Yes, I did meet Constance. She's a great girl. I think she definitely is in a position right now where people are listening, and she's a wonderful speaker. She's really just kind of spiked a whole revolution, really, down in the South of this youth, and it's great to see all those other kids standing up for themselves. Constance is kind of the whistle-blower of the whole thing. Everyone really has just jumped on board and is really trying to change people's minds in the South."
Why do you think Drop Dead Diva is a good show to raise awareness of something like this?
Josh: "Ultimately, the heart of Drop Dead Diva is about identity... I think that theme of identity and feeling like an outsider is certainly applicable to all of us, gay or straight. At some point in our lives there's something about every one of us that makes us feel like an outsider, I believe. And certainly in this case, as in most of our court cases, we have a woman who is outside the norm, someone who is not allowed to do something that everybody else is allowed to do that we all take for granted. So I think because of that theme of identity the story of Constance is perfect for Drop Dead Diva."
Are you hoping to change people's minds with the episode?
Josh: "We're here to tell a great story and if people watch this episode and feel motivated or feel that their assumptions have been challenged, that's great... If this episode simply makes people think, we've done our job."
Lance, we've heard that your character on Drop Dead Diva is quite smarmy - was that fun for you to play?
Lance: "It was, definitely. I always get offered the happy role, and also just to play myself. Everyone just always wants me to play Lance Bass, but this was so much fun to be able to play a character that's not myself, that's actually acting. It was fun. When they first said that I was going to be playing a smarmy director, I jumped at the chance. I love it and hopefully I'm smarmy enough!"
Was there anyone that you'd ever met that you based the character on?
Lance: "Oh, too many to name! Yeah, I mean in this business you meet all kinds of types, so yes, there are definitely some people I could definitely recall from."
What were your experiences of prom like?
Lance: "I actually didn't get to go to my prom. I left high school when I was 16 to join *NSYNC. I felt that was something I always missed out on, and all my friends got to go and would tell me about it. I did get to go to my friend's prom years later but of course I was like 21 and that was kind of awkward to be at a high school prom. But the really cool thing is when I went down to Mississippi and we were shooting that documentary, it was about a second-chance prom. Constance and all of these kids in Mississippi got together and decided, 'You know what, we're going to throw our own prom for anyone and everyone that didn't get to go to their prom for any reason'. So they threw this amazing second-chance prom and it was awesome. Constance was there and just to see all these kids of all ages come together from different backgrounds for one reason, just to have a great prom that they all can enjoy, was just an amazing moment."
Josh: "My prom - I did go to my prom and my date about 10 o'clock at night told me she was tired and was going to go rest and I never saw her again, which was fine. So that was my prom experience."
What's it like working with the cast on Drop Dead Diva?
Josh: "I love my cast. I've worked on a bunch of shows before Drop Dead Diva and this cast is a group of people that appreciates what they have in life more than anybody else I've ever worked with professionally. They love coming to work each day. They're energetic. We're in the third season of the show and every day they act like it's the first day of work. They send me emails just to say hello and to check in and to say how much they appreciate their jobs and working on the show and that just keeps me inspired."
Lance: "It was amazing. I've worked with many casts before, but I've never worked with such an amazing cast and crew like this. It was just like family already just coming in. They totally welcomed me... I didn't get to work with the whole entire cast but I did get to work with April [Bowlby] and Ben [Feldman] and they were just phenomenal and we had the best time together."
What do you think is the most entertaining aspect of the show?
Josh: "For me, it's one of the few real feel-good shows on television today. You can laugh and cry in the same scene and it's OK. I even remember when we first delivered the pilot some people questioned the fact that a scene is happy and sad. And my response is, 'Yeah, it's just like life'. There are good and bad in most things and you wake up every day not knowing what's going to happen and what your high point is going to be and what your low point is going to be. I think our show taps into that."
Lance: "I love law shows, I love court shows, and this is finally one that I can watch and like. You can actually laugh at it. It's really, really funny but on top of that you've got amazing court cases that really challenge you."
Josh, have you been surprised by the number of great guest stars you've had this season?
Josh: "Certainly surprised, and I feel really lucky. I spent six years writing for CSI and four years writing for Bones, which are such popular shows, and this is the first show that I've ever worked on where amazing talent actually have contacted us to be a part of it. I think it's rare for actors to get a chance to be a part of something that is such a feel-good amazing show. That sounded arrogant, but I just feel like there's a vibe of the show. We're not just investigating a homicide each week. Jane is so wonderful and on the side of the right and challenges assumptions. And yes, it feels absolutely wonderful and I feel so lucky every day to get to work with people like Lance. It makes me so happy. It makes me just want to keep writing the show forever."
Drop Dead Diva airs Sunday, July 24 at 9pm ET/PT on Lifetime.