Not much. Just a short history. For Nina, they told me about her history with Jack and that she worked in his office. That was it. And for Kate, they told me that I was this tough lawyer -- a lot tougher than Sarah Wynter plays her. I think they basically picked a bunch of people they wanted to work with, and then the writers more or less wrote for the actors. Both of those parts would have gone a lot of ways depending on who got cast. And they rewrite the scripts a lot. For both readings I just came in that morning, read the script, and started testing.
That's what everyone told me last year -- that it was a really fast audition process. And ironically, it's one of the better casted shows around. Maybe because they didn't overthink it?
Definitely. One of the problems with the casting process for television is that you have too many cooks around the pot. Everyone has something to say about the process and then you end up casting the person who no one objected to, as opposed to casting the one who some people really wanted.
So who picks you?
Mainly Joel Surnow. But in terms of the main characters, the Fox network has the final say. It was actually really funny when I read for him for the first time. I hadn't really had any time to prepare or anything. I was in the middle of something else so when I got called in, so I was like, whatever. So I went in and they were like, "Could you wait outside for five minutes." So I went outside and someone came up to me and talked to me and, um, I got some digits. It wasn't anyone I was going to call or anything. [laughs] So then when I went in and met everyone, I was like, "I just got hit on!" And I think that stuck with them and made them keep me in mind.
So then did you read for Michelle?
No, they just offered the part to me. They'd already met me twice at that point.
And what did they tell you about her?
Honestly, I don't think they knew what they were going to do. I think that at first the Paula [Sara Gilbert] character and the Michelle character were going to be the same person. But then they realized they were going to kill her off or something.
And they needed a female character to survive and stay behind?
Yeah. The only thing they told me was that I was a tech person and she's supposed to have some sort of romantic thing with Tony…oh, I mean "Soul Patch." [laughs]
Had you, at that point, seen the show?