Covert Affairs Part 2: Interview with Peter Gallagher! Podcast!
Covert Affairs is a new series from USA Entertainment. This edge of your seat spy series (not an action, but SPY) is executive produced by Doug Liman (the “Bourne” trilogy, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The O.C.”) and Dave Bartis (“The O.C.,” “The Heist”) through Dutch Oven and written and co-executive produced by Matt Corman (“Deck the Halls”) and Chris Ord (“Deck the Halls”). James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty”) executive produces. Jonathan Glassner (“Stargate SG-1,” “CSI: Miami”) is co-executive producer and director. Tim Matheson (USA’s BURN NOTICE, PSYCH, “Criminal Minds”) directed the pilot.
About Covert Affairs:
New jobs are tough–especially when your new employer is the CIA. Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) is fluent in six languages, has traveled the world and is besting her fellow CIA trainees in every test. But that doesn’t explain why she’s suddenly summoned by CIA headquarters to report for active duty as a field operative one month before her training is over. She doesn’t know there may be something–or someone–from her past that her CIA bosses are really after.
Annie’s unofficial guide to the CIA is Auggie Anderson (Christopher Gorham), a tech ops expert who was blinded while on assignment. As Annie navigates this new world of intrigue, danger and bureaucratic red tape, Auggie is there to make sure this quick study won’t be kept in the dark for long. Also starring Peter Gallagher, Kari Matchett, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Anne Dudek.
Here’s a bit of inside news for you. I have seen the pilot. Think of this series as a bit of Alias meets La Femme Nikita with a dose of Bourne Triology but with a skew to someone who’s truly a newbie and finding that the job is treacherous — and some of the people are not all they seem– and that’s where the main character is placed. It’s an amazing introductory episode and I was wishing I could see it on my big TV screen and not this small tiny player. It’s smart, incisive and Annie is very sharp– right down to her choice of footwear. My secret wish is be someone like Nikita or Sydney Bristow, Annie will be my next role model and secret archetype to bring out those aspects of me that she has/is. There are other words to describe it but might not be suitable from print.
Moderator The next question comes from the line of Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness.
K. Clarke USA has such a strong focus on building character. What do you think is the motivation behind your character of Arthur? What helps him get out of bed every day?
P. Gallagher I think it’s a really strong sense of duty. I think he honestly believes that what he does is important. I think he’s very patriotic. I think he cares a lot for the country and I think he cares a lot for the people under him. I think that’s what gets him out of bed. I think he honestly believes that what he does and what the Agency does is important and that, like all large organizations, it’s not perfect and he likes the challenge.
K. Clarke What do you feel it is about a show like Covert Affairs that will help it stand apart from other crime and legal dramas?
P. Gallagher You know what I believe? It’s just the kind of magic that when something works it’s very hard to attribute the reasons why it does. The same reason why something doesn’t work; it’s hard to attribute the reasons why it doesn’t, but if it works it will have probably nothing to do with any of the apparent and conscious elements; it will have to do with the fact that there’s something that happens among the group of people in front of the camera. Something happens among the group of people behind the camera. When we’re lucky I call it the beast lumbering to its feet. If the story starts to feel alive, if it embodies the kind of wit and the performances feel real and identifiable then it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a crime drama or any kind. It doesn’t matter. It’s going to be engaging. It’s going to be compelling. If there’s wit, if there’s a little bit of humor it will even resemble our lives even more.
The worst thing I see in shows, I call it seriosity, where something has the appearance of seriousness, but it’s not really —
Or somebody is being a cop, “Well, I don’t know, Bob. Things look pretty bad.” It’s like I’ve never seen any cop talk like that or a detective or a soldier.
So hopefully we’ll be free to continue behaving as people would in these extraordinary circumstances. I can promise you this; everybody is working their butt off and trying their best. That’s the best you can do. We’re holding our breath.
Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lena Lamoray with LenaLamoray.com.
L. Lamoray Now, what was it like working with Tim Matheson? Is it easier working with a director that is also an amazing actor, like yourself?
P. Gallagher Well, I loved working with Tim. I had met Tim before, probably 500 years ago. You know what? I love directors. I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of wonderful directors, but it’s nice to work with a director, who’s been an actor, because they get it. I mean at least they get your thing. I loved working with Tim. I thought he did a terrific job.
L. Lamoray Now, what do you think the viewers are going to enjoy the most about Arthur and Covert Affairs in general?
P. Gallagher I don’t know. I hope they like something. I’m terrible at that. That would be like– I don’t know. I just hope somebody does out there. We’ll see.
Moderator The next question comes from the line of Kendra White with SideReel.
K. White I was just wondering if we’re going to see most of Arthur and Joan’s relationship in the office or if we’re going to get a bit of more of a peek into their private lives throughout the episodes.
P. Gallagher Well, we do bring you into the bedroom pretty quickly. It’s our bedroom and nobody dies. I think so. Who knows? I mean I guess I see the story as big enough to accommodate several stories, actually several story lines. Obviously, the main thing is Piper and Chris, as it should be, and it’s great. It’s wonderful. But I have to believe that there’s some value too of seeing a couple, who is actually married, trying to navigate what are potentially treacherous conditions for a marriage, being in the CIA. But you know what? We’ll see. Right? Isn’t that what happens?
K. White Yes.
P. Gallagher People say, “Oh, my God. I love that show. I hate Arthur.” Who knows? It’s like a craps shoot, isn’t it, a little bit? Although USA has got a great track record–
And I think they really do have a vision that is easy to support and they have an organization that really just seems to be completely on the ball. I mean it’s like they’re really pretty amazing to work with. So it feels like you have a good chance, but who knows?
K. White On that note, on USA I was also curious what you think about Covert Affairs will draw in fans of other USA shows, like Psych and Burn Notice and Royal Pains and all of those great shows.
P. Gallagher I really don’t know. I think so. I mean I think, look, I think the show is really good and I think it’s also kind of timely. I think it’s sort of strangely and in a way nice to be playing a member of a government agency and really trying your best to do the best for the country. I think there are a lot of people out there. I think it’s kind of exciting parts for us to be playing.
Now I’ve forgotten what your question is. I think I went so far afield, now I’m out somewhere and I have to call Chris back at the headquarters here to talk me back into it. He’s the one who got me into Twitter, Gorham.
K. White Dangerous.
P. Gallagher Oh, my God. I used to be paralyzed at the thought of telling anybody anything. I said, “Nobody wants to know. Why do they want to know? This is crazy.” And now I’m like digging it. I can’t believe it.