Archive for November, 2010
Marcia Gay Harden has been working steadily in film, theater, and television since she broke out in the Coen Brothers’ 1990 movie Miller’s Crossing. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 2000?s Pollack and the 2009 Best Actress in a Play Tony Award for God of Carnage. She has a recurring role on USA’s Royal Pains and is about to make a return appearance to LAW AND ORDER: SVU as FBI Agent Dana Lewis, a role for which she was nominated for the 2007 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Emmy.
The Wednesday, November 10 “Penetration” episode of Law & Order: SVU marks Marcia Gay’s third time portraying Agent Lewis. She first appeared in season seven’s “Raw” episode where Lewis had infiltrated a white supremacist group as part of an undercover operation, running smack into the special victims squad’s investigation into the shooting of a six year old. In the season eight premiere “Informed,” Lewis’ informant in an eco-terrorism case disappears after being raped and refusing to submit to a rape kit, so Benson and Lewis team up to find her. “Penetration” will find Lewis seeking Benson’s help in a much more personal matter, though they will also team up professionally once again.
Daemon’s TV was there when Marcia Gay and Law & Order: SVU executive produce Neal Baer answered questions about what challenged Marcia Gay about playing Lewis this time around, what makes the Lewis-Benson relationship work, and whether she would want her own show. The reason behind Agent Lewis’ unexpected visit to Benson in “Penetration” has been widely reported, but if you don’t already know, it is discussed below, so beware of that. Otherwise, there are teasers, but no spoilers.
On what brings Agent Lewis back
Marcia Gay described Lewis as “investigating some kind of terrorism,” and during that time, she is attacked by a stranger–”something terrible”–that leads her reach out to Benson (Mariska Hargitay)to perform a rape kit exam.
“I’m the same sassy, bold, bright, tough person as before,” Marcia Gay said about Lewis, adding that this time “They gave me a motorcycle and broadened my horizons,” allowing other aspects of Lewis to come out.
Neal called Lewis “as salty as ever,” and said “Of course [the episode] leaves it open for her to return.” He thinks her performance is “compelling” and that the Lewis character resonates and has left a real mark, calling her “a very unique character.”
On how the role of Dana was more challenging this time
Marcia Gay said that while she can imagine the rape itself, given that “awful, crazy things happen all the time” and even the “I was trained to get out of this situation” attitude toward the rape, she had a harder time with Lewis’s particular soldier mentality of “It happened. It was terrible. Let`s move on.” She explained that that mindset really is difficult for her to imagine with its “soldier up” kind of mantra, where Lewis thinks to herself, “You are not going to be a typical victim awash in emotion.” On the other hand, Marcia Gay also said that there is the notion that “a violation is a violation” that runs through the episode and she thinks that resonates deeply.
Marcia Gay gushed about how the writers and producers “raise the bar each time,” keeping Lewis salty and fun to play even as they broaden her horizon and give her more depth.
On Lewis and Benson
Marcia Gay thinks that Lewis relates to Benson’s job first and foremost. She has respect for how Benson does her job and said that “Benson is a much more overtly compassionate person,” something else Lewis respects.
Marcia Gay likes the “locker room mentality” Lewis and Benson share. Their friendship is filled with “banter, respect, and one-upwomanship,” and this episode marks a turning point because Lewis needs Benson in a way she hasn’t before because of the rape kit. That makes things feel “fresh.”
Neal said the relationship is special because “We don’t see this kind of camaraderie between women very often.”
On using the “Ground Zero Mosque”
Neal said that the mosque is integral to Lewis’ undercover story and that they will “never shy away from any part of New York life,” adding that the mosque is definitely part of life in New York right now. He explained that while the mosque is a way in for this story, there is no commentary involved.
On why L&O: SVU is still so popular
Marcia Gay loves SVU because of how it works “on a simple human level while staying current on a global level” and she thinks people relate to the show because of that.
Neal joked it’s still popular because they get “great guest stars like Marcia Gay.”
On whether Marcia Gay would want her own series
Marcia Gay said “Having my own show is something I`m definitely exploring,” but she’s also very happy to be able to play these “juicy characters [who] are written with different facets of femininity that don’t feel like a Hallmark card.”
Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Wednesdays at 9pm/8 central. The “Penetration” episode airs November 10 and you can read all our L&O: SVU coverage here.
*EDIT* Updated the gallery 13 HQ pictures from the event.
In 2006 Mariska narrated the PBS TV documentary America Rebuilds II: Return to Ground Zero which follows the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and the controversial 9/11 Memorial, and I uploaded the video. I also uploaded her episode of Key West Less Moonlight along with the screen captures. Enjoy the videos!
I just uploaded screen captures from “Trophy.” What did you think of the episode? I gotta say I really didn’t see that coming.
And here is a promo for next week’s episode from youtube:
Shows that regularly rip their stories from the headline have to do their research, since all the little details add up to the big picture.
Both ‘Law & Order: SVU’ and ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ (Wed., 9 and 10PM ET on NBC) pride themselves on getting those details right.
In tonight’s ‘SVU,’ writer Ken Storer came up with the original story, but decided to link it to a current event — namely, the BP oil spill. In ‘Trophy,’ an environmental activist is found raped and murdered. Det. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) ends up forming a connection to the victim’s daughter, and soon discovers that the case may be part of a larger, more insidious mystery.
Watch Storer talk about the process of researching his story:
Credit: TV Squad
Melissa Sagemiller had a familiar feeling when she entered the Law & Order: SVU set, the show that gave the actress her first role 11 years earlier.
“I walked into the meeting for this role and Neal [Baer] and Ted [Kotcheff], the executive producers, remembered me. I was touched,” Sagemiller says.
After playing a victim in the Season 1 episode “Russian Love Poem,” she was cast in the current Season 12 as Assistant District Attorney Gillian “Jill” Hardwicke. Wednesday marks Sagemiller’s second episode with this role.
Not only do Sagemiller and Mariska Hargitay have a past from previously working together, but so do their characters, Hardwicke and Detective Olivia Benson.
“There’s something in my past, a personal connection that we have, something that she did for me and a family member who she helped out … She’s not aware of it yet [but] it becomes revealed in the next several episodes,” the 36-year-old Sagemiller says.
While Hardwicke’s background has yet to come to light, her personality, Sagemiller says, is front and center. “She’s tough … she has a heart, she just gets what she wants.”
Sagemiller adds: “She sticks to the letter of the law, sometimes to a fault, but in the end I think she always does the right thing.”
Watch this behind-the-scenes video with special guest star Maria Bello here.
Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
-Also, I just wanted to thank everyone who submitted birthday messages so far! I really appreciate the response it’s getting so far! Click here to find out how you can participate. Thank you!
As you all know Mariska’s birthday is January 23rd and I wanted to do something nice for her. I would love to get your help to make this birthday as special as possible! I am putting together a birthday book for her. You can submit birthday messages, birthday graphics, or anything else you would like to submit! Depending on the filming schedule I will either deliver it to Mariska in person or mail it to her. You can either fill out the form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your message!
One entry per person (if you want to submit a message + art that is fine).
Remember this is a birthday book, “Happy Birthday” should be somewhere included in your message.
They can be as long or as short as a simple Happy Birthday!
You can fill out the form below or email me your submission.
If you email me be sure to include your name (or username), location, and message/graphic.
The deadline is Monday December 20th.
If you are submitting fan art you can upload it to an image hosting site such as imageshack.us or upload it as an attachment in an email.
If you uploaded them to an image site then post the link in the box “Anything else?”