I have lucked out in the past few months with some really great interviews, talking to some great down to earth people who are just trying to make a living doing the job that they love. Today’s interview is no different – Alexie Gilmore, from FOX’s intriguing NEW AMSTERDAM, had a few minutes to chat with me about her character and the show.
I had the opportunity to watch the first two episodes of the show, and I’m completely drawn in!
Alexie Gilmore: Oh good, it gets juicier and juicier.
We don’t get to see your character much in the beginning, but obviously we’ll see more as it goes.
Yeah, by the third episode, he finally finds me. So it’s interesting to see how that all plays out. Basically, the last time I saw him, he was dead so he has a lot of explaining to do.
When you first heard about the character of Sara, why did you want to play her?
I liked her because she’s very different from myself. She’s much more logical, and kind of thinks with her head, more than her heart. Actually, that kind of changes as the story goes along. I like that she’s smart and sassy and she’s very complicated. As the story goes on you find out that she has her own baggage, like everybody else. She’s not immortal or anything, but she’s got her own stuff she’s working through. I think a lot of women will be able to relate to her as well, as a single lady in New York.
Is there anything that viewers should know about Sara before jumping into the show?
Not really, because I don’t want to give anything away [laughing]. You really kind of figure out by the third episode, who I am. It’s better if I don’t say, what exactly. All you need to know is that she’s going to be a hard sell, because she’s a doctor. For him to convince her that “not only am I immortal, but maybe I think that maybe we could date.” That’s kind of a toughie. There are some obstacles to overcome.
I really liked on the show that John doesn’t keep it a secret, really. He tells people that he’s immortal, whether they believe it or not is a different story. I think that’s different than what we’ve seen with shows where characters have a big secret.
Yeah, it’s funny. In normal life, people say things like joking around. It kind of makes you wonder if people are serious completely. I love that about his character. He’s completely open and honest about it, because he knows no one will ever believe him. He says things all the time, like oh, the last 609 girlfriends. It really says a lot about us. No one really thinks outside the box, that like yeah, well, this guy maybe he his saying something true. No one’s saying “this guy, he’s immortal, that makes sense” [laughing]
Why should someone who maybe watched the pilot or hadn’t tuned in on Tuesday to the premiere – why do you think they would enjoy the show if they watched?
I think it’s first of all, it’s such a great show about New York City. There’s no way to fudge where we tape this. It’s definitely in New York and the city is a character in itself. Really, his only relationship has been with New York. That’s the one consistent thing for John Amsterdam. So half of it is really exciting. He’s on the case, and it’s this cop drama show. He’s great at what he does because he knows so much and he’s got so much knowledge. The other half is really sort of romantic and mystical and sentimental. It’s kind of sad. It’s a lonely life that he’s leading because he has to see so many people go in and out of his life. He’s just trying to find the one. That’s the other path, finding true love. I think everybody can relate to that, trying to find the one for you, and is there a one. There’s a lot of that, but I think everyone will be able to relate to.
I noticed so far that the cast seems to have a really great chemistry. Do you guys get along well off screen?
Yeah, we all do. We had dinner last night, the cast and one of the producers. We do. Everyone got along incredibly well. You never know. None of us knew each other before. You’re kind of plopped into a situation, you’re like “okay, get some chemistry” and that’s not always there. We were really lucky that we all work very well together.
Why did you originally want to get into acting?
It was, I’d always been interested in it. I hadn’t been in a play until 9th grade. I didn’t really know. Before that, my first aspiration was to be an anchorwoman and then I took an acting class in high school in 9th grade, and I was just immediately like, this is where I should be. I had so much fun with it. i was like, you know what, this seems like it would be a great job [laughing] so when it came time to go to college, I majored in theatre and then I just right after school, I moved to the city, and started hitting the pavement and auditioning and finding an agent and doing all that stuff. I’ve been in the city for almost 8 years now. It’s been a very slow progression and nothing’s happened over night for me. I like it that way. It makes you feel very fortunate for what you get.
Who would you like to work with, who are some names that you love?
I think Cate Blanchett is like the ultimate. I think she probably is one of those actresses that makes everyone around her better, too. I just think she’s awesome, whatever she touches turns to gold. Daniel Day-Lewis just doesn’t even seem human to me. It’s like “what?” He is amazing. Just so much passion goes into everything he creates, that I would love to be in something with him as well. I feel also like a lot of the girls my age are out there, I really admire their work. Like Elizabeth Banks, and Rachel Weisz, and Isla Fisher. Amy Adams. I think they’re all fantastic. It’s nice; it raises the bar when people around you are so wonderful.
What are some of your favorite TV shows?
I have become more into American Idol. I’ve gotten into that for sure. I’ve also been a big HBO fan. I was a huge fan of Six Feet Under and Rome. Even on Showtime, Weeds is a great show. I even like Grey’s Anatomy. There’s a lot of shows that are really good out there now, I feel like the writing getting better.
Is there anything else coming up for you besides New Amsterdam right now?
I actually have a movie I did with Matthew McConaughey. I played opposite him in a movie called “Surfer, Dude”. It’s Surfer-comma-dude. Haha, there’s a comma in there. People are always asking, like “what’s the comma for”. [laughing] That was a lot of fun. I got to play around with Matthew McConaughey. It’s so much fun. And Woody Harrelson is in it too. He’s also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Even Willie Nelson has a cameo in it. And I have a little part in “Definitely, Maybe” that’s out right now.
[Small speculative spoiler for anyone who hasn’t seen it] I saw that, and I saw you come on screen, and I was like “wait, are they throwing a wrench in the plans and she’s the mom”?
I know, I think that’s what they were going for, and he opens the door, and literally at the premiere, I heard people around me like, oh no, here we go, here’s another one. It’s tricky like that. I think it’s a great movie. It’s a great love story.
Abigail [Breslin] starts crying, and I start crying, I’m such a crier by nature.
Oh I know, me too! And she is just so cute, I love her.
I don’t want to keep you any longer – is there anything else you want fans to know before I let you go?
That’s as much as what I’ve got going on. Also, I did an episode of “Wainy Days” – it’s a webisode. It’s this comedian David Wain and he has webisodes. It’s really funny. They’re all like 7 minute webisodes. I didn’t even know what a webisode was before I did this for him, but they’re really fun, just little. You can watch them online. I did one episode, called The Sublet. Other than that, we want people to watch the show! It’s definitely worth watching. I hope people like it.
Fox has given you a pretty good berth for the premiere, behind American Idol both nights.
Right, and it’s going to move to Mondays at 9:00, which is also a good spot.
My dad and I have Monday night TV. That’s our new Monday show.
New shows to watch – they always need something new!
Be sure to check out episode 2 of New Amsterdam on Thursday night – I think it takes what the already interesting pilot does and ramps it up, answering questions I didn’t even realize that I had! And stay tuned for the third episode in its home timeslot on Monday at 9PM!
Photo Credit: Julie Dennis-Brothers/FOX