A Conversation with PRISON BREAK Stars Robert Knepper and Jodi Lyn O’Keefe

Robert Knepper, Jodi Lynn O’Keefe

Since not knowing what is going to happen next is half the fun of PRISON BREAK, this TV Addict thought he’d take a different approach when given the unique opportunity to sit down with actors Robert Knepper and Jodi Lynn O’Keefe at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. I hope you like it.

Should I read anything into the fact that the two of your are doing interviews together today, or is it purely coincidence?

Jodi Lyn O’Keefe: No we’re absolutely alluding to what’s going to happen this season. We’re teaming up, two bad guys taking over the show.

I had the chance to catch the first episode and it was a lot of fun, like every season premiere of PRISON BREAK, the show yet again reinvents itself.

Robert Knepper: A lot of stuff happens in that first episode.

Are you excited to be working together?

JL: I really am. I’ve been really looking forwarrd to wrokign with Robert. He’s been my favorite character since the beginning.

RK: Here’s a twenty [Robert passes twenty dollars to Jody!]

JL: He’s creepy and scarry and I’m really excited about our characters working together. We’ve already done one episode and I couldn’t have been happier.

RK: For the record, she kept the twenty and tucked it right into her brasier.

How is the move to Los Angeles treating you guys?

JL: I like being on location and I really lik ebeing home. Really it’s six-of-one, half-a-dozen of the other. But it’s nice to be in my house, with my backyard and the dogs.

What kind of dogs? [Editor’s Note: Yes, this TV Addict realizes it’s kinda sad that he never passes up an opportunity to talk about his adorable GoldenDoodle Mac!]

JL: Two Chinese Sharpies and a French Bulldog. I’m such an animal lover. I was going to bring George today. He goes everywhere with me. He’s only six months and the most chilled French Bulldog you’ll ever meet. He just kind of hangs out. I’m sad I didn’t bring him now.

RK: He’s a very trained and quiet dog.

JL: I sneak him onto the set all the time. He’s so little he can fit in my knapsack.

Talking to the media has become such a large part of being an actor. Is this pert of the job you enjoy?

RK: I actually really like it and don’t mind talking about stuff at all. Usually I’m the guy you have to get to shut up because I just keep talking. Although I’m not very good at sound bites, I talk forever.

If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?

JL: I have no idea. When I was a lot younger I used to say I’d like to be a Marine Biologist.

Me too! Why is it everybody wanted to be a Marine Biologist when they were younger?

JL: I have no idea. I’ve been saying that since I was eight years old. But I actually meant it. I wanted to go to school in San Francisco.

RK: I would do something with nature. I grew up in nature and love the outdoors. I’m starting to volunteer to help preserve trees and land. Just before I got PRISON BREAK, I almost went to work as a Park Ranger.

What’s the coolest perk about being a television star?

JL: I’m going to be really shallow and say it’s the clothes. I have stylist this year who is an amazing, incredibly wonderful woman. She put me in Dolce and Gabbana, fabulous gowns. It’s incredible when you go and visit a designer and they say that we’d love you to wear this on the red carpet. I get to wear things that I never would have thought possible.

RK: Swag is a good thing.

JL: I don’t get to keep any of it though. It’s not really that kind of swag. I just get so say, “Oh My God, I’m wearing this gown tonight!”

RK: At Sundance they give you really great stuff. Tickets to games… really good tickets.

JL: Oh Yes. Sporting Events. I saw so many football games in Texas this year.

RK: My first professional football game was in Dallas and I was down on the field meeting [Dallas Cowboys Owner] Jerry Jones. I mean this would never happen if it weren’t for PRISON BREAK.

JL: I met Shaquille. I sat courtside at a LA Lakers games years ago. It was my very first Basketball game, Shaquille O’Neil came over and shook my hand while on the big screen it said, “The Lakers welcome Jody Lyn O’Keefe”. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, now I can die now. I love sports.

How often do you pause and think, “Life is good!”

JL: All the time. I do it every day. I remind myself and really am grateful for working. There only 6% of us [actors] that actually work.

RK: I didn’t even know the number was that big.

JL: I have so much appreciation for what I do. I do what I love to do for a living and it doesn’t get any better than that.

RK: I think the greatest perk is something that money can’t buy. Which is that exact feeling. Especially in Europe and around the world. I was just in Japan doing a press tour…

JL: You were in Japan?

I think PRISON BREAK is almost bigger internationally.

RK: It is huge internationally. I did an event in Tokyo.

JL: I was in Paris and found that out the hard way.

What happened?

JL: Someone passed out when they saw me. They fell to the ground and I was like, “Are you alright sir!” He kept saying [as Jody puts on a French accent], “Susan B… Susan B… I love your show.” I mean this poor guy couldn’t get up. I didn’t expect it. I usually can go anywhere and people don’t recognize me or care. But Paris, I was not prepared for what happened.

RK: You go to Paris and say “Woah!” You’re a rock star as soon as you get there.

JL: I didn’t realize. I got off the plane and it just happened. Not in London. In London nobody cared.

RK: They will.

JL: A friend of mine told me that I’m hugely popular in Australia because I cut someone’s head off with a serrated knife. I wonder what will happen this year when they find out I didn’t!

RK: I think they’ll forgive you.

For more Robert Knepper and Jodi Lynn O’Keefe, don’t miss PRISON BREAK’s two hour season premiere this Monday September 1st at 8PM on FOX [GlobalTV in Canada]

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  • Patrick

    You’re right, Jodi/Gretchen, you are very hot in Australia-the boys love a sexy villainess and Gretchen has to be one of the sexiest badasses of all time. It sounds twisted but when you hand out a butt-kicking is a highlight of the show..I could go on, but I better not.Hope to see you in more such roles.

    Robert, everyone says the same thing. You are a bloody amazing actor and then some,outstanding in the show, outstanding period. It’s ‘ole T-bag who has made this show in terms of drama, , I doubt it would have quite carried without you and him.
    Your scene flirting with the southern woman in the house when the rest of the gang were down digging in the basement, is to my mind the dramatic zenith of the show, was total silence in the house watching you- and that lady for that matter- do that scene. It clicked.
    Hope to see more of you, too, I know from a trailer that you have a part in The Day the Earth Stood Still.I have seen you before in a Sci-fi alien invasion tv series of some kind .
    all the best