As any TV Addict will tell you, spy shows are a dime a dozen.
So what approach did COVERT AFFAIRS, USA Networks latest entrant decide to take in an effort to differentiate itself from the already-crowded field that included ALIAS cornering the market on head-scratching mythology and CHUCK choosing the more humorous route? According to executive producer Doug Liman, they’re aiming for more gritty and realistic. With the exception that is of one teensy little detail.
Which for those in the audience who [understandably] aren’t up on their female fashions are a pair of very-much sought after shoes!
“The funny thing about meeting real CIA agents in Langley was that they can’t talk about things like where they’re stationed and what they do, but they could talk about personal stuff that was really useful.” teased the absolutely stunning Piper Perabo on our recent visit to the fictional White House set on the outskirts of Toronto Canada that would play a pivotal role on an upcoming episode involving a Senatorial scandal. “And because the show is somewhat of a humanistic approach to the CIA, seeing that they don’t own fancy cars and wear Anne Taylor (not Gucci) to brief President Bush really helped to fill out the character, making it less James Bond. Although, we do take sort of a little leeway with the fashion.”
A little leeway? (cough*sixhundredandfiftydollarshoes*cough!)
“Okay it’s so hard to do in a pair of Louboutins, but so worth it!” laughed Perabo when asked what it’s like to do stunts in high heels. “We had a scene involving a car accident, and I’ll take off the shoes, carry them into the car accident and then put my shoes on and be like, ‘Okay go, hit us!’ I’ve got bruises all over, but I’m protecting these shoes. I love them more than me, or at least take better care of them.”
So what attracted the actress — who quite literally has yet to stop working since her breakout role in Coyote Ugly to the small screen after a stint of high profile films including The Prestige and Cheaper By the Dozen. Turns out it’s not just about the shoes.
“I’d been doing a play for almost a year, Neil Labute’s new play, Reasons to be Pretty. And because of the sort of actor de facto strike and then the real writers strike, there had just been kind of a real slow down in film and scripts coming out” explained Perabo. “And so when COVERT AFFAIRS came up, it was a feminine heroine that really attracted me to it. I hadn’t really considered doing television before, there’s nothing to do in those roles just playing the girlfriend of the sidekick or the person who’s always being rescued. They get pretty boring.”
Suffice to say, there is absolutely nothing boring about her COVERT AFFAIRS character Annie Walker. Who just during the span of tonight’s premiere will find herself the recipient of an unexpected and mysterious promotion to CIA field agent where she’ll be forced to take on numerous different alias’… err… we mean personas in an effort to help stop an assassination. Just how does she do it?
“Especially now that we’re up and running at speed with show, a lot of it has to do with the prep with hair, makeup, my dialect coach, wardrobe. We’re trying really hard to differentiate the different people, so that especially if you’re tuning into the show late you kind of get why would I have a different name or what’s going on or why am I switching languages,” Perabo said. “Since I’ve never done TV before, I haven’t ever shot this fast and so when you’re trying to do ten pages in a day (which you never do that on a film) I’m trying to keep everybody separate. The language differences actually help, because I remember if I’m speaking Portuguese then I’m definitely this person. But I think the creative departments are helping me clarify all that.”
Plus rumor has it, everything is more fun in a pair of Louboutins.
You can catch the series premiere of COVERT AFFAIRS on Tuesday July 13 at 10PM on USA