When USA Network’s hit series In Plain Sight [Sundays, 10/9C] returns this weekend, it marks a sea change in the life of its female lead, Deputy U.S. Marshal Mary Shannon [and we all know how much Mary loves change… not!] – plus plenty of pithy commentary on the subject of change by her partner, Deputy U.S. Marshal Marshall Mann [who has a big change in his life, as well…].
For the fourth consecutive year, I had the opportunity to take part in a teleconference Q&A session with series stars Mary McCormack and Fred Weller about the upcoming season. For the comedy stylings of McCormack & Weller, just follow the jump.
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Mary McCormack: Thank you.
Best to you and your family.
McCormack: Thank you very much.
Fred, are you there?
Fred Weller: I’m here.
I was wondering how you maintain your awesome aplomb despite Mary’s rattlesnake test nest?
McCormack: She saw that one on Twitter.
Weller: Well what an interesting question.
McCormack: Be careful.
Weller: You know, I just try to roll with it and…
McCormack: Atta boy.
Weller: …forgive, as Marshall would. But that’s a very interesting question. I applaud your ingenuity with that question.
You’re welcome. I thought it up all by myself. And Mary, what do you continue to enjoy most about playing your character?
McCormack: Who’s that for, me?
You, yes. (Unintelligible).
McCormack: What do I enjoy most? I think – I don’t know, I just love the character. I mean, David Maples, who created the show, just wrote a really great part. I mean Fred’s part is great too, and so is Paul Ben-Victor’s. I mean he just really wrote some three-dimensional characters. I mean I love them.
I love that Mary Shannon’s really good at her job and not so good at her personal life. I like that she’s cynical and sarcastic. It’s fun – it’s just fun to play someone so grouchy. It’s sort of refreshing. I can be a little bit grouchy myself so it’s a comfortable fit.
Can you tell us how your pregnancy will be worked into the storyline?
McCormack: Well, we’re writing it in. I mean we’re writing it in and I’m playing pregnant. I mean I had a – I did what I had to do to get pregnant first. And then – and now we’re dealing with it.
I mean Mary Shannon’s not a, you know, you don’t think of her as necessarily maternal so it’s making for some interesting story stuff and character stuff, which I think is really fun to play. And also I think it’s – I mean to me I think it’s really interesting to see someone play pregnant who is pregnant. And because it’s, you know, it’s not altogether as pretty as when someone, you know, all chiseled up does it.
So it’s, I think refreshing, at least as a woman I find it refreshing to sort of see someone who’s dealing with – you know, someone who’s passionate about their career and then having to try to make – come to terms with, you know this new area in her life, which women I think deal with – you know, all women deal with, so.
Weller: You’re every bit as pretty as any psycho pregnant lady.
McCormack: Thanks kiddo.
And how is Marshall going to deal with the pregnancy?
Weller: I think Marshall has a pregnancy fetish, but they haven’t written that in yet, that I know of.
McCormack: I love it. You know, you better tell the writers if you want that written.
Weller: I tried. I told Cockrell, he says he put it in the file.
McCormack: No but, you’ve got to tell more writers.
Weller: All right.
Because one isn’t going to pay off, you need to work the crowd.
McCormack: Yes, work that in because that’s hilarious if that’s the case.
Weller: I’ll work it.
Weller: I’ll look into that.
She just asked my question for Mary. I mean congrats on the baby news. I really wanted to find out, you know, how were you – how were they going to work this new development into the show. But I think you (unintelligible).
McCormack: Well I mean we’ve just started working it in so we’ll see. I mean I’m not sure where it ends up yet. And it was a lot of news for the writers and they’ve had to act fast. So they’ve been really sweet about it and really adaptable.
And so but you know, I mean I think when we all discussed it — when I discussed it with them and we discussed it with the network too — I think the thought was it might actually provide for, you know as opposed to just being sort of a wrench, it might actually provide for really an interesting development in Season 4.
You know, we’ve done a – we’ve had – this is our fourth season so it’s – I think as far as like thematically, you know if the theme of the season is change, it sort of falls right into that.
You know, like what – if Mary’s whole life is changing, her mom is sober, her sister’s engaged and getting married and you know, Marshall is in this relationship which seems to be working and is sort of meaningful. And then what’s she left with?
And all of a sudden she has this enormous change in her own life too. So I think it’s going to actually be really rich for stories.
So are you excited about this season?
McCormack: I’m excited about it. Fred, are you?
Weller: I’m extremely excited about it. And…
McCormack: Oh yes.
Weller: Yes, the kind of impromptu nature of some of the shifts, just makes it more interesting I think.
McCormack: Yes, we’re excited. I mean it starts soon – it starts the 1st. And we’ve been working really hard so we’re about halfway through and – halfway through shooting them. So we’re excited to – I mean it’s more fun when it’s airing, you know?
And so Fred, it must have been very uncomfortable in your partner’s car, how’s your neck?
Weller: I’m sorry, can you say that again?
It must have been very uncomfortable for you in that car. How’s your neck?
Weller: Yes. Yes, it was extremely uncomfortable. I’m glad that they’ve changed that. you know, I just – I don’t know, I’ve got this freakish neck length and it’s weird when…
McCormack: He’s a tall guy.
Weller: …50% of my height is in my neck. So it was nice that they changed that car.
And my final question for you; for the – I’m sorry, for this season, it must be (unintelligible) working with Mary. And now that she’s pregnant it should – you should find it much easier to work with her.
Weller: You know, it’s funny but I haven’t noticed any substantial change. I don’t know if that just – if that’s just more about her when she’s not pregnant than it does in how she’s able to handle the hormonal shift. But no apparent shift so far.
McCormack: I started out pretty cranky.
Weller: Yes, she might have been maxed out on crankiness already.
Fred, I wanted to ask you, like Mary stated earlier, you do get a love-line, like love story this season. How does that change the dynamic between Marshall and Mary?
Weller: Well, Marshall’s feelings are now inevitably more submerged — his feelings for Mary. They’re more submerged, like underground lava or tunneling Viet Cong. They are more dangerous.
McCormack: Oh my God, I want to throw up.
Weller: They’re more dangerous there. I mean, I didn’t have anything prepared, but that’s what I would say.
Okay. And Mary, like you said, “This is a season of change,” but your character doesn’t really seem to be a fan of change.
McCormack: No, she hates that.
So – she hates that. So what can we expect from her emotionally through the season?
McCormack: Well I think she’s sort of confused. I mean I think she keeps expecting – like in the first episode you see her expecting her sister to fall right into old patterns and it turns out she really hasn’t.
So you know, that sort of starts the – it sort of kicks off the theme of, you know what – she just doesn’t – it’s one of those things, I think you know, if your whole life is spent taking care of other people, and then those other people randomly either get sober or learn how to take care of themselves, you know you sort of – I think her identity’s in question.
I mean a big part of her is sort of walking around feeling sort of smug and proud of herself for being the only adult in the room and now she’s not the only adult in the room. So I think it’s – I don’t know, I think it’s interesting. I mean for her it’s a bit of a – you know, a – it’s a big shift.
And now on top of it she’s becoming the one thing she never wanted to be, which is a mother. So we’ll see. I don’t know what they have in store. I don’t know how it’s going to – I don’t know if she – I don’t know. I mean I’m sort of only halfway through the season. And these poor writers, I only told them I was pregnant a few episodes in, so they’re scrambling. But it should be exciting.
Okay. My last question is for both of you. This is, you know, the fourth season, that’s no small feat. What do you think it is about the show that keeps viewers coming back?
McCormack: Do you want to go Fred?
Weller: Boy, well I mean it’s – I think it’s a great drama with a sense of humor. And I don’t think that’s a very common combination on television.
McCormack: Yes, I also think, I mean to me, I do I think like I think you know, something USA does really well is character stuff. And I think our show, even if you didn’t – weren’t interested in sort of the procedural side of it, or the witness protection side of it, I think the character relationships are really rich and fresh and funny.
I mean I think I could watch – you know, I love reading the scenes between me and Fred or I love Paul Ben-Victor’s character so much. And so I think that’s a big part of it. But I also do think it makes – witness protection just makes for exciting stories and it’s a really rich sort of place to grab stories from.
I mean people starting over completely, saying goodbye to their lives before, I mean it’s just, you know, it just doesn’t get – it never ends in terms of opportunity – story opportunities.
Hi. I have a two questions, or a two-part question; but the first part is there are a couple of things I really enjoyed last season which included the incredibly or increasingly introspective monologue, making Stan stronger, stabilizing Mary’s family, showing even more of Marshall’s ability to read Mary, while also showing both of them working apart.
Are any of those items going to be carried over to the new season, or are there going to be any new changes overall to the format?
McCormack: No, I think that’s – I think those are all changes that are continuing. I mean the first one you mentioned was the monologues. Are you referring to the voice-overs?
McCormack: Yes, those are – those will be…
Just, I know (unintelligible)…
McCormack: Those will continue and be written in the same way. I mean I – one of my favorite things about – and then I’ll let Fred address the rest. One of my favorite things about the voice-overs at least from my perspective, is that Mary Shannon is a person who doesn’t let people in.
You know, I mean she barely lets Marshall in and he’s the closest person in her life to her. And so to me it’s opportunity for the audience to just know the real her. And I think it’s a way for them to – I think what’s nice is the audience has a really intimate relationship with her, even though no – she doesn’t really allow anyone else to. So I would – I love those and I think they’re beautifully written. And so, yes I know that continuing.
What were the other things? The family…
Oh I guess…
McCormack: …stabilization of the family is continuing obviously, along with our theme of this year Brandi is engaged and getting married. And so far her relationship seems to be going great. And my mother is still sober and doing great, and so that’s all confusing for Mary Shannon. But I think in an interesting way.
And then what was – Marshall’s – what was the thing about you?
Marshall’s ability to…
Weller: Marshall’s insight into – there are kind of fewer bits about Marshall’s ability to read Mary, but it’s very much part of their everyday relationship.
Weller: I think it’s interesting. I mean the pregnancy obviously is the huge shift around which all other shifts are defined. And I think it’s interesting how that forms your relationship with your mother and sister of course.
McCormack: And you.
Weller: And your relationship with Marshall. Yes.
Weller: I mean it’s very – it’s a definitely a huge twist. And I don’t think they could have planned a better one.
McCormack: I’m always thinking of the work Fred, even when I’m (unintelligible). When I family plan I do it – I try to put the show first.
Weller: Well done.
McCormack: Yes. That’s the way I work. A total pro.
And I guess my…
Weller: Is it true that…
Weller: No, go ahead.
McCormack: Go ahead. He could do that all day.
No, no. We’re here to talk to you.
McCormack: Final question.
All right, final question.
McCormack: Fred could do bits all day, yes.
So I know there are other people on the line, but…
McCormack: Copy that.
…my final question is just, In Plain Sight cut short last season, are there any unfinished story lines that you might incorporate for this season, such as Allison Janney’s character, the return of Mary’s brother or even — although Marshall does have his girlfriend — his former feelings for Mary?
McCormack: That is a really good question and we have new show runners this year, so it’s a bit confusing. And I don’t hear – I haven’t heard any mention of the brother coming back this season. Although everyone was a big fan of that actor’s work, he was – I mean, I thought he was sensational.
So – and we do mention him this season. I don’t know if he’s plan – I don’t know if there’s a plan to have him back later in the season. I’m not 100%. But hopefully we’ll have him back eventually if not this season, next season, because he was sensational.
Allison Janney I know is busy unfortunately on another TV show right now. But you know, I will always – she’s one of my best girlfriends in the world, so I will call her once a week to harass her. See what we can do, and then…
Weller: We do have some other West Wing alum.
Weller: Well, at least one.
McCormack: This year we have Bradley Whitford shows up this year. And we might have Richard Schiff back, I don’t know because we still have…
Weller: That would be great.
McCormack: …a lot of season to write. But you know Richard Schiff was in an earlier one in season – I think he was Season – golly I don’t know, 1 or 2, or 2 or 3. Anyway, but Bradley Whitford does Episode 2 this season. So it was wonderful to get him down.
McCormack: So like that.
Okay and will we – all right, fabulous.
And will we ever return to Marshall’s former feelings for Mary? Although…
McCormack: Good question.
…someone already asked that (unintelligible).
Weller: We’ll never leave them.
McCormack: We’ll never leave them.
Weller: The lover deprived.
McCormack: It’s always there, and this season it is interesting because all the sudden I’m pregnant which is confusing in terms of I think our feelings for each other. And then there’s also his new relationship which throws a wrench in it.
And you sort of see all the stuff percolating along the way. We don’t – we never leave that story all together, because it’s just there. It’s in their friendship and their friendship is so close that it’s obviously somehow more than that, you know, all the time.
And then the final question is, although the writers – all right I know it’s the final question. But although the writers said that they – are there – they’re write – working on your pregnancy, is it possible that you would serve as a surrogate mother as a witness? This is something that was brought up by one of the other writers for my site.
McCormack: Would I serve as surrogate mother for a witness?
McCormack: No, no.
Weller: Oh that’s – wow, that’s complicated.
McCormack: No. You mean if like a witness came to me and said, “I’m going to implant you with my egg and some fellow’s sperm, and you’re going to just – like it just – will you be a gestational surrogate?”
All right, the (unintelligible) of the question (unintelligible).
Weller: Or do you mean, would she give up the baby…
Weller: Would she allow a witness to adopt the baby that she’s carrying?
No more just serving as the surrogate mother for…
McCormack: Definitely not.
…for a witness. (Unintelligible).
McCormack: Mary Shannon is not really keen on – I mean I guess anyone who watches the show would – can sort of guess this and it’s not like we’re taking a unexpected stance. It’s – she’s not really into pregnancy.
So she wouldn’t – she didn’t even want to do it for herself and she definitely wouldn’t do it for someone else for sport or money.
No not for money — not for money.
Just because she definitely wants to have a child and (unintelligible)…
McCormack: No way. She’d be like, good luck…
So that was just one idea of what (unintelligible)…
McCormack: Yes, she’s not built that way. No.
McCormack: It’s definitely not – I’m not a surrogate. I’ve – I made it myself the old fashioned way.
I loved the premiere and seeing Marshall suffer from Mary’s splendid car choice was priceless.
McCormack: Cool, thank you.
Now, you mentioned Bradley Whitford; what was it like having him on the set? And I hope Josh Malina has some scenes with him.
McCormack: It was great having him on the set. I mean he’s a complete clown. And you know, I’ll just tell this really quick anecdote about Brad.
You know, Bradley – I don’t know – a lot of people know this already, but Bradley and Josh Malina have a really long history of sort of pulling pranks on each other and teasing each other.
And when we were doing the West Wing, Brad Whitford wrote a script for the West Wing, and he made Josh Malina’s character, Will Bailey, say maybe five different times during the script, “I’m a terrible actor, I can’t act.”
And so in this episode that Brad Whitford came down to shoot, Josh called me and said, “Please, please talk to the writers and have them write a scene where Bradley says he can’t act and he’s a terrible actor, whatever.
So we did it, and unfortunately it’s not in the episode – we ended up not shooting the scene. We were late one night and we didn’t really need the scene. Like it was kind of shoe-horned in there.
And it was a great little monologue, but we had him say – I mean he was like, “I can’t act. I’m a terrible actor. I’m the worst actor on the planet, don’t make me lie.”
Like it was wonderful. And I was so proud of myself. And I would have scored big points with Molina forever. But in the end we didn’t shoot it and Bradley won the day, so he was thrilled.
Now, what is it about Mary and Marshall that you can relate to the most and why?
McCormack: That’s for you Fred.
Weller: I guess Marshall’s fondness for Mary, because she is so intriguing and beautiful.
McCormack: Oh my gosh, I didn’t see that coming.
Weller: Yes, well I – whenever I can talk first I like to throw you for a loop so you can’t say something…
Weller: …mean about me.
McCormack: I’m confused.
McCormack: I love the relationship between Marshall and Mary. It’s a great – and we have a lot of fun with it, Fred and I. I mean Fred and I aren’t too far from our characters.
And so it’s – I mean we – we’re – yes, I don’t know, we just have a good time. We should hate each other by Season 4, and we love each other. So we have a really good day at work, when we get to work together.
And are we going to be seeing Steven Weber again this season?
McCormack: So far, no. Although you never know. I’m not – I don’t know if I’m allowed to say. So far it’s…
Weller: But you can…
McCormack: We’re – I don’t know if I’m allowed to say.
Weller: You can encounter him on Twitter every five minutes.
McCormack: Yes, if you follow him on Twitter. Or forget him, follow me on Twitter.
Weller: Hey, me too. I’m on Twitter now.
McCormack: Bye. She wasn’t having that part. She was like, “Whatever.”
Weller: She’s like, “Okay yes.” (Unintelligible).
This is the fifth time for me to talk to you, which…
McCormack: Well how nice to hear from you again.
Yes, it qualifies you for a free set of steak knives.
McCormack: I’ll take them. I’m not proud.
McCormack: Send them my way.
Okay, you have to send…
Weller: Do I get…
…the punch card. I need the punch card first though.
McCormack: You’re right. All right, I’ll send it to you.
Weller: Do I get the Cadillac or am I fired?
Fred, you – we’re working on your punch card still. So for both of you, in past seasons when I’d watch the show, I can’t shake the feeling sometimes that if In Plain Sight had been made in the ’80s, Mary’s role would have been played by a guy and Marshall would have been the sidekick in the skirt. Do you agree? And I’ll – I don’t know, I guess that won’t work anymore this season, will it?
McCormack: Well I don’t know, I think I’m…
McCormack: Even knocked up I’m still pretty butch.
Weller: Do you really have to tee up a crack like that for her, about me wearing a skirt? I mean it’s just a meatball coming up for the plate.
McCormack: He is way girlier than I am. I mean, I’m in and out of hair and makeup in no time, but Fred’s in there all day.
Weller: That’s a bold-faced lie.
McCormack: It’s true. I think it is true. It’s one of the refreshing things about the show David Maples created, is that none of the characters are really what – you know, everyone’s a surprise.
I mean in the first season he had this black detective who had a line where he said, “Detective (Dirshuitz),” and we all looked at each other like, “Huh?”
And then you know, Stan – I think Stan’s character’s a total surprise. Because usually the boss on cop shows is like, “You have one day to close this case or you’re fired.” You know, and he’s not that guy at all, he sort of has no control. And Mary Shannon acts like a man in many, many ways and Marshall’s completely girly — just kidding.
Weller: Okay, come on.
McCormack: Just kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding — I’m teasing him. But it is – I think all the characters are sort of, you know, drawn in ways that are surprising. And it’s one of the things I love most about the show.
Okay, so Fred if you were to answer that, the only part that would be different is that Marshall would have been the sidekick that’s a guy, right?
McCormack: Yes, go ahead (unintelligible).
Weller: That’s right. I mean I – no I love the twist on that dynamic. And it is always fun. Geez, was it this season or last season when – the basketball thing, that was this season right? That’s not out yet, right? When I’m talking about shooting the rock?
McCormack: Oh yes, that’s this season.
Weller: That’s this season, right?
McCormack: Yes, yes.
Weller: Yes, okay. I can’t blow any cracks then. I can’t blow it. Anyway, yes, anytime that I can accuse her of being overly masculine and she can accuse me of being feminine, I think it’s a very amusing dynamic.
Okay. Fred, I asked Mary this once before, so I’ll – this is just for you, okay? Is it barely possible that you were the type of kid who played cops and robbers? And if so, is this show in a way, like reliving that? Is it like playing all the time?
Weller: You don’t realize the extent to which the cops and robbers you played as a kid inform your career choice until you strap on that gun. And then suddenly it all comes back. It’s a weird, like faustian flashback thing, where you’re like, “Oh of course, this is why I’m doing this.” Yes, absolutely.
Yes, yes. You just have better props now and…
McCormack: Way better…
Weller: That’s right. That’s right. I mean the structure…
McCormack: We have actual Glocks, not sticks.
Weller: It is such a rush to pull – especially on the days when you actually get to shoot it and they put the half-load blanks in, there’s a little kick and it’s fantastic.
It seems that – I think the writing is so sharp on In Plain Sight. Do either of you read mystery fiction? And if so, who do you read?
McCormack: Do either of these what? I’m having trouble hearing.
I’m sorry, mystery fiction?
McCormack: Oh, I don’t. Do you Fred?
Weller: A little bit. I got into Harlan Coben after that French thriller based on his book Tell No One, which I love. That was just an astonishing movie. And let’s see, who else? Most of the fiction I read is not mystery fiction. But now and then I’ll – once a year I’ll pick one up.
Fred, I saw you in Take Me Out. And Mary I saw you on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing. Do either of you plan to do any more stage work?
McCormack: Fred does a play almost every year. I do them…
Weller: Yes. Whereas Mary flies in every ten years and gets nominated for a Tony, which is kind of infuriating.
McCormack: It’s not about the awards Fred. The awards don’t matter. Look that’s just – that’s not why we’re in this, you know? I mean Tony-schmoney. It’s not important.
Weller: The face consolation that’s meant to hurt.
McCormack: I would like to do more stage work. I mean for me, it’s just finding the time. I mean our show – we’re in New Mexico seven months out of the year. So Fred and I have to be really, you know, stealth about what we choose to do in our off-time. And the last few years I’ve been having these little babies so.
But Boeing-Boeing was one of the happiest times in my whole life. I mean it’s such a stupid farce. And it was so much fun. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder, more.
So I would love to do some more theater, soon as I get this baby out and nursed.
And Fred do you – are you doing another play this year?
Weller: Well I’m waiting to hear about something right now. But my wife and I are planning to experiment this fall with moving to Los Angeles. So that would probably impinge on the New York theater.
But maybe I’ll do another Indie film that no one ever sees, which is sort of my other modus operandi.
Weller: Yes, big hobby, exactly.
Mary, you had mentioned earlier you have new show runners for this season. How is it different with the new show runners? I know that David Maples obviously did the first couple of seasons and John Macnamara was there last season before his medical problem.
What is – how is the show changed and how does it stay the same with the different people (unintelligible)?
McCormack: You know it’s always – it’s interesting because obviously the characters stay the same, and that’s what they’re job is.
And all of them, I mean from John Macnamara and now Decter and Strauss — Ed Decter and John Strauss — are our new show runners. And luckily they’ve all sort of been fans of the show.
And so they didn’t’ come in sort of saying, “well we think this or we, you know, we want to make big changes.” They’ve all sort of been really respectful and sweet, and just kind of fans. And so wanting to continue the show down the path that, you know, that it was on.
Which is a relief; I mean for Fred and me it’s a relief because we love the show that David created and the tone, which is really special and you know, a little bit hard to write. And so we’ve been lucky. I mean I think Macnamara did an excellent job. And then John and Ed are doing a really good job too.
Every show runner comes in with some changes, I mean they hire new writers and they, you know, I think this year we have a new theme – opening theme music might change. And you know there’s always a few changes.
But tonally the show, hopefully is the same. And there’s a few new characters in the office. And you know, I mean Macnamara introduced some and – who won’t be there.
And I think we’re going to have – there’s some new people this year that the new show runners came in with some ideas about characters they wanted to introduce. But it’s all along the same lines, which is good.
Well with the new writers, obviously you’ve been with these characters for four season now, so you guys have a pretty strong idea of what they will do and what they’re like and everything.
Do you get much input in shaping the characters with the writers at this point?
McCormack: We do. They’re really sweet. I mean I have to say, I met with John and Ed yesterday and I was thanking them for that because they’ve been really – you know, Fred and I have been there since the beginning. And so we do feel a responsibility to the show and the voices of the characters.
And John and Ed are really collaborative and said, “You know, it’s going to be a learning curve.” You know, when you’re writing someone else’s show. If you created the show – I mean if David were to write it, he could write it in his sleep. But for any other writer there’s a little bit more work involved, in terms of getting to know the characters and then, you know, and then writing for them.
But they’re doing great. And they’re really collaborative. And if I call and say, “I’m not sure she’d say this, but it might be this,” they’re just completely on-board with making changes, which is great.
Do you have any dream scenarios for Mary and/or Marshall to – that something as an actor you’d just love to play?
Weller: Wow, well I would like to see some kind of – every season I’d like to see a payoff on Mary’s father search. I think that’s a great subplot. Personally I’d like to see some payoff every season on Marshall’s feelings for Mary, which is of course, those are…
Weller: …those feelings are really interesting in this season with the…
Weller: …my girlfriend and her pregnancy.
McCormack: I agree.
Okay and also Fred – by the way, and sort of on a side note, I really enjoyed your guest appearances on The Good Wife. Was that show fun to do…
Weller: Thank you.
…or was it…
…interesting to sort of play a character who is definitely so different from Marshall.
McCormack: Oh brother.
Weller: Yes it was very – well the most…
McCormack: I mean honestly.
Weller: Really the best thing about it was the extent to which my taking that job has provoked Mary…
McCormack: Ooh, Julianna Margulies, woohoo.
Weller: …on Twitter and off.
McCormack: Honestly, you shouldn’t cheat on other (unintelligible). It’s one thing to go do a play, enjoy, Mazel Tov, break a leg.
Weller: I really enjoyed doing it. Speaking of Twitter, somebody said that she considered my character on that show, “Evil Marshall,” which is kind of an interesting twist. Yes, it’s nice to be somebody who’s kind of, somewhat sinister and darker than Marshall.
McCormack: I didn’t see it.
Weller: You didn’t watch it.
McCormack: No, believe me. Nor should anyone.
I have a question for both of you. How do you guys feel about having your – the day you’re on changed? And how do you think it’ll affect your viewing?
McCormack: I’m not sure I mean I…
Weller: Well it’s sort of like…
McCormack: Go ahead Fred. Go ahead.
Weller: Sort of an – go ahead? This is sort of a new/old time. It’s – I think we should refer to it as…
McCormack: It’s our original time.
Weller: It’s a retro time at this point.
McCormack: Yes, we were on Sunday nights at 10:00 originally and it was a great slot for us. And then it went to Wednesday nights at 10:00, which was also, we did pretty well on a much busier night. So we were proud of how we did there.
But I think Sunday night works great. I mean we were always happy there so. It’s a little out of our – I mean programming is a little out of – at least my area of expertise. But I know we did great on Sunday nights at 10:00. So I’m happy to be there.
If you guys had the choice to do a crossover, would – what would be the show that you would like to see crossover with?
McCormack: Does it have to be a USA show?
McCormack: Because if it’s a USA show…
Weller: A crossover…
McCormack: If it’s a USA show I would do Psych.
Weller: A crossover means the same characters going to different…
McCormack: Yes, yes.
McCormack: Come on Fred. I would do 30 Rock. That’s my favorite show on TV…
Weller: Yes, I…
McCormack: …besides In Plain Sight Sunday nights at 10:00. But if it was a USA show I would do Psych.
Weller: Well I think it’s okay to say 30 Rock because it’s still owned by the same company, right?
McCormack: Well it doesn’t matter, it’s never going to happen. I mean what – it’s like a fantasy question. You’re crazy.
Weller: No just because I don’t want to plug non-company networks right now.
McCormack: I would always plug Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, because it’s you know, sensational.
We have an absolute fantasy show that you wanted to crossover with. How about that?
McCormack: Yes, come on Fred it’s not that hard of a question.
Weller: I’d have to say 30 Rock because that is my favorite show on television besides In Plain Sight. It’s an amazing show.
McCormack: Right, like we can’t crossover on – I can’t crossover onto Survivor, but I would like to.
That would be interesting. Would you be yourself or would you be Mary on it then?
McCormack: I don’t know. I love Survivor. I love reality TV, so. I love reality TV and I love 30 Rock and I love In Plain Sight Sunday nights at 10:00.
Weller: You may have come up with an interesting idea, to play a character, a fictional character on reality TV.
And I have to…
McCormack: And I love Psych. I love Psych as well.
…apologize to Mary.
McCormack: Oh go ahead, I’ll take an apology. What happened?
I have to apologize to Mary because I’ve kind of egged on your little Twitter war with Josh Malina.
McCormack: Oh that’s okay. That’s okay, I like a Twitter war. And I don’t mind egging on because I egg on Josh and Dule´. So I’m an egger. We’re eggers.
McCormack: Yes, I respect an egger.
If you ever see (rayin73) on there talking to him, that’s me.
McCormack: Oh sure. I – sure, I know you.
McCormack: Yes. He is, yes.
How is it – how are you liking having Josh on the show with you?
McCormack: It’s a nightmare. I mean it’s a complete nightmare. No he’s all right. I mean you know, I love Josh. We love him. Yes.
In the season premier, The Art of the Steal, Stan puts his foot down in regard to new personnel because the place is understaffed and. And in terms of procedure my question is, “How long does Mary put up with Stan’s new regime?”
McCormack: Yes he does – I forgot, he did put his foot down about the new hire, right?
McCormack: She puts up with that because she doesn’t really – I mean she can’t ultimately boss him around too much. But she fights back when she can.
Also, what can you tease about the episodes that you’re – some of your guest stars? I’m thinking Bradley Whitford, D.W. Moffett, John Delancey and Ali Marsh? What can you say about those?
McCormack: Oh Ali Marsh — you want to talk about Ali Marsh, Fred?
Weller: Ali Marsh is a great actress.
McCormack: She plays Dr. (Finkle), the therapist.
Weller: The latent sexual tension between Marshall and Dr. (Finkle) will appear a bit. I think there’s a really…
McCormack: Did you know that Ali Marsh is Fred’s wife in real life. So it’s not that latent.
Weller: There’s a very interesting subplot with Dr. (Finkle) in what is it, Episode 3, where she’s kind of calling Marshall in for therapy and it seems like she’s doing it really because she wants to date him. I loved it. I thought it was a great idea.
McCormack: Yes, it was a great idea. And she’s an excellent actress and fun to have around. So those are always good days at work.
Brad Whitford was a blast. He’s funny as anything. And I loved working with him on the West Wing. So I was really happy when he said he’d come down and do one.
He’s also incredibly talented, for such a goofball. Then you – I watched the episode and I was like, “Oh gosh, you always forget how incredibly skilled as an actor he is.” And D.W. Moffett I’d never gotten to work with and I’m a huge fan of his so that was a real treat.
Yes, it was great. We’ve had some really good actors come down. And hopefully – you know, we’re only starting Episode 9 now, so hopefully we’ll get a bunch more. We’ve been lucky.
Now Mary, how do you see the future of Mary and Mike playing out after the Season 3 finale?
McCormack: Who’s Mike – oh Mike Faber?
Weller: Mike? Oh.
McCormack: I was like, “Who’s Mike?” I always call him Faber. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say because of this whole pregnancy thing. And I just don’t know what I’m allowed to say. I don’t want to be a bore and be all coy. But I might have to be a bore and be coy.
Okay well let me…
McCormack: I’m sorry.
…word it this way, “How would you like to see it play out?”
McCormack: Well that doesn’t help. That’s not going to trick me. Awww….
Weller: Can I just say that even when you’re trying to be a bore you’re intriguing.
McCormack: Yes I don’t know if I’m allowed to say (unintelligible).
Weller: That was me, that wasn’t (him) who said that.
McCormack: I know, but I was still laughing about (him). Thank you, Fred. But I don’t know if I’m allowed to say…
McCormack: …because I think there’s a little bit of a, “Who done it,” with my pregnancy.
McCormack: So I don’t want to spoil anything and then get in trouble.
All right, I understand.
McCormack: What else?
Weller: Can I just ask…
McCormack: Let me answer something else because I feel guilty now?
Weller: Can I just ask, Mary; if Mary had a dream that was kind of realistic about Mike Faber, how would that play out?
McCormack: I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Thank you Fred. Now you’re just being a smart ass.
McCormack: I know, exactly.
McCormack: Thank you. Now you know what I live with. What I put up with.
All right. Well I’m also curious, how’s the Albuquerque heat affecting the pregnancy?
McCormack: It’s not bad. You know, I think I get that question quite a bit. And I think people have a misconception about New Mexico.
We have four seasons that are incredibly specific. Like right now we’re in a beautiful, beautiful spring. It’s kind of like the East Coast. And then summer hits, like East Coast it hits in sort of late June and July and August. And then we did move into a gorgeous fall. And then like a snowy winter.
So it’s not as hot as everybody thinks. I mean August is no joke, it gets pretty desert hot. But right now we’re enjoying a beautiful spring there.
Okay, so the heat’s not beating you down?
McCormack: No. The cold was tough when I was, you know, down there; when we first started in January and February and I was in the first couple months of pregnancy. That was less fun than it could have been.
Okay. Yes, I have a question for Fred now.
What are some of the interesting things you’ve discovered about Marshall over the course of playing him for three seasons?
McCormack: That’s a good question.
Weller: Well gosh, I once gave a really long-winded answer to this and I’ve been trying to keep it short. I think that he’s a romantic. And I think that he looks at himself and Mary kind of like that famous (Isaiah Berlin) essay about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, about the two – the humanities divided into the foxes and the hedgehogs. And I think he thinks of himself as a hedgehog and Mary as a fox.
McCormack: Oh dear.
Weller: To elaborate that, hedgehogs define every – define all of existence by one controlling idea and the foxes see existence as a vast variety of (unintelligible).
McCormack: Is this the short version?
Weller: And for Marshall to control the idea is love. And Mary has no controlling…
McCormack: Oh lord.
Weller: …has no one controlling idea. Well look, I mean I don’t know. I tried to keep it short by ending it with just the fox and the hedgehog thing. But then it…
McCormack: Oh God.
Weller: …seemed like there needed more.
McCormack: Oh lord.
McCormack: Aren’t you glad you asked?
Can’t wait to transcribe that. All right.
McCormack: Yes, that’ll be fun.
Weller: My deepest apologies.
McCormack: So glad that you spun out on that. It’s awesome.
Operator: There are no further questions at this time.
McCormack: Oh thank you. What a small mercy.
Weller: Well I don’t think I would get any more after that anyway so.
McCormack: No you could have nailed it. And it everyone was like, “Okay, we’re out of time.”