Considering it was a one day junket with a nice dinner, I learned a lot during my weekend visit to the Miami Set of USA Network’s hit new show – Burn Notice. This trip came out of my own pocket so don’t worry about me being bought off. Although I am for sale and still dreaming of my first paid studio trip. First and foremost interviewing 10 people in one day could have been a chore, but we made an agreement amongst ourselves that each one of us editors (A shout out goes to IGN, Ramblings of a TV Whore, The TV Addict, TV Squad, and Fan Bolt) would do one transcript each. So for a change, it won’t take a month for you all to get full QAs from everyone. Another thing is, we got so much information and we’re going to have so many photos, that I think we’ll be launching a brand new special section devoted to Burn Notice. It’s a great show that deserves some love. In the meantime here’s part one of things that I learned attending the Burn Notice Junket.
Sharon Gless Still got "It."
- Sharon Gless is a television legend and she doesn’t even know it. When I asked her "What’s it like to be a legend?" She blushed and doesn’t consider herself a trailblazer.
- She adores her co-star Jeffrey Donovan. When she talks about him, you can almost tell she would like to adopt him.
- The rumors that she and Tyne Daly don’t get along are false. Talks about Tyne with great reverence and love. They are actually flying to London together next week to do a talk show.
- There have been talks of a brand new Cagney and Lacey movie with them being somehow involved. Apparently there’s been a revival in it’s popularity overseas.
- She let slip a plot point about this season’s Burn Notice – Apparently Madeline and Michael are going to do some family counseling.
Matt Nix Funny as Hell
Burn Notice series creator Matt Nix was funny as hell and an all around great guy. He had us all in stitches with his tales. Things we learned during dinner
- During one of the writers meetings they were trying to figure out how to write a scene where someone needs a reaction, one of the writers tipped over a lamp that scared everyone in the room.
- A lot of times when characters get written out of shows it has nothing to do with the story.
- The best way to kill off a character is to give them "Hollywood Aids," (my term) or liver cancer.
- People in Miami don’t slow down or stop when they see a big ass "mushroom" cloud.
- USA Network has been really easy to work with. The only thing that they asked was that the show be “serial but missable.” So they try and keep the series mythology about Michael’s "burning" to minimal so that anyone can jump on the bandwagon at any point.
- Matt doesn’t believe in full commentary tracks. Ok, so that’s not quite right. He said he didn’t like it when he listens to commentaries where the people speaking really don’t have anything interesting to say. So for the upcoming Burn Notice S1 DVDs he said he doesn’t do a running commentary but picked various spots on different episodes. So I’m not sure if these will count as "full-length" commentary tracks.
- USA Networks increased the number of episodes for S2 of Burn Notice and wants a mid-season cliff hanger, but he wasn’t told exactly when the mid-season point would occur. He told a very funny story about his dilemma.
Burn Notice Executive Producer Jeff Freilich is a really cool guy!
- My asshatness took over when I ended up dominating this Q and A. Hey, I love talking to Producers and the behind the scenes people.
- My power went out last week due to a series of Tornados so I didn’t get a chance to do my research, but Jeff has done a hell of a lot!
- He’s been working on a book for the last 3 years that’s all about Producing.
- He gave many A-List stars their first start.
- Barbara Steisand is, "shocking," a micro manager.
- He describes producing as nothing more than hosting a cocktail party.
- They have a product placement deal with Cadillac and Saab.
- Getting an old fashion Dodge Charger that didn’t have tinted windows
Bruce Campbell Sweats
- A running joke and comment throughout the day was Jeffrey Donovan doesn’t sweat, but everyone else sweats like a pig. Bruce was sweating during our interview.
- Because he lives close enough to the set where he rides his bike all the time. He even has a little bell on it.
- Bruce loves his part because he doesn’t have the pressure of being a lead.
- He won’t do his famous back flip.
- Bruce loves Hawaiian shirts and wants to get a stack of them for free.
- The PR folks didn’t want us to ask about Evil Dead, but Bruce talked a lot about his experience working on Briscoe County. Which is why he likes not being the lead.
- He has no desire to write or direct a future episode of Burn Notice.
A Little Bit of Pussy in Gabrielle Anwar
- Gabrielle has a great, beautiful and incredibly sweet dog.
- She thinks there is a little bit of classic James Bond Vixen "Pussy Galore," in her character.
- She’s not a method actor, or one who feels the need to build an elaborate background in order to play a part.
- This season we’ll see more of her with Bruce and Madeline. This is to give Jeffrey a little break from being in every scene.
- We were asked not to ask her what it was like to dance with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
- She’s incredibly thin, it’s hard to believe she has 3 kids.
Jeffrey Donovan is handling the pressure well
- It’s pretty amazing, this entire show rests on Jeffrey’s shoulders and he somehow remains down to earth.
- If he gets sick or takes a day off, it’ll cost the production $300,000.
- He had a freak stunt accident where the roof of his mouth was burned and he still had to finished filming.
- He has a beautiful dog as well who gets along with Gabrielle’s dog, but he rarely brings him to the set.
- We were all eating lunch during our talk and I noticed he wasn’t eating any meat, so I’m assuming he’s a vegetarian.
- He’s perfectly proportioned. He’s not one of these actors who has a big head and small body.
- He likes to do as much of his own stunts as possible. But he also realizes that a lot of people are depending on him.