At TCA winter press tour, I spoke with Gillian Anderson for this Parade profile about the many projects on her plate: her new NBC drama Crisis, her recurring role on NBC’s Hannibal and a new season of her BBC2/Netflix crime drama series The Fall, plus she’s moonlighting as a sci-fi author:
“I don’t know about a conscious decision to amp up my workload. Everything has kind of fallen together at the same time, and it seems doable. I think in the past, when my little ones were younger, it seemed less doable. And on top of that, the fact that I’ve been approached with some projects that were difficult to turn down—I think the mixture of the two of them. If they were difficult to turn down and I didn’t find that they were doable, then I wouldn’t be doing them. But it seems manageable at this point. Talk to me in April [or] May…”
Gillian Anderson: My Kids Don’t Know I’m an Actress
While at TCA winter press tour, I spoke with Hank Azaria for this Parade piece about his terrific new web documentary series Fatherhood, his biggest parenting mistake and why his son is “freaked out” by his voice acting:
“He doesn’t like when I do voices! He’s four and a half. He’s still a little freaked out by it. He’ll often stipulate before I read a story, ‘No voices, just normal!’ I think he’s particularly worried that the villain is going to have a scary voice. A couple of times, I would kind of go with one of these [he says in a deep-throated, sinister growl]. And he’s like… I kind of knew that from The Simpsons. Kids don’t like it…it flips them out a little bit. It’s too much for them.
Hank Azaria Reveals His Biggest Parenting Mistake
As if I hadn’t written about Downton Abbey enough for this weekend’s Parade, I also interviewed Elizabeth McGovern for the magazine’s “Sunday With” Q&A. She talked to me about playing Lady Cora, her accidental music career and why her husband, director Simon Curtis, doesn’t press her for spoilers:
He’s happy to wait and see the show. Once in L.A. somebody scurried over to him at one of these parties and said, “What’s happening on Downton Abbey next year?” He said, “I don’t know anything. I’m just going to watch it with you guys.” The next day, there was a headline: “Downton Husband Knows Nothing.” He was pleased he’d made the papers in that way!
I actually had been assigned this McGovern interview long before the Downton cover came my way, and it was a pleasure speaking with her, two years after editing a delightful story on her for People.
Elizabeth McGovern on Downton Abbey and Ordinary People
Look, my first Parade cover! It was such a treat to reunite with my former People colleagues, Maggie Murphy and Andy Abrahams, for this cover on Downton Abbey. The whole thing came together so quickly that I barely had time to think. I immediately had to immerse myself in the minutia of the show so I could pull together this obsessive, A to Z look at the world of Downton Abbey. Thanks also to Downton creator Julian Fellowes, who shared all sorts of wonderful behind-the-scenes details, like this one for the “R” category, R.I.P.:
When actors Dan Stevens (Matthew) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil) broke the news that they would not return for a fourth season, “really, the grim reaper was the only option,” says Fellowes, who adds that “it’s easier when the servants leave,” because he can simply have them take another job.
I also wrote several sidebars for the story, including this one on the new characters being introduced this season. This cover story was a lot of work, but it all paid off in the end.
At Parade, I spoke with Karl Urban about his new Fox sci-fi drama, Almost Human. He told me how the show’s executive producer, J.J. Abrams — who is also his Star Trek director — convinced him to sign on:
He said, “If you accept this, I will rename Star Trek Into Darkness [and make it] Star Trek: Bones Saves the Galaxy.” [Urban plays Bones in Abrams’s Star Trek films.] I upheld my end of the bargain, so the ball’s in J.J.’s court for the third film!
Almost Human‘s Karl Urban: This Futuristic Reality Is Just Around the Corner
At Parade, I spoke with Adelaide Kane about her new CW period drama, Reign. She tells me that the show’s critics need to get over themselves:
I find it incredibly frustrating that people harp on the fact that we’re not historically accurate. We’re not trying to make a documentary; it’s supposed to be fun! It’s not the History Channel!
Reign‘s Adelaide Kane Takes on Mary, Queen of Scots: ‘It’s Fun — Not the History Channel!’
At Parade, I spoke with Tom Mison about his new Fox supernatural drama, Sleepy Hollow. He talked about how often the Headless Horseman, who figures prominently in the pilot episode, will be making return appearances:
It’s like in Jurassic Park, where you’ve got the T-Rex—that’s the Headless Horseman—and the T-Rex can roar and do his thing and leave. You know he’s going to come back, and you’ll love it when he’s back, but [in the meantime] we can battle raptors and the things with the fans on their side. Sleepy Hollow: It’s like Jurassic Park! There you go!
Tom Mison Takes on the ‘Iconic’ Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow
At Parade, I spoke with Sophie Lowe, the star of ABC’s Once Upon a Time spinoff, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She told me about her approach to playing Alice:
She’s becoming a woman just like I am, so I’m trying to use my own experiences and make it really truthful. I feel like we’re growing up together. But I can’t really fight like she can!
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland‘s Sophie Lowe: ‘I Always Wanted to Be Alice’
At Parade, I spoke with Michael J. Fox about his new NBC sitcom, The Michael J. Fox Show. He talked with me about how different NBC is now than during his Family Ties days in the ’80s:
I mean, I have NBC beach towels from 1984. So that’s kind of au courant again, which is kind of amazing. I’ve been made to feel that that can actually mean something to NBC, and that means something to me. Certainly I’d like to have an opportunity to help turn the tide at the network. If that doesn’t happen, I’m not going to blame myself, but I’d like to be a part of it.
How Michael J. Fox’s Real Family Life Has Been Worked Into His New Show
At Parade, I spoke with Andy Samberg about his new Fox sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He told me that he never thought he’d play a detective on a series:
I didn’t even think I’d ever play a detective in a sketch! In my time on [SNL], if there was ever a detective in a sketch it was going to be Bill [Hader] or Jason [Sudeikis]. So it’s awesome.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Andy Samberg: ‘I Didn’t Think I’d Ever Play a Detective, Even in an SNL Sketch’