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By Suzanne

Gabrielle Anwar of "Burn Notice"

Interview with Gabrielle Anwar of "Burn Notice"

Gabrielle talks about her role as Fiona on the exciting show and gives her insights about the character and her future.

NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES: Burn Notice Ė Gabrielle Anwar Q&A Session
February 5, 2008/4:00 p.m. EST

SPEAKERS

Chrissy Fehskens
Gabrielle Anwar

PRESENTATION

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Burn Notice Ė Gabrielle Anwar question and answer session. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session, and instructions will be given at that time. I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Miss Chrissy Fehskens, please go ahead.

C. Fehskens Hello everyone. This is Chrissy Fehskens from New Media Strategies. I wanted to welcome you to the Gabrielle Anwar Q&A session and start things off by thanking Gabrielle for being with us today. As you know, Gabrielle plays the role of Fiona on US Networkís hit series, Burn Notice, which recently returned for the continuation of season two. In a moment weíll begin the Q&A session.

Moderator Thank you. Our first question comes from the line of Troy Rogers with Deadbolt.com. Please go ahead.

T. Rogers Hello, Gabrielle.

G. Anwar Hey.

T. Rogers Happy Birthday.

G. Anwar Thank you very much.

T. Rogers Youíre very welcome. I was wondering, whatís the status of Fiona and Michaelís relationship? Will we see them becoming a couple again?

G. Anwar That depends how one would define a couple. Are you talking in the Bill Clinton instance?

T. Rogers Yes, like a traditional relationship, like boyfriend/girlfriend.

G. Anwar I donít think either of them has a traditional bone in their body, so I think perhaps not in that respect.

T. Rogers Alright. Fair enough. I also love the on-screen chemistry with Fiona and Sam. I was wondering, whatís the best part of doing scenes with Bruce Campbell?

G. Anwar The hysterical laughter that it is inevitable. I think I may have cracked plenty of neatly executed make-up applications on my cheeks from the kind of laughter that goes alongside with working with Bruce.

T. Rogers Cool. I have one more quick thing, and Iíll let somebody else jump in. Now the show features some pretty strong female roles and now that Carlaís in the fold how does that change Fiona for you?

G. Anwar I think that Fiona is as threatened as Fiona can get. I donít think itís about necessarily how attractive physically a woman is. I think itís how much a monopoly she might have on Michael Westenís mind and livelihood and thinking. So I think she is perhaps threatened by Carla more so than anybody else she would be threatened by.

T. Rogers Fair enough.

G. Anwar I mean thereís plenty of hot chicks down there letís face it.

T. Rogers Thatís true. Thanks. Iíll come back.

G. Anwar Okay.

Moderator Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Blaine Kyllo from Cinema Spy. Please go ahead.

B. Kyllo Hello, Gabrielle. Thanks for your time today.

G. Anwar My pleasure.

B. Kyllo We have learned lots about Michaelís life and his past and quite a bit about Samís life and Samís past. We know very little about Fionaís past. Iíd like you to talk about whether or not Fiona has girlfriends. Does she go for lunch, shopping? Whatís her apartment like? Does she have a life outside guns?

G. Anwar Very funny. I donít think Fionaís the type of gal who takes lunches with her BFF. I donít even think she gets her nails done. I think that any attempt at being aesthetically feminine goes to the wayside when handling all these black market weapons. I think that perhaps she doesnít really settle anywhere. So as far as an apartment is concerned, Iím not sure she has many trinkets other than her snowglobes. Sheís not your average woman, letís face it.

B. Kyllo Well thatís clear.

G. Anwar You think?

B. Kyllo So then are we going to learn more about Fionaís background beyond the fact that sheís a former IRA agentówell, maybe not even former? Are we going to learn more about Fiona?

G. Anwar I donít know. Iíd like to because of her narcissistic connection...but itís really not up to me. I have my own secret fantasies of who she is and where she came from and where sheís going. But unfortunately that life hasnít connected to mine.

B. Kyllo So thereís nothing coming up in the rest of this season that you know of that will cast some light on her background, nothing revealed to you yet?

G. Anwar Not this far, no. Perhaps once we go back in a couple of weeks Iíll have a different story for you. But as of now what you all will be seeing tonight and so on, not so much.

B. Kyllo One quick follow-up then, if Michael and Fiona wouldnít have a traditional relationship, what would a Michael/Fiona relationship be like?

G. Anwar Dangerous.

B. Kyllo Well said. Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Lisa Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go ahead.

L. Steinberg Hello, Gabrielle. Itís such an honor to speak with you.

G. Anwar Thatís very sweet. Thanks.

L. Steinberg I was wondering, what about your role continues to challenge you?

G. Anwar That I still have to speak the American dialect. I think itís a bit nerve racking now that weíre heading into season three that Iím still going to be in a bikini. I think Iíll probably have to have a hip replacement if we get to season eight. Iím not sure if the bikiniís going to work then.

L. Steinberg What has been your most memorable moment youíve had since filming the show?

G. Anwar I donít know if I have just one moment. Every day that Iím working on that show I really feel incredibly blessed to be there. And Iím really not kidding you. I know thatís an awful clichť to hear, but I really mean it. I just have a series of memorable moments that are strung together which makes me very happy, because otherwise Iíd just be hoping to relive the lost memorable moment. But Iím actually looking forward to going back to work. Itís something I havenít often said.

L. Steinberg Speaking of that, you have such great chemistry with both of your leading men. How do you continue to maintain it?

G. Anwar Because Iím a woman.

L. Steinberg Use your feminine charms on them?

G. Anwar I enjoy people, I really do. I enjoy men for a variety of reasons. So Iím fortunate enough to be working with two members of the opposite sex which I think lends itself to an interesting chemistry whether it be sexual or otherwise. Thereís always something going on, and Iím fascinated by whatís really not being said more than anything else.

L. Steinberg Wonderful. Thank you again.

G. Anwar Youíre welcome.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Joshua Maloni from Niagara Frontier Publications. Please go ahead.

J. Maloni Hello, Gabrielle. Thanks for you time today.

G. Anwar Youíre welcome.

J. Maloni With regard to Fiona and Michael, when we talk to a lot of actors and actresses they sometimes are fearful of couples getting together or not getting together, thinking about what ramifications it might have on the length or the life of the series. From your own sort of personal opinion, do you want to see them get together? Do you want to see them stay apart? How do you want to see this relationship play out?

G. Anwar I have to agree. I think thereís a certain amount of tension that is inevitable when a relationship isnít really predictable. Obviously, Michael and Fiona have consummated their affection for one another. I think that the likelihood of their hooking up in a conventional manner with an engagement or a marriage or something, itís just not in their cards. I donít think it would appeal to either of them actually. Theyíre out of the box.

So I donít think that would be an issue as far as...just not have any kind of predictability. I find that much more intriguing. When you start taking someone for granted in real life or in make-believe it loses a sense of passion, particularly in my eyes. I canít see Gabrielle for those both.

J. Maloni Right. This is a character where you have to have a lot of guns, a lot of bombs. You have to be very physical. At the same time, like you said, youíre doing a lot more sort of bikini scenes this season. These are the kinds of things that not every actress would be necessarily comfortable with doing. Talk about the challenges of having to, number one, be in a bikini, number two, have retail of all these guns and bombs, and what are some of the things that you like about the challenges that the role offers you?

G. Anwar Iím very glad that we have a wonderful weapons master who knows what heís doing with a weapon, because Iím clueless. Without the crew, I would look absolutely ridiculous, which is basically the way I look when the cameraís not rolling. Iím really enjoying the fantasy of it because, obviously, itís not really a role that Iíve been offered in the past. So Iím really relishing the fact that I think Iím tough. Itís challenging to really make it look like I know what Iím doing.

Jeffreyís actually pretty good with self-defense, and heís quite technically minded. Heís very logically minded mostly because heís male and I am sort of a mishmash between being super feminine and being super feminist. Iím enjoying that aspect of my character in both Fiona and in myself.

J. Maloni Great. Thank you.

G. Anwar Youíre welcome.

Moderator Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Tom Parsons with Blogcritics.com. Please go ahead.

T. Parsons Thanks, Gabrielle. Thanks for taking our call.

G. Anwar Pleasure.

T. Parsons You say that your American accent is actually one of your challenges, but you seem to carry it off flawlessly. Why is it that English actors and actresses like yourself have such an easy time playing Americans?

G. Anwar Thanks. I have to disagree with you. I hear terrible versions of American dialects when I hear my fellow British thespians attempting it I confess. But I think that a lot of the American audiences are oblivious to the sounds that are not quite right. And when youíre struggling to be like them, and most of the audience for Burn Notice are indeed American, so I feel like I have the worst critics watching and listening to my every move.
So I think I struggle with it because I like to not be thinking about what I sound like, what I look like, what I smell like for that matter. But itís difficult to do that when youíre trying to sound like somebody other than yourself, at least it is for me. But I appreciate your vote of confidence.

T. Parsons I honestly would not have known other than just doing research on your bio and knowing you did come from England. And without hearing it in the conversations today, I wouldnít have been able to know just by your voice.

G. Anwar Good. Maybe I can chill out about it a little.

T. Parsons The other question just as a follow-up, what is, apart from Fiona, the favorite role of yours that youíve ever done?

G. Anwar I think I really had one of the best experiences of my life when I played in a film called Wild Hearts Canít Be Broken. I just had a ball. I loved the character. I loved the script. I loved the crew, and I loved that we were shooting in the South, and I discovered the Piggly Wiggly. It was one of my first All American experiences, and I just thought, ďWow, life is extraordinarily good.Ē

T. Parsons We just saw that as a family recently and thought it was just a terrific film. So thanks very much. Iím glad to know that that is still one of your favorites.

G. Anwar Thanks.

Moderator Our last question comes from the line of Stevie Wilson from Gather.com. Please go ahead.

S. Wilson Hello, Gabrielle. How are you today?

G. Anwar Iím great. How are you?

S. Wilson Iím glad itís almost Friday. Even though Fiona and you are quite different as characters, do you find that you see bits and pieces of Fiona sometimes popping up in the things that you do?

G. Anwar Unfortunately, yes. I have actually been able to get myself in quite a bit of trouble when the Fiona takes over for Gabrielle. I need to sort of remember that I canít actually speed down PCH because I will get a speeding ticket; Iím not playing a role in an action TV show. Unfortunately, I now have a speeding ticket.

S. Wilson I understand that part. Trust me, I have the same problem. The biggest thing I would say is that because Fiona is such a strong character and sheís such a dynamic woman, youíve got a huge fan base of woman who would like to become more like Fiona. Got a new tip?

G. Anwar Be careful. I would say that there something to be said for the empowerment of women without having to become masculine in order to accomplish that.

S. Wilson Thatís true, because you are able to do it a lot of times without even pulling a weapon. You do things and get in behind people and disarm them with just your charm.

G. Anwar Women are very charming. We have a lot to offer. I donít think itís anything to be ashamed of or to restrain or to sensor. I think weíve been given someóGod has given a gift, for a want of a better word, so why not use them while theyíre still appealing.

S. Wilson Thatís true. And for you, you mentioned that itís the guns and the weapons and things that are harder to deal with, but are you finding it more comfortable as the season goes on?

G. Anwar Perhaps. Iím still covered in bruises from the first day of shooting to the last. I can be a little clumsy. Iím quite petite, and a lot of these weapons are designed for big burly military men. Theyíre actually cumbersome and rather heavy. And when you drop them on your bare toes in a pair of stiletto heals itís no fun. I could use a pair of combat boots every now and then I think.

S. Wilson How much input do you get in terms of the costumes that you wear?

G. Anwar Rather a lot actually. Iím fortunate to have a wonderful costume designer and costume department who are very patient with me. As I mentioned, Iím quite small so I have a hard time shopping for myself so I can imagine anybody who isnít me would too. So I tend to sort of storm the big department stores and do a big old shopping spree and sign everything up to Burn Notice Production, which is quite possibly one of the most fun things to do in the world. So yes in answer to your question, I have plenty of freedom.

S. Wilson Love it. Thatís one of those things I think somebody should take a video of you going shopping. That would be hilarious.

G. Anwar Actually and foot the bill.

S. Wilson Yes that would be a good one. We send it off to Burn Notice so they can all go use it. That would be good.

G. Anwar Yes.

S. Wilson Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

G. Anwar Thank you.

C. Fehskens Ladies and gentlemen, Iíd like to once again thank Gabrielle for being with us today. Please remember to tune into all new episodes of Burn Notice Thursdays at 10:00/9:00 central on USA Network. Thanks again everyone.

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