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Interview with Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle
Anwar of "Burn Notice"
on USA Network.
This was a great call. She is very funny and laughs a
lot, not at all like her character, Fiona. He sounds a lot like
Michael but more business-like. He calls her "G" which is funny
because he calls her "Fi" on the show. They seem to have a great
I love this show and have watched every episode, so I am
a big fan.
Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar
February 25, 2010/12:00 p.m. EST
Moderator We'll go to the line of Kenn Gold with Media Blvd, please go
K. Gold Hello, I want to thank you both for taking the time today, I
really love the show and your performances. It's great to talk to you.
J. Donovan Thanks, Kenn.
K. Gold First question I had, I just wondered if you could talk about,
are you surprised at the success of this show? And I know at times, for
USA, the show is either competitive with NBC or sometimes even through
passing and are you surprised with the following that it's gotten over
J. Donovan Well, I think that all you can hope for is that you make
something that people want to watch and then somehow keep integrity
while doing that.
J. Donovan And so I think we're very happy with the ratings definitely.
I know we work really hard, so surprised, yes, we're always surprised
when anything succeeds in this day and age.
K. Gold Okay, great. And one for both of you, can you talk about your
characters and just kind of the evolution that we've seen in your
characters, and are you happy with where you guys have ended up with
your characters? And if you're in charge of everything, where would you
like to see them go I guess in the season or in the future?
G. Anwar Do you think we've evolved?
K. Gold I'm sure you could always do it better, I mean everybody's got
to have that feel for their character.
G. Anwar I don't know where we're going, where are we going, Jeffrey?
J. Donovan Well, I think that, I'll speak for Gabrielle, I mean I know
from talking with all the other cast mates, we're very happy with where
it's going. But sometimes Matt Nix and all the other writers keep us
slightly in the character dark, not because they don't trust us with the
knowledge, but they're just trying to figure it out as well along the
When you're dealing with espionage and covert affairs, sometimes the
secret is more exciting than the knowledge. If we were both in charge, I
would love a deeper insight into Michael's past, that's for me. I don't
know about Gabrielle, what would you like?
G. Anwar I'm quite happy with Fiona's enigmatic state of being. I don't
think I need to know more about, I'd love to know more about where
you're from, absolutely, but I quite like not knowing. I don't like to
know who I am.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Joshua Maloni with Niagara
Frontier, please go ahead. Joshua Maloni, your line is open. We'll move
on to the line of Jenny Rarden with TVismypacifier.com, please go ahead.
J. Rarden Hello. Thank you, guys, for speaking with us today. My first
question is for Jeffrey, I read online that in an upcoming episode,
Michael will be going somewhere other than Miami and that he won't be
alone. Can you tell us where your characters going and why, as well as
who's going with him?
J. Donovan Well, obviously I can't. It's the season finale, and it's
really literally in the last five minutes of the show. It's a bit of a
cliffhanger. Michael's been stuck in Miami for quite some time, and
there's a couple of psychopaths on his tail, and things come to a hilt.
And by the end of the show, Michael is actually transported out of
Miami, but I can't tell you where, but it's a bit of a cliffhanger.
J. Rarden Well that's good enough, yes, we wouldn't want to give
everything away. Okay, and then my second question is for both of you,
when my husband and I saw the previews for Burn Notice before its first
season, the thing that first caught our eye was you, Jeffrey. We've been
huge fans of yours since we saw you in Touching Evil, which we loved.
J. Donovan Thank you.
J. Rarden The other things that caught our attention were the plot and
that it was on USA, which we feel is a terrific network for bringing out
new and extraordinarily interesting shows and characters. So for both of
you, what first drew you to the show and to your characters?
J. Donovan Gabrielle?
G. Anwar I was drawn to the character, Fiona, I just thought it was so
brilliantly written. It was sparingly written, but so insightful. I
couldn't believe that a man had actually written the script, I mean at
least her character. When I first met Matt Nix, who created and wrote
the script, I actually said to him, you must have a remarkable
relationship with your wife, because you have such incredible insight.
So that was what intrigued me about playing a character.
When you sign up for a TV show, you don't know if it's going to be for a
pilot or for the rest of your life, so I wanted to play a character that
I enjoyed thoroughly, and there weren't that many of them out there. So
that's why I clasped onto this script with great hope.
J. Donovan I got hooked on the voiceover, the first page is a voiceover,
it says, "You know what it's like to be a spy?" I love the idea that not
only do I get to play a spy, I get to play a burn spy, and on top of
that, I can talk to the audience about what it's like being a spy. I
thought I had never seen anything like that on television, so that's
what hooked me.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Susan Leno with The TV MegaSite,
please go ahead.
S. Lanoue Hello. I was wondering if you could tell us anything about the
rest of the upcoming episodes, especially Good Intentions?
J. Donovan It's difficult, because a lot of it is, The Penultimate
Episode and then the finale have a lot of cliffhangers and a lot of
S. Lanoue Right.
J. Donovan So without giving too much away, Gilroy, who's basically a
psychopath controlling Michael's actions, has to deliver a plane that
has a secret piece of cargo in it and needs Michael's help to do it.
When that happens, you find out it actually is someone quite dangerous,
and Michael unfortunately allows him to escape.
And then the finale is about trying to capture this psychopath that's
S. Lanoue Alright, and what was it like working with Carlos Bernard in
J. Donovan Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Fantastic. He's such a wonderful man and a fantastic actor, it
was an absolute pleasure.
J. Donovan I didn't really work with him much, so it was all Gabrielle
and Carlos. So I only met him in brief, I think at the lunch table.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Joshua Maloni with NFT, please
J. Maloni Hello, guys, thanks for your time today, let's try this again
here. Let me ask you both, you both obviously had success in film, and a
lot of times when that happens, people are less likely to want to do
television. What do you like about this particular medium and why do you
keep coming back to television? What do you like about this?
J. Donovan I think that, especially with cable, it's an avenue to be
creative. I think why people are drawn more now to cable shows than ever
is that they take more risks, they're creatively pushing the envelope. I
think that the networks have to answer to a bigger advertising calling,
whereas the smaller cables have lower ceilings that they can bump their
heads on. So I think that's why I keep being drawn back to television,
because I think it's one of the most creative outlets.
And if you think about it, we make 16 one-hour movies a season. You
don't get any opportunity like that in movies. I mean, I can't say I'll
be able to do 16 movies in the next year, and so that's how I see it.
How about you, Gabrielle?
G. Anwar I like the stability, the continuity of having a lifestyle
where I know I can pay my rent at the end of each month. And also I have
these children that I am raising and it's nice for all of us to sort of
know that we're going to be in a specific place for a certain amount of
time. I've never known that in my career. So I'm really quite grateful
at this point that I get to have the sort of double existence and I can
rely on both.
J. Maloni Right. And Gabrielle, I apologize if you've already been asked
this, but take us a little bit inside Fiona's mind with regard to
Michael's pursuit of the truth of trying to erase the burn notice. What
is her sort of threshold? How long can she wait for him to sort of
fulfill this quest that he's on?
G. Anwar I don't know. It's really not up to me is it? I have my own
personal threshold and it was at the end of season one.
J. Donovan Wow, wow.
G. Anwar I think it's going to be a real testament to have patience and
adoration of Michael, which I don't think she would admit either.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Sheldon Weibe with Eclipse
Magazine, please go ahead.
S. Weibe Hello, thanks so much for doing this call. One of the strengths
of the show is that each of the three major characters is capable of
assessing the strength and weaknesses of an opponent or an ally. What
I'd like is if you would put yourselves in the mindsets of your
characters and then assess your own characters and each others.
G. Anwar Whoa.
J. Donovan Well, Dr. Freud, I would say that Michael is probably some
sort of borderline personality disorder who grew up in incredible fear
in a dysfunctional hostile family. He ran away and escaped it, so he
joined the U.S. Army to find a noble pursuit. Now, he uses all the
things that damaged him as his abilities now to help others. I wouldn't
even go in to trying to figure out Fiona.
G. Anwar Well, I don't even understand your question, so let's just
leave it at that.
S. Weibe Oh, dear, okay. What would Fiona's assessment of Michael be
from an objective potential opponent or ally position?
G. Anwar His ability to decipher the characteristics of the problem at
hand you mean, that assessment of him?
S. Weibe That kind of thing, yes.
G. Anwar I think she finds it extraordinarily erotic.
J. Donovan Really.
S. Weibe Okay.
G. Anwar I do. I think it's foreplay, all of it. I think she finds him
the most fascinating creature.
J. Donovan Wait a minute, you said I do, and then you said she, is this
G. Anwar Well, Dr. Freud, who's the bloody doctor here, Jeffrey?
J. Donovan He is.
G. Anwar Look what you've caused.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of April MacIntyre with Monsters &
Critics, please go ahead.
A. MacIntyre Okay, I'm going to compose myself from that last question.
Okay, right. So I'm loving the series and the more I watch your series,
Jeffrey, it reminds me of this old series from the 60s called The
Avengers. It has that feel. There's a very, the combination of real
drama and camp and humor and lightness.
And Gabrielle, you're Diana Rigg for lack of, yes—
G. Anwar Yes, thank you.
A. MacIntyre And of course, Jeffrey, you're Patrick Macnee for me, I
feel the more I watch it, the more I'm reminded of that series as far as
the pacing, the energy, the breaks of comedy into the drama. And I was
wondering if you could tell me, I really enjoyed seeing Tim Matheson and
you play off each other, and I'm wondering will we see Larry again?
J. Donovan Yes, you will. Larry's such a pivotal thorn in Michael's ...
and that gives my character great ammunition to kind of fight with. He's
a terrific character and Tim's such a wonderful man and an extraordinary
actor. One, we were lucky to get him, and two, he's actually happy to be
on the show and wants to continually come back. He'll be directing
season four's premiere.
A. MacIntyre Wow.
J. Donovan And also, he'll return as Larry at some point in the season.
A. MacIntyre Love that. And Gabrielle, I love the unspoken
communication, you guys say more in glances and looks than what's
delivered on the script, and that's another wonderful thing about this
series. And Gabrielle, I was wondering about you and Madeline, your
relationship with each other, and obviously she and Michael are a tribe
of two, but I think it's growing bigger. Can you talk about that?
G. Anwar Yes. I think that these two women have a tremendous amount of
respect for one another. And you're right, there's so little spoken
about what's really being felt and really being witnessed with that
connection to Michael, which I think is pretty accurate to real life,
especially with the in-law figures. There's so much that's not spoken
out loud, and yet there are so many physical undertones and it's very
apparent, and that's thanks to Sharon. I mean, her performance is so
beautifully nuanced and I find it terribly inspiring. She's a wonderful
woman and actress.
Moderator We'll open up the line of Alix Denver with The TV Chicks.com.
A. Denver Hello, thanks so much for taking the call. I was wondering who
would be your dream guest stars you'd like to see appear on the show?
J. Donovan Hold on, Alix, how old are you?
A. Denver I am 27.
J. Donovan Oh, okay, you sound 17, I just wanted to make sure.
A. Denver I promise.
J. Donovan Okay, alright. Gabrielle, who's your dream guest star?
G. Anwar Steve McQueen.
J. Donovan Yes, he's dead.
G. Anwar He is?
J. Donovan Gosh, you don't read the papers.
G. Anwar I didn't realize it had to be somebody who could actually
appear on the show, but I would say Steve McQueen.
J. Donovan I would love Angelina Jolie.
A. Denver How interesting. And do you think there might be perhaps any
other USA network show crossovers in the future or would you like to see
J. Donovan I actually would like to do a crossover somehow with White
Collar, I think that the show tonally is similar to ours. I don't know
how that would work, but I would like to see that. I don't think we
would work with any other show. I think Psych and Royal Pains doesn't
figure into our tone.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Lauren Becker with Shooting Star
Mag, please go ahead.
L. Becker Hello, thanks for talking to us. My question was, one of the
things that I really love about the show is the different kind of
characters and personas that you both take on to figure out to help your
clients and everything. And so I was wondering if you had a favorite
kind of accent or persona that you've done or how you get the
inspiration for that or if you just go with what's in the script?
J. Donovan Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Well, you're the final king. I don't know how Jeffrey can come
up with these creations that he does. It's pretty remarkable, especially
he's got such a heavy workload and yet he still can create these
fabulous side characters. It's really, really fun to watch. I don't have
that in my repertoire, so I'm glad it's all on his shoulders.
J. Donovan Oh, sure you do. You played the French character, you played
a hillbilly kind of girl, white trash girl, Gabrielle—
G. Anwar That's it, we've seen all I've got.
J. Donovan I think a lot of the characters that we play really do come
out of a script. The writers are incredibly talented and they really
help us with specific dialogue and note and kind of character
descriptions. My favorite—
G. Anwar Yes, you do still come up with these fabulous little quirky
things, like the chewing tobacco and the tooth picks and it's really
fun. Those little tiny quirks make it so much more interesting than if
it were just what was on the page I think.
J. Donovan Some people call those crutches, those are crutches. I think
those are crutches. But my favorite character of all has to be Michael
McBride, the Irish character that I played. It's because it's the
character that Fiona had fallen in love with, so it's very dear to my
G. Anwar Oh.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Sarah Fulghum with
S. Fulghum Hello. I'd like to know what goes into learning all the side
tricks. Is it just like here's your script and have at it or is there
more training and research involved in your roles?
J. Donovan We have an ex-operative that actually is a consultant on our
show that Matt Nix and the other writers have access to, so everything
that is put into the show gets vetted through him before we air it.
Ninety-five percent of it you can find on the Internet anyway, but
everything that is put into a script has been researched and vetted, so
that when we speak it or we do it, we know it's actual.
S. Fulghum Got it. And to both of you, what has been your most memorable
experience with meeting the fans of the show?
J. Donovan Gabrielle?
G. Anwar What with the fans, sorry?
S. Fulghum Memorable experience with meeting the fans of the show?
G. Anwar I think actually to be honest, it's the fact that so many
couples are enjoying it together. It's become sort of a date night
theme, which is really fabulous. I'm happy for bringing the love, it's
all about the love.
J. Donovan Yes, that's actually true, Gabrielle. A lot of husband/wives
and boyfriend/girlfriends come up to me, the husband will say, "Oh my
gosh, my wife loves the show. I got her onto it," or she'll say, or a
woman will come and say, "My husband didn't watch the show until I told
him about it." It's pretty neat that it is kind of a date night for
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Isis Fernandez with Character
Playground, please go ahead.
I. Fernandez Hello, both of you. It's such a pleasure to talk to both of
J. Donovan Thank you.
G. Anwar Thank you.
I. Fernandez And I love Fiona. Fiona is fabulous, because sometimes a
girl just wants to see things blow up and she's the answer that we've
all been praying for. I'm a long time viewer of the show, and one of the
things that I wanted to know more about was season one, wanted to know
who burned Michael Westen; in season two, we wanted to see him get away
from Carla; in season three he was exposed, kind of naked to the world,
in fact, of espionage.
And so I was kind of wondering now that we're seeing how Michael is and
how the group is without the big overall mystery of who burnt Michael
Westen, and who's doing this, is there going to be a return of
management anytime soon? Maybe management checks in saying, "Michael, do
you want to come back," or are we going to see that at all, maybe in
J. Donovan Yes, season four is actually pretty remarkable. I met with
the writers last week and we kind of broke down the next eight or nine
episode ark. A new character is going to be introduced.
I. Fernandez Okay.
J. Donovan I don't know the name yet, but he is going to be a young
operative, but he's going to play a significant new role on the show.
And then there is actually going to be a change of management. There's
going to be a new management that controls Michael's life, and you'll
see Michael have to go on even more dangerous missions under this new
management with the new operative.
I. Fernandez Fabulous. And Fiona gets to blow more stuff up, correct?
J. Donovan Yes, more of Fiona explosions.
G. Anwar Oh, yes.
I. Fernandez And my follow-up question as we know is a Fiona-related
question. We know Fiona wants Michael to settle down, Fiona wants the
life, and at this point, we're not sure Fiona's going to get the life.
So for both of you guys I guess, what do you think the life that Fiona
seeks would look like or could look like, obviously it's not going to be
Suburbia and the 2.5 children and the dog and the cat, so what could it
G. Anwar I don't know to be perfectly honest whether she does want to
settle down. I don't think that that is interesting to her at all. I
think she wants to feel secure, but again I don't know what that
definition of security might be to her. It's certainly not your typical
conventional idea of marriage for example, but I think she wants to feel
secure because she's a woman and it seems innate in all of us.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Laura Tucker with Small Screen,
please go ahead.
L. Tucker Yes, hello. My first question is for both of you. One thing
that always cracks me up when watching Burn Notice is the tags that they
put on the freeze screens of like the newer temporary characters such as
Gilroy Freelance Psychopath or Damon ... What would each of your tags be
under your names, not for Michael and Fiona, but for Jeffrey and
G. Anwar Okay, you first.
J. Donovan If I got introduced, a smiling shark.
G. Anwar Oh, gosh, still figuring it out.
J. Donovan That's true actually.
L. Tucker Okay. My other question is for Jeffrey, I'm always interested
in the fight scenes on the show and I'm a martial arts instructor. And I
know much of what we see you do is most likely complements of the stunt
coordinator, but I've also heard that you have martial arts training
yourself, can you fill me in on that?
J. Donovan Actually what you see is 90% me actually. I have a black belt
in Shotokan karate, about 15 years experience. I have eight years in
Jujitsu and Akito, and about three years of boxing. So what I try to do
in every episode is the stunt coordinator makes it safe, but most of the
time I choreograph it. And it's a great relationship, because I will say
what would really happen here is this, and then he comes in and makes it
safe for the guest stars. And if something gets too physical, then the
stunt men come in and take over.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Stevie Wilson with Atlas
Story.com, please go ahead.
S. Wilson Hello. Obviously I'm not Steve, I'm Stevie, and the question I
had for you is, Jeffrey, you spend a lot of time, because you're the
main character, you are very physical in this role, and you obviously
spend so much time on set, what do you do for fun in what little off
time you have?
J. Donovan I golf. Luckily down in Florida, there's a lot of golf
courses, and I just put a golf hat on and take my sticks out and I
usually walk a course. And sometimes I'm by myself and sometimes I just
kind of walk onto a twosome or a threesome and join them, and most
people just kind of leave me alone, and that's my quiet time. I love
walking about four or five hours on a golf course.
S. Wilson How's your handicap?
J. Donovan I'm good, I'm a single digit, I'm down to a seven.
S. Wilson Impressive, wow. Okay, Gabrielle, you have a complicated life
too, you've got kids and you live out in LA, how do you juggle all this
and then find time for yourself?
G. Anwar I don't. I don't have any time for myself. In fact, sitting
here in this hotel room in New York is as exciting as it gets for me, my
alone time. There really is no time, I'm a mom, and mom's don't have
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Cameron Cubison with
poptimal.com, please go ahead.
C. Cubbison Hello, thank you both so much. I was curious now having
three seasons under your belt, is it getting easier or harder to keep
playing these characters and stay invested in them? Are there any
challenges you're facing now that maybe you didn't have in the beginning
of the show?
J. Donovan I'm getting older.
G. Anwar Here, here.
J. Donovan And as you get older it's harder to run and jump over cars
and beat up bad guys, but it becomes easier in some ways because you
know the characters so well, so it's a little bit of both. What would
you say, Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Yes, I always get a little anxious like the first day of school
when we've had our hiatus and we're coming back, because I think I'm not
as insane as I was when we started shooting, which really landed itself
to Fiona. And now I'm afraid I might be getting a little boring in my
old age, so I think that I don't know if I can step into her shoes and
deliver. I have that anxiety before we start shooting.
J. Donovan Oh, you underestimate your insanity.
G. Anwar Really, oh, thank you, I really appreciate that support.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Lena Lamoray with Lena
Lamoray.com, please go ahead.
L. Lamoray Hello, Jeffrey and Gabrielle.
J. Donovan Hello.
G. Anwar Hello.
L. Lamoray Have you ever tried any of the spy tips you give on the show?
J. Donovan No. No, absolutely not. Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Not the spy tips, no, but I do think that I can do super human
things like drive my car at 150 miles an hour on the PCH and then get
into trouble for it.
L. Lamoray You have such fantastic chemistry on screen, so what is it
like off screen with each other and with other cast members?
G. Anwar Oh, it's a problem.
J. Donovan Well, we don't find each other at all funny, that's a hard
thing. We're very blessed, we really are. I know cast mates usually
probably hide the fact that there's tension and turmoil, but Bruce,
Sharon, Gabrielle, and I, we get along, not only on screen, but off
screen. They're extraordinary actors, but even better people, and the
chemistry is just terrific. We have dinner, we hang out whenever we have
time off, which is very little.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Zach Oat with TV Without
Pity.com, please go ahead.
Z. Oat Hello, guys, thanks for doing this. On a recent episode of
Saturday Night Live, they did a parity game show called, What is Burn
Notice? Where people who had not seen the show tried to figure out what
it was about based on vague promos and sort of an obscure title. Did you
know that aside from your massage number of viewers, that there were
people out there who didn't really know what the show was about? And do
you think it's a hard show to wrap your head around either based on the
title or on the concept?
J. Donovan I don't know. It seems like everybody knows the show, because
I walk down the street and everyone yells, "Burn Notice, I love your
show." So I thought it was kind of a funny parity, quite funny actually,
to make a show, it's like what is Seinfeld on cable? So I just thought
it was hysterical. What did you think, Gabrielle?
G. Anwar I thought it was funny. I think Ashton Kutcher's awfully cute.
He can make fun of me anytime.
Z. Oat Great, thank you.
Moderator Brian Fitzpatrick with Lair of the Green, your line is open.
B. Fitzpatrick Hello, guys, thanks for spending some time with us today.
J. Donovan Sure.
G. Anwar You're welcome.
B. Fitzpatrick The addition of Chris Vance as a psychopath Mason Gilroy
is really given you guys a violent insane villainess this season. And
when Michael and Gilroy meet it seems like they're kind of coiled vipers
waiting to strike at each other. He seems to really enjoy being a
psycho. How is working with him added to the show during the season?
J. Donovan Yes, he's definitely added a great tension to every scene
that I'm in with him, and I think kind of a great super villain that
kind of governs over the show. I think the best part of Burn Notice is
always when the villain or guest star is either more talented, smarter,
or crazier than the rest of the cast, because it ups all our game. What
do you think, Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Yes, I agree. I don't actually get to work with Gilroy, but I
agree with you. There's nothing more inspiring than to have to pull
everything you have out of your back pocket on the stage. And we have so
little time to rehearse and to find everything imaginable in one scene,
that when you do have this fantastic talent to work with, it really is,
it's fun, it makes it so much more enjoyable.
B. Fitzpatrick Great. As a follow up, it's really obvious that Miami is
as much a character in the show as the setting. What's your guys
favorite part about filming in such a diverse and vibrant city?
J. Donovan I actually love the weather, to be honest with you. I love
that the climate is constantly being washed and rinsed. You're living in
the Caribbean in the United States and sometimes it's incredible blue
skies and sometimes it's an incredible thunderstorm that kind of screams
through, but I love that part of Florida.
Moderator Matt Carter with Examiner.com, your line is open.
M. Carter Hello, Jeffrey and Gabrielle.
G. Anwar Hello.
J. Donovan Hello.
M. Carter My first question I guess would just be for Jeffrey, and
that's how was it working with Tyne Daly from Cagney and Lacey? I mean
those themes at the start of this mid-season premiere, they were heart
wrenching. It was some of the best drama I've seen on the show, so I was
just curious how it was for you? I don't know if Gabrielle had much of
an opportunity to spend time with her on set.
J. Donovan To be honest with—
G. Anwar No, I didn't unfortunately.
J. Donovan Yes, and neither did I, it was almost all with Sharon. So we
all, to be honest with you, sat back and watched two pros go toe-to-toe
12 rounds. It was quite remarkable. We were all just blown away by it.
So I was more of a spectator like you than I was an actor in it.
M. Carter Wow. My other question then would be for both of you, and that
is, what would you guys say is most dangerous stunt you've had to do?
Were you ever actually afraid doing it?
G. Anwar I don't like fighting with Jeffrey, because I always hurt him.
Because I don't know what I'm doing, and he's such an expert, and I
always manage to accidentally cause some damage.
J. Donovan Yes, the most dangerous is either a bomb or something going
off or a fight with Gabrielle. They're about the same.
M. Carter Alright, well thank you, guys, so much.
Moderator Jay Jacobs with pop-entertainment.com, your line is open.
J. Jacobs Hello, guys. Well, you sort of touched on what I'm going to
ask already, but over the years Michael and Fiona sort of brought this
romantic feeling and this background story of their past, and it seems
like there are little hints that they're giving in a little bit more,
both as a character and also as the straight actor.
Do you think that that could ever work, like just as part of the show?
Do you think that maybe it's a good idea not to give into those things,
getting into sort of the Ross and Rachel, Dave and Mattie type of thing,
where you sort of like too much of the tension in the show?
J. Donovan What do you think, Gabrielle?
G. Anwar No, what do you think?
J. Donovan No, you go first, I've done it all.
G. Anwar No, no, no, no answer.
J. Donovan Fiona and Michael are our real relationship in as much as TV
relationships are built off of tension, and let's say it's Bruce Willis
and Cybil Shepherd in Moonlighting. Once the banter ended after a couple
of seasons and they slept together, there was no tension.
J. Jacobs Right.
J. Donovan That is a typical TV relationship. Ours actually is atypical,
we have had sexual relations, we have fought, we have gotten back
together, we've hated each other, we've become friends to each other,
that is the tumultuous relationship of their dynamic, and that will
never change. So the tension is not about them hooking up, the tension I
think is their love for each other and how that's displayed every
J. Jacobs Alright. And speaking of tension, it seems to me that this
season Michael's relationship with his mother is sort of soft. Did that
sort of come naturally with just dealing with Sharon over the years or
is that something that was sort of planned out?
J. Donovan Was that for me or for Gabrielle?
J. Jacobs Well, for either of you, but I guess you probably dealing with
Sharon more in this particular set.
J. Donovan Could you repeat the question, I'm sorry, you broke up?
F. Jacobs Yes, Michael's relationship with his mother has softened a lot
this season from where it was in the early season, they were constantly
fighting, and now you see more of the strong bond and the love together.
J. Donovan Yes.
J. Jacobs And they are really trying to help each other, was that
something that just sort of came naturally from working with Sharon over
the years or how did that come about?
J. Donovan Well, you can help but love Sharon, but at the end of the
day, we're actors and we can create any hatred or tension that we need
for a scene to work.
J. Jacobs Right.
J. Donovan So I don't think the writers were ever thinking like, "Oh,
how nice, Jeff and Sharon get along, let's make them love each other on
the show." I think what you're seeing is just a natural evolvement of
what does a viewer want to watch. Do you want to see a mother and son
antagonistically attack each other every single episode for five years?
I don't think so. So it's just a natural progression, just like Fiona
and Michael's natural progression.
F. Jacobs Okay, thank you very much.
Moderator Connie Allen with Blast Magazine, your line is open.
C. Allen Hello, thank you for taking my questions this afternoon. The
first one is for Jeff, you mentioned about Michael's past, it seems that
his father seems to be a significant part of who he is and we always get
little bits and pieces about him. There's been some fan speculation that
maybe the show isn't always what it seems, that maybe his father could
be alive or could not be alive. How would you feel if that were to
change, if he found out some new information about his father?
J. Donovan Well, that device is always in play every season. I don't
think we ever sit around and plot that Michael's father is going to come
back. It's not something that we think about, we just know that the
device is in play and we like it that way. I think the only shocking
thing would be if Sam turns out to be my dad, that would be awkward.
C. Allen Alright. And my follow-up question is actually for the both of
you. Obviously you guys get along really well, are there any favorite or
challenging scenes that you've done so far that kind of stick out in
J. Donovan What do you mean, challenging, in what way?
C. Allen Challenging, like dangerous, any challenges there, or dynamic
scenes, like anything that's a favorite that you two have done and
worked together that kind of stand out as memorable?
J. Donovan Yes, I really love a scene that kind of came out of working
with Gabrielle this past season where we created a scene that wasn't
necessarily on the page where I slap her across the face. And Gabrielle
did such an incredible performance of having to deal with her feelings
for Michael hitting her and then acting as an undercover character. That
I think was probably some of the best work I've ever seen her do and
that was one of the most memorable moments for me.
G. Anwar Thank you.
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Jason Kerouac with
Panelsonpages.com, please go ahead.
J. Kerouac First for Jeffrey, I know that you've recently donated some
money to your high school in Angsbury, Massachusetts; but I know you're
also very involved in Life Rolls On, could you tell us a little bit
about that cause and what drew you to it specifically?
J. Donovan Well, many years ago, an actor friend of mine asked me if I
wanted to go to a charity golf event out in Malibu for Life Rolls On,
and I hadn't heard about it. And he explained it's a charitable
foundation to raise money for spinal cord injuries in young athletes.
And Jesse Billauer suffered a life changing surfing accident at the age
of 19, and this foundation was created out of his name.
It's a wonderful foundation that raises funds that aren't necessarily
being put into by the government or a lot of private foundations, to
research how we can get these kids either wheelchair assisted living or
new types of devices that will help them either walk or stand or even
ride a surf board again or any sport that they got injured in. And so
that's how I got involved and it's an incredible organization.
J. Kerouac Excellent. And then my second question would be for both of
you, a complete redirection here, but we see a lot of TV shows getting
the action figure treatment now, Lost, Dexter, would you guys be
interested if the opportunity came up to be a mortalized little plastic—
J. Donovan Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, Dexter, a serial
killer is an action figure?
J. Kerouac There is an action figure of Dexter, so I mean Michael Westen
would be an obvious choice I would think, and you have to have knife—
J. Donovan Does he have a knife in his hand, I mean, are you kidding me?
J. Kerouac He does, he does.
J. Donovan Are kids playing with this stuff?
J. Kerouac I mean it's not on the shelves at Toys R Us, but it's for the
J. Donovan Okay, alright, now I'm feeling a little bit better. I just
was a little worried about that.
G. Anwar I sense a little jealousy.
J. Donovan You sense a little fear. I would love a Michael Westen action
figure and a Fiona Glenanne action figure, and then I could blow them up
Moderator Next, we'll go to the line of Curt Wagner with Show Patrol,
please go ahead.
C. Wagner Hello, guys, thanks for doing the call. I love the show. Most
of my questions have been asked, but I was wondering if we're ever going
to see any flashback episodes to see how your two characters met or
maybe how Bruce and one of your characters meet or anything like that,
if that's ever been talked about?
J. Donovan Flashback has been talked about, but not in a nice way. We're
not, one, we've never done a flashback ever of anything and it's just
not a device that we employ, so I doubt it, but I can't rule it out. One
of my favorite episodes of Magnum PI, which I was a fan of was when Tom
Selleck got knocked off a boat and he had to wade in the water until he
was picked up. So they just basically shot him for about a half an hour
wading in the water and then did the entire show of flashbacks. I liked
C. Wagner Alright. And then Jeffrey, any plans to return to Chicago and
do some more theatre here?
J. Donovan Not in the winter, I will guarantee you that my friend, never
again. I give Chicagoans all the credit in the world. No wonder Barack
Obama became President, the man survived winters in Chicago, that man
can handle anything.
C. Wagner Okay. Well then I guess it's not going to happen right, your
shooting schedule doesn't allow it then.
J. Donovan I know, I know unfortunately.
C. Wagner Alright, well thank you, good job, and good luck.
J. Donovan Thank you.
Moderator Rosa Cordero with Accidental Sexiness.com, your line is open.
G. Anwar Accidental Sexiness?
R. Cordero Yes, totally you guys are sexy on purpose, so I'm going to
have to make a special posting for this interview. First, I want to
thank you both for bringing, I'm a South Florida native, born and raised
in Miami, and you guys bring our city actually onto the small screen,
because these other shows they call themselves Miami, but they don't
actually film here.
J. Donovan You're welcome.
R. Cordero So that's awesome. And I really love, I follow both of you on
the small screen, and on the big screen, Gabrielle, you're awesome on
The Tudors, and Jeffrey, you were so awesome in Changeling. I wonder if
there's any other projects you guys are working on?
J. Donovan None for me.
G. Anwar Me neither.
R. Cordero Gabrielle, don't you have two movies that are due to come
G. Anwar Oh, that's right, yes, I do. In fact, I don't even know what's
one of them is called, because they keep changing the title on me, so
I'm not going to be able to do much of shout out for that. I have
nothing coming up, only Burn Notice for now.
R. Cordero I thought Warrior and The Family Tree?
G. Anwar Oh, gosh, those. I shot those more than three years ago.
R. Cordero Oh, they have them listed for 2010, that's so strange.
G. Anwar Oh, that's not a good sign when they've been sitting on the
shelf that long, just FYI.
J. Donovan I'll be the first in line.
R. Cordero And Jeffrey, I hear you have an acting school here in Miami,
is that true?
J. Donovan Well, it's not a formalized school, but it is, I teach
seminars. I've partnered with a casting director who's been working in
South Florida for about 20 years, Ellen Jacoby, and we created a acting
seminar, basically a small little institute for beginners, advanced, and
intermediate actors in the area.
And it's really a selfish journey for me, because we're running out of
actors on our show to hire locally. So instead of going to Louisiana or
South Carolina or any of these places around us, I thought why don't we
just increase the talent level of the locals, so that's why I'm doing
R. Cordero Oh, that's great, if you need any cute Miami bloggers in your
background, you can just let me know.
J. Donovan Okay, I will.
R. Cordero Thank you.
C. Fehskens Gloria, we have time for one last question.
Moderator That will come from the line of Kristyn Clark with Pop Culture
Madness, please go ahead.
K. Clark Hello, thank you so much for taking our call today.
J. Donovan Sure.
K. Clark What has been your most memorable episode to shoot?
J. Donovan Gabrielle?
G. Anwar Wow. I think the episode that's airing tonight was memorable
for me, because I actually had to work every day.
J. Donovan For once.
G. Anwar For once. It's true, I actually had a much greater significance
in the storyline for this particular episode, so I got a taste of what
Jeffrey has to contend with on a daily basis, and I was absolutely
bloody exhausted. So it was memorable, because I just had to work really
hard "for once."
J. Donovan And I guess my most memorable is the pilot. No one had ever
heard of Burn Notice, not even the term. They put this rag-tag team
together of Bruce, me, Sharon, and Gabrielle, and Matt Nix who had never
been given a show before, and we just kind of went down to South Florida
and we made our show. We made the Burn Notice and what every episode has
been based on since, so that's the most memorable. Because I'm so proud
that we took a risk, we did the show we wanted to do, and that it caught
on is just gravy.
K. Clark Awesome. And as my follow up, since the majority of the
questions have been addressed, what is one question that you wish
someone would ask that they haven't asked you before?
J. Donovan There isn't a question out there that hasn't been asked to be
honest with you, all the way down to a why I don't sweat, and I do, I
just hide it well.
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