Interview with Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnegan of "Monday Mornings" on TNT- Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan

Interview with Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan of "Monday Mornings" on TNT 1/16/13

Sometimes it's tough with these interviews not to just spend your whole time fawning all over your favorite actor.  It's a good thing it's only a phone call because if I actually got to look at Jamie Bamber, I'm sure I'd just want to stare and drool, and I would not be able to ask a question at all! Not to mention, he has a gorgeous accent.  All of this is very unprofessional, of course. I stuck to some good questions, but it was difficult. Bamber is one of my favorite actors, ever since he played Apollo on "Battlestar Galactica; but he was also outstanding on "Law & Order: UK". Jennifer used to play Bridget on "The Bold & The Beautiful" and was wonderful in that, and I she has gone on to many great primetime shows. I hope this show is a success for both of them. I really enjoyed this call!

Moderator: Brad Bernstein
January 16, 2013 1:30 pm CT

Operator: Good day everyone and welcome to the Turner Entertainment (hosted) Jamie Bamber and Jennifer Finnigan conference for Monday Mornings conference call.

Todayís conference is being recorded. To ask a question at any time today please press the star key followed by the digit 1. At this time Iíd like to turn the conference over to Brad Bernstein.

Brad Bernstein: Thank you everyone for joining us today and thank you to Jamie and Jennifer as well. TNTís newest drama Monday Mornings will debut on February 4 at 10:00 PM. It comes from executive producers, David E. Kelley and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Jamie plays Dr. Tyler Wilson and Jennifer plays Dr. Tina Ridgeway and we will now open it up to your questions for Jamie and Jennifer. Thank you!

Operator: Again, star 1 for questions. Weíll go first to Earl Dittman, Digital Journal Wireless.

Earl Dittman: Hey guys how are you all today?

Jennifer Finnigan: Hey, very good thanks, how are you?

Jamie Bamber: Good, how are you?

Earl Dittman: I have to say, Monday Mornings is one of the most impressive new shows, if not the best new show, of the new season. I mean, I was just awe struck.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you, youíre my favorite!

Earl Dittman: Itís incredible. I mean, like I said I used to worship the alter of ER and thatís as a frame of reference but I have to say out of looking back at all of the other kind of medical-based shows this really just kind of takes the cake for me. Itís really incredible.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Earl Dittman: It really is. I canít rave enough about it itís just Ė thatís how it just hit me of how good it is.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Earl Dittman: I guess first, Jamie, of course we know you better from Battlestar Galactica and then Law & Order UK, Iíll start with you first. What was it about Ė was it pretty evident that this was pretty special when you first read the script?

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, it was. It was really three things for me. When you read David E. Kelleyís name on a script you get a good feeling, you know that this is going to get a chance, people are going to give it a chance and then Sanjay Gupta coupled with that so you have David Kelleyís dramatic experience and then youíve got Sanjay Gupta the medical angle and a great communicator in his own right that everyoneís heard of and youíve got two great authorities right there.

But for me it was about the character in that first episode because when you read one episode you donít know really what the series is going to look like but I knew that there was a really good character that I could get myself and my teeth into someone who has been blessed with natural confidence and his own ability whose confidence is shattered in the very first episode.

So I knew there was massive dramatic potential and I trusted that David and Sanjay would know how to make more of the same and it was really those three ingredients.

Earl Dittman: Would you say that itís maybe the most challenging character youíve played so far? Would that be fair in saying? For you personally?

Jamie Bamber: I donít know if itís the most challenging, you know, every character is a challenge, for me the particular challenge of this guy is the unquestioned confidence with which he confronts everything that he does. Thatís certainly not who I am in life and, yeah, so that aspect of it was a challenge itís always a challenge to sell the idea that Iím actually a neurosurgeon and I know what to do with all of these instruments and tools and all of these words. Would I say Ė I donít know if itís the greatest challenge. I think I felt more challenge when I started Battlestar just because I felt very unprepared for the whole American TV machine and I was trying a new accent on and I donít have any issues with an accentÖ

Earl Dittman: Which you have mastered wonderfully!

Jamie Bamber: Well, I donít know if I mastered it but I certainly donít have anxiety about it.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, heís mastered it.

Jamie Bamber: And I did have anxiety when I started Battle Ė well, youíre very sweet! So yeah, I felt pretty Ė you know, I was nervous because of Davidís reputation. Heís a great producer over here and I didnít want to let myself or him down so I was definitely apprehensive and nervous but, no, he was challenged enough, put it that way.

Earl Dittman: All right, well Jennifer real quickly before I pass you on to somebody else. Same kind of thing, when you read it what were your feelings?

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, very similar to Jamie first and foremost the David Kelley aspect and then the fact that we had Sanjay backing us and not only that it was based on a novel and Iíve never played a character that was based on a novel before. I liked that there was a very clear outline of who this character was. I liked that I had someone to guide me if I had any questions and then I think there were a couple of other ingredients that were important to me as well.

Iíve wanted to be part of a very strong ensemble for a long time and I was fortunate enough to do that in comedy in my last show but I truly was wanting to do that in drama.

And then the other thing being I desperately wanted to work on a cable show. I think that especially TNT is notorious for allowing their shows to grow and giving them a chance and there expectations are more realistic. They also allow a show to breath, allow the creators to really have their own space and they donít try to interfere so much they just really allow the show to grow and to sort of do itís own thing without trying to poke their heads in andÖ

Earl Dittman: Well look at the Closer. The Closer is a perfect example of that. I mean, it started off kind of small and then it just grew into this gigantic animal.

Jennifer Finnigan: Right, and you know thatís something that networks used to do. I mean, everybody knows the story about how Cheers used to be, what, Cheers was like number 99 and then they gave it a couple of years and it was number one for eight more years.

So, you know, there is something to be said about allowing audiences to discover a show over time and itís certainly a blessing for us actors if we get more than a season to really discover who our characters are and get down deeper as performers.


Earl Dittman: Thank you so much. I better let you go and pass you on to someone else or Iíll have you on the phone all day. Thanks so much guys, if I catch you next go-round I appreciate it, but again, great job! Thanks.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Thank you so much. Well said Jen!

Jennifer Finnigan: You too.

Operator: Star 1 for questions. Jamie Steinberg, Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi, itís such a pleasure to speak with you both!

Jennifer Finnigan: Hi, nice to speak to you.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi Jamie, great to speak to you.

Jamie Steinberg: I was wondering if there was anything about your characters that wasnít originally scripted for you that youíve added to your roles?

Jennifer Finnigan: Jamie, do you want to take that first?

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, a yellow watch. I added that.

Jennifer Finnigan: And the orange drawstrings?

Jamie Bamber: A yellow wristwatch is me and thatís all I can say. Maybe my haircut. I think I added the haircut and the beard. Yeah, I did, actually I did. I brought the hair and I brought the beard and I picked out a yellow watch strap. But noÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: That beard is unpredictable. I never know how closely youíre going to be trimming that beard from episode to episode. You really kept me on my toes.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, I have my own thing going on but, no, Sanjay really served it up on a plate for me and David present it to the viewing public and I think that the real blessing here is that normally as an actor you have to create your own character back story to the world and Sanjayís largely done that for me with his novel. I mean, thereís a few differences but basically that was a real treat to have someoneís creation be so much broader than just one episode of the pilot to get your (unintelligible) to start.

So I just used everything that Sanjay really threw my way.

Jennifer Finnigan: On that note my braid, my ďiconic braidĒÖ

Jamie Bamber: Oh, itís so superficial weíre both in the (script).

Jennifer Finnigan: But, no, aside from that David has this uncanny ability and the best writers too to within an episode or two start nailing down the actual personís characteristics and somehow infusing their character with those.

And I would notice by Episode 3, Episode 4, there were just little things that resonated with me personally and so it wasnít Ė it just became easier and easier from episode to episode because I just started to understand her so much more through Davidís eyes and Sanjayís eyes as well.

So, I think for me my biggest challenge was during the pilot my character was largely there to facilitate the Ty storyline and the agony that he was going through and so my biggest challenge was really in the pilot trying to create a character given a little bit of information about who she really is.

And so, yeah, I just tried really hard to give her a lot of heart and a lot of warmth. I wanted her to be a rock for a lot of the doctors at that hospital and so thatís something that I really tried to put forth. But after the pilot it was just easy.

Jamie Steinberg: Many of the cast has joined Twitter as a way to interact with fans andÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: Many have Jamie.

Jamie Steinberg: Exactly, so I was wondering when we could expect maybe Jamie to join?

Jamie Bamber: I have no plans to join Twitter yet. I am not going to say never but, yeah, it just doesnít feel like me right now. So, Iím not going to Ė my wife occasionally tweets on my behalf and thatís good for me for the moment.

Jennifer Finnigan: His fan club, heís got a couple of fan club people on Twitter who I basically feel like I Ė that its him because they represent him so well and they post up all of the clips of the show and photos of him so they do a beautiful job.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, there is a feed that is run for me and, yeah, whenever I need to find out where Iíve been I look on there and they tell me.

Jamie Steinberg: Great, thank you both so much!

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Thanks.

Operator: Weíll go next to (Stacy Roberts).

Stacy Roberts: Hello?

Jennifer Finnigan: Hi.

Jamie Bamber: Hi (Stacy).

Stacy Roberts: Oh, hi. Sorry about that. Jennifer, what is it like working with your husband on the show and then seeing him date someone else?

Jennifer Finnigan: Well, both are fun actually. Weíve worked together in the past. We have a great time and itís always nice when I have very long hours and I get to see him pop in and visit. Heís also very well liked there, everybody is always asking me whereís (Johnny), whenís (Johnny) back on the show? So thatís quite nice and essentially he adds a levity to the show that I think is really necessary.

His character is just sort of quirky and funny and I think matched with Sarayu, theyíre just adorable. Ironically I think we have one scene together the entire time and I believe we exchanged a hello, maybe not even. So there were times when if he was working I was not and then we were like ships passing in the night all of the sudden.

But it was lovely having him and I do remember one table read where my character and Jamieís character were sort of in a physical something or other and he and Sarayuís character had a kiss and it was just so funny sitting around the table and thinking, yeah, this is what we get paid to do and you just have to laugh!

Stacy Roberts: Talking about laughing, what was it like when you saw Alfred Molina without hair?

Jennifer Finnigan: I think he sports it really well, heís got a great head.

Jamie Bamber: Well, the funny thing is weíd all been to see him on the stage in Rent at (The Paper) and so we had seen him before as a different character. So it wasnít that weird to see him shave headed and I think it really works for Hooten, the shaved head and the big black framed glasses. He looks like a 70ís talk show host especially on our set, on (that 311 set) and thereís something about that authority, the simple lighting, the very harsh, the glass of water, and the jug that is ubiquitous 70 talk show paraphernalia makes me chuckle every time I see it.

But no, I think it works for the character. I really enjoyed the story point, the way they explain it, it brings a humanity to the character and I think Fred really enjoyed it too and itís fun to watch his hair grow back, itís really entertaining.

Jennifer Finnigan: It is, itís like a Chia-Pet.

Jamie Bamber: Heís like the class science experiment.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, exactly.

Jamie Bamber: Watching his hair grow.

Jennifer Finnigan: Right, and I know there was discussion about him briefly sporting a wig but he Ė but they decided against it and Iím very glad of that because I agree with Jamie. Yeah!

Stacy Roberts: And on medical terminology what has been the hardest word that youíve had to say on the show so far?

Jennifer Finnigan: Oh God! For me it wasÖ

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, for me itís always a simple one like Ė because the terminology is one thing and you just have to work at it and we all do and it becomes second nature but occasionally for me thereís a double whammy of medical terminology thatís also slightly accented differently in English than it is in American English.

So Iím trying to think ofÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: Whatís the one Ė Iím trying to think, I was there and I canítÖ

Jamie Bamber: There was one, oh, what was itÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: And it was so easy, itís an easy word.

Jamie Bamber: Itís an easy one, itís an easy one but it threw me completely and I couldnít get it right. Let me just think what it is. I always get thisÖ

You answer and then Iíll

Jennifer Finnigan: Okay, well, I mean Ė because Iím not going to be able to come up with something specific either unfortunately but I will say it was one of the times that I was up on the podium and I was making a presentation about a procedure involving basically lasers, itís called a gamma ray and I had this monologue that was just stressing me out so bad, I was pacing and I was just trying to focus and, you know, I had my iPod on to tune out all of the outside noise and I got up there and I just really nailed it the first ten times but these are seven page scenes and thereís so much coverage and thereís 50 different setups and by the 20th shot, I would say, I could not Ė I literally could not say it anymore. I mean, I remember I was almost in tears trying to keep it together.

Jamie Bamber: You got it when it mattered, thatís for sure. I remember it, its trachea. Instead of (unintelligible) would say (trachia), (trachia), a simple word that we all know but for me to say trachea instead of (trachia), it was Ė I had to pause about three words before I got there and take a deep breath, repeat it inside of me and then spit it out.

Jennifer Finnigan: I saw it in his eyes.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, itís the simple ones that sometimes bite you. I mean, yeah, we have significant differences. Like we say (anesthetist) and you guys say anesthesiologist. Most of those Iíve got down but occasionally one will creep up but I actually use in sort of common (parlents) and those are the ones that bite me, not the really technical ones.

Jennifer Finnigan: Heís amazing because heíll be, weíll be, talking literally right up till action and heís, you know, a Brit, and then all of the sudden he just switches over on a dime, itís shocking! I mean, especially involving all that jargon.

Jamie Bamber: I canít do it the other way. I canít do it the other way where you stay in character all day. I find thatÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: Thatís just exhausting, isnít it?

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, it is. And you end up doing nothing well, itís all bad.

Jennifer Finnigan: But then itís weird because I think being Canadian Iím sometimes conscious of that slipping in which really it doesnít when Iím sober but so sometimes talking to Jamie at length, because we do tend to sit together at those meetings and so 15 hours later I have a quasi-British accent for sure.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah.

Stacy Roberts: Thank you very much and I Ė after watching the first three episodes I canít wait for the fourth one.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thatís so nice to hear, thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Oh, great. Fantastic, thank you.

Stacy Roberts: Thank you.

Operator: Weíll go next to Tiffany Vogel.

Tiffany Vogel: Hi.

Jennifer Finnigan: Hi.

Tiffany Vogel: I wanted to ask following up on Jenniferís thing where you guys were kind of seeing your characters flushed out through the subsequent episodes, David E. Kelley is known for creating kind of quirky yet very lovable characters, maybe you could describe whatís quirky and whatís loveable about each of your characters?

Jennifer Finnigan: Well, I would say weíre the least quirky. Hopefully yet still loveable but, yeah, there havenít been Ė I mean, I would say the quirkiest is definitely (biller) when Ving has a sort of fun quirkiness to him and Sarayuís character is kind of a little pitbull.

Jamie Bamber: Are you going to say Keong? I would say Keong.

Jennifer Finnigan: Oh and Keong!

Jamie Bamber: Öis standout quirky because he has this repetitive joke of his monosyllabic unemotional bedside manner whichÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: Right, right.

Jamie Bamber: Ömakes me laugh every time and he relies on repetition, the same joke, several times and episode and it really works. My character, no quirks Iím afraid.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, mine not so much either. I mean, weíre sort of the grounded ones, the ďstraight menĒ but we Ė I hope that Tina is kind of the heart of it in a way. Like I love to see people come to her and rely on her and she is there to sort of comfort people and, I donít know, I just think sheís a very warm grounded women, not quirky so much but maybe thatís Season 2, you never know.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, I mean, thereís room for that for sure but I think in the first season our characters were very much carrying their sort of emotional Ė weíre sort of the emotional needle within the compass, we tend to carry the emotional stories.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, true.

Tiffany Vogel: And then as a follow-up, what would be like the one word that youíd use to describe your character?

Jamie Bamber: Arrogant, mine.

Jennifer Finnigan: Passionate, mine.

Tiffany Vogel: Oh, good choices. Well, hopefully well see more of both their passion and maybe a little less arrogance this season.

Jennifer Finnigan: I think passion is the nice word for arrogance.

Jamie Bamber: Arrogance has a very necessary place in that world.

Jennifer Finnigan: Absolutely!

Jamie Bamber: It has a positive side, itís not all negative.

Jennifer Finnigan: I suppose you could go with confidence.

Jamie Bamber: Confidence as opposed to (arrogant).

Tiffany Vogel: All right well thank you very much.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Operator: Again, star 1 for questions. We do ask that everyone limit themselves to one question. Weíll go next to Earl Dittman.

Earl Dittman: Okay Jamie, how about arrogantly confident or confident and arrogantly? One of those things, I (unintelligible) there.

Jamie Bamber: Well, yeah. I mean, exactly. You put your finger on it. I think with any interesting character you have to have a negative with the positive. There has to be something to a fault and we see his confidence rattled and we see his vulnerability too and Tinaís always there for those vulnerable moments. So you see both sides.

Earl Dittman: And weíve certainly all met surgeons Ė I know I have met surgeons like that and actually I feel more comfortable in their hands if theyíre a little bit arrogant. I think, well, they know what theyíre doing!

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, absolutely.

Jamie Bamber: Every surgeon I met beforehand about one was pretty uniformly cocksure.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah. Yeah, that is kind of a quality to look for and, you know, on the flip side with that, Tina being passionate, I think at times to a fault as well. I think it gets her into trouble at times.

Earl Dittman: Yeah, yeah. Well, Jamie, I was going to ask you a little bit about someone mentioned earlier what was tougher to do for you, was it tougher doing legal jargon, military jargon from Battlestar Galactica or this one in comparison to all three? You had a lot of legal things in Law & Order.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, I think the hardest is Ė the hardest is goofy sci-fi language for sure.

Earl Dittman: Yeah, thatís what I figured.

Jamie Bamber: Because I was very proud of Battlestar as being raw and real and immediate and when it dissipated into goofy language, sort of (fo-)science, because itís not even real science, itís pretend science then I find the conviction waivers.

You know, with the medical world Iím surrounded by advisers. I know this is the language they speak, it is 100% necessary to say it and so the conviction with which you learn it and say it is just second to none. Whereas with Battlestar everything was kind of up for grabs. If there was something Ė you could call the writer and say this is bullshit, letís come up with something better. Whereas I canít do that to Sanjay Gupta or David Kelley, the reality that we canít mess with which gives you confidence.

Earl Dittman: Yeah, well you know, one last thing real quickly. I enjoy the way that you embrace Battlestar Galactica, thereís a lot of actors who like to try to forget things from their past but I still watch it, it comes on everyday on either SyFy or one of the network channels and I think theyíre Ė I watch it everyday when itís on.

Jamie Bamber: Oh my God, Iím never going to forget it! I have more pride for that experience than anything else Iíve done so, no.

Earl Dittman: I can see why Ė actually, are you still doingÖ


Earl Dittman: Are you still doing the Battlestar Galactica thing? I think youíre coming to Houston even with the Battlestar Galactica the anniversary or something.

Jamie Bamber: It may.

Earl Dittman: Thatís great. Well, again, guys, thank Ė I could let you Ė some other people talk but I appreciate it. Best of luck and youíve got my support all the way.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thanks.

Jamie Bamber: Thank you, I appreciate that.

Operator: Weíll go next to Suzanne Lanoue.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, thanks so much for talking to us today.

Jennifer Finnigan: Hey.

Jamie Bamber: Hey.

Suzanne Lanoue: I was wondering, letís see, Jamie your character Ė I enjoyed the first three episodes I saw, they were great, and Jamie your character gets a little tortured because of something that happens. How are you at dealing with that kind of thing? Are you the type of actor that just goes and shoots it and the minute they stop filming thatís it or do you bring a little bit of the feeling with you afterward?

Jamie Bamber: No, I bring the feeling beforehand I think. I think afterwards itís a sense of relief that you can take the costume off and then itís gone.

No, it never stays with me afterwards but itís with me all the day until I get to the necessary being beforehand because I know that I have got to have that experience as real in my mind to play the scene. Iím not the kind of actor that can go completely cold into an emotional scene. I have to transport myself emotionally by whatever means possible and that basically means you carry the situation with you all week, all episode or all day beforehand. But, no, as soon as they say cut itís done and itís a huge relief and it tends to be an excited, very perky, Jamie that emerges.

Suzanne Lanoue: Thank you. And Jennifer, I was wondering, Iíve seen the episodes but I was wondering how you would describe Tina?

Jennifer Finnigan: Well, I was saying before, I mean, I think sheís definitely driven by passion and love for her job and carrying for her patients. And I know that every doctor has a different bedside manner, some much better than others, but in doing research for this part the person who made the biggest impression on me is this very successful neurosurgeon, female neurosurgeon out of New York. And I Ė one of the first questions I asked her was how much sheís impacted by her patients? How much she feels along with them and she was very quick to say that she holds their hands, that she cries with them, that she puts herself in their shoes.

I know that not everyone can do that for every patient, I mean you canít become a complete sponge, I think it then starts to affect your work, I think it then starts to just bear down on you, you have to deal with losses everyday but I was really Ė that left a huge impression on me and I really wanted to infuse Tina with that same level of caring and compassion for her patients.

So I would say thatís there. I would say that she is very authoritative and confident in her job. I would say that she falls apart a little bit at home whereas you see her in her element at work and sheís happy and she is in control. I think that all goes by the wayside the minute she walks through her front door. And I really like seeing those two sides of her.

Suzanne Lanoue: And are we going to see more of her home life with her husband?

Jennifer Finnigan: Very much so, yeah, especially in Episode 4.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh, I canít wait.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, yeah.

Suzanne Lanoue: I really like the actor who plays your husband from when he was on Young and The Restless soÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: Oh, yeah. Right. No, heís terrific and he had a tough job. I mean, he had to come in and sort of be the bad guy, in a way, and he had very few scenes but they were very important scenes and he did a lovely job.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right well thank you both very much and I look forward to the rest of the episodes.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you!

Jamie Bamber: Thank you.

Operator: (Brittany Fredrick).

Brittany Fredrick: Hey guys, first of all thank you so much for doing this.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thanks for having us.

Jamie Bamber: Our pleasure (Brittany).

Brittany Fredrick: I wanted to say I had the opportunity to visit the set recently and I was just shocked by how realistic these operating rooms are. So I wanted to know, whatís it like for the two of you then to step into these operating rooms?

Jamie Bamber: Very empowering, you know, everything in those rooms is real. Sanjay has told me and others that where anybody to have an aneurysm on the set he could do everything in that room to get in there and solve the problem. Theyíre not sterile thatís the only difference.

So, knowing that we have that level of reality and we also have real OR nurses working with us so when an instrument is handed to Jen or I it is done by someone who has been operating the day before in exactly that situation and thatís very empowering and you canít look bad really, they sort of prop you up.

So itís exciting! I find it exciting. I mean, itís a challenge because you wear all this gear and itís uncomfortable after a while and it takes hours, probably as long as the surgical procedure would, but with timeouts between takes which are frustrating because you canít eat anything or drink anything because youíre covered in masks and (lubes) and surgical gear. But itís Ė you get a buzz. You get a buzz about being the center of that theater. Youíre at the heart of the theater, youíre the lead. Youíre the practitioner, itís where the God complex comes from for these surgeons. They are making life and death motions with their hands and decisions and the acting is very interesting because itís all eyes only, you canít even see their mouths move so itís a real thing and you have to take a deep breath in and be up for it but itís an aspect of the show that I actually have really learned to enjoy.

Jennifer Finnigan: And I get too Ė I think itís sort of fascinating to learn all of these Ė the way to hold the instrument and we obviously try to do it with as much authority as possible. I remember in one shot where they were going down from my hands where I was suturing the patients head and then up to my eyes and I had to say, my suturing was pretty impressive and Iíve never felt better! Like I had just recited a monologue but it was really just a couple of sutures but I was so proud of myself.

It is interesting being in there, itís fascinating because we really do get a sense of what actual surgeons experience while theyíre in there. I mean, you know, from all of the instruments and the procedures which are heavily choreographed by the way, because prior to doing these scenes we rehearse them over and over again, we get our movements right, our positioning right, everything has to be just so because on Monday mornings theyíre really big on very close shots whether itís of our eye, whether its of our hand, you know, everything is very measured. So those movements have to be down pat and then we get the feeling that these doctors go through when theyíre wearing all that gear and standing on their feet for six, seven hours. I mean, I know Sanjay has even spoken about doing procedures for eight hours straight without taking a bathroom break.

And here we are complaining that we canít get to catering because weíre wearing a face mask. So, itís definitely eye opening.

Jamie Bamber: Itís a big deal.

Jennifer Finnigan: Big deal! I think Iíve tried to cut a slit into my mask at times to fit a little straw so I could just have just a little bit of water. But of course real doctors could not do that.

Brittany Fredrick: Awesome, well thank you guys so much and good luck!

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Thanks (Brittany).

Jennifer Finnigan: Should I be divulging those secrets of the trade?

Jamie Bamber: No, thatís good. I like it.

Operator: Weíll go next to (T.L. Foreman).

T.L. Foreman: Hey guys, thank you for taking the time to do this and congratulations on the show.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you!

Jamie Bamber: Thank you (T.L.) itís a pleasure.

T.L. Foreman: Quick question, with the success of Greyís Anatomy and Private Practice, do either of you have Ė did you have any concerns about being compared to those shows when you first read the script?

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, I mean Ė I was a huge fan of ER.

T.L. Foreman: Right.

Jennifer Finnigan: When I watch a medical show I tend to veer to Ė I also loved, ironically written by our boss, Chicago Hope, but I tend toward the medical shows that are far more about medicine then say the love stories going on behind closed doors.

Of course, I think as an audience member you want to see who these doctors are when they go home, what makes them tick but I wasnít really concerned about that, about being compared to the Greyís Anatomies and the Private Practices, you know, those are two great shows that have been incredibly successful. I do think this is far different.

I mean, first of all, itís about an aspect of medicine that nobody really knows about the morbidity and mortality meetings. At times it even has a legal aspect to it, I mean, thereís a lot of legalities in these hospitals, a lot of administrative business which can be fascinating and I think these meetings are fascinating so I think itís going to be really interesting for audiences to see that side.

Yes, of course thereís side storylines and thereís a little bit of intimacy going on there too but for the most part this show and David has really made a point of it, adhering to really interesting medical cases and what makes these hospitals tick and doing justice to Sanjayís novel and, of course, the shining star of each episode are these morbidity and mortality meetings.

T.L. Foreman: Right, you saidÖ

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, and for me Ė sorry, just very quickly. For me the concern wasnít about any specific medical show that we would be compared to. My concern is always kind of about the medical genre in general. Everyone is very cynical about new cop shows, new medical shows, new law shows saying, why are you so special? And secretly I knew that this one was a little different. It had enough difference in it all based around these set pieces that nobody seems to really know about, I didnít know about before doing them, and theyíre everywhere. Theyíre in every single hospital across the country and truly what fuels the show is this added element of scrutiny that the audience applies to the show. Just watching the patients live or die, youíre watching the surgeons careers live or die week in, week out.

So thereís another element to it. You know Greyís is a great show and we have elements of that, for sure, but I went back to Chicago Hope and I had never seen Chicago Hope when it was on the air and I was blow away by what I saw. It was a very complex show and having a legal mind to attack the medical genre really does bring a different prism to it and you see every decision through many different angles. Theyíre not just moral, ethical, surgical, there are legal responsibilities, there are politics involved and our show (unintelligible) medical drama because of those (layers).

So hoping and trusting that David would do that niche, delivered.

T.L. Foreman: Oh great. Thank you guys for taking the time, I appreciate it.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Appreciate it!

Operator: And next Earl Dittman:

Jamie Bamber: Itís Earl again!

Earl Dittman: Hey thanks guys, I just played the lottery.

Jennifer Finnigan: You just canít get enough.

Earl Dittman: I just canít get enough can I? Really, I guess more than anything else, I guess the obvious question is if you all hadnít become actors would either one of you all have thought about medicine or maybe Jamie a law or what would you be doing if you werenít doing that, medicine first I guess?

Jamie Bamber: WellÖ

Jennifer Finnigan: I absolutely would notÖ

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, well I was very lucky and I had an amazing education and I had all of those avenues open to me. They were all very accessible, I was doing well in all of the necessary subjects to have chosen medicine and I never considered it for one nanosecond.

Earl Dittman: Why?

Jamie Bamber: I never considered the law for a nanosecond. I have, I guess, a romantic streak in me that wanted one of two things, and one was to be an athlete to represent my country, a rugby player, and the other was to be a Shakespearean actor! Neither of which have I really achieved but the acting thing just drew me to the arts.

I gave up all sciences at the age of 16 despite being pretty good at them. I followed the arts and Iíve managed to make a career in the arts with a small A on the small screen but thatís very much where I came from. So, yes, now that I know more about neurosurgery I think there can be very few careers more satisfying, more exciting, more challenging, and I kind of wish I had been more open-minded when I was younger because, you know, I really love the world that Iím getting to portray now but I never considered it and it was certainly potentially on the table, many of my friends are surgeons and doctors and all of those things back in England and lawyers and all the important jobs, ambassadors, some of them, I never considered those avenues.

Earl Dittman: But if someone gave you a part in a Shakespeare play on a British stage or an American stage youíd jump at it I would imagine?

Jamie Bamber: Oh yeah, absolutely Ė I mean, in the right situation with any stage play the ingredients have to be right because thereís nothing worse than going to do a bad play every night. But, yeah, no, I still hope to resurrect my ambitions to be a classical actor.

Earl Dittman: I see. One last question both of you, how much time did you all actually spend with doctors, except Sanjayís always there I would imagine, how much time did you spend with other doctors and what was the greatest Ė Jennifer, you may have answered this, but what is the greatest line of wisdom that they told you in playing your part that you need to know about playing a real doctor?

Jennifer Finnigan: Well, I mean, I spoke with a few surgeons, many actually, and then I didnít get into a surgery which was something I hoped to do. I guess being Canadian it was tough for me to Ė I donít know I had to present them with all kinds of inoculation information. So Iím going to work on that for Season 2 but I did shadow and I shadowed a surgeon at County doing rounds and that was very eye-opening and very touching and difficult.

And, yeah, I think I did answer that prior to the women that I spoke to over the phone who just ensured me that itís okay to be emotionally invested in a patient, that itís normal and itís not how everyone does it because I also spoke to a few neurosurgeons who were kind of everything I would have expected going in, very ego driven, very cut and dry, almost desensitized and I canít relate to that. And as an actor I need to portray somebody that I relate to in some way even if itís the tiniest quality, I just have to find something that I relate to.

And so Ė and I mean maybe thatís maybe to my determent as a performer but I really feel passionate about that and so when she said that that struck me and thatís how I chose to portray my character. Listen, sheís not like hysterically balling delivering bad news all the time but sheís just Ė she just ahs a lot of heart.

And, yeah, I would say that would be it.

Earl Dittman: And Jamie, what did you take away, the most important thing from all of your research?

Jamie Bamber: Well I did a lot. We had about a six week gap between being cast and shooting the pilot and I still did as much as I could with time in hospitals talking to people and I watched a few procedures and I interviewed a very interesting guy at UCLA who is South American so English was his second language and I think he felt slightly fish out water in the surgical world. He was a shining star but he was the only one to express a bit more than a front. All of the others were very, very confident and very empowered and that was very interesting for me because thatís the character that Iím playing.

But this guy was very thoughtful and he said something to me about he was single, not married, he was my age in life. Iíve got three kids, been married for almost ten years. He was not married, single in a country he didnít grow up in, cycles to work, lives near the hospital. He cycled because heís aware that aneurysms happen when youíre driving so he figures riding a bike, less collateral damage. So he was very thoughtful and very aware of the job that he does, very aware of the human contact!

And the thing that he said to me was, I asked him what itís like when you get awaken at work at 4:00 in the morning and dragged in to do a procedure that youíve only had three hours sleep since you were last there and what goes through your mind? Do you resent the fact that youíre a public servant in that particular moment working at a teaching hospital like UCLA?

And he said, no, the thing that I know is a matter of responsibility. Iíve had 14 years of education, I am one of the very few people in the face of this planet that can do this procedure that is in the right place at the right time and itís my duty to do it!

And whilst Iím regretting having to wake up and I donít look forward to eight hour surgical operations, once Iím in the scrubs, once Iím scrubbed in and in the room, then I donít notice the time going by. You wonít look at the clock and it will just fly by, you wonít be aware of it because he has this duty. His duty to his training and to those that trained him and to those that need him in an hour of need.

And he was very interesting, very, very thoughtful! He also hadÖ

Earl Dittman: Sounds like an incredible person to talk to!

Jennifer Finnigan: This woman that I was speaking aboutÖ

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, he had a (real spiritual) take on the whole thing.

Jennifer Finnigan: This woman was, by the way, she was in her mid 40s and no children and no husband and, you know, lives on, like Jamie was saying, three hours of sleep a night is not unusual for her.

And I just said, do you ever regret, you know, not being able to have a normal existence or a family or a husband and she was Ė that was I think the simplest thing that she said, she said, I made a choice! And I am so fascinated by that, by truly making that choice and dedicating yourself to it and knowing that in making that choice you are giving up so much.

Earl Dittman: Well as actors you all do too as well.

Jennifer Finnigan: Well, but we have Ė I mean, weíre able to have lives andÖ

Jamie Bamber: Thatís very gracious of you Earl.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yeah, right, and what we do, like I say, acting is not brain surgery soÖ

Jamie Bamber: I think weíre slightly more self-serving I would say.

Earl Dittman: Yeah.

Jennifer Finnigan: Yes, yeah.

Earl Dittman: Thatís okay, maybe a tad!

Jennifer Finnigan: So no lives depend on what we are doing and thatís the bottom line.

Jamie Bamber: I have a great friend of mine who is an actor who was on a flight who was nodding off just over the Atlantic and suddenly over the intercom his infamous words, is there a doctor on board and he starts to get up and unbuckle his seatbelt to walk forward on the plane and his wife says, what the heck are you doing? And he said, they just said over the intercom is there an actor on board?

And she said, doctor, you (unintelligible) doctor! Why would anybody want an actor? He explained himself by saying well maybe there wasnít a doctor on board, they already asked, the next best thing is an actor who can pretend to be a doctor.

Earl Dittman: There you go Jamie, you just answered the question there. Well thanks again guys and, again, and although Ė I will say, I think youíve already done your Shakespearean play in Battlestar Galactica because I think itís a very Shakespearean kind of show.

Jamie Bamber: Yeah, youíre right. There are definitely overturns. I appreciate that.

Earl Dittman: Exactly! So thanks guys again, canít stress enough, thank you so much!

Jennifer Finnigan: Thanks.

Jamie Bamber: Thanks Earl, speak to you again in five minutes.

Earl Dittman: Yeah, thanks!

Operator: And we have no further questions. Iíll turn the conference back over to Mr. Bernstein for any additional or closing remarks.

Brad Bernstein: Great, thank you everyone and thank you to Jamie and Jen for joining us today. Once again, Monday Mornings premiers February 4 on TNT at 10:00 Eastern, 9:00 Central.

Jennifer Finnigan: Thank you.

Jamie Bamber: Thanks Brad.

Read my Review of "Monday Mornings"

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