Interview with Debra Messing from "Mysteries of Laura" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Debra Messing of "Mysteries of Laura" on NBC 5/19/15

It was great to speak with Debra! I've been a huge fan of hers ever since "Prey" years ago (before "Will & Grace"), and I also really loved not only "Will & Grace" but also "Smash." I'm not a huge fan of her current show, but she's great in it. It's the writing that's not so wonderful. Everyone is really surprised that it didn't get canceled, from what I read. She was very nice on the phone, even to those people who were mostly asking questions about "Will & Grace!"

Moderator: NA
May 19, 2015 2:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Mysteries of Laura Conference call.

During the presentation all participants will be in a listen only mode. And afterwards weíll conduct a question and answer session. And at that time if you have a question please press 1, 4.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator please press star 0.

Also as a reminder this conference is being recorded, Tuesday May 19, 2015.

I would now like to the conference over to (Stephanie Herring). Please go ahead.

Stephanie Herring: Hi and thank you all for joining the Mysteries of Laura Print Conference call. We are joined today by Debra Messing who stars as Detective Laura Diamond. The season finale airs tomorrow night, May 20th at 8:00 pm. The show will also return for a second season this fall.

At this time Iíd like to throw the conference back over to (Scott) who will open it open for questions. Thank you again.

Operator: Thank you. And ladies and gentlemen if youíd like to register for a question please press 1, 4 on your telephone.

Our first question is from (Cody Shultz). Please proceed.

Cody Shultz: Hi thanks so much for speaking with us today.

Debra Messing: Of course - itís great to be here.

Cody Shultz: In last weekís shocking - the shocking conclusion to last weekís episode - Jake gets shot during the convenience store robbery. Can you offer us any details on how Laura and the team will react or handle the situation and how Jakeís injury might affect Lauraís relationship with Tony?

Debra Messing: Well - so you havenít seen any of the coming attractions I guess? Basically everybody is absolutely shocked and devastated that, you know, that Jake has been shot and heís in the hospital and itís quite serious.

It really rattles Laura, you know, down to the bone. She feels like - she gets a sort of ferocious single tunnel vision about trying to find the person who did it. Thatís the way that she sort of keeping it together. And so the entire team together is working on that.

And at the same time monitoring Jake and how heís doing and then yes, Tony is very much in the picture. And it becomes a complicated triangle, you know, to have the husband of my children and my ex-husband to be, you know, in critical condition in the hospital.

And then to have this boyfriend who wants to be supportive but, you know, understands that he can only do so much. So itís a powerful and I think itís an emotional series - season finale.

Cody Shultz: All right. And then just a quick second question - thankfully like you said NBC has renewed you for a second season. So I have to ask is there any direction or storyline that youíd like to see them explore with Laura next season.

Debra Messing: Specific storyline?

Cody Shultz: Yes.

Debra Messing: I know that everybody is very excited about making the homicide cases as smart and surprising as possible. You know, much like Sherlock - the TV show Sherlock is - you know, we want to keep them as sophisticated as possible. And then of course fine, you know, the light moments that have to come when her private life sort of interjects itself.

I think youíre going to see more of Jake and Laura spending more time together. But besides that I - you know, itís going to be the show that you know, our fans have come to really love and be entertained by. Itís just making it a little bit sharper.

Cody Shultz: All right. Thank you so much.

Debra Messing: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question is from (Jamie Blin). Please go ahead.

Jamie Blin: Hi, thank you so much for jumping on the phone with us today.

Debra Messing: Of course.

Jamie Blin: So my question is I know that Eric McCormack guest starred this season. Is there any hopeful people you hope to nab for next season - for season two?

Debra Messing: I have no idea, you know, we were - we were just - we just found out the wonderful news a week ago that the show is coming back - and weíre the only show on NBC that premiered last year that - that is coming back.

So we are very grateful and excited. So the focus is really just getting on track for starting up in, you know, less than two months.

I know that, you know, we want to have as many exciting, you know, - sorry about that - as many exciting guest stars as possible, you know, the better the guest star, you know, the better the show in terms of just the quality and the investment that the audience can have in each episode.

So - but specifically about Eric coming back, I donít have any information.

Jamie Blin: And then obviously the show got picked up again. What did - how did you celebrate? Did you like splurge on anything big?

Debra Messing: Did I splurge on anything big coming back...

Jamie Blin: Did you - how did you celebrate...

Debra Messing: that what you mean - is that what you asked?

Jamie Blin: ...celebrate the shows second season pickup?

Debra Messing: Oh how did I celebrate? Iíd like to say that I went out and I bought me something really snazzy and spectacular. But, I didnít because I just - I just bought an apartment in New York City and thatís pretty much as snazzy as I could right now.

But I did go out and celebrate with some of my cast members who is still in New York and just enjoying this time off. You know, catching up on sleep. This season is a very, you know, itís a trying one - very physically exhausting.

So Iíve been - Iíve been sleeping - and thatís the way that Iíve been celebrating.

Jamie Blin: Awesome. Thank you so much.

Debra Messing: I am off - I am off to Bulgaria in a week to do a film. So itís going to be short lived sleep.

Jamie Blin: Awesome. Thank you.

Debra Messing: Thank you.

Operator: And our next question is from (Jerry Nunn). Please go ahead.

Jerry Nunn: Hey Debra I was wondering it might be - if there has been any talk about a Will & Grace like reunion or any kind of movie or anything like that?

Debra Messing: No, there has never been. I know that every once in a while the Twitter explodes with these rumors that something is in the works. But unfortunately no one has spoken to any of the cast mates about it.

So my assumption is that means that, you know, nothing is in the works. You know, I always say, never say, never.

Jerry Nunn: Sure - yes.

Debra Messing: So I just am so grateful to our fans. I mean the Will & Grace fans are really the most passionate fans around.

Jerry Nunn: Yes.

Debra Messing: And, you know, they write me that they watch it every day still. And so that that is - itís pretty wonderful.

Jerry Nunn: Yes - (Megan) was just in Chicago so you should come visit us in Chicago again.

Debra Messing: I would love to.

Jerry Nunn: Thanks so much.

Operator: And our next question is from (David Penkiln). Please proceed.

David Penkiln: Hi Debra I was just wondering what was your favorite case this season?

Debra Messing: My favorite case? You know, I know this is kind of mean to say but I think itís the season finale. You know, there is so much invested in, you know, this crime because Jake was the victim.

So I really think that, you know, everyone is sort of stepped up their game and made a particularly powerful episode to, you know, to end this season end.

So hopefully youíll feel the same way.

David Penkiln: Right. Thank you so much Debra.

Debra Messing: Thank you.

Operator: And once again if youíd like to register for a question please press 1, 4. And our next registered question is from (Stephanie Peshay). Please proceed.

Stephanie Peshay: Hi Debra. I love the show especially as a mom - and mother knows best - and you seem to know more - everything that happens.

My question for you is how is it to work with those rambunctious young men - your TV twins?

Debra Messing: Oh my goodness, my TV twins are so spectacular. They are the most polite, sweet, gentlest boys and they are so professional. And they come in and, you know, we hug, and we play and you know, itís - the days that they are on the set are you know, a highlight of the week for me -- because they really - they really are wonderful.

Stephanie Peshay: Awesome. Well you look natural with them so canít wait to see more of the mischiefs they get into - on the show.

Debra Messing: Thank you. Thank you.

Stephanie Peshay: Okay. Thanks and congratulations on your renewal - thatís awesome.

Debra Messing: Thank you so much.

Operator: And our next question is from Suzanne Lanoue of The TV MegaSite. Please proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi congrats on the renewal - thatís really great. I was wondering if you could tell us on the finale if it ends with a cliffhanger or not?

Debra Messing: Thatís a good question.

Suzanne Lanoue: Thank you.

Debra Messing: How am I going to answer this? Iíd guess Iíd say it ends with a cliffhanger that is not the most traditional of cliffhangers.

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay.

Debra Messing: You definitely - you definitely - go away wondering whatís going to happen next. When we come back in the fall.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right - well good. And I was having a little trouble hearing you, did you say while you were going to Bulgaria?

Debra Messing: Iím doing a film.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh okay.

Debra Messing: Iím playing a queen - yes.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh.

Debra Messing: In a action fantasy film - itís kind of like a mix of Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh awesome - I look forward to it.

Debra Messing: Yes, thank you.

Operator: And our next question is from (Jamie Ruby). Please proceed.

Jamie Ruby: Hi thanks for talking to us today.

Debra Messing: (Okay).

Jamie Ruby: I was wondering if you could - thinking back if you could tell me what was it that originally like attracted you to the show that you made you think you just had do it?

Debra Messing: Oh it was definitely the pilot script. I mean read it, and immediately I was struck by, you know, this homicide case that this mystery, that, you know, really sucked me in.

I have - you know, in my private life, I love mysteries, I love watching all of the homicide shows. Itís just something that really fascinates me. So to sit down and to read a script and to get into this case and then all of the sudden to find myself laughing - I was so confused. And - because I thought whatís going on? This is, you know, this doesnít happen - you donít have a, you know, a homicide cathedral. And then have comedy in at as well.

And by the time I finished the script I thought - wow, this is - this is very unique. You know, theyíre trying to marry two genres and I thought, you know what, this is going to be a huge challenge. But I was really excited by the possibilities.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. And do you still find that part a challenge now that youíve been doing it for quite a while?

Debra Messing: Oh yes, yes. I. you know, I mean certainly we have a much, you know, better idea of whether itís the - itís the tone of the show and the balance of the show.

But you know, I think the trickiest thing is - will always be, you know, even if weíre lucky enough to be on the air, you know, eight years. It will always be finding, you know, that balance between, you know, the light humor. And, you know, the sophisticated you know, dark, urban, homicide case.

Jamie Ruby: Okay great. Well thank you so much.

Debra Messing: Thank you.

Operator: And we have a follow up question from the line of (Cody Shultz). Please proceed.

Cody Shultz: Hi again. My question is kind of a follow up to the question that was just asked. As you said youíre a fan of the genre of television. In recent seasons NBC has definitely become known for their crossover events. Is there any series youíd love to see Mysteries of Laura crossover for a case or something?

Debra Messing: Oh yes, SVU please. Mariska Hargitay is my best friend -- in real life. So you know, Iíve been on her show as a guest star and that was just awesome. But, you know, I think it would just be wonderful and hilarious and a great (link) to the audience if we were able to somehow interact with each other.

Cody Shultz: All right. And then just one quick (private) question. In what ways would you say youíre similar or can relate to Laura - are there any quirks youíve brought to the character, anything like you bought from your personal life to the character?

Debra Messing: Oh gosh I - you know, besides what she does for a living I really relate to her on all fronts. I feel you know, like being a single working mother is an incredibly challenging thing to do.

You always have 12 hats in the air. And, you know, you have to take it hour by hour. And one hour, you know, you succeed, and the next hour you donít do so well. And you just have to keep going because you canít stop.

And I also responded to and love the fact that sheís - you know, the best there is. That sheís the smartest one in the room and really, really disciplined and very dedicated to the work that she does do.

So I think - I think, those are things that drew me to the character and made me feel interested and like I could relate to her.

Cody Shultz: All right thank you - thanks again so much.

Debra Messing: Sure.

Operator: And we have a question from (Jamie Blin). Please go ahead.

Jamie Blin: So I love how you guys have been promoting like girl power on Wednesday night with Mariska on SVU and Sophia Bush on Chicago P.D. And I know you just mentioned Mariska is one on your best friends.

So have the three of you kind of like been hanging out, giving each other tips and everything like that?

Debra Messing: Well unfortunately I havenít been able to hang out with Sophia because she is in Chicago.

Jamie Blin: Right.

Debra Messing: So you know, they - you know, we had - we have done some press together. I just saw her at the upfronts and we had, you know, a big snuggle and giggle fest together.

I think she is so wonderful - I canít say enough about her. But Mariska - and they had definitely become close because of those crossovers - because the cast of SVU flew out to Chicago - and they spent a lot of time together in those crossovers.

Jamie Blin: Awesome. Thank you.

Debra Messing: Thank you.

Operator: And we have a question from (Ann Easton). Please go ahead.

Ann Easton: Hi I was wondering about your level of collaboration - like with your creative team. Do you leave all the writing to them, or do you go over the scripts and tweak anything since you are the, you know, star of the show?

Debra Messing: Well you know, Iím working nonstop every day. So itís hard for me to be involved at every stage of, you know, the story development. But when the script gets to me, you know, then I will - I will look for opportunities to make it, you know, a little bit more, you know, more specific.

For example, one of the first episodes Lazís character Billy gets hit in the face and heís bleeding. And I pull a sanitary napkin out of my purse and stick it to his face to stop the bleeding - that was my idea.

You know, and, you know, luckily it worked and, you know, they were appreciative of sort of the idea. We also tried some other ideas for that moment. So that if it didnít work, but you know, at the end of the day they liked it.

And it was a way that I was looking for to, you know, make her bag - the go to bag for everything - the fix all. Thereís - that there is always something in that bag that can solve some problem.

And, you know, and that was - that I just saw an opportunity there to highlight that. And it was fun.

Ann Easton: Great. And just quickly you lived in LA for such a really long time and now youíre in New York. How do you feel about the move, howís that going for you?

Debra Messing: Oh gosh, you know, now itís pretty wonderful being here and realizing that, you know, this is my home again- once again a very long time.

You know, Smash brought me here and, you know, I have an 11 year old son. And he really has just blossomed since weíve moved here. And so regardless of whether or not Smash is going to continue or not, you know, we decided that we were going to stay in New York.

And as I said earlier I finally bought an apartment instead of renting. So it - I definitely feel like now I have roots. And, you know, Iím a homebody in real life so having roots really does a lot for me. And it feels just like an exciting new chapter of my life - honestly.

Ann Easton: Great. And I just wanted to say that I was at the Joyful Heart Event and I saw you there -- and I appreciate your support of that foundation. So thanks a lot for doing that.

Debra Messing: Oh - thank you.

Operator: And thatís all the time we have for questions today. And Iíll turn the call back to (Stephanie Herring) please.

Stephanie Herring: Well that concludes our print conference call. Thank you again to Debra and all the participants for dialing in.

Just a reminder to tune in tomorrow night at 8pm to see the Mysteries of Laura finale on NBC.

Thank you all. Have a great afternoon.

Debra Messing: Thanks everybody.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation. And ask that you please disconnect your line.

Stephanie Herring: Perfect. Thank you Debra very much for taking the time...


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