Interview with Jean Smart of "Harry's Law" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Jean Smart on Harry's Law

Interview with Jean Smart of "Harry's Law" on NBC 10/31/11

This was a great call. Jean Smart is such a nice and classy lady. I enjoyed speaking with her. She did a great job on this show, like she does with all of her acting jobs.

Moderator: Nikki Lichterman
October 31, 2011
12:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing. Welcome to the NBC's Harry's Law Press and Media Call with Jean Smart. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please press star 0. As a reminder this conference is being recorded Monday, October 31, 2011.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Nikki Lichterman. Please go ahead ma'am.

Nikki Lichterman: Thanks everyone for joining the call with Jean Smart today. We're excited about her return to Harry's Law. As a reminder, the episode will air this coming Wednesday at 9:00 pm. And just if you of you need a reminder of what the episode is about, if you haven't read your TV listings, I'm happy to forward those to you as well.

We'd like to open up the call to questions.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on you telephone. You will hear a three-toned prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3.

If you're using a speakerphone, please lift you handset before entering you request. One moment please for the first question.

Our first question coming from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please proceed with you question.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. It's such a pleasure to speak with you.

Jean Smart: Thank you. Good morning.

Jamie Steinberg: Good morning. I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the chemistry between Roseanna and Ollie.

Jean Smart: Oh. Well, apparently they - yes, they have a - there's a little friction there. Apparently they had - it's been inferred that they had a little fling at one time. And maybe neither one of them are too proud of it. I don't know. But they get some of these sort of spar with each other a little bit about that.

I don't know if she's proud of that fact. I mean I know she's married so it may have been a - may have caught her in a extremely weak moment. But she obviously - I don't think she's attracted.

Jamie Steinberg: What do you think it is about Harry's Law that has it such tune in worthy show?

Jean Smart: Well I mean first of all, I mean David Kelley I have always wanted to work on a David Kelly show. So I was just thrilled because I just think - I just like the way he uses the language. And he's got a terrific cast with, really interesting, really talented actors.

And Cassie - Cassie's characters are very unusual especially for television. I mean her character - I mean she's not always the most likeable person in Harry and she's, you know, she's kind of a grouchy curmudgeon and she, you know, smokes marijuana and she gets stressed out. And she, you know, so she's not you typical hero.

Well maybe they brought me on to make her look nice, I don't know by comparison. But I just think that, you know, he's written a show about a person who sort of has been in trouble in a (unintelligible) depression and - but someone who does actually really, really care. They really, really care about what they do. They really, really care about their clients a lot.

And so that's all sort of in spite of, you know, her other attributes. But she loves what she does. So she's back.

Operator: Thank you. Our next question coming from the line of Reg Seeton with Please proceed with your question.

Reg Seeton: Hi Jean. Thanks for taking the time.

Jean Smart: Hi. You're welcome.

Reg Seeton: What do you like about playing such a strong character like Roseanna opposite such a strong actress like Kathy?

Jean Smart: Well working with Kathy, I mean it's (unintelligible) because first of all I've always been a fan. And I had never met her or worked with her before so it was - that was - so I was really looking forward to that. And we have a nice relationship. Incredibly we both, you know, we both take it seriously. But I think...

Operator: Thank you. Our next question coming from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with TV MegaSite. Please proceed with your question.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Thanks for speaking with us (unintelligible).

Operator: I'm sorry. Ms. Lanoue, at this time we cannot hear you. I'm sorry. Ms. Lanoue, this is the operator. We cannot hear you at this time.

I'm sorry. Her line disconnected. So we'll go to the next question. Our next question is from Cindy Kong with Please proceed with your question.

Cindy Kong: Hi Ms. Smart. What was it that drew you to the role of - for Roseanna?

Nikki Lichterman: I believe we've got a bad connection with Jean Smart's line. So if the writers can hang on...

Cindy Kong: Okay.

Nikki Lichterman: ...for two seconds, that would be great.

Cindy Kong: Okay

Operator: I'm sorry. Ms. Smart, are you on the line at this time?

Jean Smart: Shoot. Sorry. Accidentally hit the mute button. Okay. Very good. Thank you.

Operator: Ms. Kong, would you be able to repeat your question please?

Cindy Kong: Sure. Okay. Ms. Smart, hello.

Jean Smart: Hi. Sorry about that.

Cindy Kong: We really enjoy watching the show in Canada. So you mentioned the casting classes. Were you cast in the role of Roseanna or did you...

Jean Smart: I love Canada. I love Canada. I like Canada. Yes. I was offered for the role and I was really, really excited because as I mentioned before, I've always, always wanted to do - speak David Kelley's words.

But I'm just having fun because she's sort of the woman you love to hate, you know. She's so ruthless and I just find her, you know, amusing. But in this episode that's coming up Wednesday night, you - she actually sits down in the bar and briefly and has a drink with Kathy's character which is kind of fun.

And you sort of get a little tiny glimpse underneath, you know, her facade. And you kind of see a little bit what makes her tick. And I just think it's a great episode. I just - I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

Cindy Kong: Thank you.

Jean Smart: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4. Our next question is from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with TV MegaSite. Please proceed with your question.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Sorry about that. My phone cut out.

Jean Smart: No. No. Not at all. I'm...

Suzanne Lanoue: Can you hear me?

Jean Smart: ...I'm a technophobe so I'm always doing something wrong here.

Suzanne Lanoue: Oh yeah. I was going to ask you what do you think drives your character most?

Jean Smart: Well I think between some of her personal issues which we get a little glimpse of like I said Wednesday night, I think she really does - I think she really does feel like she's doing something very, very important. And in this episode she feels a little bit betrayed by someone in her own (procession).

But it's true. I mean she's extreme. She's like a pit bull. It's something between jaws, you know. She'll say and do anything to get what she wants and what she needs.

And I just find it - I just find it funny that when we watch all these big profile - high profile trials on TV like this - (Stacy Anthony), is that the right name? (Casey), no. (Stacy) I think. And O.J. Simpson and those kind of trials, it's always they're - for the most part it's the prosecutors that we're rooting for, you know.

And we kind of tend to have some disdain for the defense team. And I just find it odd that in - on television almost all the time the prosecutors are the bad guys and the defense team are the good guys. At least I find that interesting. So I'm a good guy darn it.

Operator: Thank you. Our next question coming from the line of Deliana Dixon with and Please proceed with your question.

Deliana Dixon: Hi Ms. Smart. How are you doing?

Jean Smart: Not good. How are you?

Deliana Dixon: I'm doing great. You've had such an illustrious career. I'm wondering what are the biggest lessons you've learned professionally and do you and Ms. Bates share stories about your years working as actresses?

Jean Smart: Oh, you know, I feel fortunate because I had not really been typecast and I've gotten to do an enormous variety of things which I'm very grateful for. Kathy and I actually have - and I actually knew this going in. But we had so many mutual friends that we had never met or worked together.

So it's sort of been fun. Everyone once in a while I'll walk in and I'll say - I'll give her a big hug and a kiss and I'll say that's from so and so. And we (unintelligible) and so oh that's from so and so. Everybody has clients that I'm working with and say, "Please, please tell her I said hi. Tell her I - give her a hug. Give her a kiss." And it's really been old home week for her and the two of us. From New York theater mostly.

Operator: Thank you. Our next question coming from the line of (A.J. Grello) with Please proceed with your question.

A.J. Grello: Hi Jean. Thanks for taking this call today.

Jean Smart: You're welcome. Are you putting my character in the sci-fi department?

A.J. Grello: We base - most of our stuff is sci-fi but we watch all walks of life. The first thing I ever saw you in was Designing Women and, you know, I've seen you in various things throughout the years. You know, you see - you've done comedy, you've done drama. What's your - what do you prefer to do and what's been your favorite character to play over the years?

Jean Smart: Oh gosh. Well this one is right up there. This one is right up there. It's probably so far one of the most fulfilling parts I've done since 24 definitely. Twenty-four was very (experimenting). Oh, you know, there's a couple comedies I've done that I could have done for a long time and loved.

You know, I did a show for (unintelligible) called Style and Substance, which was truth be told sort of a little (unintelligible), Martha Stewart in a loving way I think. But it was one funniest things - one of my favorite characters that I ever played.

But this is going to be - this is going to be right up there. And Designing Women of course. I loved playing that character. I'd actually like to play that character sort of like that again. But I certainly didn't get typecast as the sort the sweet and (unintelligible) I am in real life. Kind of (unintelligible) back again.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4. At this time we still have ten minutes for questions. You are welcome to re-queue if you wish to ask more questions. Our next question coming from the line of Deliana Dixon from and Please proceed with you question.

Deliana Dixon: Hi Ms. Smart. I had a follow up question for you. You're such a timeless...


Deliana Dixon: ...I wanted to know some of your beauty secrets that you always look amazing.

Jean Smart: Oh my goodness. I'm - I don't have much of a regimen that I do. You're so kind. I'm always kind of horrified lately when I see myself on camera. I think oh, good Lord knows like that and especially since, you know, high def film has arrived. That was - that's been taking a huge getting used to to put it mildly.

Thank you. I have to - I have to give all the credit to - most of the credit to hair and makeup artists that really most of it do to the DP, the Director of Photography.

So especially on Harry's Law he is a very bright, very energetic extremely caring young man who makes sure that - he takes care of - a little unnerving sometimes and he always walks over and gets about three inches from your face and is inspecting you all over and holding up his hand and yelling orders to people for, you know, bring in this light, shut off that light, bring in more, you know, every year it's like more equipment for you (unintelligible). It's all about lighting.

But you know that - you know that yourself probably looking in your mirror, you know, you have certain mirrors in certain places and you look, you know, ten years older or ten years younger. It's all lighting. But I do use something religiously. It's my only thing that I always do religiously. Sunscreen.

Operator: Thank you. Ms. Lichterman, at this time there are no further questions. I will now turn the call back to you.

Nikki Lichterman: Wonderful. Thanks everyone for participating.


Nikki Lichterman: And if anyone needs a transcript, please email me later this afternoon. Have a great Halloween everyone.

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 lines. Have a great day.

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