When we last saw Michael Westen - the super spy played by
Jeffrey Donovan in the popular series Burn Notice, he and his
friends were stuck behind enemy lines in Panama with his
mentor at the CIA dead set on exterminating all of them.
A sticky spot to be in, but Westen and his team have gotten
through tough situations before. Burn Notice's cliffhangers
are a specialty, and as the show revs back up for the second half of
it's sixth season, the intrigue swirls around the characters at a
On Election Day, Donovan was nice enough to take time off
his non-filming hiatus to discuss the final half of the Burn
Notice season with us and some other media outlets.
Itís got to be
really fun to get to play so many different characters through
Michael. Can you talk about kind of that and I assume it keeps it
Yeah. One of the fun things that we didnít actually realize
when we first started the show was that even though Iím a burned spy and Iím
trying to get back in, the fun of the show is always to help
the person that no one else can help. Only Michaelís skills can
solve his problem. So we thought itíd be fun if certain cover
ID just like spies had to do, were taken on. Some of the things
that were asked of me were great. If I had to do an accent
or some kind of character it was always fun to make that up
with the writer at the time. Then over the years they kind of
evolved into sometimes some wacky guys and sometimes some pretty
sadistic guys. But yeah, it keeps it interesting.
Whatís been the
hardest cover ID youíve had to do from an acting standpoint?
The hardest ones were always the ones that I
hadnít ever done before. Just like a writer might have a
certain style that they write in and theyíre comfortable and then
someone says okay, I want you to do a short story form. It might be
out of their comfort zone. Those are the most difficult ones. One of the most difficult ones was this character I
did - I think it was season three, where I basically played the
devil. I think this name was Louis - almost like Louis Cypher as
in Lucifer. He was a cross between the devil and Clint Eastwood
and I just went out on a limb and played him.
Iíve never received better feedback from fans about thatís their
favorite cover ID Iíve ever played. But it was the scariest one because I
thought it was so different from anything Iíd ever done not only on
the show but just as an actor.
Who has been your
favorite villain on
Burn Notice and why?
Oh, see now thatís really tough. Because,
six years of actors that have come through here - God, just
let me see. I have to think. You know, Iíd have to say Jay Karnes.
He played Brennen. Jay Karnes, a wonderful actor and very
well known. One of the things that
I always say to Matt Nix and all of the writers is never dumb down
the villain. I think why James Bond, the 007 series
always works is because the villains were always these mega-intelligent villains. I said when you dumb down a villain then
you dumb down Michael. Always make the villains smarter than Michael
but Michael just figures out the one Achilles heel that the villain
has. The closest person to ever do that was Jay Karnes. An
actor like that is incredible anyway but to put him in that role
where he basically tells Michael: "What are you going to do? Are you
going to do this? Well then I have the answer to that. Are you going
to do that? Then Iím going to do this." He always was
one step ahead of Michael, which was always a great
villain. A great foe is that the villain is smarter than you.
If you could act
with any actor living or dead who would it be and why?
Oh geez. You know, Iíve been very fortunate and blessed to
be able to be directed by Clint Eastwood twice. But he
didnít act in either of those films - in Changeling or J.
Edgar - and I would have loved to have stepped into the ring with
him. There is an authenticity and a reality that he just brings
because of the person he is. So I would have loved to have done
that. I would probably consider myself
accomplished if I could ever go toe to toe with him. (laughs)
There are some
great locations you guys have been shooting in and we know that
Miami though has been a bit of a trouble area for the
Burn Notice team. Is there any idea of a possible relocation?
has been great. I think that youíve read some news that was only
recent regarding one commissioner.
No, no. I mean
for Michael and friends...
Oh. Oh, I see. I was like God, what are you talking about?
Yeah Miami is obviously a hot spot for Michael and all of
the agencies and the foes and the villains know heís
located there, so heís basically an easy target, a fish in
a barrel. As far as story line, the network and the studio
havenít talked at all about moving it to any other locale
whether itís fictional or not. You know, whether we shoot in Miami
but we pretend weíre in Malibu, California. None of
that has been talked about. So I donít see him moving obviously this
coming summer if we get renewed for a seventh season, which it looks
like we will be. So weíll probably be staying
great chemistry between you and Gabrielle Anwar on the show. How do
you continue to maintain that?
Spend as little time with each other off the set.
When you play a role like Michael and Fiona, there is an intimacy
and a spark that I think is hard to maintain over seven
years when you spend every working hour with them and
then every social hour with them. So we do our best to never lay
eyes on each other after work.
That way you
smolder on screen.
Yes. Your words.
makes the heart grow fonder they say.
Now that Michael
knows who burned him and heís tracked down
his brotherís killers, whatís next for Michael now that he doesnít
have that driving force behind him to stay in the spy world?
You know, great question. I think whatís tough for this
show is the title. (laughs) Burn Notice was not only an
unfamiliar word to me but I think to most fans until they understood
what the show was about. Itís kind of like calling the show
Escape from the Moon and after the sixth season they got off the
moon. Well what next? I think that the fans are going to love this
last part of season six because it focuses on Nateís death, finding
that killer and bringing him to justice. I think that youíll see
a more of a hell-bent Michael, more personal than youíve seen him
try to navigate the waters towards getting back in with the
CIA and Burn Notice. Then at the end of the season, itís a bit of a cliffhanger. Thereís a huge event that happens
between Michael and Fiona that will propel season seven which if all
goes as planned, will be a very different kind of Burn Notice
because of the trajectory but no less dangerous for Michael.
But I think itíll be more personal next year than it will be
professional, if that answers your question without me giving
the end of the two hours Michael faces off with his mentor. And I
just want to say I loved the way that you played that scene and the
emotion that, you know, just propels on your face. But could you talk a little bit
about what it was like selling that scene?
Now youíve got to - now youíve got to understand itís
November. (laughs) So youíve got to remind me what scene
particularly and with who?
With your mentor.
The one that tried to kill you.
Oh, John C. McGinleyís character?
Oh, okay. Well, going toe
to toe with McGinley is... though you will
never be recognized you should just win an award for going toe to
toe with John C. McGinley. The guy is such a powerhouse itís hard to
keep up. I mean heís a guest star that shows up and knows not only
his lines but your lines back and forth before you even rehearse.
Itís quite remarkable. So a lot of the things that I tried
to bring to that scene was (chuckles) sheer fear of "please donít screw up in
front of such a great actor." Me looking up to him
that way, fed that fuel of "wow, this is a great actor but
now I have to actually believe that heís someone that taught me so
much and has betrayed everything I invested in." So though it
wasnít easy it was certainly much more compelling because of
that this season will be a little more personal because of
Nate, also the fact that your mom isnít really speaking to you even
though she did help save your life. Might Michael makes some
mistakes because the stakes are different this time around?
Yeah. Thatís a great, great observation. I think anything
thatís personal and emotional will always cloud judgment. One of the fun things Iíve developed with Matt is in real
life, with a normal person, you are in every day life with your
family and thatís easy. Then you go to work and thatís
hard. You show the strain at work because the stakes are so
high. What was hard to kind of convince a lot of directors who were
coming in was they would always want me to have an intense
high stakes moment when I was being chased or shot at. I always
though thatís wrong, it doesnít ring true. Itís the opposite.
Michaelís judgment is so clear when heís being shot at or heís being
chased or heís trying to figure out a solution with a bottle of
Clorox and a car battery. Thatís all clear to him and itís
objective. When heís at home with his mom or heís talking to his
brother Nate or heís in a fight with Fiona, those are the most
subjective, emotional moments for him and he doesnít know how to
handle it. So what I always said was heís out of his element when
heís with his family and friends and heís in his element when heís
being shot at and thatís kind of counterintuitive. So this last season itís all about his judgment being so clouded and so
subjective because of how his feelings towards his brother are, what
happens to him and what his mother accuses him of. I mean those kinds of stakes Michael has never really dealt with.
You mentioned the
renewal. How long can you see playing this role and do you have a
vision of how you would like to see it end for Michael?
Well, you know, first of all thereís nothing official yet
about season seven so I donít even know if itís going to happen. Iím
assuming it is but I have not received a phone call so Iím still
waiting just like everybody else is. Whether an online magazine
writes about it or not I donít believe it until a contract is here
because you never know. So I donít know what season seven could
possibly be other than maybe a different kind of trajectory for
Michael which has to happen because him going after Burn Notice,
him trying to get reinstated has played itself out. But the only
thing that can happen is that it becomes much more personal. Now it becomes about his family, his past and his friends. I
think that will probably be what season seven is about. I guess,
you know, it will come full circle because when Michael was burned
he was plopped in Miami and he had to deal with his mother and he
had to deal with Fiona. I think probably season seven will be our
final season and it will probably come down to those two people
probably in some devastating fashion.
You have such
good chemistry with your castmates, when you have
that kind of shorthand does it make it easier for you as an actor or
does it make it more challenging to be sharp from episode to
You do run the risk of getting into a monotonous
rut because you shoot 70 hours a week the same character and
sometimes overlapping dialogue from other episodes
creep back in. But whenever you show up, especially with someone
like Sharon or with Bruce, they have such a freshness when they come
on set and such a great attitude that it inspires you. So
staying sharp - I thank, you know, the actors for keeping me sharp
because it can become kind of monotonous.
a minute ago, for another season to happen you do have to take the
show and the character in a different direction. What sort of is
interesting or appealing to you about going in a different direction
from where youíve been these six years?
Well I think that not only am I kind of tired of it, I
think maybe the fans are a little tired of just me trying to get
back into the CIA after being burned. But I think that one of the things
weíve never really explored and Iím actually - this is my thoughts,
no oneís actually said this to me - is that the whole mystery behind
Michaelís past and his relationship with his father, I think thatís
an interesting road. But I also think that weíve never really seen
how dark Michael can go when someone close to him has been hurt. I
mean when his brother is killed I mean you can see a rage in Michael
which hopefully the audiences kind of connect with. But I
think that thereís even something deeper there. And not that, where a show like Dexter where Michaelís a
serial killer and will cut people up, but for a greater good. But I
think that there is a side of Michael that would channel some kind
of monster if he felt like that was the only way to get retribution
for someone being hurt that he loved.
You were just
talking about how with Michael having closer relationships that
obviously clouds his judgment. I was wondering how do you
think that the fact that Michael and Fiona are giving in to their
relationship completely is going to affect them both personally and
Well, listen Michael and Fi are as dysfunctional
as they get. I donít think them becoming closer or them growing
apart is really going to affect what probably is an ultimate time
bomb between those two. I think that - and thereís nothing written
or any story that Iím referring to - but I think that down the
road these two are going to combust. I mean they have to because I
mean sheís nitro and heís glycerin and they are going to blow up.
But how they blow up is going to probably be very unique to them.
Blowing up to them might be them getting married. (laughs) You know?
blowing up may be also them
killing each other. I donít know but I know that the more
conflict that those two have I think is the best for the show. I think
when they become romantic and cute towards each other I
think thatís where the show kind of gets boring. So I think that
youíre probably going to see more of a combustible Michael and Fiona
in season seven.
I also love the
way that the villains all have sort of different characteristics.
Like Tim Matheson was almost sort of very good-natured except for
when he was being evil. And John C. McGinleyís character seems a
little bit goofy before you realize how devious is. But I really
thought you did some really amazing work with Jere Burns who
obviously - his character was killed off. But what was he like to
work with as a villain?
Jere is one of my favorites. Heís a phenomenal actor and he
has such a presence when you work with him. I mean nothing, nothing
affects him. I mean a piece of equipment could fall on him and itíd
still like just be right on target. Heís an amazing actor. I had a
great time with him. And, you know, the sad part about it is all the
great villains die. Itís just killing me. I mean John C. McGinley,
Jere Burns, I mean these people are awesome actors and they just get killed. Ben Shenkman in season two who was my CIA agent was
just an amazing actor and we killed him. I donít know why we kill
all the great actors. Maybe because they donít want to show up me.
You know, they keep bad actors around me so I look better.
You had just
mentioned that you thought that youíre sort of getting a little bit
bored and the audience might be with the idea of Michael trying to
get back into the CIA. Do you think that Michael could ever go back
to being just a normal CIA agent?
I donít know. Good question. I think that the
season finale which I think the audience is going to be shocked at,
Michael makes a decision which affects not only his friends but
mostly Fiona. I think thereís going to be a huge betrayal that
youíre going to see. And I think the audiences are going to kind of
be excited about season seven to see where Michael will go once he
made probably one of the worst decisions heís ever
Michael being in
a dark place with his brother being shot and everything, how does
that work for you as an actor? How do you get into that mindset
looking so sad and dark?
I just think of the long hours Iím working and then I just
channel that. I think as an actor not that Iím experienced but at
least I have about 25 years under my belt. Just like any
kind of pro athlete, itís like asking a pro athlete like David Ortiz
who gets up at home plate, how do you hit that home run? Itís just
you do what you do, you know? Itís ingrained in you and then you
just try to find that kind of motivation that will spark each take.
It might be that theyíre out of M&Ms at craft service and that
really makes you sad. Or itís something from your personal life that
you draw on that was maybe hard or devastating in your past. I think
that actors do what they do well when they can just make it their
own. Thatís up to them. The way my process works is very
different from the way Bruce works and very different than the way
Sharon works but we all kind of accomplish the same goal. Itís hard
but I draw upon different things, per day, per scene, per character.
When youíre done
is it easy just to "okay, scene over, no problem" or does it stay with
you for a while?
It sometimes lingers with you. You might be in such an
emotional state that you need a few minutes to just
recompose yourself, especially if theyíre saying "okay, moving on to
the scene where Michael chases the bad guy and grabs and ice cream
cone and licks it while doing it." Youíre like oh this is supposed to
be slightly comical at the same time. But thatís what we do. Itís
not brain surgery. It certainly isnít on a level of national
importance, like an election or disaster relief. Hopefully for those
few minutes you believe what Iím doing and youíre entertained and
you can escape that world that youíd maybe be bothered with for an
hour and have fun.
This season seems
to be so pivotal in how it all has rolled out and particularly the
way it was left hanging that at the end of last season the finale
was kind of like going youíre leaving it there? And now youíre
picking up and going forward and I get the feeling that thereís so
much stuff thatís been buried inside Michael thatís suddenly
starting to come out. Did you plot this out how you were going to
unroll this emotionally?
I kind of go episode to episode because unfortunately we
donít see a script until about two days before we start shooting. So
itís difficult to kind of do an overall arc to track your character
especially emotionally. I mean we would love to but the writers
donít give us any material until basically right before we start
shooting so itís difficult to chart emotionally. What we do is
that day we look at the script and then I plot through: well
if Michael gets to here letís say he gets to Z at the end of the
episode. Then I want to start as far away from that as possible. So
I want to start at A and hopefully youíll see a journey. Now
unfortunately with that is once Iím done with Z - where can I go in
the next episode? I mean I canít start a new alphabet. So thatís
difficult. But whatís great about the show is that, you know, itís a
TV show. Once we do it itís gone for that one episode and we can
kind of pick ourselves back up and start over again and create
another hour of entertainment. But as far as the dark journey
overall, Michaelís going to go down I think a dark hole, especially
from Bruceís character. The way Bruce plays Sam is so incredible.
Heís so observant of Michael because heís his best friend. I think
youíre going to see so many indictments from Sam that will actually
reflect on how dark Michael is getting because Sam knows the kind of
dark person Michaelís becoming.
The journey after
Nate was killed and you see some of the light parts come up but
thereís still that journey that Michael is taking is very evident. For the viewer
and Iíve been there and watched
probably every single season at least twice. It has been so
intoxicating and so addicting that itís like as you get to the
season finale for season six then weíre just going wait a minute, wait a minute, we canít live without this.
(laughs) You sound addicted and you may need help. But admitting it
is the first step as they say. Well thank you. Thatís
awesome. I donít know if Michael will come back from this emotional
hell that heís gone down. Heís lost his brother. The only family he
has left is his mother. And I think heís losing his friends. I see
this journey eventually compromising his friendship with Sam and
with Jesse. And ultimately probably being the destruction of his
relationship with Fiona. But I have to. You canít just keep a show
going after six seasons and go yeah, everyoneís just the same. After
Michael has seen his brother die, his father die, thereís just too
much death that has gone inside Michael that you wonít be able to
just kind of pass it off. I think maybe season seven, if we finally
get that order and create that, I think thatís what season seven's
journey is going to be.
Since your mom
raised three boys alone what did you gift your mom with when you
became financially stable?
Well first off, thank you for obviously having interest in
my family and where I came from. But, my mom and my family has never
really been talked about that much and Iíd kind of like to keep that
respect the family privacy. You do such a great job of
channeling a closeness with Sharon Gless as far as the mother/son,
can you say whether or not you were at least close to your mom
growing up? I really donít know much about it. It seems to come
through and I just wanted to see if thatís what Iím sensing?
Well I can talk about Sharon and first of all, she is like
a second mother to me. Sheís an extraordinary actress but even more
so sheís an incredible woman. She took me under her wing since day
one and has always protected me and sheltered me in the greatest
way. I didnít have an experience like she had with all of the
history she has in television. So sheís been such a great
educator and her husband, Barney Rosenzweig, he is an incredible
producer and Iíve learned so much. Theyíve become kind of like my
second family and I could talk for hours about them.
directed two episodes of
as well as
The Fall of
Sam Axe. What were the major challenges you
experienced while directing?
Whatís tough about episodic TV and also about Sam Axe
was a deadline. The scripts are huge. Typical episodic scripts are
about 46 to 50 pages and Burn Notice tends to write between
52 and 58 pages. And thatís difficult to shoot in a cable studio
budget. Weíre constantly running over time and out of money. Those
are the big challenges. The actors are always the easiest thing. The
cast is great. I donít actually even have to direct them - except
Bruce. Heís an awful, awful actor and he needs all the help he can
get. I donít know how he got this job. But thank God Iíve been
directing him for years.
You were talking
a bit before about Sharon Gless. Can you talk about
how Michael and Madelineís relationship is going to change this
season? Can they ever get back to where they were do you
I think that youíll see mending in the latter part of the
season. And I think that Madelineís love for Michael is
unconditional in the best way. But what I think is the hardest thing
on Madeline is not seeing Michael go back into the CIA or do a job
or maybe cross the line in accomplishing some kind of mission. Itís
when he hurts his friends. At the end of this season youíll
see Michael make a choice that I donít think that Madeline will be
able to justify. But her love has been for six seasons itís
unconditional and I think that sheíll try to find that compromise.
Michaelís going to put his friends and his mom in a very difficult
position at the end of the season.
By the way, happy Election
Yes. Happy Election Day. Did you vote?
Yes, I did.
Did you early
vote or were you not allowed by the RNC?
Well I didnít
early vote. I was allowed to but I didnít. I just wanted to do it
with everybody else and that was probably a mistake since there were
a lot of lines, but itís done. So
I saw the season premiere. The one
thing I noticed is how I guess violently realistic the scenes [are]
- especially when you and Gray are getting beaten around. What does
it take to get to that mindset to make it look so realistic?
(laughs) Well thank God the camera can lie because, weíre safe and
nothingís happening to us. But imagining all of that violence coming
down on us itís... Iím sure every young boy has been in a fight. I
certainly was growing up, quite a few, lost as many as I won. You
just channel all of those bruises and punches that you had over the
years and put it into that emotion, you know? Itís not that hard to
imagine yourself getting beat up. (laughs again)
A few days ago I
caught a rerun of
Sam Axeís film. Would you like to go into any other of the
charactersí back stories and what would you like to learn about
You know, I donít think so. I think what was great about
the Sam Axe story was based on Bruce. Bruce has such a huge
following from all of his Evil Dead, film stuff and heís just
a cult hero. So I think that that was interesting to look into where
did Sam Axe come from and why was he forcefully retired from the
Navy Seals? I think that was interesting. I donít think that
any other story would be as compelling. I mean Iím sure Sharon would
have no interest (chuckles) in going back and showing herself 20 years ago and
trying to figure that out. So the back story stuff I donít think is
going to happen about anybody else. I donít think it would work.
Youíve had Jere
Burns this year and John C. McGinley or Ben Shenkman previously. How
can you top that with the next villain to bring in? Who would you
like to have?
Oh, thatís a great question. I mean theyíre so good, I
donít know where the next villain will come from. Weíve always done
a great job in finding some interesting actors. Hereís the irony
about the actors who play great villains. Theyíre the nicest people,
you know? They really are. I mean Jay Karnes, Jere, Ben, youíre
talking about guys who are just the salt of the earth and they show
up and play such dastardly characters. Itís always fun. I know itís
fun for them to come out. Next season, who knows? I think weíre going
to have to go raise the bar certainly, because these actors
are so great.
Which do you
enjoy most, television or film, and why?
Iíve answered this before and it hasnít changed. I always
enjoy what I havenít done in a while. I grew up actually in the
theater. I did my BFA [Bachelor of Fine Arts] at U. Mass [University
of Massachusetts] Amherst, I did my MFA [Masters of Fine Arts] at NYU
[New York University] and I
got classically trained. I was doing Shaw, Ibsen and Shakespeare.
When I got out of school I thought thatís what my career was going
to be. I got on Broadway right away and then I started doing a
little bit of television and a little bit of film. Itís such a
different world. Itís very, very technical what we do in film. Then, while all of the lights are there and all of the crew
members and hanging instruments and cameras and directors staring
right at you, you have to be honest. Itís a very difficult but
technical medium. With theater itís a feedback and a reciprocation
that you get thatís immediate every night. Now that Iíve done the
show for six and a half years, Iím missing theater. And if I get on a
Broadway show and Iím doing that for half a year Iíll probably miss
film. Itís a little cycle. And Iíve been lucky to be able to do all
What do you find more exciting, producing or directing? And will you
toss script writing into the mix any time?
I love directing. One of the great pleasures and honors I
had was to direct Bruce in the Sam Axe movie and try to show
a little more humor in that show than is on Burn Notice
because of the great talents of Bruce. I loved it. I have a more of
a comic sensibility, though you wouldnít really see much of it on
Burn Notice because lately itís so dark. But youíd see it in the
early seasons. Iím working hard right now on developing my own
material and down the road I think directing. Not so much writing.
Iím not a good writer and there are so many great writers out there.
But Iíd love to be able to develop some talent and create
a TV series or create a film. Iíve talked with people and Iím
working on something right now that hopefully will work out in the
next year. But I love directing. I absolutely love it.
advice to actors?
Donít. (laughs) Oh, itís such a hard profession. I donít wish it
upon anyone. I donít know if I have advice but Iíll just give you
this comparison. I graduated high school considered the best
actor in my high school. I graduated college the best actor in my
college. I graduated NYU with 18 other actors that were all
considered the 18 best actors in the country and three of us are
working from that class; just to show you how difficult it is. If
you want to be an actor I think that whatís dangerous is that you
act like what you see. Itís like seeing a baseball player go up and
hit a home run. They just go "oh, you just hit the ball," and you
donít realize the years since they were five years old of hitting a
ball to make that look so easy." Itís a lot harder than it looks.
The great ones make it look easy. And to be great I think you have
to just study. You have to study like thereís no tomorrow. I donít
think a lot of actors these days think that thatís the way to become
As one of the
showís producers, what are your responsibilities and how much input
do you actually have in the development of the show as it goes on?
Basically my role as a producer is to make sure the pretzel
jar is full. No, Iím kidding. My role as a producer on Burn
Notice is very specific. Itís maintaining the creative
truthfulness day in and day out. One of the things that weíve found
is that the tone of the show is very difficult to grasp. We watch it
and you watch it and youíve watched it Iím sure every season, you
get the tone. Itís high stakes and dangerous but it has a little
cheekiness to it. Itís very hard to act that. Amazing actors have
guest starred on our show and the first day usually what comes out
of their mouth is: "is this how fast weíre going to do this or do you
really want me to say these lines this quickly but with a smile even
though Iím saying Iím going to kill you?" Thereís a paradigm that is going on in the scene always.
Itís a two-tiered journey. One is how am I going to act in
this scene and two, what do I ultimately want in this scene. A lot
of time itís very duplicitous. So me pointing [that] out occasionally to
some guest stars is really my job. For the most part everyone is
incredibly receptive. They know that Iím there just to help them
with a very difficult tone. There are a few actors that say "screw
off, Iím going to act it the way I want to." And theyíre never asked
Are you going to
be doing any live Tweeting during the episodes this season again?
No. Not this season. That was fun to do and I enjoyed it
but I was doing that I think while I was shooting so it was in a
work mindset. But since this is my hiatus, itís the off season, I
kind of unplug and decompress and go away from the business world.
How are you most
like and most different from Michael?
Iím as super intelligent as him. Thatís probably the most
likely. (laughs) No, you know what? Iím nothing like Michael. I canít operate
on his level. That guy is like a master chess player. Heís thinking
ten moves ahead while he speaks and I canít even think one sentence
good at a time now. See? Look at that sentence. I couldnít even make
Since youíre on
hiatus, what are you doing for you in terms of just chilling out and
having fun and all that good stuff?
(laughs) Well, I get away from Miami. I have a house in the woods,
literally and we kind of retreat there. It couldnít be further from
Hollywood as far as lifestyle. I get away from all of the business
and especially Miami. Itís a very hard shoot down in Miami. We shoot
at the hottest time of the year, March to September. And then I just
basically go away and I find some time in the woods.
Jeff, I loved you
Edgar as Bobby Kennedy. Tell me, as a Massachusetts native, what
did you take from growing up in the Kennedy world to make the role
yours and not formulaic?
Well first of all, thank you. I read that and I begged
Clint to play the role and he thought about it. While he was
thinking about it I actually worked on the role as if I had it. I
didnít care. I just wanted to play the role so badly. Then I sent
him a videotape of me playing Bobby just out of an office in Miami
and he hired me. One of the things that I found out later was there
was actually an actor he was going to go with because they thought
literally he was Bobby Kennedy. I mean he had the right hair, he had
the accent. But they felt like it was so authentic it looked like an
impersonator. I love that he went with me not just because I could
do the accent but because I was trying to find the spirit of who
Bobby was. If you know your history I think Bobby was one of the
greatest of the Kennedys. He would have probably been our greatest
president in our history. He was such a smart, intelligent and
philosophical man. It was a tragedy to lose him. So I just tried to
honor the spirit of who he was rather than try to impersonate and
put fake teeth in and put on a fake nose and all of that stuff. I
really wanted to get to the essence of who he was and ultimately not
disgrace his name or insult the family in any way.
relationships with Gray and Michael are kind of endeavoring on at
the end of the season premiere, what can you tell us about how
theyíre going to kind of gel together throughout the rest of the
Well I think youíre going to be in for a big surprise with
Gray. And itís going to be very shocking. Youíll realize after you
see what happens, why thatís a difficult question to answer.
I will say that the relationship that Michael has with Gray and Card
is going to turn Michael down a path that even Sam will question
Michaelís integrity. I think thatís what the fans are going to
really be interested in - how dark will Michael go? I think that the
fans are going to enjoy seeing Michael go down a very dark
path and thatís whatís going to be enjoyable about the rest of the
HERE TO SEE WHAT JEFFREY DONOVAN HAD TO SAY TO US IN 2010!