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Covert Affairs Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is a transcript of an Interview with Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham on June 18, 2010 about the show Covert Affairs.

Question:
Piper, many times I've talked to actors who like to play cops and cowboys and spies because it allows them to revert to being a kid, when they were playing cops and robbers, and cowboys and Indians, and secret agent and whatnot. And now they've got better props and better special effects and plots and more talented playmates. Does that apply equally when you're a girl?

Piper Perabo:
I think so. I mean I was kind of a tomboy growing up. But it's better now - I mean the props are definitely better, and the playmates, but also your mom isn't there to stop you. You know, I was a tomboy and jumping off the roof and stuff like that. But it's much more fun when, you know, I have Chris and Doug, and we're jumping off of buildings, and jumping down elevator shafts and crashing cars. They're encouraging you to break stuff. So I enjoy it even more.

Question:
So having said that, "Jumping off of stuff," is it possible that it's you jumping out of that plane in the first episode?

Piper Perabo:
I'm so mad, because I already told somebody that it wasn't me. And then I talked to the woman who jumped out of the plane and she was like, "You don't have to say it was me." But it wasn't me jumping out of the plane. I would have jumped out, but USA would never have let me do it.

Question:
How much do you know at this point and how much can you share with us about Annie and her mystery man?

Piper Perabo:
I think I know less than I knew when we started. As I've seen more of the Ben Mercer character, it's gotten muddier about whose side he's on. So I think - somebody asked me the other day if we're going to find out who he is by the end of this season, and even I don't know that. It's definitely getting - it's getting more complicated than less, with him.

Question:
What do the two of you think about being on this network? Obviously it seems that all of the best shows on cable are on USA at this point in time.

Chris Gorham:
I think the way that they run their network I think is really smart. I mean it starts with development, and they only develop a very small group of shows and then they only shoot a couple pilots a year. Which is why I think they've had such a high success rate, because they only really get behind the stuff that they believe in. So I think it's an incredible opportunity. I'm really excited. And on top of that, the show's turning out great. So yeah, we have really high hopes.

Question:
Piper would you agree with that?

Piper Perabo:
I would. This is my first foray into a series, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. But when I compare it with films that I've done, it feels of equal caliber. It seems like every episode that we do is like a mini-movie, with the amount of stunts and cameras and shots that we're trying to achieve. So in that way I think it's going to make for really exciting television.

Question:
Piper, I'm assuming that some of those basic kind of things they drop in are true, like the fact that the majority of people are young because they've lifted the hiring freeze, and the fact that there's a Starbucks right inside the building. As far as you know, are those true?

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, I went down to Langley for the day. Valerie Plame Wilson was our Technical Advisor on the pilot. And so we have connections down there. And so I spent the day down there and met agents who are the same age as Chris and I, and talked with them about their lives and what's going on. And you know, a lot of the things that we're drawing on from the show are based in kind of the dirty details of reality.

Question:
Given the kind of general mood that they showed there, does it strike that you would have really enjoyed working in a place like that? Does it seem like, just for someone of your age and your interests and so forth, would you actually love being a CIA agent?

Piper Perabo:
One thing that I thought I really liked about it, and that I would like about it when I met them was, that the reason that they're there. One of the agents that I spoke to was saying, you know, the - I - she said, "I serve at the pleasure of the President, regardless of who the President is." So it's bigger than even the momentary political agenda in that they are - you know, they believe in the ideals of the - this country. And that was kind of an old fashioned and forthright mission statement that I didn't expect. And I thought - it sort of charmed me in a way that I didn't anticipate when I first got to the CIA.

Question:
Annie comes from this having been far traveled - she's been to a lot of places and done a lot of stuff. And looking at your background, I kind of get the feeling some of that - I mean it says you were, Born in Dallas, went to high school in New Jersey, went to college in Ohio, moved to New York, you've worked all over. Is that true, have you kind of lived all over the country and beyond? And does that give you some kind of a background when you play a character?

Piper Perabo:
I think so, I mean my traveling - especially with my work in the last ten years - really has given me a lot of language background, which Annie, you know, has and also sort of understanding the cultures and customs of all the different places that Annie has to go. And so I think that travel and my work life definitely feeds into the show.

Question:
Could you guys talk about, for each of you, what was the biggest challenge in doing this show?

Chris Gorham:
I mean, for me kind of the obvious thing is playing a blind character. You know, having that kind of a physical disability was a big challenge and something that I was really excited about.

I've been working closely with The Canadian National Institute for the Blind up here, starting during the pilot and then have continued as we're - as we've been doing the show. And it's just been such an adventure.

I mean we talk - I'm constantly apologizing to directors because, you know, what seems like a very simple little scene ends up becoming really complicated because I start to think about how I'm going to do this without being able to see any of the furniture or my coffee, or you know, anything. So we're constantly - we're getting, you know, ten minutes into rehearsal and I'm saying, "You know what, I'm sorry, I need another minute."

But - so it's a big challenge, but it's also really exciting and kind of - it's kind of made the process of doing a show brand new again for me. And so I've really loved it.

Piper Perabo:
Just to follow-up on what Chris said. Well to follow-up on what Chris said, he's had some of his teachers from the Institute for the Blind come in to work with me, because I've never had a close friend who's blind. And so there's a whole skill to leading someone, walking with someone, and how you have a sort of, you know, close friendship with someone when you're sighted and they're not. And that's been - I agree with Chris, you know, kind of a fascinating angle on the show is how to work that out. And I think more and more as we get into the field, it's going to get even more interesting.

Question:
You both sound very jovial and happy this morning. And I'm wondering if you're actually happy that there's a lot of humor in the show - that it's not just a straight on dark, kind of edgy kind of drama, it's got a lot of humor.

Chris Gorham:
Very happy.

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, I'm happy about that. I mean Chris makes me laugh. So there would kind of be - even if they wanted it to be dark, I would sort of be giggling in the background. But it's good that we're allowed to be funny.

Question:
My next question is with the blind aspect of it and how you applied what you learned at the institute, which I was kind of wondering what it is that you learned from that?

Chris Gorham:
You know it's a million little things, and I'm still learning. You know, I've made a couple friends over there now; a couple sighted, a couple who are not sighted. And it's just - it's been invaluable. Just, the little details and things that then I can take and apply in the show. Because you know, there are big things, like - and very simple things like how to walk with a cane and you know, how to find your coffee on your desk. And you know, those kind of entry level training - the training that they give you at the center when you lose your sight.

But really kind of the fun little details and things that we'll work into the show are, you know, things like how other people behave around someone who can't see. Because I've gone out to dinner a couple of times with a friend of mine who's blind and it just blows me away at how people just freeze up. You know, waiters not only stop talking to him, but they'll stop talking to me because they don't know what to do. It's really interesting.

And you know, getting details from another friend who's helped me over there of, you know, he'll send me emails like, "Oh I just thought of this, something that's really frustrating is automatic toilets in the public restroom." You know, and I'm thinking like, "What do you mean?" He says, "Well imagine feeling around a nasty, like public toilet looking for the lever to flush the thing and then standing up in frustration and having it flush by itself." You know, I mean, you know?

So like little things like that - those little details that we can put in. You know they've - like things like the design of my office. We had the woman, her name is (Leslie McDonald) at the center who has been a great help to me, had come out - came out to the set just to kind of look through my office set and see what she'd think, because she actually helped with the design of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind's building.

And you know, like doing kind of rounded corners on my desk, and keeping it relatively clutter free and having everything has its place so that I don't lose things. And so it's been interesting. And like I said, I'm still going. I was just there the other day, you know, with a blindfold in the kitchen learning how to pour hot liquids into a cup and - because we're going to see Auggie's apartment now, and so I want to know my way around in there.

Piper Perabo:
I didn't see it yet.

Chris Gorham:
Oh it's great.

Piper Perabo:
I'm excited.

Chris Gorham:
I haven't seen the whole thing. We've just - we've seen the living room. And it's really cool.

In fact, they used one of my ideas, because I thought it'd be really neat in his apartment if...I don't know the name of the artist, and I really should figure it out, but they - where they do those big kind of block letter, just words on a giant canvas. Like it'll be - say, "Love," or it'll say, "You," or whatever it is.

And I thought it'd be really cool to do that, but with like big brail, like a really tactiled painting, like a big piece on his wall. And so they took that and ran with it. And so there's just this big brail work of art on the wall that's just white, and it looks great.

Question:
I was wondering if you guys could each give me three words that best describes your character?

Chris Gorham:
Oh you go first.

Piper Perabo:
Oh god thanks a lot.

Chris Gorham:
You're welcome.

Piper Perabo:
Brave, and fashion, and heartbroken.

Chris Gorham:
God those are good. I would say, "Driven, fearless and hungry."

Question:
I wanted to talk a little bit about the relationship between your characters. Can you tell us, first of all, how important this relationship is going to be to the show? Is it going to be as much relationship stuff as action and shooting?

Piper Perabo:
I think that sort of - I mean the instinct that I get from Auggie and my relationship with him is that this sort of relationship that you just start to see the beginning of in the pilot, really takes hold as the episodes continue. He's my one sort of, person that I can touch and confide in, and not worry about failing in front of. And so he becomes a really important sort of component to me being able to succeed.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, I think, you know, Auggie really takes Annie under his wing in the beginning. And they have a real connection. There's - you know, in the pilot there's - they have kind of this superficial connection of that, you know, she loves Mingus and he's obsessed with Mingus, and so they like the same music.

But then, yeah, as the show goes on, they quickly become fast friends. And you know, I think he feels protective of her and wants her to succeed. You know, I - there's a real connection. And it's definitely a big part of the show.

Question:
If you notice, on other USA shows like Burn Notice, the relationship between Michael and Fiona is so important. I think also here, the Mr. and Mrs. Smith connection to your production makes about the man and woman together.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, you know I think - well it's interesting where we start off. Where their relationship starts off, you know, Auggie's kind of - he's slept with a lot of the women at the Agency. And so I think when they first met, like he kind of assumes that they're going to hookup. But it kind of - but the relationship with her for some reason, you know, quickly moves past the casual hookup and into a real friendship. And so you know, what comes out of that friendship I think is potentially a long-term storyline.

Question:
Piper, Annie seemed kind of surprised when Conrad told her that the Agency encourages people to-date.

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, I mean, that is true. I'm still kind of surprised by that. But the more you understand sort of how secret you have to keep everything and how compartmentalized your life becomes, I can understand why you would date someone in the agency, because they're really the only people who understand the full extent of what you're doing in your life. And so I could understand how it happens.

Question:
Piper, this is your first series. Were you finally to a point in your life where you were looking for a series? Or had you been asked to do one before? And Chris I know this sounds like an obvious question, but was there discussion about whether your character would actually wear glasses or not, the dark glasses?

Chris Gorham:
There was, yeah. It's actually really interesting because that is a real kind of stereotype of the blind guy, one that I actually fell into because I showed up to the audition with sunglasses on. And was told on my way into the room by the casting director, "Oh no, they don't want glasses." And then had to on the fly kind of make up what the hell I was going to do to look blind. So yeah, there was a discussion. And we got up here we talked a lot about it. And as I've learned more, you know, really the glasses are to make other people comfortable, because obviously, you know, when you can't see, the bright lights aren't going to bother you when you're totally blind.

There are a lot of people who are partially blind where bright lights really do bother them. But for Auggie, it's not really a problem. So we just use them occasionally when we're outside. But we never use them inside.

Question:
Okay. And Piper, the series question?

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, I wasn't looking for a series actually. I was in the middle of doing a Broadway play when this came across my desk. And you know, I was thinking of what I was going to do when the play ended. And I was reading films, and I just wasn't finding anything that I really connected to.

And when this came across my desk, not only did it have the pedigree of Doug Liman, but it was a character that I thought would be really fun to play. And even fun to play, you know, episode after episode, and how it would evolve and change.

And I talked with the boys a lot about how Annie would evolve. But I even sort of like not knowing specifically where the story's going. You know, when you make a film, you kind of know where you're going for the whole arc of the story when you begin.

But in this arc, I can't see the end yet. And so it makes for a whole different kind of work. And I didn't expect that, and I'm really enjoying that about having, you know, started on the series.

Question:
Chris, how do you like the name Auggie?

Piper Perabo:
That's an awesome question.

Chris Gorham:
It's grown on me. His full name is August. And that I actually really like. And so you know, it would automatically get shortened to Auggie. And then I've been able to kind of just fill in the blanks for me, as far as to how that happened and how much fun I think his buddies in the military would have with his very intimidating sounding name. So yeah, it's grown on me.

Question:
I was wondering what he likes about Annie.

Chris Gorham:
What's not to like about Annie? She - okay, well I'll kind of run down - I'll try to - in order of how Auggie would notice them; one, she smells good; two, she's smart; she has a great sense of humor; and she gets him; and she likes Mingus; and after that like, he was done. It's like, "All right I like this girl."

And in the first episode she really proves herself that she belongs there. And that's important to him. I mean, Auggie comes out of Special Forces, so he's no - you know, he's no joke when it comes to the operations. And you know, she passed every test.

Question:
Piper, it's summertime, so why will people want to spend their time indoors to watch the show Covert Affairs?

Piper Perabo:
Well, we come on at 10:00, and so then you can, you know, shower down, finish your barbeque, and sort of get into the air conditioning. I think that the show, each week, feels like a mini movie, and so you know, it's exciting television.

And I don't know, in the summer, you know, if you have a little bit of a sunburn, and a nice guy and a barbeque, it's good to have a little something to go inside to do.

Question:
Piper, I was thinking, I don't think we've ever seen a spy show where the hero is sort of learning on the job. Do you think - do you see the eventual progression of the show is she's going to basically learn how to be a total kick-ass Alias type?

Piper Perabo:
I mean she'll - I think Annie's definitely going to progress in her talent and level as a spy. But I also think, you know, when I talk to officers who really do work in the field, your whole job for the length of your career is on the fly.

You know, there are so many things that come up that you could have never planned for and trained for. And these people are really, in a lot of ways, creative types because they have to solve problems that you could never imagine were going to come up.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, so you don't see the same kind of thing twice so you can get really great at that one thing and be an expert at it, right?

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, I mean you know, you can learn to pick locks and set explosives, but after that you're kind of on your own.

Question:
So that'll always be the heart of the show.

Piper Perabo:
Right, lock picking and explosives.

Question:
Well no I mean the improvising on the fly.

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, yeah. I think, you know, I think that's what makes it interesting. I think that's certainly what interests Doug Liman, is that kind of how - you know, there's a kind of Nikita quality to it. You know, these people that can - or the professional, how you see them in a situation and you see them start so quickly adapting. I think it's really dramatic.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah.

Question:
Christopher, I loved the idea that Auggie can tell who's hot by how guys talk to them.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, isn't that great?

Question:
Is the advice we should take from that, Don't talk to hot girls any differently?

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, well listen, it's - yes. I will - yes, that's - in fact, I think that's the entire moral of the pilot episode. Don't talk to hot girls differently.

Question:
It is a great insight into how everyone else behaves. Are we going to see more of those sort of observations coming?

Chris Gorham:
Yes, definitely.

Piper Perabo:
Oh yeah, Auggie's the king of that.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, we're shooting a really cool episode coming up where we do that. There's a few times where, you know, we need a certain type of person, or we need information quickly and we have to get it through, you know, kind of quick observations.

And it's fun, you know, so far like every time we've done it, we've - it's worked. It'll be interesting at some point to have it not work I think.

Piper Perabo:
Oh, that's interesting.

Chris Gorham:
And then have to watch these characters adapt to that, you know?

Question:
Piper, did you go to any kind of training camp for the CIA or CIA-like training camp to physically getting into shape for it, or gun training and things like that?

Piper Perabo:
Well, right now, my character doesn't carry a gun. CIA officers don't carry firearms when they're on U.S. soil. And I did go to Langley and spent the day there with agents who are my age. And they briefed me a lot on their lifestyle and their training. I didn't go the farm where they do their physical training. But I did do a lot of physical training before the pilot, predominantly combat training. You know, fight training for the hand to hand combat things that we do.

Chris Gorham:
Trust me, she can fight.

Piper Perabo:
Thanks.

Question:
What surprised you the most about the whole CIA lifestyle?

Piper Perabo:
I mean you know, one guy that - I had lunch with a bunch of different agents, and one of the guys told me that his wife doesn't know that he works for the CIA. And I couldn't believe that that really happens, you know? That that's how secret it has to be. But every person that you tell, it puts them in danger. So it's not that you - your - the CIA policy, they said to me, is that you're allowed to tell whoever you want, just with the realization that that's going to put them in danger the more that they know.

Question:
Would you tell a spouse, if you were in the CIA, what you were doing?

Piper Perabo:
I don't think I would. I mean when he was telling me this about his wife I really pressed him on it, and I said, "You know, I'm sure your wife's smart," and, "Do you think sometimes that she knows what you do and kind of has chosen to leave it the way you've set it up?" And he said, "Yeah, some days I think she does know where I go to work." It's interesting though, it's a complex kind of dual life that they have to lead.

Question:
And Chris, what would you do? Would you tell your wife?

Chris Gorham:
You know, it's an interesting question because it's - and the honest answer is, I don't know. I guess it would depend. I guess it would depend. You know, because I think the first reaction I would have had, if I had been there would be the same as Piper; I would have been kind of incredulous, you know? Because I know there are people whose spouses do know. And you think of Valerie and Joe, I mean they both - they knew what they did, right?

Piper Perabo:
Yeah.

Chris Gorham:
Is that true? I don't remember.

Piper Perabo:
And Valerie's husband knew what she did.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah.

Piper Perabo:
But her kids didn't.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, well like my kids, I would - that's - I would definitely keep it from my kids. My wife, I guess it would depend. Like - yeah I don't know. It would depend. That's a tough question, you know? it's kind of one of those things where it goes from kind of like, Ooh, being a spy sounds like a really cool job until you have the real, you know, real life, really hard questions that you have to ask when you do .

Question:
Chris you've done a lot of television, from Ugly Betty to this, and movies. Piper you've done movies and plays. Are the two of you satisfied with where you are at in your career right now? Is this where you want to be, in a show like this? Is this where you imagined you would be?

Piper Perabo:
I'm - actually I'm really satisfied with where I am.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah.

Piper Perabo:
I mean this kind of show and the challenge that it presents, both because of the quality of the writing and then, the ambition of the shooting style, to me is really fun. And it's a really hard thing to find. So I'm really, really happy with where I am.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, I - ditto for me. I couldn't be happier. It's - you know, we have great writers who are doing a fantastic job, you know. Writing not only great stories, but really interesting characters.

And you know, the network is behind the show 100%. And everybody that works on it is really great, I mean not only talented, but just really nice people, which doesn't always happen. And so yeah, just really happy.

Question:
Piper, Annie is such a complicated character and I'm wondering what you hope she will have learned or achieved by the end the first season?

Piper Perabo:
Well, I mean one of the things is like - this seems like a small thing, but Annie's still learning kind of basic protocol on how to take on an assignment. And in some ways, you know, it slows her down. And I know that, you know Sendhil Ramamurthy has joined our show. And when I'm in the field with him or Chris Gorham, there's a pace that we can pick up because these guys, their characters have been with the CIA longer, and know how to handle, you know, situations just because of their experience level. So I'm looking forward to Annie having a little more, you know, confidence in having learned from these guys.

Question:
I noticed she's kind of a klutz in the pilot.

Piper Perabo:
She's a little klutzy. I'm a little klutzy myself, so I think maybe that's the writers just giving me a little help. I don't know if Annie would be klutzy if I weren't playing her.

Chris Gorham:
Well it's been fun though, because there's a scene in the second episode where Annie gets so frustrated because she's losing hand to hand fights. And so they have this great scene where Auggie's training her in hand to hand combat.

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, that kind of really speedy and sharp learning curve, I think, I don't know if there's an end to the curve, you know, when you're in the CIA the sort of problems continue to present themselves.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah

Piper Perabo:
But I think that is really fun to act, you know, as you improve and improve and improve, whether it's protocol or combat, or you know, how to jump off a building.

Chris Gorham:
And it's also part of what makes Annie so likable, like - is you can really route for her because she doesn't have it all figured out. She's learning on the job, and - you know. And so you really get behind her and want her to succeed, because you don't know for sure if she's going to.

Piper Perabo:
Right.

Question:
Chris, Auggie is the gadget guy on the show. What's been your favorite tech item to play with so far?

Chris Gorham:
Oh you know, I have this active brail keyboard that's pretty cool.

Piper Perabo:
That's just nerdy dude. You're so nerdy it's awesome.

Chris Gorham:
It's really cool. There's two things; so my active brail keyboard is really exciting, and the other thing, I have a laser cane, it's like - it's this thing that we have invented for Auggie.

And I think the whole - we worked on it with - Tim Matheson kind of wanted something - he directed the pilot and wanted something kind of visually more high-tech than your standard white cane for Auggie. So we came up with this laser cane, that actually isn't that far ahead of current technology.

Something similar to it could exist. And there are things that have pieces of what we think that it does, that actually do exist. But that thing's really great.

Question:
What's the premise of that, is it like the light bounces off items so you know where they are?

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, it's a couple things; so one is that it has this visible laser that creates this grid. And so he can flash it around the room and he get's vibratory feedback on the stick that he's holding. He can also get auditory, but wearing the little ear bud thing gets annoying, so sometimes he takes it out.

But - and also it shoots out sonic waves. It's like it has sonar on it, which again, is a real technology. One of the guys that I've been working with through the center has one of those kind of sonic wands and let me try it out to listen to the sounds.

The nice thing about that is because lasers would go through glass, it wouldn't bounce back. But sonic waves bounce back of everything.

And on top of it, it gives you an idea of what it is that you're looking at, because every physical object has - resonates at a different level. So it actually sounds different if I'm pointing it at wood, or I'm pointing it at tile, or a carpet, or a glass wall, or brick wall, or a person.

Piper Perabo:
That's cool.

Chris Gorham:
So yeah, it's really neat. And so instead of just, you know, a white cane which only gives me information at my feet and only, you know, two or three feet in front of me, I can use that to flash around an entire room and get an idea of the dimensions and what's in that space. So it comes in really handy.

Question:
There are going to be a lot of amazing guest-stars on this season. Can you talk about some of them and maybe even reveal some that we don't know about yet?

Piper Perabo:
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We've had some amazing people. Oded Fehr was one of our guest-stars, and he plays an Israeli spy - a - from the Mossad - Mossad spy. And his action film background, you know, made him kind of unparalleled as someone to work with and come in as a guest-star.

And Eriq La Salle was one in a recent episode. And then we just finished an episode with Anna Camp.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah, Greg Itzin came in and and did a lot of work with. Well and Peter Gallagher technically, I guess he is technically a guest, he's recurring. But I mean, couldn't be more valuable to the show. I mean he's just amazing. I mean he's amazing and we all love him dearly.

Piper Perabo:
I think of him as part of our regular cast because we have him so much.

Chris Gorham:
I know. Yeah, well that happened like yesterday. Yeah, but really, really good. And it's continuing. I mean the caliber of people that they're bringing in to play these guest parts is really exciting.

Question:
Is there anyone else you can perhaps give us a little flavor on someone that you just found out maybe is going to be working with you on an episode.

Piper Perabo:
Well the one that you and I were talking about, you know, that I texted you about last night?

Chris Gorham:
Yeah.

Piper Perabo:
I don't know if that's confirmed.

Chris Gorham:
I don't know either.

Piper Perabo:
Shoot.

Chris Gorham:
I know.

Piper Perabo:
We do, but we can't tell you yet. It's a spy show; some things have to be kept secret.

Chris Gorham:
Yeah. Yeah, we do have - it's a really cool one. We've got somebody coming in to play one - a very important part from Auggie's past who's coming in to an episode. And - but we don't know that we can tell you yet, so we shouldn't tell you yet.

Piper Perabo:
Yeah, yeah.

Chris Gorham:
But it's cool. She's great.

Question:
How much is Auggie going to be out in the field. In the pilot we saw her using him as like - a little bit in the field, but is that going to be a regular thing?

Chris Gorham:
Him getting out in the field is - it's an irregular thing, but it - but he does get out. And in fact we're just about to start an episode where he's really, really out in the field, actually on assignment.

There's an episode where he's out in the field but really shouldn't be. But he just can't help himself sometimes.

So yeah, he does get out of the office. And they've been really good about making sure that that happens and being really creative about it.

And also real because you know, he does have limitations. He's very capable and great at what he does. But not being able to see does limit some things that he can do.

Question:
I should have followed up right away when you mentioned Valerie Plame Wilson. Can you tell me, did you know ahead of time you were going to meet her? Did you know who she was as soon as you met her? And what did you find interesting about being with her?

Chris Gorham:
Okay, a couple things; yeah I knew who she was. And I wasn't sure I was going to get to meet her because I was coming directly - I was doing a movie in Michigan right before we started the pilot. So I was the last one to show up and almost missed her.

So I was really excited to meet her. A little star-struck, because of - for all the obvious reasons. And was really, I don't know, not surprised, but it was just interesting. I didn't know what to expect.

And when you meet her, you just kind - you can completely see; A, why so many people that were close to her had no idea where she worked; and B, you could see why she was so good at it.

And then from talking with Piper from the time that she was at Langley, you know, Valerie is I think typical of some woman agents there who, they're pretty, but they're not so beautiful that like you - everybody stops and, you know, it becomes a big issue when they walk into the room. You know, it's - they're memorable, but not memorable. And really smart.

And you know, they kind of - they look like anybody. Like it's - it's so hard to describe. But you spend a few minutes with her and you just - you just wanted to listen.

I mean she had some really great stories. And we - I mean I was with her for maybe an hour. But just listening to her talk.

Like her passion about Piper's character specifically was so great, because you know, I think she's proud of the work that she did. And she meant business and she was tough.

And so she was excited to - I mean I think, you know, she seemed excited to see that on screen; you know, to see a woman start out, you know, as a young woman and at the agency, but not impressionable. You know, she's green, but she's not dumb and she's not ditzy. She's tough and she's smart and she's someone to be reckoned with.

I desperately wanted to ask her about what happened -- desperately. But I figured I'd wait to see the movie.

Question:
Being up in Canada, what do you like to do in your free time?

Chris Gorham:
Oh, well you know, for the first month and a half, most of my free time was kind of sitting around waiting for my family to show up. And now that they're here, I just - I don't want to leave the house -- at least not without them.

So we've been getting out and exploring a little bit. We brought our Nanny with us and she broke her toe, like on the first day. So we've been spending some extra time inside making sure she's taking care of that.

But yeah we have great - we - you know, we go out and we go to the park. I took the boys out the other day, we had a boy's day, and we just rode the subway and rode the street cars. And I took them over to see the house that I lived in the last time that I was living up here. And went to eat in the restaurant that I took - you know, we used to take Lucas to when he was just a baby.

And so you know, at first anyway, it's kind of reliving some old memories and showing my kids around. And - but I think we're going to get up to cottage country a little bit, and hopefully take a road trip to Chicago and get to the falls. And so yeah, we've got a lot of plans.

 
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