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Harry's Law Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Harry's Law

This is an interview with Nate Corddry and Karen Olivo on March 1, 2012 about the show Harry's Law.

Question:
What would you say has been your biggest challenge for working on Harry's Law?

Nate Corddry:
We don't have a catered lunch so... That question is really hard to answer. In my experience in television, which has been brief, there's always at least one issue that you have to negotiate with a personality that's difficult to work with, that holds the camera, that just makes for a difficult situation like any other job, it doesn't matter what job you have. There's always one person that you're like, oh god, if I get stuck with Frank today I'm going to loose my mind.

This crew and cast you don't have anyone. Everyone there is happy to be there, is professional, works exceptionally hard and I've never once been frustrated going to work or leaving work. I look forward to going there. It's like a great big family and that's so many people say that but I feel like on our show it really is and I'll hand it off to Karen.

Karen Olivo:
I feel exactly the same way. I'm from the theater so this is my first real TV things where I'm on every week and I was told by so many people in New York that the egos in LA would be soul crushing and I've yet to encounter any of them. So I would probably say if there was anything difficult for me it would be purely on a technical note which trying to not play to 1700 people and trying to play to the camera which is very different for me.

But, yes, I really do echo everything that Nate's saying. These people are really great and it feels kind of like, to me, it feels like a troop of actors that we could be doing a play like in the East Village right now and this does not feel LA or ego-driven at all which is really awesome.

Question:
Do any of you have like a favorite or most memorable moment from the episodes that you've shot so far for this season that you want to talk about?

Karen Olivo:
I think it was Episode 3 with Alfred Molina. We had like one scene where no one could keep it together because we were having so much fun and there was some sort of video that we were supposed to be watching on TV and for some reason somebody in the scene thought something was funny and it caught on like wildfire. I mean, no one kept it together.

Every single laugh one of us broke at some point ending with Kathy Bates who is the most professional women I've ever met but it took every single last one of us down but it was just because we were having so much fun but, yes, that one sticks out in my memory as being like, yes, this is like the greatest job ever. Alfred Molina is cracking up on screen. I just thought that was so cool.

Nate Corddry:
I would say a similar thing like it's not the moments so much that end up on America's television, it's the things that don't make it on to TV that we share as a group of 75 people in a really big cold room everyday. Those things that don't make it on to TV that you only share with your family. And there's been tons of moments like that, they just keep on happening because everyone's really happy to be there.

Question:
Nate, can you talk about how Adam evolved throughout the latter half of the season as compared to the first?

Nate Corddry:
I think a lot of it has to do with his relationship with Harry. It's been up and down, mostly up. He has an enormous amount of respect and appreciates how talented she is as a lawyer but also sees her without her really know it almost sort of like a mother type figure I think. And this season he starts to see in different ways that she's human and that she's prone to weakness and prone to making mistakes.

And in the first season I think we won every case which is pretty impossible. And Harry Korn kicked ass and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah and then the second season, especially in some of the episodes that are about to air, specifically our first episode on March 11 we see that she's flawed. And Adam has to negotiate his perception of Harry which is starting to change a little bit and his perception of the law firm is changing, I think, a little bit but I think the biggest thing in flux is his relationship with Harry.

Question:
Karen, after getting to know the character of Cassie, how has she pushed you in news ways after coming from the theater?

Karen Olivo:
She's extremely reserved and theater people are nothing like that. We're kind of big and boisterous at all turns. And there's something very poised about Cassie which, I mean, it really is work for me as Nate will tell you. I'm a big clown and a kid so every episode where they put me in another tight fitting suite or tight fitting dress looking extremely studious is a bit of a challenge for me. But, it's really great because it really has bled into my everyday life. I think that I can conduct myself in a more adult manner now that I've played Cassie Reynolds.

Nate Corddry:
You're wearing sexy dresses more often too.

Karen Olivo:
That is true, yes, yes. I am.

Question:
I think Christian Clemenson who's probably most known for his role on Boston Legal, is going to guest star I think in the March 18 episode, maybe the 11th. What was it like to work with an Emmy winner and do you know of any other plans to have other Boston Legal actor's guest star on the show?

Nate Corddry:Karen Olivo:
I'm pretty sure he is. The character that he's playing is the exact opposite but he's so nice in person.

Nate Corddry:
So great! He's so, so, so sweet. He's in more episodes after the 18th which is wonderful. David can't stop writing for him because he's so good. But he's doing CSI Miami right now too so we're negotiating between those two shows trying to get him on his days off to come and play with us.

Question:
Are you excited and maybe a little surprised that you got a second season? Did you always feel there was going to be a second season?

Nate Corddry:
If you read the blogs which I try not to do, but I think the Internet had us canceled like a year ago. And the Internet is confused that we're still on TV. The Internet is like is this show still on TV? And yet we pull more viewers than any other scripted show on the network. I think it's us and SVU that average the most millions of viewers. A show like The Office or Parks and Rec which has like cool, hip credibility they average about three and a half million where our show averages seven, eight, nine.

People are watching and people want to watch it's just not the demographic that they want. So, if it's one thing that I've learned in this industry is that there's no such thing as a sure thing and I can't speak for anyone else but I think we're all hoping and praying that we come back for a third season. The back nine was wonderful news. A lot of us were on pins and needles about it and but such is the experience of being on television. This will never go away no matter the show you're on, no matter what network, there's no sure thing.

So you are thankful for the time that you have and you bust your ass when you have it because you never know when the rug is going to get pulled out of you because those decisions are just completely out of your control! But, we're all really hoping for another season and another crack at getting that demo up and another chance to all work with each other because I can't stress enough how wonderful an environment it is.

Question:
It can't hurt having Kathy Bates with you on the same show.

Nate Corddry:
She certainly helps. She's our draw. You know, she's our anchor and she pulls in the audience and hopefully they stay because of everyone else but she's the reason that people show up in the first place. So, if it wasn't for Kathy we wouldn't be having this conference call right now.

Question:
You have a great working relationship?

Nate Corddry:
Absolutely. I can't speak for Karen but she's just a chick from Tennessee really when you strip it all away. Really funny, really generous, works really hard and treats everyone with respect.

Karen Olivo:
I've found that she's actually so generous with us. I think she's probably one of the nicer actors, older actors, that I've ever met. She's so willing to give you back story on any of the shows that she's done or if you don't understand something she'll explain it to you and it's been really helpful for me coming from a different medium.

She's constantly like right there, open, waiting and I think that she's also aware of the fact that if you come in from like another medium like I did, I will play the scene differently and she's always willing to go in any direction that I'm ready to go in just to help me out which I can't stress to you how wonderful I find that because it can be pretty stressful coming in and she's made it so nice and so easy for me. So, I mean, yes, I can't say enough about Kathy Bates. She's totally my hero.

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