A chat with Lisa Lackey, Lisa Lackey interview, Heroes, NYPD Blue, Mulholland Drive
Lisa Lackey

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Although the average American may know Lisa Lackey predominantly from her role as Janice Parkman on “Heroes,” the average Australian is more likely to recognize her from her time on a little series called “Home and Away.” In between the two, however, Lackey has racked up a considerable amount of credits, working with David Lynch (“Mulholland Drive”), doing a stint on the final season of “NYPD Blue,” and putting in a solid showing on PAX TV with the underrated series “Just Cause.” Bullz-Eye was fortunate enough to catch up with Lackey on the eve of her return to “Heroes” – yes, fans, Season 4 has begun filming! – and we asked her about these projects as well as her work on an oft-forgotten Showtime sitcom (“Rude Awakening”), the experience of co-starring with a dolphin (“The New Adventures of Flipper”), and getting to appear in a first-season episode of “C.S.I.”

Bullz-Eye: It’s very much a pleasure to talk with you. I’ve been a “Heroes” watcher and blogger since the first episode.

Lisa Lackey: Oh, fantastic!

BE: You were gone from the show for an extended time, but then you came back with a vengeance at the end of the third season.

LL: Yes! I went off to have my own baby. (Laughs)

BE: I was wondering if the decision to depart was your own or if it was one of the writers’ devising.

"I’m just so excited about Season 4, because it looks like it’s going to be even more interesting than even Season 1, in terms of my character and what’s going to happen. Not that I know that much. Not that they tell you anything!"

LL: Well, it was very strange, actually, how the whole thing happened, because I originally came onto the show, and I was going to do…I replaced the original wife that they had for Greg Grunberg, and I had a couple of shows to choose from at the time, and I chose “Heroes” because it sounded the most exciting. I was only meant to do three episodes, and then they sort of kept writing me in and writing me in, and it was so interesting and exciting for me that I was very happy to do that. And then I found out that I was pregnant… (Laughs) …which was kind of a plan of my husband’s and I. We just didn’t quite know when it was going to happen. So I just assumed that they’d kind of write me out, and that would be that. “Thanks very much,” and all that kind of stuff. And I mentioned it to Greg, and he was very , very excited. I said, “Please don’t tell them, because I need to call Tim Kring and tell him myself.” And he was, like, “Yay! Of course!” So I left a message for Tim Kring, saying, “Please call me, I have something important that I need to talk to you about.” Meanwhile, later on that day, I got a message from Tim Kring, saying, “Congratulations!” And I thought, “Oh, no, Greg’s gone and told him!” And I was really mad, because I thought, “No, I really wanted to tell him myself!” Well, completely coincidentally, I find out later that, that day, they’d all gone in for a writer’s meeting, and apparently Tim Kring had said to Greg, “Look, we’ve got this really great idea. What would you think about it if Janice was pregnant?” Because, obviously, they knew what the fourth season later was going to be, and of course I didn’t. So Greg’s sitting there, trying to keep his mouth shut, and he finally says, “Oh, my God, she really is!” And they’re, like, “What?” “She really is!” “That’s great, Greg, but what are you talking about?” “No, no, no, she really is pregnant!” So I got to have this fantastic pregnancy on the show and not have to really hide it or do anything like that. And then it was perfect, because, again, what I didn’t know that they already knew was that their whole plan originally was to have me disappear and look like it was a divorce, in order for me to be able to come back later…which couldn’t have been more perfect for me, because I got to go off and have my baby. I didn’t want to work. I wanted to be with my child for a year, at least. So I did little bits here and there, and I had no idea, of course, that I’d be coming back. But, literally, just as I started having the feeling like I was ready to go back to work, I got a call, saying, “We want you to come back to the show.” And I was, like, “This is weird!” (Laughs) From the beginning, it was so uncanny how perfect it was!

BE: That’s some serious serendipity.

LL: Yes! And it’s really funny: I had a child in real life, I had a child on the show, and then the child on the show turned out to have powers, as we saw at the end of Season 3. It’s just perfect timing! I’m just so excited about Season 4, because it looks like it’s going to be even more interesting than even Season 1, in terms of my character and what’s going to happen. Not that I know that much. Not that they tell you anything!

BE: I figured you wouldn’t be able to speak to specifics very much, anyway.

LL: No, I can’t, but I’m just so excited. I start on Monday!

BE: I’ll be at the TCA tour come the end of July. I’m hoping that they dare to reveal at least a little bit by that point.

LL: You’d like to think so, right? (Laughs)

BE: Well, I would guess it would take a pretty solid actress just to act like you’re mad at Greg Grunberg. I’ve met him a couple of times, and he just seems like the nicest, most genuine guy.

LL: Oh, yes, absolutely! He’s so funny, and it’s very hard to sometimes go from laughing hysterically to being very, very serious about things like…well, y’know, all the stuff we have to talk about, which is meant to be very serious. But he’s very funny and really great. He’s a lot of fun, and at the same time, it’s also a really good actor. He has the ability to be funny but then, in one second, go straight into character and be really fantastic. That’s always inspiring.

BE: Obviously, you weren’t on the set for a great deal of it, but what did you think about the sudden explosion of abuse that “Heroes” took during its second season?

Lisa LackeyLL: You know, my theory on the whole thing is that…I think that, with a show like that, which literally just exploded on the scene, it was so popular and new and unique. It was something where the kind of fans who watched “Heroes” were chomping at the bit to have a prime-time show like that. It was exciting, and it was about people who had powers and all that kind of stuff. And although I didn’t really watch the second season – I did one episode, and I think it was a dream sequence – and didn’t really follow what was going on, I think it must’ve been incredibly hard. I think you can see it, really, with any show that’s on television. It’s inevitable that it changes when it comes out so strong. It’s like a hit record. When the first album that you have is #1, it’s really hard for your second album to even remotely live up to that.

BE: As a music critic and a TV critic, I understand that comparison.

LL: (Laughs) It’s just a hard act to follow, you know, and I think everybody got so excited on “Heroes,” the writers and actors and just everyone, and were just, like, “Oh, my God, the sky’s the limit right now!” And I think that, a lot of the time, those kinds of geeky minds, if you will…and I say that as a term of endearment…kind of explode sometimes and just go crazy. I think they had the room to do that, and I think what might’ve happened was that they just went a little bit too crazy. But I think they’ve become aware at a really crucial time that they need to go back to the beginning. And what was so phenomenal to me about Season 1 was that here were these regular, everyday people that you might now, and all of a sudden, they find out very bizarrely that they have these abilities. How do they cope with this in their everyday lives? For my character, one of my first episodes had me dealing with my husband having disappeared, and I was, like, “How dare you? Where have you been?” And he can’t explain himself! But that’s stuff that happens all the time, you know? He could be anywhere. And to find out that he’s involved in this stuff…? How does a family cope with that? How does a partner cope with that? I’ve ended up being pretty much one of the only people who doesn’t have a power by the end of Season 3… (Laughs) …and, to me, that’s what truly interesting. All of a sudden, you had all these people that had powers, and there might’ve just been too many. You lost that element of, “What do the regular people do about the people who have powers? How do they deal with it?” If my husband all of a sudden found out that he could read my mind, there would be a lot of conflict.

BE: I suspect my wife would feel the same way.

LL: Exactly! And the conflict would be on both sides! It would just be a mess. And I think that’s what interests me. It’s not him going off and fighting with all of the other people who have powers; it’s how he deals with living his everyday life with this ability. That’s what’s interesting, and I think that’s also the same for all of the other characters that have these phenomenal abilities that are so explosive. How do they control those? Does it help people? Does it hurt people? And I think…well, I know that Season 4 is really going to go back to the original idea, which is, “How do you deal with this in your everyday lives, now that all of this stuff has happened?” It’ll be calming down a little bit and getting to know these people, these characters, and what they’re going to do with these powers that they have. I think it already started to do that by the end of Season 3. I think it was pretty clear that you could see that it was more about how these characters were feeling. You got to know the back story about a lot of these people, which I think is really interesting. How did they end up where they are? So I think that’s already in the pipeline and being taken care of, so Season 4 will just elaborate on that. You’ll still have the excitement and the mystery of not knowing what the hell’s going to happen, but it’ll be much more…you’ll go into depth a lot more with these characters, which I think is going to be very exciting.

On her first scene on "NYPD Blue": "I finished it, and (Mark Tinker) said, 'Cut,' and he came over to me and said, 'Is that it? Is that the best you can do?' Oh, my God, I nearly died. I think I almost wet my pants. And then he said, 'I’m just kidding. That was great. Welcome to the family.' And I’m, like, 'Oh, my God, I hate that man!'"

BE: I have to say that I was one of the first to start cheering when I heard that Bryan Fuller was coming back. I loved his contributions to the show. (Writer’s note: obviously, this comment is a bit dated, as Mr. Fuller has since departed “Heroes” again. Sigh.)

LL: Yeah, and he’s so sweet as well. He’s lovely. That was definitely a good move.

BE: Do you have a favorite moment from the first season that really stands out as a character highlight for you?

LL: Well, you know, for me I just think the whole thing was really interesting. From my perspective, because I’m not contracted the same as the other cast, I don’t really know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. I mean, I literally get the script and flip straight to the back to see if I’ve died. (Laughs) It’s, like, “Okay, let’s see what’s going to happen.” Because I don’t know! So, for me, it’s just this constant mystery. I never know from one minute to the next what’s going to happen. And I found that really exciting. I really enjoyed some of the more emotional moments where we kind of acted like a real couple, where you felt, “This is what would happen if they were a real couple.” We dealt with what might happen when you find out that your husband can read minds and how confusing that could be for him. I was a little disappointed when, all of a sudden, it was, like, “Oh, they’re going to get a divorce, she’s gone.” I understand that there are so many other storylines that have to be dealt with, and I obviously didn’t know at the time what was going to happen. From one day to the next, I think, “That’s it,” until they call and say, “Oh, in fact, you’re going to…” Bryan Fuller actually said to me, “That was the idea the whole time. You just didn’t know!” (Laughs) So it’s always interesting to me, and it’s always a mystery to me. I have to say that the most recent episodes that we did, in Season 3, were really powerful. We pretty much make a decision at that point to try and look at bringing the family back together, and I think that’s a really big deal, especially to Janice. Now she’s got a kid who’s got these powers that she doesn’t understand, and she’s got an ex-husband who’s got powers and has done all of these things she has no idea about. I mean, that’s pretty full on! (Laughs) She’s got her own life to deal with, and now she’s got to deal with this!

BE: That’d be a heck of a transition.

LL: It would be! To me, that was pretty cool, being reunited with him. It felt like coming back to the family. In Season 1, “Heroes” was…pretty much no other show that I can think of, except for when I did the last season of “NYPD Blue,” has made me feel so much like part of the family. “NYPD Blue” was the same. They were just the most amazing people, and they made you feel like you were just the star of the show…every day….and that’s so incredible, because there’s a lot of people that they have to deal with and a lot of people who come in and out. And “Heroes” was the same. They never really said, “Goodbye.” They just said, “Okay, see you later!” And you always felt like they’d always be there, and that you could go back and they’d just welcome you…which is what they did.

BE: I’m kind of surprised to hear that about “NYPD Blue.” I was actually wondering what it would be like to come in at the end of a long-running series like that one.

Lisa LackeyLL: Oh, I was petrified! Again, it seems to be what happens to me, but I was only meant to do one episode, and then they wrote me in again, and they kept writing me in and giving me all of these great things to do. It was just a joy. It was funny for me, because when I left Australia…this will sound very silly, but I didn’t want to be a movie star. I just wanted to be on “NYPD Blue,” because it was my favorite show! (Laughs) I know it sounds very naïve and childish, but I would say to my friends, “I’m going to go to America, and I’m going to be on ‘NYPD Blue.’” And they’re, like, “Yeah, okay, Lisa, that’s great, you do that.” And I tried and I tried, and I couldn’t get an audition for, like, eight years! It was the end of the show, it was finishing, and I was thinking, “I’m never going to be on there! This is heartbreaking!” But, finally, at the beginning of the last season, I finally got an audition…and I did a really bad job. I was just mortified. I think I came home and cried, because it was the one thing I wanted to do. I loved all of the characters, I watched it from the beginning, even when I wasn’t allowed to because it was kind of racy, and I was younger. (Laughs) I called my manager and said, “I was so bad. I was shit!” And she said, “You know what? You just never know. You’re very hard on yourself.” Later, she called back and said, “You need to go on being really bad, because they loved you!” I was, like, “Are you kidding me?” “No, they want to book you for an episode. It’s just the one, but you’ll get a chance to meet everyone, and this is your dream!” I was so excited. And on my first day, Mark Tinker, who is just an amazing director, played a trick on me. I was in the courtroom, and I was doing all of my exposition, and I was so nervous, because I had Sipowicz sitting there watching me! (Laughs) I was, like, “Oh, my God, this is horrible!” But I finished it, and he said, “Cut,” and he came over to me and said, “Is that it? Is that the best you can do?” Oh, my God, I nearly died. I think I almost wet my pants. And everyone just went quiet, and I thought, “Oh, my God, I was horrible.” And then he said, “I’m just kidding. That was great. Welcome to the family.” And I’m, like, “Oh, my God, I hate that man!” (Laughs) But what a fantastic cast of people. The best. That was the highlight of my career, I have to say…but, at the time, my expectations were really not that high! They did a big special at the end of the series, and I was there, and I remember saying to my girlfriend, “This is it! I can give up now! I can go off and have a family and not worry about acting anymore!” (Laughs) So that’s my “NYPD Blue” story!

BE: I would think that working with David Lynch on “Mulholland Drive” must’ve been a career highlight as well. Well, in theory, anyway.

LL: Oh, my God! Well, that was when I first got here, and, you know, it was originally a TV pilot. It was just like any other pilot, but he does a very weird thing where he doesn’t…I don’t know if he does this on all of his films, though I heard that he does, but there’s no audition. He just looks at your photograph and he gets a feeling about you, and then he calls people in, and you just speak on tape. They just film you talking about what you got for Christmas or whatever, in your own accent, completely as yourself, and then he makes the decision about who he wants…but he hasn’t decided which character they’re going to play yet!

BE: Wow.

LL: Yeah, it’s very strange! (Laughs) But it was a pilot, and I remember…I had a different agent at the time, and they kind of just forgot about it. They were just, “Oh, it’s a one-day job, it’s no big deal, and I suppose you don’t want this, right? It’s not much money.” They didn’t know me very well yet, because I’d only just started, but I was such a big fan of David Lynch, so I was just, “Are you kidding? I’ll do it for free! I’ll just bring him coffee! Of course I want it!” And it was also very bizarre because he happened to cast…I think it was four other Australians, completely randomly. And we all knew each other!

Lisa Lackey

BE: Yeah, I didn’t know if you maybe you had known Naomi Watts already.

LL: Oh, all of us, we either knew each other really well or we had met each other at a function, because in Australia, there were two major shows back in the day, and everybody had to be on at least one of those, if not both of them, because that was your bread and butter. So we all kind of knew each other. Melissa George I knew very well because I’d worked with her almost every day for two and a half years on “Home and Away.” It was just bizarre. So we all turn up to this job, and of course Naomi Watts had gotten the lead, but it was just like any other pilot, so it wasn’t a big deal, other than the fact that it was David Lynch. At the time, I was doing a show which I think was called “Sliders,” so it was a long time ago, and I got this script delivered to me that was labeled “Top Secret.” I opened it, and there was a letter that said, “We’d like for you to learn this CD.” I still didn’t know what character I was playing, and I still didn’t have a script, because it so top-secret. It was just so bizarre. So, finally, I find out that I’m going to be playing this actress who has to audition for this big role, and I have to lip-synch these songs, and I’m so nervous! (Laughs) But he came to the set, and he’s just so wonderful. He’s so debonair and just so charming. He’s just fantastic. But then months go by, and we hear nothing. And then ABC doesn’t pick it up because it’s David Lynch and they’re all petrified of him and that he’s not going to change anything, so they said, “Fine, see you later.” And then before you know it, they got the money somehow and it became this phenomenal film. I was so proud of it, because it’s a pretty good thing to do when you first arrive and nobody knows who you are, you know? And look what it did for Naomi Watts! It was fantastic. She was just doing pilot after pilot, not going anywhere and struggling to keep motivated about being here, because it’s hard when you first come here. It’s a very different place from Australia, and you miss a lot of things about it. But, then, bang! She gets this, she does an amazing job, and it was very inspiring for me at the time to watch her do that.

BE: You were a semi-staple on PAX TV for awhile, thanks to “Just Cause.”

LL: Ah, PAX. (Laughs) Yeah, that was…I gotta say, that was my first time being the star of a show. That was my first experience at having my own show and kind of calling the shots, working every minute of every single day and being very, very tired. That was one of those things that was very disappointing to me because…I’m sure that PAX had very good intentions, but, unfortunately, nobody knew who they were and nobody was watching them. What I didn’t know about PAX, which nobody told me because I was knew, was that it had this kind of bizarre Christian element to it. Which was not my bag. At all. And I kind of got thrown into that, and I think that’s kind of what might’ve alienated a lot of viewers as well, because it was very much that kind of thing. All of the other shows that were on there were very much that kind of thing as well, with a lot of mention of God. I tried my best to try and take that out, because I didn’t want to alienate anyone. I wanted it to be a show that everyone could watch. And I think that if we had been on Lifetime or any other network, we’d still be going, because it was a really beautiful show. It was a beautiful family show with great morals at the end of every episode, and it was fun, and the character was great. It was a sad kind of ending, because we were picked up for a second season, but because it was PAX TV, no one could find the money. I remember that I lost a whole pilot season because we were waiting, and…it was disappointing, because the cast was fantastic and the crew was fantastic, and it was all there. We had all of the elements that we needed. But we just couldn’t organize it enough to get a second season and be able to pay everyone. But everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn’t be sitting here now if I’d done a second season of “Just Cause.” That’s just how things happen, and everything works out the way it should. But it was a lot of fun. I did a lot of stuff in Vancouver. I loved working up there, because those were the days when I was young and single, and there was lots to do. (Laughs)

BE: Where was “Flipper” filmed? Because that was also PAX…or, at least, that’s who aired it.

"How do you be 'more Australian'? I wasn’t born in the back of the Outback. I was born in Sydney, I grew up in a city, I moved to the farm when I was bit older, but I still don’t speak like…I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever said 'mate' in my entire life!"

LL: Oh, was it? I thought it was…well, I don’t know, because it was in Australia. I’d just finished “Home and Away,” which was incredibly huge in Australia. Melissa George, Naomi Watts, and all of those people came from that. This was the beginning of when they would start to bring a lot of American shows to Australia because they thought it was a really good…it was in the days before Vancouver was the big tax break, and it was before the “Star Wars” prequels and all that. It was in the early ‘90s. And I’d just come off of this show, and I had a high profile, but it wasn’t really what I wanted to be known for. Although it was a really huge show, I wanted to do more interesting work after that. I’d just sit down in front of the television and try to memorize the American accent. I’d try to learn it over and over again. And I was one of the only actresses at the time who could do it, so every time an American show would come to Australia, I would audition for it, and I’d either get really close or I’d actually get it. “Flipper” was one of them that I did pretty much straight after “Home and Away,” and it was shot in Queensland, which was perfect. Queensland for Florida. They did two seasons of it, and the first season was the one that I did with Brian Wimmer and Colleen Flynn. It was great. It was a great experience for me, because I had never done anything American, but what seemed to be wrong for me was that here I was playing an American on an American show but getting paid Australian money. I remember that one of the stars said to me, “You’re crazy! You even look American. Come over to America and just do it!” And I thought, “Well, I can’t, I need to get a green card,” and it all seemed a bit hard. But then I realized, “No, I’ve just got to do this.” So that’s what led me over here and inspired me to move. It was enough footage for me, since the show was pretty popular here and was very popular in the UK and Europe. I did kind of have to start at the bottom again, because the show that I’d done in Australia wasn’t on over here. Which was good. (Laughs) I was able to sort of reinvent myself and sort of be taken a little bit more seriously than I was over there. And, of course, after you come over here and you start working consistently, your home country embraces you and wants you to come back! So it all works very nicely. But, yeah, “Flipper” was sort of a beginning for me, in that it’s what led me over here in the first place.

BE: Was Jessica Alba on the show at the same time you were?

LL: Oh, yes, baby Jessica Alba! (Laughs) Absolutely! And she’s now blossomed into the flower that she is! But, yeah, what a sweet girl. A sweet, sweet girl. We looked a lot alike back then, so they were trying to figure out ways that we could be sisters or something. She’s a lovely, lovely girl.

BE: Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on that didn’t get the love you thought it deserved?

LL: I think you have to say “Just Cause,” on PAX. I really do. I think that if we’d had the budget and they’d found the money for a second season, or if we had ended up on a really good network, I think that we would’ve had a real shot, because I think it had all of the elements that it needed. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked on anything on that show. I really tried hard to make it fantastic. So, yeah, that’s the most disappointing one.

BE: What do you remember about working on “Rude Awakening”? That’s one I keep waiting to have released on DVD.

Lisa LackeyLL: Oh, yeah, that was fun! And that’s another example of how I was meant to do one episode. In fact, that’s really a funny story. It was one of my more embarrassing moments, where I was a little naïve. It was one of the first few years that I’d been here, and I went to the audition and didn’t realize that you couldn’t go into the kitchen areas. I thought they were for everyone, so I went in and helped myself… (Laughs) …and got a Coke. And this guy came in, and we started chatting, and I didn’t know that he was the producer of the show! So I’m chatting away in my Australian accent, and you’re never meant to show your Australian accent, because you’ll never get a job if they know you’re Australian. Because, you know, you’ve always got to be American! But I didn’t realize who he was until I walked into the room, and the role…I was meant to be a waitress or something, someone who was only going to be on for one episode. But I walk into the room, and they’ve all got this smirk on their faces, and I got this really horrible feeling when you do an audition and you know that nobody’s listening. It’s horrible. I’ve had people eat their lunch while I’m auditioning, I’ve had people on the phone…there’s nothing more disrespectful. And these people aren’t really listening to what I’m doing, they’re just kind of smirking. And at this point I realize that the producer who I’d been talking to, and God knows what I was saying, is just kind of looking at me. And the star of the show, Jonathan Penner, he’s just sitting there, smirking at me. So I did it again, and they’re still not really listening. And I get back and I say, “Okay, that was crap. I did such a bad job.” And my agent says, “Well, you didn’t get the job.” “Duh!” “But they want to write a character for you, because they just think you’re great. But they want you to be Australian.” And I’m, like, “Oh, this is going to be really interesting!” (Laughs) Because it’s very hard…because America has such an interesting idea of what Australians are, because of “Crocodile Dundee.”

BE: I wasn’t going to say that.

LL: (Laughs) And that was our fault completely. We take responsibility for that. But this is a comedy, and I’m, like, “Okay, I’m going to be open to this.” And Jonathan Penner was just an absolutely amazing and fantastic guy to work with, and they were very excited, but they wrote me as this awful Australian girl who was…see, I’m very cautious about playing an Australian, because there’s that horrible feeling that you’ll never get to be seen as anything else. But the thing about that show was that Lynn Redgrave was on there, and I was a big fan of hers, and I thought, “Oh, I just need to work with her. That would make it all worthwhile.” But, of course, I didn’t get to work with her until the last episode I did or something. But I did many episodes, and at times it did get a little…I remember there was an episode where we were meant to be getting married, and my mother was going to be there, and she was going to be drunk, and my father was going to be smashing Fosters’ cans on his forehead. Often they would come to me and say, “Uh, you know, we just can’t really hear your accent. Can you be just a little bit more Australian?” And I was, like, “No!” I mean, how do you be “more Australian”? I wasn’t born in the back of the Outback. I was born in Sydney, I grew up in a city, I moved to the farm when I was bit older, but I still don’t speak like…I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever said “mate” in my entire life!

BE: “Uh, could you maybe throw a couple of ‘crikeys’ in there?”

LL: (Laughs) Exactly! It was crazy! So I felt a little uncomfortable, but it was a very fun show, and it was one of those shows that I think Showtime is still staying really true to. That kind where it’s a little bit raunchy, a bit risqué. That’s the great thing about Showtime: they continue to do these great series. I don’t know if you’ve started watching “Nurse Jackie” or not…

BE: Only the pilot.

LL: Oh, it’s fantastic! Oh, my God, it’s so good. So, yeah, “Rude Awakening” was very fun, but I really did think that I wasn’t going to work again after that. (Laughs) I was just so Australian! But, you know, it was on Showtime, so it wasn’t too bad. I was fine after that. So it all went really well.

BE: And, lastly, what’s your favorite one-off appearance that you’ve done on a TV series? And after talking to you, I should clarify that I’m referring to actual one-offs, rather than one that turned into something more. (Laughs)

LL: Hmmm. Well, you know, that’s the thing: I haven’t had very many one-offs, because they always seem to turn into something more! (Laughs)

BE: Well, let’s see: IMDb mentions “Bones,” “Shark,” “Crossing Jordan,” “CSI: Miami”…

LL: Yeah, and all of them were very fun. “Crossing Jordan” was actually what led me into “Heroes.”

BE: Oh, right, that stands to reason, since Tim Kring created both of them.

LL: And, also, Miguel Ferrer I’d done a pilot with called “L.A. County 187” when I first got here, and he was just amazing. For me, it’s about who you end up working with. That’s what stays with me. I think the most exciting show for me was, when I first got here, I did the original “C.S.I.,” and it was when it was in its first season. I was lucky enough to be directed by Danny Cannon, and he was kind of the brains behind it all looking so fantastic. We were all shooting it in Vegas, and he just kind of took me under his wing, and he was just really, really great to me. I just remember that. We spent a lot of time in the bar… (Laughs) …and he gave me a lot of advice that’s really stuck with me. I run into him occasionally still. But that was a very good experience, because it was really positive. I think I’ll always remember that.

BE: Before I let you go, have you got anything outside of “Heroes” that you’d like to make note of?

LL: No, because we’re just about to start, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen! (Laughs) I know I’ve got three episodes, but after that…? It’s really exciting, because I don’t know where Season 4 is going to go. There’s talk here and talk there, and my character and Greg Grunberg’s character are really bringing the family back together and trying to make it work, so I’m looking forward to that. My next project, hopefully, will be a little friend for my son! (Laughs) That’s going to be my next big project! I’m kind of the reluctant actor these days, but I’m very happy to be part of the “Heroes” family. Most definitely.

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