As Sophia, Laura Innes is as mysterious as any character on NBC's The Event.
In the following exclusive interview, the actress tells us exactly what the title refers to and answers every single viewer question. Just kidding! But she does offer some insight into this drama...
Many are comparing The Event to Lost. What are your thoughts on that?
A lot of people are comparing it to Lost, 24, FlashForward, V... there are a lot of shows angling in this genre. I guess I would say that our show probably sits more in the world of 24, since it’s basically a conspiracy thriller from the get go. It’s a very human story, based in a complex scenario of conspiracy and the intrigue of a thriller. That’s where we live, and the characters seem complex enough and compelling enough that we can pull the audience into that kind of show.
There is that 10% that is a mystery or sci-fi element that I think people really love. The fact that we start in a grounded world helps us earn that drop of a gasp. That’s our goal.
I know you can’t tell us the information that Sophia is hiding, but can you tell us what kind of implications it results in?
It’s interesting to play this kind of part because when I met the producers and directors, they had a very long term plan in place and some of that will stay the same, but I’m sure some of it will change as we do the show and the audience responds to different things and what actors bring to the table. Overall it was very fun and compelling. I can’t tell you what The Event is.
What the writers and producers have done well is, every week there has been storylines, and moments when we read through are gasping. Some new characters will be brought on. Hal Holbrook, a wonderful actor, will play Clifton Collins. Down the road, there’s a lot of action, intrigue, and moments that are very shocking. It’s been so far, for us, very fun to read the scripts.
After taking time off after ER, what drew you to this project?
I’ve been director for the past few years. When I left ER I was directing. I found in the past two years I’ve been missing acting. I have two kids, so I like ensemble shows, since the schedule is easier. I loved the script... the part they wanted me for, I wasn’t that interested in so I said, “I love the show, but I’m not really digging the part that you’re calling me about. Good luck.”
Then they called back and asked if I’d be interested in a different role that was originally written as male. And the part that is now Sophia Maguire, I was really interested in. This enigmatic, mysterious figure in the middle of all of this. The second question after I liked the script was “who else is doing it?" When I heard that Jason Ritter and Zeljko Ivanek were cast before me, that was very intriguing, and when I heard Blair Underwood was doing it, it raised the bar a bit.