With Bull Season 2 Episode 1 soon to air, Geneva Carr has a lot to be happy about.
From channeling her inner Marissa Morgan, to behind the scenes fun with costar Michael Weatherly, and the exciting direction new showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron is taking the show, Geneva had a lot to share.
Read on to find out which cast member gets the giggles, Bull's most exciting guest stars, changes we can expect, and who we'll see return for Bull season 2.
Congratulation on Bull’s success. You’re going into your second season, that’s exciting.
Geneva: I know. I’m deliriously happy, it’s embarrassing. I’m not kidding. I’m not kidding. I’m so flipping happy. It’s even better than it was last season. I can’t get over it.
Is Bull your first role as a regular cast member on a TV series?
Geneva: Yeah, I shot eight pilots before, but this is the first one to get picked up. I don’t know if you know how that system works, but you shoot a pilot and then you kind of hope for a miracle, and they’re very rare, and it happened. I’m really happy.
As an actor, what have you learned from this experience, after getting to play one character over an entire season?
Geneva: You only have 20 minutes for this interview! I’ve learned so much. First of all, I have to tell you that working with Michael (Weatherly, who plays Dr. Jason Bull), has been such a godsend. He’s like a brother to me. Our relationship is like brother and sister, and he’s taught me so much about the business, and he’s taught me so much about life.
As far as the business is concerned, I’ve been acting for 15 years, but the great thing about being an actor is you’re always learning, and he’s taught me little tricks like how to learn my lines better. I wish I’d met him ten years ago. He has a whole interesting way of functioning.
My idols on the show are Freddy (Rodriguez) and Michael, and they couldn’t be more different. Even in terms of learning lines, Freddy learns almost phonetically and he doesn’t attach it to meaning. So he runs by rote in a very different way. And Michael, he doesn’t even learn until the day of.
He says, 'You know when you’re done for the day, do not go home and study your lines for the next day. Don’t bother, because you’re going to bring yourself out. Show up in the morning, get in your makeup chair, and figure out why you’re saying what you’re saying, and that’s how you’re going to learn your lines.'
It’s such a different way of learning lines. He’s taught me things like that.
Being on this show, I’m sure you’ve watched it, but the actors are all incredible. They're all so different, but what’s great about them is their really playful attitude. So as a group, we have like a family dynamic.
Freddy is serious as a heart attack until he gets a giggle on set, and until you’ve seen Freddy Rodriguez get a giggle on set, I don’t know that you’ve lived. Michael is always Mr. Goof Around. He loves when it’s your close up to say something irreverent and to throw you. His job is to throw you. Sometimes if you watch it, I can see myself on screen and know that I’m just trying not to laugh and to get through my closeup.
It’s amazing. I had a big scene…the show is very different this year. I don’t know if you know, we have a new showrunner. Our previous showrunner left because he had another project he was producing, and Glenn Gordon Caron took over.
Glenn loves backstory and personal story and for me, I feel so seen by him. I have so much more to do this season. I’m still the brains behind the matrix that we use, but we find out some personal stuff and I got interrogated on the stand last week and it was very emotional.
Brad Garrett was our guest star, which I know you know him as a funny man, but he is an absolute genius actor. I mean, I hope to God that he comes back as a guest star because we were all begging. He is genius. He had a monologue that was so moving. He’s a tremendous actor and such a nice guy.
That’s the other thing too. Our guest stars are fantastic. Michael makes fun of me. He calls me the mayor of New York City because before I was a series regular I’ve been a stand-in, I’ve been an extra, I’ve been a co-star, I’ve been a guest star. I’ve done everything in this business, so I know everybody.
They’ll be an extra that I’ll know. They’ll be a stand-in. He makes fun of me because nine times out of ten I’ll know half the people that are on board.
I have a love interest this week and I have to do my first television kiss! The script says “kissing” and then it says “go to deeper kissing” and I don’t know who I’m supposed to ask about what that’s supposed to be. But it’s with Gary Wells, and I’ve seen him on stage and he’s seen me on stage, so at least there’s that.
But I am a little nervous. That big kissing happens Friday, so by then I’ll send someone an e-mail, and I’m probably going to ask Michael, and he’s so crazy it could mean anything. Deep kissing? I was like, what does that mean?
I did want to ask more about the showrunner change. Glenn Gordon Caron created two of my favorite shows: Moonlighting and Medium. does that mean there will be changes in the series? What can fans expect from Bull season 2?
Geneva: He did Moonlighting and Medium, and that will tell you something about who he is. He loves a relationship between a man and a woman, and it’s unusual and a little cantankerous. How that reads in my relationship with Michael is, (Jason and Marrisa), we’re like brother and sister.
There is possibly a flirtation, but more than anything, I can call him on his shit like nobody else can. He’s got the ladies, but it’s complicated. He’s not perfect, and Glenn sees that.
On Medium, you remember her and her family and the relationship but not necessarily the cases. That kind of tells you who Glenn is, in that he doesn’t want people to say, Oh God, I love Bull. I loved that case.
You may not remember the details, but you’ll remember how engaging it was and that’s what makes you watch again and again. The scripts that have been coming down are fantastic, and they’re very unexpected. Nobody’s perfect, even Michael.
Glenn, when he first got to the show said, I’m scared. It’s a big hit. And I said, don’t worry. The reason it’s a big hit is because Michael is irrepressibly charismatic. It’s who Michael is, and here’s something else Michael said when we first started.
You know, we shot the pilot together and months later we’re shooting the show. You’re nervous. You show up and you’re like, they’re going to cut me. And Michael said, I’m going to tell you the secret to television acting, and he said, who’s Marissa Morgan?
I had my backstory of her education and Homeland Security, and he said, 'No, no, no. Let me stop you. Marissa Morgan is you. She’s you, and the more that you let yourself shine through the more the audience will be with you. TV audiences, you live in their homes and they see through anything that’s false. So it makes you relax.
It’s why the six of us actually get along and like each other, we’re all specific because Bull is allowing us to be ourselves. I mean, I’ve never worked for Homeland Security but I’m a middle-aged woman who has a great job and I’m ambitious.
So that I can see, and that’s something that Michael is very clear about. I think it’s why he has such an honest following because he’s let them see who he really is. He is that guy. He’s funny and he’s kind and he’s uber professional. He’s not on time, that guy’s early.
Last week I had a big scene, it was emotional. When it was time for my closeup there was no need for him to be around, a stand-in could have been there, but Michael stayed until the bitter end because he wanted to allow me my best performance. T
hat’s something really special because that guy works a lot. We all work long hours, but he slays us in terms of hours. There’s a great camaraderie on that set.
Will there be any changes to the cast this season?
Geneva: It’s the same core cast. What’s exciting is that you learn stuff about us, like Chunk, he has a job transition. I’m not sure if I can tell you what it is, but he has a pretty significant job transition on the team.
We learn a lot about Danny. She has a very significant personal relationship that she kept secret that is going to reveal a lot about her. You find out Marissa’s not got it all together, and I have a couple of irresponsible evenings, if you know what I mean. So I’m pretty jazzed about that. You learn more about each of the characters that way.
But we do have some guest stars that come back, and hopefully, there are some of the people we have rumored coming back.
I can tell you that Jill Flint who is Diana, the lawyer who was in Texas is back. Somebody told me this, but their chemistry was so powerful that even in the episode where they never got to see each other and they were on the phone, you can feel the chemistry when they’re on the phone.
They’re not each other’s type! Michael’s happily married, she’s happily married, but it’s just that their acting is kismet together. She’s a delightful person, so we’re so glad that she came back. I just love her and I love what that is. You know, she’s got her own TV show, but I’ve got a placeholder for her.
I know another guest star that fans have been asking about is Eliza Dushku. Any chance her character will be returning to the show?
Geneva: She was in the last three episodes (of Bull Season 1) and they left it kind of open. She and Bull had an intense attraction, but she was tough, she was tough on him. So, the door is not closed. To be completely honest, we still have a dressing room for her and I know that it was prepped. Nobody’s told me anything, but it’s out there in the ethos. So it’s possible. Let’s just say it’s possible.
Back to you, you’ve lived in several states here in the US and you’ve also lived in Europe. Have you had a favorite place to live?
Geneva: I have to say, I’ve lived in 11 states, I’ve lived in France, but I am now a New Yorker through and through. New York is so diverse and so welcoming. I don’t know why New Yorkers have a reputation for being impolite. They are the nicest people. You know, you fall down on the street and these are the people that are going to help you up.
But I do have to say that I loved living in Paris. When I make enough money I’m going to get myself a pied-à-terre. I loved it.
Do you have any new projects you’d like to tell fans about?
Geneva: Not that I know of. I mean, I always keep my foot in the theater and I’ve been going to a lot of openings. You know, truthfully, because Glenn is on board, I really want to be there for him 100%.
So I’m focusing on the show, and Michael’s very adamant about that. We’re all really focusing on this one job. I’ve told every theater that I know that I’m available over the summer.
I did a small part in the Woody Allen movie that’s coming out this fall with Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake. I play a close friend of Kate’s. Until it’s out I don’t know how big or small my part is going to be, but working with Kate was amazing.
Woody’s famous for not doing a lot of takes, but we did 15 takes and he kept trying to explain what he wanted and she wasn’t getting it. He finally came up and he said, “Wow. I didn’t even know I needed what you gave me.” But he loved it and we got to improvise.
He said, "I don’t know what to tell you, just improvise." So improvising with Kate Winslet was pretty outrageous.
Given your success in theater (Geneva was a 2017 Tony Award Best Leading Actress nominee for her role in Hand of God), what’s your favorite current Broadway show?
Geneva: Oh, that’s a good question. I’d have to say that I see a lot of Off Broadway too.
I saw Pipeline at Lincoln Center which unfortunately closed yesterday. Dominique Morisseau, she’s got something coming up at the Signature (Theater) and she’s one of my favorite new, young writers. Her next play is coming out and I hope that Pipeline might have a longer life.
If you haven’t seen Hamilton, I know people know it’s expensive and they do have a lottery, but it’s the kind of thing where you have to treat yourself. I paid full price, but by the way, full price is $165, and I know that’s a lot but if you can plan for it, it literally changed musical theater forever.
Dear Evan Hansen with Ben Platt. I mean, I started taking singing lessons last month because I’ve decided I want to play Ben Platt’s mother.
I see as much theater as I can. I probably see at least a play every couple of weeks. I’m just nuts about the theater.
If you had your pick of any show on TV, other than Bull, what would be your dream job?
Geneva: Oh God. That’s a really tough one. Well I did really want to be Kevin’s wife on that show (Kevin Can Wait), but I got Bull, but I always thought I would be in a sitcom like that. I thought that I would end up in that kind of a show, so my fantasy is, they’re both on CBS. Can’t they let me shoot an episode of that?
Well, they’re about to kill Kevin’s wife off, so you may have dodged a bullet there.
Geneva: Then can’t I just be some kind of a neighbor with a crush on Kevin? I just don’t know why they can’t write me something like that. It seems so easy.
And you know, I love my Law & Orders. I did an episode of SVU right before I started (Bull) where I played a mother of ten children and our 13-year-old was having an affair with our pastor. It was very bad, but it was SVU so it was understandable. She was okay in the end. We saved her, we got her therapy.
But I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I think I’m the only person in America, it’s an embarrassing thing to admit. I need to catch up. I really have to catch up but I’m worried that it’s been too long.
House of Cards is one of my absolute favorites. I always feel like Marissa Morgan is the less attractive, less moneyed version of Madame President. I work out to be like her.
Did you see Wonder Woman? I mean, Robin Wright is my dreamboat. When I workout, my trainer always says to have a mantra, and I’m always like, “Right behind you Robin Wright. Right behind you Robin Wright.” That’s what I say to myself because I love her so much. I want the spinoff of Wonder Woman to be about her aunt which was Robin Wright.
Before we wrap this up, is there anything else you’d like to tell fans about what’s coming up on Bull Season 2?
Geneva: I hope that the fans who loved us last year stay with us because I think it’s going to be an exciting ride because now they know us. Now there are things at stake. I think there’s a real sense of humor and more depth than you imagine. So, I think it’s going to be a little more heartfelt.
Bull’s going to have some intrigue and some drama and my character…everybody’s growing. I think people should tune in because I think it’s going to be pretty surprising.
It’s visceral. It’s a terrible word to use an interview, but it’s just meaty in a way that I think is really surprise people. Now that they know us, I think the dramas are going to affect the more deeply.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.