In the script of this episode [airing Tuesday at 10 pm/ET, on TNT], one of the characters that Sophie adopts (Lilly) is Irish. I'm nervous that I'm going to run out of accents pretty quickly if I have to do a new one in every episode. Also, the audience will come to expect it and be disappointed if I don't deliver. I speak to the writer, John Rogers, about my fears and he is understanding and supportive. The point of Sophie is that she can adopt any persona at the drop of a hat, and accent is really just a nuance of that skill. We agree to let this character be English, like me. However, I am doing a fun accent in one scene. Tim [Hutton] and I get to play a really cheesy, gum-chewing, bickering Jersey couple.
We're filming at the docks in San Pedro. It's really hot and dusty. At first we were relieved to be out of the studio and on location. In the studio, they pump smoke onto the set all day long. When you shoot on high-definition, everything is very sharp and clear, sometimes at the cost of losing dimension and depth of field. Often, as on Leverage, they pump smoke in order to add depth and ambience. The smoke is non-toxic and chemical-free, but inhaling anything in enclosed spaces for long stretches can be irritating. Everyone has coughs and I'm feeling run down and full of cold. Also, I have a big zit on my chin. When I was much younger I was hired to be in a commercial. On the day of the shoot, I woke up with a spot so big that it couldn't be covered by make-up. The lighting cameraman was completely perplexed and kept ordering his crew to bring bigger and bigger pieces of polystyrene to bounce the light off, whilst yelling, "Another piece of poly for the zit please!" My make-up artist on Leverage, Beverly Jo, is a saint as well as brilliant, and she's been patiently listening to my whining and piling the make up on to my chin all week!
We're working with some actors who are real Iraqi war veterans. Brave young men, they experienced events beyond our imagination and suffered horrific injuries such as loss of limbs. The lunch tent is set up in a park at what they call "magic hour." I lie on a blanket and watch the sun set. The guys, Tim, Aldis [Hodge] and Christian [Kane] are playing American football with the veterans. Given that most of these guys have prosthetic legs, I am humbled by their grace and determination and thankful that I work in an industry where I can meet all kinds of people from all different fields and am able to share a little of their story.