Gina Bellman, Leverage: "The Stork Job"
Beth Riesgraf in "The Stork Job."
I love the script for "The Stork Job." It's a big emotional episode for Beth [Riesgraf], but there's really cool stuff for all of us to do. Comedy, big action sequences, car chases, and a massive explosion. The explosion was set up at the San Pedro docks. I was hanging out in Tim [Hutton]'s trailer when someone came over and said. 'They're about to set off the explosion. Do you want to go watch?' Tim had to talk me into it. We got there just in time to slip into the video tent and slide in beside the director. The explosion was huge with all the stunt guys in the foreground wearing protective grease in their hair and on their clothes. I felt the scorching heat from 100 feet away. It was completely electrifying.
The studio is set up to be a fake film set, which is good news for the crew. Although there's a lot of added set dressing — including snowy woods and extras wearing strange Bavarian costumes — no one has to disguise all the equipment and cables and mess. No one has to move a trash can out of shot or a canvas chair or even a discarded donut.
(Speaking of donuts, Christian [Kane], Beth, Aldis [Hodge] and I have been having serious negotiations around the craft service table. We've declared Krispy Kreme Wednesdays, Apple Fritter Fridays, Take-a-Break Tuesdays and Do What You Like Mondays and Thursdays.)
One of our producers, Mark Roskin, is directing this episode. It's his debut as a director and everyone's very excited. We've all known Mark since we shot the pilot episode last year in Chicago and there is a great atmosphere on set. I have a really lovely scene where I have to convince Tim's character, Nate, to let me appear in the movie that we've taken over. Sophie has to dress up as nun and perform a scene "well." I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up? What if I perform badly when she's supposed to perform well?
It's Saturday night, and Tim's hosting a poker night at his house in Laurel Canyon. Though I don't know how to play poker, I go along to catch up with Saul Rubinek, who played the bad guy in the pilot. It's great to see Saul again. Even though it's been a year since we worked together and the rest of us are several episodes into Season 1, Saul is so much a part of this experience and will always be an integral player in Team Leverage. Several of the crew and the guys in the cast are getting their poker faces on. My only contribution is a cool trick that Christian taught me, shuffling poker chips between my forefinger and thumb.
Beth's sisters are visiting from Minnesota. They come to the set and meet everyone and we hang out and have our photos taken with them. It makes me homesick to see how happy Beth is to see them. I suddenly yearn to see my friends and family back home.
TNT's Leverage airs Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET.