While Rescue Me's Sheila tends to her "new" baby, Callie Thorne is minding another young-'un — as manager to a hard-partying starlet (Alison Lohman) in the comedy Delirious, hitting theaters today and centered around Steve Buscemi's sad-sack paparazzo. TVGuide.com met with Thorne to discuss her new film, and also get her take on Rescue Me's wild stories.
TVGuide.com: You were a big ol' tease a few weeks back on Rescue Me with that bath-towel scene, almost showing us your naughty bits!
Callie Thorne: Wasn't that crazy? It was my idea.... No, no, it wasn't. But that's the fun part sometimes, because you know you can't show everything, so there's no fear. If we were on HBO and they were asking me to do something else, that's when you get scared. It's interesting because on FX you can show the sides [of naked torsos] and you can show the backsides of both men and women, but, of course, no frontal nudity. Yet there are a lot of swears you can use, and you can reach sexual climax.
TVGuide.com: A lot of people who have been sampling Damages have been taken aback because they are new to FX and aren't expecting the S-word.
Thorne: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
TVGuide.com: Steve Buscemi might not be the most "classically handsome" actor in the world, but he is so compelling on screen.
Thorne: He is so compelling, and I have to say that because he is so gifted, I find him to be one of the sexiest actors I have ever met. And that was true before I actually met him.
TVGuide.com: He can play the slimiest of slimeballs, and yet you still root for him.
Thorne: Totally, which is a really rare, rare thing for an actor to be able to find. When I first [watched a scene of us together], I was like, "Ohh, I get it. I see why he's playing this guy, because he's so perfect at touching your heart."
TVGuide.com: You appeared to have so much fun playing Gabi, the manager. Is she based on anyone you've come across in your travels?
Thorne: I joke a lot with my actual manager and say that I based the whole thing on her, and she goes crazy. [Laughs] Actually, I pulled from a lot of different personalities of agents and managers and other people's managers, because I wanted to make her a good mix. And there's a bit of me in there as well. I add a bit of "hyper" to Gabi.
TVGuide.com: Suppose you were Britney Spears' or Lindsay Lohan's manager: What sort of advice would you have for them?
Thorne: Lay low. That's as simple as it can get. Just lay low.
TVGuide.com: Does Alison Lohman seem to have her head on straight, for a starlet?
Thorne: Yeahhhh.... She's an astonishing woman. She's very serious and she's very intelligent. You find yourself thinking, "Is that what she is? Is she a Method actor?" And then we also laughed our faces off, because she is hysterical. She was obviously brought up really well. She has a good head on her shoulders, which is why she can play a role like this so well. There's a saying: "You've got to be really smart to play really dumb really well." She plays this sometimes-vapid diva so well because she is kind of a brainiac.
TVGuide.com: Turning to Rescue Me: When you were reading the script for the scene when Tommy was holding the baby over the river... what did you think would happen?
Thorne: I did not think he was going to do it. I wouldn't put it past the show to imply it, because that is part of what they do very well. But no, if you drop the baby, Rescue Me is over. [Laughs] But I thought it was a very profound way to end the episode. It was scary that he would even contemplate it.
TVGuide.com: Where you're coming from, why did Sheila want the baby so badly?
Thorne: There is a line she said when she first brought it up with Tommy. She said, "I have a lot of love to give," and that's essentially where a lot of Sheila's problems stem from. She has a lot of love, a big heart, no matter how it makes her behave. She sees this baby as an outlet and a place where she can rest all of her love. Since her husband died on 9/11, everything went askew. She didn't know who to love, where to love, she just knew she had it to give.
TVGuide.com: The previews for this week suggest that Katie and Janet try to take the baby back by not-legitimate means....
Thorne: Yes. I can't tell you what happens, but you lay it out correctly. That's all I can say. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Gina Gershon, who's also in Delirious, is now on Rescue Me. Do you have any scenes with her?
Thorne: No, I don't get any scenes with her. All of her stuff is with Denis [Leary]. She's with us for a while. She's got a good arc.
TVGuide.com: Hey, maybe she could be an outlet for Sheila's "need to love."
Thorne: Totally. [Laughs] Maybe I'll suggest that for Season 5?
TVGuide.com: When Jack McGee was given notice, there were rumblings that he was not told by Denis Leary himself... was that blown out of proportion?
Thorne: I can easily say that that got blown out of proportion. That's all I'm going to say about that.
TVGuide.com: Might Prison Break need your services again? [Thorne plays the wife of William Fichtner's Agent Mahone.]
Thorne: I literally woke up this morning and called my agent about that: "Are they going to need a little Pamela Mahone?" They just started shooting again, so that's a good question. I would love to go back.
TVGuide.com: That show has a lot of pretty going on, of the male variety.
Thorne: Woof! It's crazy. They're all so pretty!
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.