Beth Riesgraf Beth Riesgraf

Perhaps the coolest element of TNT's Leverage — which airs Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET, and has just been picked up for a second season — is its colorful cast of characters, each of whom is more assured of their snatching skills than the next. That quality is no better personified than by Beth Riesgraf's Parker, an upper-echelon cat burglar who loves climbing walls and sticking her claws into other people's things. Riesgraf gave a look at what's ahead for her sexy and sassy sneak. Other caper series, like Heist, Thief and Smith, were short-lived. Why do you think Leverage has shown legs?
Beth Riesgraf:
I think it's because it's a fun show that really anybody can watch; it makes people think about [the corporate malfeasance] happening in the world today, and there's something satisfying about seeing the bad guys get messed with while the good guys are helped for once. I've got to think this is the most fun you've ever had in a role.
Absolutely. I mean, I've had a lot of fun working before [on such series as Without a Trace], but this has presented a whole new set of challenges for me — physically and everything. What is the coolest thing you have gotten to do thus far?
Riesgraf: Oh, man, that's a hard one... . I did my first fight scene, I've hung upside-down off of buildings, I've worked with a green screen... . That's all been very exciting. Are you OK with heights yourself?
Riesgraf: I didn't really have time to think about if I was or not; I just had to make myself OK with it! [Laughs] I've never had an issue with it, but you don't think about that until you're on top of a 44-story building at four in the morning, upside-down. Thank goodness I don't have a phobia. I have to laugh at the cast shot where you're stuck to a window like a Garfield.
Riesgraf: [Laughs] I know! It's hilarious. It's like, "Hey guys! I'm out here!" Everybody was like, "OK, have fun." How would you fare if you had to put on the weekly accents that Gina Bellman does (as Sophie)?
Riesgraf: Gina has a tough gig because of how fast we move through these scripts. I would like to think that I could handle it, but... . She's one of the most talented actresses I've ever worked with. In this week's episode, "The 12-Step Job," what sort of guise are you in?
Riesgraf: We all play these different people inside rehab, and I'm a patient. I basically have a problem with stealing and I hate myself, so I'm there to overcome those things. Being in a rehab facility brings up bad memories for Nate (played by Timothy Hutton)?
Riesgraf: Definitely. You get insight into his [alcohol] addiction and how hard it really is for him. The mental stress and all really comes to a head. Are we ever going to see Parker get glammed up?
Riesgraf: In the season finale, you get to see her in a sexy dress. Is she comfortable in that persona, or not so much?
Riesgraf: She is, because she doesn't really "get it." She doesn't see herself in that way, so she's like, "Whatever." She just does her thing. She's addicted to risk-taking, and that's what's always on her mind. She's unaware of any sexual appeal she may have. Because of your role, have you developed skills as a pickpocket?
Riesgraf: [Series consultant] Apollo Robbins has taught me a lot, actually. A friend of mine watched an episode and was like, "Whoa, was that you [pinching a pill bottle]?" I said, "Oh yeah, I'm a master at this point, didn't you know?" Apollo says I'm a natural — and I don't know if that's a good thing or not!