How is that for a headline? And it's actually kinda sorta true. Caitlin Wachs, who played first daughter to Geena Davis' Mackenzie Allen on ABC's Commander in Chief, has a flurry of fun gigs coming up, roles that find her, at separate times, expectant with Satan's offspring, and channeling a teen Great Gatsby. First up, though, is a guest spot on tonight's episode of Shark (10 pm/ET on CBS). The in-demand ingenue gave TVGuide.com a call to preview her varied ventures.
TVGuide.com: Hey, guess what. You, little miss Boston Legal fan, are being recorded on the same tape as William Shatner.
Caitlin Wachs: [Laughs] Awesome!
TVGuide.com: Now we just have to be careful not to tape over him.
Wachs: No, we don't tape over Shatner.
TVGuide.com: You realize I'll probably have to refer to you as "the president's daughter" in my title, yes?
Wachs: Oh, that's fine. Maybe "President's Daughter Now Impregnated with Demon Child!"
TVGuide.com: Is that your story on Showtime's Masters of Horror? We'll get to that in a sec. But first, was Commander in Chief on long enough that you built up some "capital" to spend as an actress? Did it open some doors for you?
Wachs: In some ways, I think so.... It's definitely made a lot more of a recognizable face among adults, which is kind of cool. Most of the time I get recognized from the kids' movies I did.
TVGuide.com: Did you go out for any pilots this season?
Wachs: No, I didn't. I'm kind of done with TV for a while. I just did a guest star that's airing this Thursday on Shark, and that was really very fun.
TVGuide.com: And there is our first topic of conversation. You're playing a girl suspected of a hit-and-run, perhaps revenge-fueled?
Wachs: Exactly. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns.... Nothing is the way it seems.
TVGuide.com: James Woods is something else, isn't he?
Wachs: He's awesome. I had so much fun working with him. Half of the crew, actually, was from Commander in Chief, so it was like being with the old family. James is very nice, and he had some wonderful tips. I'm one of those people who learn a lot from watching other actors.
TVGuide.com: Next, and as you hinted at earlier, in Showtime's Masters of Horror, airing Nov. 24, you're playing a girl trapped in some sort of clinic because she is...
Wachs: Pregnant with a demon's child.
TVGuide.com: A demon, or the demon?
Wachs: My character is very religious, so she believes that it is Satan's child, but it is up to the viewers. It's a really great part because she's going on and on about how there's this monster inside of her and nobody believes her.... Finally, "mysterious things start happening," and then they believe her.
TVGuide.com: Who did you get to work with on that?
Wachs: Let's see, Mark Feuerstein, who was my doctor, and Emmanuelle Vaugier, who, oh my god, was so much fun to work with. On the first day we started, she was in, like, Maxim's "100 Hottest Women," and she actually beat Jessica Alba, so I was like, "OK, I'm working with No. 45!"
TVGuide.com: Emmanuelle happens to be a close, warm personal friend of TVGuide.com's.
Wachs: Yeah, she's awesome. We had a fun with that. A lot of prosthetics and fake goo were flying around, and at one point, Emmanuelle gets covered in it. It was one of those things where I was like, "Don't laugh, don't laugh!"
TVGuide.com: And you're about to start work on an indie titled Privileged?
Wachs: Yes, it's loosely based on The Great Gatsby, but it takes place in the modern day with teenagers. I'm very excited! I was talking to the director the other day about how we envision the character, so I'm very excited. The Great Gatsby is actually one of my all-time favorite books, so I was like, "Yea!"
TVGuide.com: The Great Gatsby is one of the few I didn't use CliffsNotes for in high school.
Wachs: Yeah, it really draws you in! I play the girl that Jay tries to make Daisy jealous with. [Laughs] It's a fun character because I get to be in that position where I'm totally in love with the Jay character, who is Isaac in this script, but he's totally infatuated with this other girl. I've been saying, since my Commander days, that I've gone from playing the Republican daughter to pregnant-with-demon child to possible murderer on Shark, and now I'm the other woman!
TVGuide.com: It's funny/sad that the last time we spoke, you were teasing all of these juicy Commander in Chief story lines, but then the show went on a hiatus, I think they changed cooks again, and when it came back... did we ever get that First Son Horace makes girl pregnant story?
Wachs: We did film it, but ABC was not comfortable with portraying a girl having an abortion. It was a little too risqué, so we ended up cutting that.
TVGuide.com: And that old rumor about maybe a TV-movie to wrap things up, is that still out there?
Wachs: It's been out there, and I've heard it a couple of times myself, but just in talking to [Commander creator] Rod Lurie a couple of times, it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. He's very busy and he has a movie he's working on — Resurrecting the Champ. Of course, I would do it in a second, any day, anywhere, drop whatever to do it, but I don't think it's going to happen. By now, we should have already done it. But it's really exciting, with this recent election, to see a woman elected Speaker [of the House]. As we learned from Commander in Chief, if something should happen to the president and the vice president, then the Speaker becomes president. So if some weird bird flu comes around.... [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Last time we talked, I tried to get a rumor started that the CW network was named after you. Did that ever come back around to you?
Wachs: Um, no, but I'm a big supporter of the network. My favorite guilty pleasure is America's Next Top Model. I was so sad when they got rid of my favorite, Anchal! I liked that she wasn't stick-thin, and she had these beautiful eyes....
TVGuide.com: Who is your pick to win now?
Wachs: Well, I can't stand Melrose....
TVGuide.com: Nobody can.
Wachs: And I don't get the twins — they're cute, but I don't know if they're Top Model quality. So I hope CariDee wins. There's just this quality to her. She's quiet on the show, but when she's in front of the camera she has this total personality, and she's funny.... There's a lot I learn from that show. Even the way they eliminate people is so much like the casting world. It's kind of weird the things people fixate on.
TVGuide.com: "You're too tall to play the carrier of a demon child."