Final Transcript NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES: Peter Gallagher Q&A Session June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT SPEAKERS Chrissy Fehskens Peter Gallagher – Covert Affairs PRESENTATION Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for standing by and welcome to the Peter Gallagher Q&A Session Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given to you at that time. Also, as a reminder, today’s conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your first speaker, Ms. Chrissy Fehskens. Please go ahead. C. Fehskens Hello, everyone. This is Chrissy Fehskens from New Media Strategies. Thank you so much for joining us for today’s Q&A session with Peter Gallagher of USA Network’s new, original series, Covert Affairs. Special NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 2 thanks to Peter for joining us and answering questions today. As you know, Covert Affairs will premiere on Tuesday, July 13th at 10:00/9:00 Central with Peter playing the role of Arthur Campbell, the Director of the Clandestine Service Department of the CIA. Moderator Our first question comes from Lisa Steinberg with Starry Constellation. Please go ahead. L. Steinberg What made you want to be a part of the show? P. Gallagher Very simply, I wanted to work with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis again. Doug Liman directed the pilot episode of The O.C. and he and Dave were producers on the first season of The O.C. and I just love these guys. I love the way they tell stories. I like the people they are. In my experience, when the people at the top of an organization are people you respect and you like then chances are they’re going to surround themselves with other people that you feel the same way about. And you know what? That’s exactly what happened. So I was drawn to working with Dave and Doug again. As I say, I like the way they tell stories, because they’re powerful storytellers and they like to have the story they tell find a place in the world we live in. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 3 Then they sent me the script because we’ve been talking about doing stuff. I said, ―Man, this is great.‖ At that point I don’t know what kind of future Arthur Campbell had or has in the show, but he seems to be perking along and I’m having a great time. Everybody on the show is great, so that’s why I’m there. L. Steinberg Is there anything you find particularly challenging about the role? P. Gallagher Commuting to Toronto, but I love Toronto, so that’s not so bad. L. Steinberg Yes, you are a warm-weather man from The O.C. P. Gallagher Oh, but I’m New York born and raised, but you don’t have to spend much time in the warm weather before your blood gets a little thin. That’s the truth. Moderator Our next question is from Matt Carter with Examiner.com. M. Carter How would you describe Arthur’s relationship with Piper Perabo’s character on the show? NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 4 P. Gallagher Well, I think the cool thing about a series is we basically don’t know anything except what we know, which is just the extent of the episodes we’ve done and the ones we’ve read. So what I would surmise is that Arthur is a busy guy and he is becoming very much aware of this very young and very valuable asset, Piper. So she obviously has his attention and, judging from the last episode I shot, his respect. So I think it’s an open relationship. M. Carter In watching the pilot, you had a therapy session scene with Joan. Is that something we can plan on seeing a little bit more of? How is filming those scenes? P. Gallagher I love it. You know what the cool thing, the amazing thing is? It’s true. Think about it. Apparently, in the CIA they encourage their agents to marry each other because you can’t talk to anybody who’s not in the agency about what you do. You can’t even talk about everything that you do with somebody else in the agency. So what they have is when people do get married, they actually have in-house marriage counselors that have been vetted and received security clearance, as well as the Starbucks baristas. They go through a security clearance for a year. So it’s a pretty NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 5 interesting dynamic in that here are these two CIA agents, who are accustomed to dissembling or trying to find out the truth or whatever and they’re married and their therapist is at work too. It’s a pretty unique situation I think. Yes, I think there will be more of that. I mean I think; I don’t know. I’m still alive. That’s all I can tell you. Moderator Our next question comes from Joshua Maloni with Niagra Frontier Publications. J. Maloni I just wanted to follow up on that last question. I really enjoyed the interaction that you had on-screen with Kari. Tell us about your relationship with her on and off-screen. P. Gallagher I’m so glad you enjoyed that because you never know. You know what? I just met Kari on this and she’s really lovely and we have a great time. You know what’s exciting about these scenes is I have to credit Matthew and Chris, Matthew Corman and Chris Ord, and Dougie and Dave for being interested, even just marginally interested in that kind of a story line. I kind of liken it to The Sopranos where you have all of the regular issues of home life and problems and marriage and so on, but what you do for a living is a little different, so when we screw up we not only could get NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 6 divorced, but people could die or the national security could be compromised, so it adds sort of an additional kind of bit of tension to the relationship. We’re having fun. I mean the way I see it is they are both effective agents in the field. I was a former Navy pilot and they have a good time. I think it’s kind of a great relationship and so we’ll see if the creators and the audience agree with us; otherwise, who knows what will happen. J. Maloni Obviously, the show has been compared a lot to Alias. I love Alias, but it seems like Covert Affairs is a little bit more realistic, perhaps gives us a little bit better understanding of the real CIA. Do you think that that’s a fair assessment? Do you find that this is maybe a little bit more true to life? P. Gallagher Well, you know what? I really know nothing about the CIA. I’ve always read about it. I’ve always been fascinated with it. I always think I have a couple of friends that are in it, but of course, they can never tell me. So I don’t know, but I will say this: That the reason that working with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis appeals to me so strongly is, obviously, their NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 7 strong storytelling skills and what I saw Doug bring to The O.C. in the pilot episode was real. He would start. He had the camera operator pointing in another direction entirely from where the scene was going. He’d call, ―Action,‖ and have the operator find the action. So it gave the camera a sense of urgency and a sense of your point of view and made it feel and was interested in making all of the scenes feel real. That’s exactly how I feel about anything we do, even if it’s the CIA or the mob or whatever you’re doing. If it feels real, chances are the story will be better told. If it’s important to you you’ll look for those moments and opportunities to keep things on the planet so the rest of us on the planet can look at it and say, ―Oh, I recognize that.‖ Do you know what I mean? Am I making any sense? It’s so silent on the other end. You’re probably all over there snickering. I know it. No, but did that make sense to you? J. Maloni It does. I appreciate your answers. Thank you, Peter. P. Gallagher Sure. Can you tell I like to talk? Moderator Our next question comes from Travis Tidmore with The CineManiac. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 8 T. Tidmore I think after watching the first episode a big question is obviously who is Annie’s mysterious ex that you clearly know about, but I think the real question everyone wants answered is how long do we have to wait until you sing on the show. P. Gallagher Well, don’t hold your breath. But you never know. Listen, do you know what’s funny? Nothing would surprise me about what Matthew and Chris and Doug and Dave and their extraordinary writers might come up with. But I know it will be credible. I know they all came to see me do my own live show where I sang and told stories about working with Gagney and all of these people and they all came, so they know that I do that kind of thing, so anything is possible, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. T. Tidmore Well, maybe you could have the Bubs come in and be like a group of singing assassins and you— P. Gallagher You know what? That’s exactly the story line I pitched, a group of singing assassins. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 9 Moderator Thank you. Our next question comes from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse Magazine. S. Wiebe I watched the pilot yesterday and also the first four episodes of the season’s Rescue Me song. Once again I’m reminded of your remarkable range. What I’d like to know if how do you approach such a multi-layered character as Arthur. What’s the process you go through? I mean, obviously, it’s on the page, but what do you personally bring to it? P. Gallagher Well, you know, I kind of bring 30-plus years of experience and I approach it like I approach every part I play. I mean, fortunately, I still love what I do and I still try to do it pretty well. I read the scripts. I try and understand what the character is really expressing. I mean I created sort of a back story for myself in the character. It may or may not have any bearing on what’s revealed, but I imagined Arthur Campbell as having been a Navy pilot, which is a tradition in the CIA. I think the first director was a Navy officer, a Navy Admiral. So, somebody who had experienced all sorts – has experience on the ground in the military and in the Agency and so it might be an interesting foil for maybe future episodes with bureaucrats or politicians, who don’t have that NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 10 kind of experience, but that’s all happening in my head. But that’s the kind of thing that you layer and you build and you have sort of a specific kind of – because the truth is you don’t really know that much, so you kind of sketch it in and you have good directors to tell you when you’re way off the mark or somewhere in the ballpark. S. Wiebe Also, I was kind of wondering, the way it’s set up you’re mostly an office guy, although the office guy for Clandestine Services and I’m just wondering what is the professional relationship between Arthur and his wife. I mean is he her superior in the chain of command or are they separate. P. Gallagher Yes. No. He’s her superior. S. Wiebe That will probably make for some very interesting episodes. P. Gallagher Exactly. I think in some ways, just like most men, their superior position is mostly illusory. Moderator Our next question comes from Stefan Blitz with ForcesofGeek.com. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 11 S. Blitz Over the years you’ve given several fantastic performances throughout your career playing swarmy, unlikable characters and then you went on to play like the quintessential, awesome dad, Sandy Cohen. What kind of character is Arthur Campbell? P. Gallagher Well, we’re going to find out and I’ll be finding out with you. What I think of Arthur Campbell is he has a very strong sense of duty. I think he’s an ex-military, ex-Naval officer, a pilot. In fact, we got clearance to use the shield of the Hornet, which is a great tactical plane and so he has a military background, a great sense of service. I imagine then he was recruited to the CIA and, obviously, has some capacity for administration and communication and is saddled with these changing times and helping to bring the agency into a more modern place and more consistent with where the world is and what it’s becoming. So I imagine all you have to do is watch our own government struggling with all of the challenges day in and day out and how fast the world is changing. It’s just a short hop to imagine people in a position like Arthur’s would be, really scrambling, because when you screw up the costs can be large. S. Blitz At this point is there a particular role that you haven’t played that you’d really like to? NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 12 P. Gallagher It’s hard for me. The crazy thing; I still feel like my best work is ahead of me. I feel like my break is coming, so that might be a complete delusion. Part of what I love is that part, something that somebody just has written. That’s out there. What I love is the next thing. I can’t think of a specific role. I keep singing and doing stage and doing all of those other things that I do; live things. But I’ve got to say I’m thrilled because I love working with Doug and I love working with Dave. I’ve been doing some great movies and some good TV and especially in a challenging time to keep it all going I just want to keep moving before somebody can draw a bead on me. Moderator Our next question comes from Troy Rogers with Deadbolt.com. T. Rogers I want to know what was your first impression of the show and the whole blind agent thing. P. Gallagher My first impression of the show was that it was really well written because, as I say, I started talking with Dave Bartis, our Executive Producer, about wanting to just do something together and so we were NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 13 talking about things that they were looking at. He said, ―We have something for you. We’ve got something going on. It’s called Covert Affairs. Do you want to take a look at it?‖ I read it and I loved it. I thought it had real wit. I thought it fulfilled the obligations of the genre. I just thought it was really well written. To answer your question about the blind agent, you know what? It didn’t really register a blip. It seemed perfectly – a little fantastical maybe with some of the gadgetry, but not that far off in terms of what – and maybe it is available, but I just thought it was interesting. I think the good news is I didn’t think, ―Oh, no. What’s that all about?‖ He was a soldier. It makes perfect sense. It’s nice to know that his skills are still being valuable. T. Rogers Okay. Since it’s covert and intelligence based, why does Arthur feel the agency needs more transparency? Wouldn’t it need more secrecy? P. Gallagher You’re so smart. I have the same question myself. Why am I saying that? Is that just to put somebody off? I think transparency, the way I justify it in terms of the use of that word transparency, is not so much transparency with the Agency and the outside world, but within the Agency itself. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 14 T. Rogers Okay. P. Gallagher And so that the left hand will know what the right hand is doing, because, as we’ve seen with the challenges, as global challenges mount and the areas of conflict or problems are so many and varied that the only really viable approach, as I’ve read, to deal with it is through a coordinated effort not only of the various departments of the CIA, but also coordinated efforts with the various law enforcement and military and even foreign agencies. So obviously, you don’t want to have a completely transparent spy agency, because you obviously wouldn’t last long in the job and the nation wouldn’t benefit. So that’s what I think it must mean. Moderator Our next question comes from Nancy Harrington with Pop Culture. Please go ahead. N. Harrington We actually wanted to touch on something someone mentioned a little bit earlier, which is we know that you sang with The Beezlebubs at Tufts University. We were wondering if you saw them on The Sing Off last year and what you thought. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 15 P. Gallagher I was on the show with them. You know what was so funny? A friend of mine producing said, ―Do you want to watch the show?‖ I said, ―I’d love to. I want to support the Bubs.‖ So I was on the last show that they did, the final thing. They were amazing. I mean they’re so much better than we were it’s not even funny. N. Harrington Also, do you have any plans to return to Broadway? We’d love to see you back on the stage. P. Gallagher I would really love to return to Broadway. I’ve actually been talking to a couple of people about something. I’m working on a couple of really cool shows actually. I was just on Broadway with Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand like two years ago, but I’d love to do another musical. I’ve been working on another version of my own singing show, my sort of one-man show where I talk about working with amazing people and blah, blah, blah. But yes, I’ll be back. I’ll probably breathe my last breath on the boards. Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Pattye Grippo with Pazsaz.com. Please go ahead. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 16 P. Grippo When you realized you were actually going to be playing this character did you do any sort of preparation or research; I mean besides making your back story; of what a character like this would be like or did you just sort of jump in and—? P. Gallagher You mean about the character? P. Grippo Yes. You know, Arthur Campbell is this important CIA character. Obviously, most of us have no idea what that would be like. Did you do any research or look into it or any—? P. Gallagher I did a little research, but the reality is I had no idea how many episodes I was going to be in this season, so I thought I was just going to be doing the first couple. So at the very beginning, being superstitious; and I don’t like to be superstitious, but I’m superstitious; it’s like you have no idea where anything is going. These TV shows are kind of living creatures and they morph and they change. Obviously, the main thrust of the show is Piper and Christopher, who are wonderful and so I was happy to be in this company with those people and, as I say, working with Doug and Dave. Yes, I did my usual research, NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 17 but I didn’t go to Langley. I hung out with Valerie Plame and spoke to her at length about the Agency and about the kind of person that becomes an agent. I did some research about the kinds of people who occupy the office, the similar office that we created for the show, which supported the back story I’m sort of building of he’s a Naval officer, because the first director of the CIA was a Navy Admiral and there were several other rankings of Naval officers that ran the department, the Agency over the years. P. Grippo Right. That makes sense. P. Gallagher But yes, I didn’t go to Langley. Frankly, the scripts are good and the scenes themselves are fairly well defined. If there was an area that I had no idea what I was talking about I would Google it at least. P. Grippo Well, let me follow up on that and ask you of the episodes that you’ve done so far for the season do you have a favorite moment? P. Gallagher I had some fun with Emmanuelle Vaugier on a scene. I love Kari and I had a fun little bed scene. Don’t worry. I keep my clothes on. I’m going to be doing three more, so I look forward to seeing what’s in store. All I NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 18 can tell you; it’s a wonderful set. You might have been up there, but the vibe is very good. Our DP was from The O.C. as well, Jamie Barber, who just is a marvelous cinematographer. He’s a great guy. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Kristyn Clarke with Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead. K. Clarke USA has such a strong focus on building character. What do you think is the motivation behind your character of Arthur? What helps him get out of bed every day? P. Gallagher I think it’s a really strong sense of duty. I think he honestly believes that what he does is important. I think he’s very patriotic. I think he cares a lot for the country and I think he cares a lot for the people under him. I think that’s what gets him out of bed. I think he honestly believes that what he does and what the Agency does is important and that, like all large organizations, it’s not perfect and he likes the challenge. K. Clarke What do you feel it is about a show like Covert Affairs that will help it stand apart from other crime and legal dramas? NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 19 P. Gallagher You know what I believe? It’s just the kind of magic that when something works it’s very hard to attribute the reasons why it does. The same reason why something doesn’t work; it’s hard to attribute the reasons why it doesn’t, but if it works it will have probably nothing to do with any of the apparent and conscious elements; it will have to do with the fact that there’s something that happens among the group of people in front of the camera. Something happens among the group of people behind the camera. When we’re lucky I call it the beast lumbering to its feet. If the story starts to feel alive, if it embodies the kind of wit and the performances feel real and identifiable then it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a crime drama or any kind. It doesn’t matter. It’s going to be engaging. It’s going to be compelling. If there’s wit, if there’s a little bit of humor it will even resemble our lives even more. The worst thing I see in shows, I call it seriosity, where something has the appearance of seriousness, but it’s not really— K. Clarke Yes. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 20 P. Gallagher Or somebody is being a cop, ―Well, I don’t know, Bob. Things look pretty bad.‖ It’s like I’ve never seen any cop talk like that or a detective or a soldier. So hopefully we’ll be free to continue behaving as people would in these extraordinary circumstances. I can promise you this; everybody is working their butt off and trying their best. That’s the best you can do. We’re holding our breath. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lena Lamoray with LenaLamoray.com. Please go ahead. L. Lamoray Now, what was it like working with Tim Matheson? Is it easier working with a director that is also an amazing actor, like yourself? P. Gallagher Well, I loved working with Tim. I had met Tim before, probably 500 years ago. You know what? I love directors. I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of wonderful directors, but it’s nice to work with a director, who’s been an actor, because they get it. I mean at least they get your thing. I loved working with Tim. I thought he did a terrific job. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 21 L. Lamoray Now, what do you think the viewers are going to enjoy the most about Arthur and Covert Affairs in general? P. Gallagher I don’t know. I hope they like something. I’m terrible at that. That would be like— I don’t know. I just hope somebody does out there. We’ll see. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Kendra White with SideReel. Please go ahead. K. White I was just wondering if we’re going to see most of Arthur and Joan’s relationship in the office or if we’re going to get a bit of more of a peek into their private lives throughout the episodes. P. Gallagher Well, we do bring you into the bedroom pretty quickly. It’s our bedroom and nobody dies. I think so. Who knows? I mean I guess I see the story as big enough to accommodate several stories, actually several story lines. Obviously, the main thing is Piper and Chris, as it should be, and it’s great. It’s wonderful. But I have to believe that there’s some value too of seeing a couple, who is actually married, trying to navigate what are potentially treacherous conditions for a marriage, being in the CIA. But you know what? We’ll see. Right? Isn’t that what happens? NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 22 K. White Yes. P. Gallagher People say, ―Oh, my God. I love that show. I hate Arthur.‖ Who knows? It’s like a craps shoot, isn’t it, a little bit? Although USA has got a great track record— K. White Yes. P. Gallagher And I think they really do have a vision that is easy to support and they have an organization that really just seems to be completely on the ball. I mean it’s like they’re really pretty amazing to work with. So it feels like you have a good chance, but who knows? K. White On that note, on USA I was also curious what you think about Covert Affairs will draw in fans of other USA shows, like Psych and Burn Notice and Royal Pains and all of those great shows. P. Gallagher I really don’t know. I think so. I mean I think, look, I think the show is really good and I think it’s also kind of timely. I think it’s sort of strangely and in a way nice to be playing a member of a government NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 23 agency and really trying your best to do the best for the country. I think there are a lot of people out there. I think it’s kind of exciting parts for us to be playing. Now I’ve forgotten what your question is. I think I went so far afield, now I’m out somewhere and I have to call Chris back at the headquarters here to talk me back into it. He’s the one who got me into Twitter, Gorham. K. White Dangerous. P. Gallagher Oh, my God. I used to be paralyzed at the thought of telling anybody anything. I said, ―Nobody wants to know. Why do they want to know? This is crazy.‖ And now I’m like digging it. I can’t believe it. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Stevie Wilson with LA- Story.com. Please go ahead. S. Wilson Well, given that you came from doing some work with David Duchovny in Californication, Arthur is obviously a very different kind of character. P. Gallagher Yes. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 24 S. Wilson And the shows are quite different, obviously, but given that also the guys who are executive producing this that came with the Bourne Series and— P. Gallagher Yes. Doug Liman and Dave Bartis. S. Wilson Right. How much of that is going to be, do you feel like the series is going to have that kind of intensity? P. Gallagher Oh, completely. Oh, this is the greatest thing about this. Doug and Dave are not full of shit. They’re not just phoning this in. Doug Liman is not like just doing movies and then, ―I’ve got this little TV show.‖ That’s not it at all. He’s involved. No. I mean they’re the real deal. That’s why. The reason I’m in the show is because I wanted to work with them again. We worked on The O.C. together. S. Wilson Right. P. Gallagher I just love them because I like the way they work and I like who they are. They’re honorable and imaginative and they like to make it real. For instance, not long ago there was a scene and somebody was saying there NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 25 needs to be a little more tension in this one chase scene. Doug’s response was, ―Well, we need four frames of her head turning left to right and another four frames of the fender as it comes in from right to left.‖ To answer your question, I think we’re essentially making a movie every week. I mean it’s real. I mean Doug is very involved. Dave is very involved. Nobody is doing this in their spare time. It’s really they’re committed, so I think you’ll see all of that stuff, all of that kind of great action, wisdom and knowledge. You’ll see as much as you can do in eight days any way. S. Wilson Now, what is it about Arthur that is kind of like that hidden reveal that comes out slowly over time? P. Gallagher When you find out what it is you tell me. I have no idea. I could imagine what. I love it because I think there are a million places Arthur could go. I like the whole work situation. There’s a great relationship with Kari, I think, that develops. I’m hoping I’ll have things to do with Piper and maybe in the tenth season I might actually leave— In the tenth season I might actually leave the office. Wait. No. Actually, I already leave the office. We go to dinner and go in the bedroom. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 26 S. Wilson It’s interesting, because with what you’ve got going on I would like to see Arthur out in the field. P. Gallagher Now you’re talking. I think you’ve got to pick up the phone and call 1- 800-Covert-Affairs. S. Wilson Okay. Good. I’ll do that. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s a real pleasure talking to you. P. Gallagher It’s fun. It’s great to promote something that you’re proud of and that you like the people in and people seem to be responding. It’s one of those. I’m not going to say any more. Let’s not count any chickens. We’re not out of the gate yet. Okay. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Jessica Rae with Small Screen Scoop. Please go ahead. J. Rae I want to talk about the character of Arthur because we still don’t know a lot about him. He seems so mysterious for a show about people who are mysterious. You mentioned the strong sense of duty that Arthur has. Do NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 27 you think that this sense of duty is stronger than his sense of loyalty to his wife? P. Gallagher Well, that’s such a good question, because that’s essentially the crux, isn’t it? J. Rae I guess so. P. Gallagher But what’s interesting, I think also that in that environment it’s an area that I think every agent explores. I don’t think it’s necessarily always exclusive. Again, I’m totally off the track here, but I think that’s exactly what makes it interesting, because I don’t think Arthur is even sure. I think ultimately his responsibility is to the nation, you know? But I don’t think they’re necessarily mutually exclusive. I think he’s got a juggling act, like a lot of people do, keeping all of the people in the Agency alive and well and the nation safe and his marriage intact. That’s a tall order. J. Rae It’s a lot for him to do. P. Gallagher It was tough for Tony Soprano. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 28 J. Rae You mentioned that you’re fascinated by the CIA. I’m curious. Would you ever consider – maybe not now, earlier or maybe later and you won’t tell us – but would you ever consider joining the CIA? P. Gallagher That’s so bizarre, because they just called this morning. J. Rae Uh-oh. P. Gallagher No. I’m kidding. That’s so crazy because they’re at the door. That was them. I’ve got to go. No. You know what? I can’t even imagine that. I’m just trying to make a living. I’m just trying to get my kids through college. J. Rae It’s hard enough pretending to play in the CIA, right? P. Gallagher It’s an interesting notion. Look, the notion of service; if my country needed me I wouldn’t necessarily move to Ireland. No. J. Rae Okay. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 29 P. Gallagher My father was in the Normandy Invasion. My brother was an Officer, an Army Officer, during Vietnam and so it kind of runs in the family, but I’m no hero. J. Rae Well, there are different ways to be a hero. Moderator The next question comes from the line of Tiffany Vogt with Nice Girls TV. Please go ahead. T. Vogt This is probably just a little bit redundant after all of the questions you’ve answered, but did you have to go to any kind of classes or schooling for either fight training or to learn the lingo you might have to use as the director? P. Gallagher Well, so far all I’ve had to really do is get up and down out of my desk and in and out of bed and up and down from dinner, so that I can do. But beyond that what I love about doing a TV show, which I haven’t done that many, but the great thing about it is there’s always next week. Well, not always. In fact, there is rarely next week, but when there is next week chances are there will be another week after that where these things can develop. So, as I said, I wasn’t exactly sure how many I’d be doing of this NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 30 show, so I didn’t really know where the character was going or what it was going to be about and so I’ve been free to kind of imagine. As I said, I haven’t been to Langley, but I’ve been reading and I’ve been asking and I read the script because, frankly, no matter what kind of research you do, if you don’t spend some time on what happens on the page it’s not really going to matter. T. Vogt You like to follow exactly what they’ve written on the page? P. Gallagher No. That would not be a fair characterization. I’m just saying that I do all of the regular research. I didn’t go to Langley. As I say, if this was a show called Arthur Campbell, CIA you could be sure I’d be living at Langley and I could kill you with a look. I could beat you to death with my eyebrows, but that’s not the show. So I think if there are any special skills required I will acquire them as needed. T. Vogt Okay. Also, characterizing Arthur a little bit do you think he’s a strictly by the book kind of guy or would he be a bit more rogue if he felt it was necessary to get the job done? NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 31 P. Gallagher I think he’s definitely not a bureaucrat. I think with his military background I just think the vibe of the guy, because he’s a good leader, he’s not for blindly following rules if the greater goal is going to be compromised. So it’s a juggling act. Moderator Our next question comes from Daniel Malen with the TVAddict.com. D. Malen Let me preface my question by just letting you know, because I’m not sure if you’re aware, Melinda Clarke, your former O.C. co-star is actually in Toronto shooting a CW Show, Nikita— P. Gallagher Nikita. Yes. D. Malen Do you think there’s any chance we will ever see any of your former O.C. cast members guest on the show? P. Gallagher On our show? D. Malen Yes. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 32 P. Gallagher Anything is possible. I love them all, so I hope so. It’s up to them, I guess, or up to Covert Affairs. I mean I’m just hoping the Covert Affairs cast will continue to be on Covert Affairs. I mean we had a pretty good run with The O.C., so now we’ve got to give birth to Covert Affairs and then we’ll see. I want to see Sandy Cohen from The O.C. be Arthur Campbell for a little while longer too. That would be good. D. Malen What would Sandy say about Arthur Campbell? Because Sandy was kind of a hippie— P. Gallagher Right. D. Malen I don’t know if he’d agree with your new character so much. P. Gallagher No. He’d be protesting him. D. Malen Probably. P. Gallagher Then they’d bump into each other and realize they had a lot more in common than they thought. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 33 D. Malen Really good looking wives. P. Gallagher And they were played by the same person. ―Wait a minute, weren’t you played—?‖ ―Yes.‖ ―Me too. Oh. That’s why.‖ Moderator Our next one comes from Alix Sternberg with TheTVChick.com. A. Sternberg Covert Affairs is going to premiere with White Collar and you touched upon this a little bit before, but what has it been like being a part of the USA Network? P. Gallagher It’s pretty cool. It’s like being part of the future a bit because things just make sense, you know? You can feel it instantly. A. Sternberg Yes. P. Gallagher It’s kind of like it’s just the experience, as I say, the people at the top of an organization pretty well define the organization, I think, which is why I wanted to be in business with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis— A. Sternberg Yes. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 34 P. Gallagher Because I admire them and I respect them and I trust them and there’s nothing more fun than working with people that you feel that way about. That’s when good work happens too. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. Some people think it’s all about control and say this and do that. That’s baloney. It’s a lot about the things that happen that are surprising to everybody. Working with USA what I found surprising was, for instance, I put on a suit in the pilot. Within a couple of hours Bonnie Hammer, the Head of the network, had seen a picture of me in that suit on her iPhone and approved it. A. Sternberg Wow. P. Gallagher Within a few hours. You know what? There’s not a really heavy, heavy bureaucracy there at USA. There are a couple of people that do the job that, in some places, 50 people do, so they’re people who are responsible and you get to know them. So things happen. I haven’t felt there’s been unproductive interference from them; that they’re sort of allowing us to do NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 35 our jobs. Obviously, we’re not screwing it up too badly, at least in their eyes. Listen, the best thing in the world is when things happen in a good way and things are really happening in a good way and I have to credit USA for creating that environment. I have to credit Doug and Dave for creating that environment and for USA allowing them to create that environment. So it’s pretty cool. Whatever they’re doing it’s right and there are only 13 episodes, so chances are the writing will stay good. A. Sternberg You talked a little bit about the back story you’ve created for Arthur Campbell. You also talked a lot about a lot of your family being in the military. Did any of that back story come from people you know or any stories you’ve heard? P. Gallagher Just a few things I had read about. I mean, really, basically what I enjoyed, what interests me about a possible Arthur Campbell – as I say, I’m not writing it, so I’m just kind of making this up – but what appeals to me is the notion that he has experience on the ground in the military and as a CIA asset. So when he is in a political position as director of that agency and forced to be either questioned or reprimanded or used in some NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 36 political fashion by a bureaucrat, by a politician, who has no experience in the military or has no real experience in any of the things that they’re talking about there just should be an interesting conflict. Interesting as this man, Arthur, has a great sense of duty and can’t respond as he might feel like responding. He’s being questioned by a Senator that is trying to score political points and doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, to balance that responsibility. Am I making any sense? Do you know what I mean? A. Sternberg Yes. Yes. P. Gallagher In other words, the notion of being authentic as opposed to using one’s position for one’s grand .... I like that conflict. I like to be that guy who’s actually been there and is forced to kind of deal with the challenges of the job. Moderator Our next question comes from Chris O’Vara with TVOvermind.com. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 37 C. O’Vara From watching the pilot it really seems like it seemed very natural and there was just great chemistry with the cast. Could you talk a little bit about shooting with that cast? P. Gallagher Yes. Well, you know what? I think that’s so huge. I think that has as much to do with a show being successful as anything because you know what? What you see on the screen, that’s what it’s like. That’s what it’s like on the set. I’ll be honest with you. In fact, here you go; I guess you can say that because you guys are bloggers, but the first question I asked Dave Bartis when he said, ―Hey, Pete, I’ve got this script, Covert Affairs. There might be a little part in here that maybe you’d want to do and blah, blah, blah.‖ The first thing I asked him, I said, ―What’s the a**hole quotient?‖ He said, ―I’ve got to be honest with you. At this point, zero.‖ I said, ―All right. I’m in.‖ That pretty much is true. As I say, it’s defined by Doug Liman and Dave Bartis in that they have no interest in working with people that want to suck up all of the attention in the room. They’re interested in telling a story well. So they invited all of these people to help tell this story that feel that same way. As a result, NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 38 you’ve got all of these people in the cast, Chris and Piper and Anne and Sendhil. Sendhil went to Tufts, by the way, so we’re both Jumbos. These casts are really bright and really funny and really generous. In my experience the best artists I’ve ever worked with are the best people and the easiest to work with because they know well enough to know that whatever anxiety or fear they’re having nobody else should have to pay for. If you had a shitty high school experience, get over it. That’s what it’s like on the set. I have nothing but respect for Piper and everybody, Chris. As I say, Chris got me into Tweeting. It’s a great set to be on. A great crew too. C. O’Vara What other television shows have you been into lately? What have you been watching? P. Gallagher I don’t really get into television much, but I’m absolutely hooked on Modern Family. I’m looking forward to seeing the season of Rescue Me. My pal, Dennis, this is his last couple of seasons. Moderator Our next question comes from Christine Nyholm with Suite101. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 39 C. Nyholm My question is I have a nephew, who wants to be an actor, like so many people do and so my question, since you’ve been in the business for such a long time and are so knowledgeable, what kind of advice would you give somebody who wants to get into acting? P. Gallagher If there is any, any, any, any way you can think of doing something else, do it. If you can’t, just try to do it as much as you can and keep showing up. Remember that nobody knows anything and there is nobody at the top. Nobody has figured it out, so you have just as much of a chance— you have as much right to try as anybody. What I will also say is the acting game has totally changed in the last couple of years and I think it’s going to be harder and harder for actors to make a living at it. I think what you really want to do in order to survive is also to have an eye on somehow creating some content, because I think everything is going to be different. But at the end of the day, put yourself on your death bed and if you think that your life would be absolutely tarnished and poorer if you didn’t follow your dreams then you better follow your dreams; otherwise NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 40 it will lead you somewhere worthwhile, even if it’s not to where you think you want to go. C. Nyholm I’m going to ask you to elaborate just a little bit. You’re not the first actor, who has said to me that, ―Do anything else.‖ So why is that? P. Gallagher Because as much people who, even you guys that really know more than anybody about TV and that really observe things, you can’t fathom how mind bending and heartbreaking it can be, because things happen that make absolutely no sense. It’s tough. My parents, the first Broadway show my parents saw I was in. They didn’t know. Nobody did. It was ridiculous, so I was making it up. It’s good if you have learned stuff about it before you go in and maybe you have a better chance, but it’s just hard. A lot of things are and if you do manage to pull it off in some way, shape or form you’re one of the lucky, lucky few. I consider myself one of the lucky, lucky few. Moderator Our next question comes from Amanda Ernst with Crushable.com A. Ernst My question is because of The O.C. I think you probably have the following of younger fans. I want to know if you kind of have a sense of NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 41 that or what your relationship is with your fans. Do you get out and talk to them? Do you, now that you’re on Twitter, get to kind of interact with them at all? P. Gallagher I always do. I love the fans. I mean I’d be out of business without them. Look, I’m still crazy enough to think that storytelling is really important. Really, it’s as important now as it’s ever been. There’s nothing more powerful than a story, in my eyes, well told other than contributing to that story being told well. So when a story works it sort of creates a little sense of community. Chris Gorham got me into the whole Twitter thing, which, as I said, it would paralyze me. I thought, ―Why would you ever want to tell anybody what you’re doing? What is that about? Nobody wants to know what I’m doing. It’s not even interesting.‖ But then I kind of understood it. I mean it’s a real paradigm shift, because I hide. I like hide behind my characters. I don’t want anybody. It’s embarrassing. I love to talk, but not about myself, believe it or not. So I’m really digging this. Just in the last couple of weeks he got me into this and I’ve been talking to people from all over the world. NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 42 It’s true. When you’re lucky enough to play characters that inspire people or help people— I’ve gotten lots of notes from people about Sandy Cohen and fathering and sad stories and things. I’m moved by that. I talked to a guy that became an actor. Yesterday I saw a movie this guy was starring in. He became an actor, an English actor, because of a performance he saw that I was in of Long Day’s Journey Into Night in London 25 years ago. So I love that. If people were coming up to me on the street and throwing bottles at me and saying, ―You suck,‖ that would be different, but that hasn’t been my experience. I can look forward to that. A. Ernst Yes. I mean playing someone like Sandy, who was such a good father and such a good husband, now to be in this character and like the tiny bit that we saw of him in the pilot, sort of, he’s being accused of cheating. What is that like for you to play that now? P. Gallagher Well, I don’t really know what that is yet, you know? Because the character is still being developed. I suspect that this character has more in common with Sandy Cohen than at first meets the eye. Maybe not as liberal, but in terms of a belief in the tenants of democracy and a free NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES Host: Chrissy Fehskens June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT Page 43 society and what it takes to keep it that way, a different approach. But I think they both are sort of driven by ideals and some of those ideals coincide and others diverge. But meanwhile, listen; I don’t know what’s going to happen. It could turn out I could end up strolling into Arby’s with an assault rifle in episode 11 and wiping out the kitchen staff. I don’t know what’s going to happen. C. Fehskens I just wanted to hop back in here and thank Peter so much for joining us and remind everybody, of course, to tune into Covert Affairs. The series premiere is on Tuesday, July 13th at 10:00/9:00 Central on USA Network. We also hope that you’ll join us again next Thursday, July 1st, to speak with series Executive Producer, Doug Liman. That will also be at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, so please be sure to RSVP for that session if you haven’t done so already. P. Gallagher Thank you. Have a great weekend. Moderator Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your conference for today. Thank you very much for your participation and for using the AT&T Executive Teleconference. You may now disconnect.