Covert Affairs - Q&A session with Peter Gallagher

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  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES: Peter Gallagher Q&A Session
  June 25, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT

Chrissy Fehskens
Peter Gallagher – Covert Affairs


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


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
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               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.
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               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


Moderator      Our next question is from Matt Carter with

M. Carter      How would you describe Arthur’s relationship with Piper Perabo’s

               character on the show?
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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
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               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


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
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               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


               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


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
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               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.
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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.
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Moderator      Thank you. Our next question comes from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse


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
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               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


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
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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?
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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


               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

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
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               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.
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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.
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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

                Please go ahead.
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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,
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               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


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
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               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?
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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.
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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

      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.
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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?
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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
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               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-

      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.
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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
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               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.
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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-


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
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               you think that this sense of duty is stronger than his sense of loyalty to his


P. Gallagher   Well, that’s such a good question, because that’s essentially the crux, isn’t


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.
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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


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.
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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


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
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               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?
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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

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.
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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.
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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

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.
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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


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
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               our jobs. Obviously, we’re not screwing it up too badly, at least in their


               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
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               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


Moderator      Our next question comes from Chris O’Vara with
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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,
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               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.
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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
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               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

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
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               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.
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               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
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               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.

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