Fairly Legal - Sarah Shahi Q&A Conference Call Transcript

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					Final Transcript

  MEREDITH CORPORATION: Fairly Legal Q&A with Sarah Shahi
  January 11, 2011/1:00 p.m. EST

Laura Murphy – New Media Strategies
Sarah Shahi – Kate Reed, Fairly Legal


Moderator            Welcome to the Fairly Legal Q&A with Sarah Shahi. At this time, all

                     participant lines are in a listen-only mode. In just a few moments, there

                     will be an opportunity for your questions. In the interest of time and

                     getting to as many questions as possible, we ask that you please limit

                     yourself to one question and one follow-up question. If there is time for

                     further questions, we will take them at the end of the call.

                     With that being said, I’d now like to turn to conference over to Laura

                                                             MEREDITH CORPORATION
                                                                      Host: Laura Murphy
                                                            January 11, 2011/1:00 p.m. EST
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L. Murphy   Good afternoon, this is Laura Murphy from New Media Strategies. I’d

            like to thank everyone for joining us for today’s Fairly Legal Q&A

            session, and start things off by thanking Sarah Shahi for being with us

            today to answer questions. As you know, Sarah stars as Kate Reed on

            Fairly Legal USA Networks’ newest original series, which will premiere

            Thursday, January 20th at 10:00/9:00 Central.

            In a moment, we’ll begin the Q&A session. I’d like to remind all

            participants that you will receive a transcript of this session within the next

            24 hours to 48 hours. I’d also like to remind everyone to please limit

            yourselves to one question and one related follow-up at a time, and then

            reenter the question queue for any additional questions. This will ensure

            that we field as many questions as possible within the allotted time.

            I would now like to turn the call back over to our Leah, our moderator, to

            begin the formal Q&A session.

Moderator   Our first question is from the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFiVision.com.

J. Ruby     How did you start working on the show?
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S. Shahi   How did I start working on the show?

J. Ruby    Yes, like how did you come into working there? Did you audition?

S. Shahi   I did. I was about five weeks postpartum and I went in to the— I read the

           slides. I didn’t read the script, and I thought she’d be a fun girl to be for

           ten minutes in an auditioning room. I was not sure if I wanted to get back

           into TV because of my baby. It’s kind of funny, I went into the audition

           wearing my husband’s t-shirt, Nike running pants, a blazer, and heels

           because that’s the only thing that fit me just after five weeks of having my

           baby. I went in, I read, and I think towards the end of my audition I felt

           myself lactating and I was wearing a white t-shirt, and I kind of ran out of

           there as fast I could.

           They called and said that they really like me but they thought I was

           wearing some interesting wardrobe. They wanted me to come back, but

           this time put a button-down on. For me the only thing that fit was my

           husband’s country western button down t-shirt from a Halloween costume

           that he had, so I wore that. Once again, they were like, ―What the f is this

           girl thinking?‖
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            So yeah, that’s what it was. It was a two round audition and then they

            wanted me to test. Once again, I still wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted

            to go back in TV, so I sat down with them and I had a meeting with them

            before the test. I said, ―Look, I don’t want to be just an actor for hire. I

            kind of want to have a say in the story lines and in the character and the

            other casting. If that’s something you guys are not interested in having,

            then I’m not your girl.‖ It turns out that’s probably exactly what they

            wanted to hear because that was the character.

            That’s how it happened and then I tested and I got the part.

J. Ruby     Can you talk about working with Richard Dean Anderson this season?

S. Shahi    Richard is interesting. He’s very quiet, gets very excited when he talks

            about his daughter, but other than that he and I didn’t really engage too

            much with each other. There was a lot of mystery surrounding our

            relationship with one another on the show, and I think we kind of kept that

            for ourselves off screen as well just because it helped on screen.

Moderator   Next, we have a question from the line of Pattye Grippo from Pazsaz.com.
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P. Grippo   What were some of the biggest challenges for you in bringing this

            character of Kate to life on screen in this show?

S. Shahi    There were a couple. By the way, I like that question. I’ve done so many

            interviews so far and nobody has ever asked that question. One of the

            challenges was, for me, this is a character who just goes on her heart. She

            becomes so involved with the people that she’s dealing with, whether it’s

            in her personal life or it’s a working relationship. The challenge was/is

            allowing myself as an actor to allow Kate to be emotional about it, but

            then at the same time she had to be professional. A note that I was

            constantly getting from certain producers were, ―You need to be more

            business-like. You need to be more business-like,‖ but I think that’s the

            opposite of this character. That’s why people like her; she’s so anti-

            business. She’s so anti-corporate. There’s nothing about her that’s

            business necessarily.

            I think the struggle with her is just trying to find that balance between

            what are the things that she does that she just runs with her emotions on,

            and then what are the things she has more of a business approach. It turns

            out that there wasn’t a lot that had a business approach. The beauty of this

            character is that she is so emotional. She gets caught up so much with
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               what she does, and a lot of times she gets in trouble for it and her head

               doesn’t necessarily always follow what her heart tells her to do.

P. Grippo      What do viewers need to know about your character that might not be

               apparent from the premiere episode?

S. Shahi       I don’t know if there’s much because what you see is what you get with

               Kate. That’s the thing. You can pretty much be guaranteed that there’s

               always going to be a surprise. You won’t really know what that is. She’ll

               go to any length that she needs to to help people and solve their cases.

               She’s a no bullshit kind of girl, and I think that comes across in the pilot

               and you continue to see more of that. The dynamics between the

               characters are further explored as the series goes on, but as far as Kate

               goes you just see her. That’s it.

Moderator      Next, we go to the line of Jamie Steinberg from Starry Constellation.

J. Steinberg   What are some of the guest stars we can expect to see this season?

S. Shahi       Well we have Richard Dean Anderson who’s probably the most well-

               known guest star. Dean Norris from Breaking Bad was another one who’s
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               amazing. Those are kind of the heavy hitters. The rest of them are

               wonderful actors, but not necessarily any names.

J. Steinberg   Why do you think people will want to take their time to tune in and watch

               Fairly Legal?

S. Shahi       I don’t know. That’s not a question for me. I think that’s a question for

               the people who hopefully tune in to watch it, but here’s what I do hope for

               the show. I hope that people watch it because they just want to see a good

               story, and this storyline, and I hope people get caught up in the fantasy of

               TV. It’s not taking itself too seriously. The show is very light. It’s kind

               of cheeky and flirty. It’s not a procedural. So I just hope people tune in

               because they want to laugh or sometimes cry and just be entertained


Moderator      Next we go to the line of Troy Rogers from TheDeadbolt.com.

T. Rogers      Fairly Legal is kind of a new take on the lawyer genre. I just want to

               know, how familiar were you with a mediator before you joined?
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S. Shahi    Not very. I actually didn’t even know what a mediator was when I

            auditioned for the show. I thought it was like a lawyer that didn’t pass the

            bar so they are just a mediator. But to me with this character it was not

            important to hover down as a mediator because if anything she’s the anti-

            corporate corporate girl. To me it was important to get to the heart, to

            understand her passion. Why she fights so hard for the things that she

            believes in. Why she is somewhat childlike in her personal relationship.

            For me, that was the most important. It wasn’t necessarily, ―Do I think

            this is what it’s like as a real mediator?‖ It was more important for me to

            get her heart.

T. Rogers   Can you talk about the relationship between Kate and Leonardo and what

            that dynamic brings to the show?

S. Shahi    Yes, Kate and Leo, he’s the only one there in the show that doesn’t quite

            fawn over Kate. We were very careful when making the show to try not to

            present a blank persona. We wanted somebody who could fail, who had

            flaws. This Leo character and Kate, they have a very brotherly sisterly

            relationship, and he’s the kind of guy who knows her better than she

            knows herself. He knows what she’s going to do two steps before she
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               does it. So it’s actually been pretty great to have somebody like that on

               her side.

Moderator      Next, we go to the line of Alix Sternberg from TheTVChick.com.

A. Sternberg   I was wondering if you are anything like Kate. Are there qualities there

               that you brought to the character?

S. Shahi       Yes, I think the things that she and I have in common—we’re both kind of

               flirty, feisty characters, kind of grab life by the balls kind of girls, and the

               what you see is what you get kind of attitude. But the part where she and I

               vastly differ is she’s a lot more immature than I am. She’s very childlike

               with her emotions and the way that she kind of handles her stepmother,

               her ex-husband. She’s very sort of just, ―Love me, love me, love me,‖ but

               then she’ll push you away with the other hand, whereas I’m not like that.

               If I have a situation or a problem in my personal life, I like to tackle it

               head on just to get it over with and have some clarity. Kate sort of avoids

               conflict in her personal life at all costs, but when it comes to her work life,

               she dives head first in it. So those are the ways in which we differ.
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J. Sternberg   What can you tease about her love life in the first season? I know in the

               pilot episode she’s sort of with her ex-husband. So what can you tease

               about what’s coming up?

S. Shahi       Well, the tease is, I guess—the finale is incredible, a lot of unexpected

               things happen in the finale. I love the finale; it’s my favorite episode. But

               it’s more exploration of the dynamics of her and Justin. It’s like when we

               first meet them he is her soon to be ex-husband, so at one point I’m

               presented with divorce papers, but I don’t know if I want to sign them or

               not. So it’s interesting because a lot of times in TV shows, the dynamic

               between the male and female lead is sort of a will they won’t they, but this

               time it’s the opposite. It’s they already have and they’ve kind of fallen

               apart. So now the exploration is will they or won’t they get back together?

               Will they or won’t they get divorced? So that’s sort of the biggest

               relationship tease in the story. Then there’s just more sort of unexpected

               and sort of out of control—Kate’s like a tornado sometimes the way she

               kind of comes in and settles situations, so definitely a lot more tornados.

Moderator      We’ll move on to a question from the line of Guliana Porro from

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G. Porro   In watching the first episode, you can see that Kate has a strange

           relationship with her stepmother. How do you see that relationship

           evolving throughout the series?

S. Shahi   It doesn’t evolve much beyond what you see. Kate is very

           straightforward. In the pilot where she says, ―I thought my mother made

           him happy and then he met you so I don’t know what to do about that so I

           hate you. It’s simpler that way.‖ I can’t believe I just recited those lines

           from the pilot. That was so long ago. Kate has a lot of reasons for not

           liking her stepmother. She took her father away and now her father’s dead

           so if anything for Kate she blames her father’s loss on her stepmother. We

           do have to work together at some point, Lauren and Kate, so there is a bit

           of a nicer exchange that happens between the two of them, but as far as

           that relationship evolving, I think in Kate’s mind, Lauren would have to

           drop dead before she liked her.

G. Porro   How does the role of Kate differ from your previous roles in shows like

           The L Word and Life?

S. Shahi   Oh, God, they’re vastly different. My character on Life was very troubled,

           a lot darker than Kate. Kate, of course what I liked about her so much
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                were her flaws. She can fix everybody but herself kind of thing. I think

                generally, she is a happy person. She’s very whimsical and spontaneous.

                My character on Life was not like that at all. She was the opposite; very

                by the book, very sort of calculated what she was going to do because she

                just didn’t want to mess up.

                On The L Word to play a character like Carmen who was a DJ… she was

                raised in a Catholic household, a lot of hidden—what’s the word I’m

                looking for? Not agendas, but just hidden secrets—a lot of secrets from

                her families. So yes, they’re greatly different.

Moderator       Next question we have is from the line of Amy Amatangelo from The

                Boston Herald.

A. Amatangelo   You had mentioned earlier on the call that you were a little maybe hesitant

                about getting back into TV or not necessarily looking to get into TV, and I

                was wondering if you could just talk a little more about that.

S. Shahi        I had just come off of a show called Life where we worked for two seasons

                for 18 hours a day, and we ended up getting cancelled, so I kind of had a

                bitter taste in my mind about TV. I also worked up until I was six and a
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half months pregnant on the show, and they didn’t reduce my hours until

later on in my pregnancy. So I just wasn’t sure if this was something that

do I want to get back into this kind of schedule again, and especially now

that I have a child to take care of, and still not really feel the love from the

audience or the network. It’s that that I just was not sure of.

When I went into my meeting with Michael Sardo and Steve Stark and I

just said, ―Look, I’m flattered that you guys want me for this, but I’m at a

different place where I’ve done this before and I didn’t really get much

back in terms of recognition from the work.‖ It was going to be a much

different case for me this time around because I had had a baby and the

stakes were just so much higher. I don’t know if you have kids, but when

I have to spend a moment away from my kid, it better be worth it.

So that’s kind of how I felt about it this time. It was like if I’m going to

commit myself to another season of television with these hours and this

work schedule, I want to be a big dog. I don’t want to just be another

actor for hire with it. If they just wanted me to be the actor who comes to

work, delivers the lines, and then beyond that I didn’t have any sort of

creative say, meanwhile being the title role, it was not something I wanted

to do.
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A. Amatangelo   You talked about in Life you were a lead character and you’ve had these

                roles, but this is a series that’s really built around your character. What

                feels different about that? Do you feel more responsibility or anything

                different about having a series based around your character?

S. Shahi        There is more responsibility. Thank God, I’ve had a—knock on wood—

                long career in episodic television so as far as the hours were concerned

                that really was something I was very comfortable with actually. It’s

                funny, I did a sitcom one time and I didn’t know how to react at all when I

                had the time off. I was like, ―What is this?‖ By the way, can you hear me

                because my gardeners here? But yes, I felt really odd being on a sitcom

                and getting off at three every day. I was like, ―What do I do with my

                time? This is really weird.‖ Being on an episodic is like being home in a

                way. It’s weird.

                It was just a lot more responsibility in terms of I felt like I had to look

                after, in a way, all the character’s story lines, of course. I say this very

                loosely. Michael Sardo and Steve Stark and the network have been so

                gracious and generous with making me a part of the creative process so I

                was careful not to push those boundaries, but I’m sure I will next year.
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            But yes, there was a lot of responsibility because I feel like the show has a

            certain amount of integrity and we wanted to obtain that within all the

            story lines.

Moderator   Next we go to the line of Brian Cantor with Headline Planet.

B. Cantor   Sort of a follow-up to the last question you had actually, USA Network

            prides itself on, ―Characters Welcome.‖ The show is very much based on

            your character. I mean there is the story line, there are a few legal

            storylines in there, but very much based on how appealing the audience is

            going to find you in this role to be. How does that impact how you

            approach the role? Does that put any extra pressure on? Does it kind of

            give you a little bit of excitement knowing that so much of this show’s

            appeal and success is going to be based on whether they do buy Kate Reed

            as a likeable, charming, powerful female character?

S. Shahi    Oh, Gosh, Brian if I had thought about that as I was filming I’m sure I

            would have come across differently on screen. I did not think about that at

            all. I don’t know how the audience is going to react towards me. I’m a bit

            nervous about that, but I do feel like I serviced this character and I

            serviced the stories that I was telling. If anything, that’s always my goal
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            when I am playing somebody is I’m not thinking about, ―Well what is the

            audience going to like, not like.‖ I just try to be as true as I can to the

            character and the story that I’m telling. Then hopefully within that truth,

            people will find her charming and adorable and all those things I hope

            people see.

B. Cantor   Then sort of following up, obviously in the premiere there was a lot of

            emphasis to do the right thing, and there was that kind of heartwarming

            side to the otherwise fairly lighthearted legal cases, at least compared to

            say something like The Practice or something like that. Going forward,

            are there going to be more heavy handed cases or is most of it going to be

            kind of more comedic, more fun, but still adding that little bit of character

            development and drama along the way?

S. Shahi    There’s going to be both. We don’t have 46 minutes of straight

            seriousness in our life or 46 minutes of straight comedy in our life. So I

            think there’s going to be a good mix of both of those.

Moderator   Next, we go to the line of Mac Collins from TVForBreakfast.com.
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M. Collins   What I wanted to know is where you pull from to get that father daughter

             dynamic in the story since your father isn’t actually on screen?

S. Shahi     My father in my life is absent. So for me, anything that has to do with

             fatherly issues, I put that into it. I have a whole closet, I have a house

             dedicated to my father issues so that part I have a lot to draw on in that


M. Collins   I just know a lot of people in my area have lost or are losing their fathers.

S. Shahi     I’m sorry. My father is still alive, but he was an addict, well is an addict,

             and so he’s been absent for almost ten years. Before that, we were very

             sort of in and out with one another. My heart goes out to the people that

             you know who are losing their fathers because—knock on wood—I

             haven’t lost a family member like that yet, but I do know what it feels like

             to not have a father.

Moderator    Next we go to the line of Jay Jacobs from PopEntertainment.com.

J. Jacobs    I was just reading online, and you never know for sure about these things

             online, but I was reading you originally moved to Hollywood after the
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           late, great director Robert Altman suggested that you might give it a try.

           What exactly happened there?

S. Shahi   Yes. I always wanted to be an actor, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. I was

           in a production of Chicago, I sang, and there was this girl that was a

           background dancer who said, ―Why don’t you try out for the Dallas

           football cheerleaders,‖ because back in 1995 they were on Saturday Night

           Live. I thought, ―Great. That’s my way in.‖ I tried out for the Dallas

           football cheerleaders. I made the team, and Robert Altman decided to

           come to Texas and use our facilities to shoot Dr. T and the Women.

           So he came to the ranch and the cheerleaders, we were all sort of extras,

           we were background in the movie for about two weeks. I had no idea who

           he was. For whatever reason, maybe it’s because I didn’t know who he

           was, he took a liking to me and we hung out with each other every day for

           two weeks, and he said towards the end, ―What is it that you want to do?‖

           I said, ―Well, I want to be an actor but I don’t how do it.‖ He looks at me

           and he goes, ―I think you have what it takes. I think you should move to

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            So I went home that night. I Googled him, and from all the movies that

            he’s done, I’m embarrassed to say the only one I knew about was Popeye.

            I told my mom through the screen door. She’s in the kitchen and I was in

            my room, ―The guy who directed Popeye is telling me I’ve got a shot.‖ So

            we packed up my truck and we moved to LA.

            He gave me his mobile number and his office number and he said, ―When

            you get to LA, I want you to call me. I want to help you.‖ For three

            months, he and I traded phone calls. We never actually connected, and

            then by the time I owed him—it was my turn to call him back. At that

            point, I had been educated on who he was and I told the story enough

            times around town that people were like, ―Really? You and Altman?‖

            After that I was intimidated, and I was like, ―Oh my gosh, I don’t know

            what to say to him anymore,‖ and I never returned his phone call.

            So I go into every meeting now not knowing who they are. I met Harvey

            Weinstein recently, and I did not have a clue, but anyway, I’m honored to

            say that I’ve …. (inaudible).

J. Jacobs   Now I was also reading that you have a movie coming out called East

            Fifth Bliss with Michael Hall. What can you tell us about that?
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S. Shahi    It’s kind of a coming of age character story. Michael is the lead of it, and

            it’s me, Chris Messina, Brie Larson, Lucy Liu, and it’s a wonderful cast.

            We all sort of play very quirky characters that intertwine with Michael’s

            life. He plays a guy who’s kind of a loser. He still lives at home with his

            dad played by Peter Fonda. He talks a big game, but he’s really never

            done anything in his life, one of those guys, and by the end of the story,

            he’s inspired to finally do something.

Moderator   Next question is from the line of Jessica Rae from Small Screen Scoop.

J. Rae      Happy belated birthday. I noticed that you’re a middle child, and in the

            psychology of birth order, middle children are the ones that are

            peacemakers, strong negotiators, the diplomats. Did you know about that

            and have you felt like that’s who you’ve been through your life?

S. Shahi    That’s funny because I didn’t know about that, but I’ve strangely always

            been in the position where people are telling me their life stories. I will

            meet somebody—I was at a party recently with my husband and there was

            a dresser who was just had been so cold to everybody on set, never talking

            and for whatever reason, within the first five minutes, he’s sitting next to
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    me bawling telling me that his wife that just died and his children and this

    whole thing. I was happy to listen to him, but by the end of it, my

    husband could not believe that this guy was opening up to me because

    people thought he was such a dick, but it turned out to be he was just

    going through some stuff.

    It’s funny you tell me that because I have always wondered, ―Why do I

    have that? Why do people do that to me?‖ But yes, I kind of have been in

    that position. Even to this day, if my mom and sister fight, they’re each

    calling me asking me to sort it out with the other person. I don’t know

    why, maybe because— I don’t know.

`   I don’t know about other people because I hate generalities, but I know

    with my situation my father left when I was eight. My brother is eight

    years older than me, so he was out of the house pretty early in my life. So

    I had one working mother. I had a single parent who worked, and then it

    was me and my younger sister so in a way I was in charge of a lot of

    things. I was in charge of the house. I was in charge of my sister. My

    mom wasn’t around. I had to be the second mom in a way. So I don’t

    know, maybe that’s why I kind of have that thing going. I don’t know, but

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           I don’t really know if I answered your question. I don’t even know if you

           asked me a question. I just know I just gave you a paragraph.

J. Rae     You may actually be more of a first-born. They say it depends. There’s

           all this stuff they say, I don’t know. In the pilot, my favorite part is the

           first mediation she does, which it’s not a technical one. But do you have a

           specific mediation that you’ve filmed that you can talk about a little bit

           and just tell us why that one stands out to you?

S. Shahi   How many episodes did you see, just the pilot?

J. Rae     Yes, so I know you don’t want spoil anything for other people too, but is

           there one that just resonated with you and you said, ―This is a really cool

           one that I just really love getting into?‖

S. Shahi   I don’t know if it’s the second episode or what it is, but (inaudible) by the

           way I don’t know if the lady who asked about the guest stars, (inaudible)

           disk jockey was also on the show and a brilliant actor. There was this one

           story line where he played a guy who was wrongly imprisoned. He was

           prisoned for 25 years, and the whole mediation was about how much is a
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            man’s life worth. The State of California only offers $100 a day. My

            character was fighting for a lot more than that, and it turns out that what he

            wanted was not necessarily money. He wanted his life. He didn’t want

            money. He wanted his life back.

            So that was challenging to say, but the way in which she gets his character

            to open up just was so hard. The way she gets him to open up was very

            emotional and interesting, and if anything, that made the (inaudible) Kate.

            She goes about these very unconventional ways in a grocery store to get

            him to open up and tell her what it is that he wants specifically. So I think

            for me that was one of my favorites to play. I don’t want to give anything


Moderator   Next, we go to the line of Rachelle Thomas from Right Celebrity.

R. Thomas   I watched the pilot and I think it’s amazing, and I just had a quick

            question. It kind of relates back to questions someone else had about you

            coming back to television, everything after you had your baby, and the

            decision to do that. What is it about this character that made you want to

            play her and go after that and give up spending time with your baby and

            that kind of stuff?
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S. Shahi   It was her flaws. I knew what I was going to say before you finished your

           question. Things that I love most about this character are her flaws. I

           think, often times in TV, they try to put people up who are perfect people.

           Who kind of have it all figured out and that was, if anything, we wanted to

           do the opposite of that. We wanted to do somebody who was very

           confident in their job, but at the same time, she was internally incredibly

           flawed and had a lot of faults. That’s what I wanted to play.

           That was the other thing that I was talking to Michael Sardo and Steve

           Stark about was that I wasn’t interested in playing a perfect person. I

           wanted to play somebody who struggled, and because for me, I think

           that’s real. I think it’s real for people to struggle, and I think it’s

           refreshing to see a character like that on TV, not a character who’s just

           willing to sell toothpaste. Often times TV gets kind of knocked, saying

           the space in between the commercials. I wanted to make sure that this

           character was not going to be playing to that. It was, in a sense, going to

           be representing a real person and some real struggles, and we were going

           to get a chance to explore that and to see her. To see her fail, to see her try

           to pick herself back up. That’s was I was interested in playing.
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R. Thomas    To that same extent then, do you have anything you would want to change

             about Kate yet or have you gotten enough into her to get to that point?

S. Shahi     I don’t know if there’s anything I want to change about Kate right now.

             She’s mentally and emotionally at a very interesting place. I don’t want to

             see her evolve quite yet because I think there are more stories to tell with

             her at where she’s at, but I do, as an actor, like to constantly be surprised.

             I don’t know what’s in store for her. I don’t know how I’m going to play

             her, and I enjoy the mystery and I hope I continue to discover her.

Moderator    Next, we go to the line of Lena Lamoray LenaLamoray.com.

L. Lamoray   When we spoke with Michael Sardo, he mentioned that the opening scene

             out of all the actors that auditioned for Kate you were the only one that

             didn’t back away from the gun. Can you tell us about filming that scene?

S. Shahi     Yes, I did that in the audition. I felt like this was a character who thrived

             on conflict. If anything, she gets excited by this kind of stuff, a bit of an

             adrenaline junky I guess. I figured in that situation the only way you

             could solve a conflict is by heading towards it. So for me, that’s what

             made the most sense. The character was that if this character sees a gun
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             she has the strength and the confidence to believe that she can disarm the

             situation. Whether or not that’s true, that’s a different story because there

             are certain story lines where Kate feels like she has the confidence to fix it

             and if anything she ends up making it worse. But in this situation she does

             solve it and she solves it by walking towards it so that’s why I made that


L. Lamoray   What is it like working with Michael Sardo and the cast of Fairly Legal?

S. Shahi     It’s amazing. I could pinch myself working with Michael. He is one of

             the most egoless show runners I have ever come across and such an

             amazing writer. I don’t want to make his head too big because I say how

             brilliant he is all the time, but I don’t want to do this interview and then he

             not give me what I want next season because I gave him a big ego, but

             yes, he’s wonderful to work with. He’s such a corroborator. He’s so

             creative, so smart, one of the wittiest people I know. I’m sure if you

             talked to his wife she’d say something different, but from my perspective

             that’s my experience with him.

             The cast is great. We find it so easy for whatever reason and I think we

             just got lucky. The dynamics that you see are kind of real, in a way, and if
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            Leonardo and Kate are annoyed with each other, that’s kind of how Baron

            and I can be with each other in real life. Virginia and I, we get along, and

            it’s really easy to play that we don’t like each other because we like each

            other so much. So it’s fun. We try to out bitch one another in the scenes

            actually. Michael Trucco is, unfortunately, so ugly that it’s hard to play

            love scenes with him because what girl would want to kiss a guy with blue

            eyes that looks like a Greek mythological figure, like Adonis or something

            with a body of a god. I hate him. So yes, the dynamics are awesome in

            the cast. It’s amazing. Like I said earlier, I could pinch myself because

            the job comes easy.

Moderator   Next we go to the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFiVision.com.

J. Ruby     What would be your ultimate dream role aside from this? Is there

            someone specific you want to work with in the future that you haven’t?

S. Shahi    Absolutely. Jeff Bridges is someone I’m dying to get my hands on. The

            list is so long, of course, Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock, I’m just in

            love with. Penelope Cruz, I’m crazy about. Tom Hanks, I’ve been

            infatuated with since I was eight. So if any of you guys on the call know

            any of these people, please put in a word for me.
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           Like I said earlier, I like surprising myself. I don’t know where my

           career’s going to go. I don’t know who I’m going to play. The show

           could come out and suck, and people never want to see me again, and then

           I’m going to have to find an amazing thing to do on stage. I don’t know

           what I would do; maybe do Indies for a while. I don’t know, but the

           beauty and the downfall of this business is that it is constantly a surprise

           and you don’t know what you’re going to get. I think it takes a person

           who kind of gets off on that kind of thing to do this, and I like the

           surprises. I like not knowing what’s next for me. So I don’t know what

           I’m going to do.

J. Ruby    Would you ever be interested in writing or directing?

S. Shahi   Not writing. I don’t feel like I have not even one molecule of a writer in

           my body. But directing is something that I would have interest in, not to

           sound too cliché, because I feel like every actor at some point kind of

           transitions into becoming a director. That doesn’t necessarily mean that

           they’re good. So if the right project came along, and I felt like I had the

           chops, I wouldn’t do it just to say that I could do it. I would love to, yes.
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L. Murphy   We have time for one more question.

Moderator   It’s from the line of Guillermo Paz from Series&TV.com.

G. Paz      I asked Michael Sardo the same question about one of the quotes you said

            in the premier. You said, ―I hate you. It’s simpler that way.‖ You even

            mentioned the line during this conference call. Will you discuss a little

            about what that meant? I also would like to know what that meant to you

            at the other call when you talked to Leonard and said, ―Is that you? …‖

            and you said, ―Well I am the master.‖ I think it spoke a lot of both of the

            relationships. What are your thoughts?

S. Shahi    I’m sorry, can you repeat the quote again?

G. Paz      When you said, ―I hate you; it’s simpler that way,‖ and then when you

            talked to Leonard and you said, ―Is that you? Is that you?‖ and he said,

            ―Well, I am the master.‖

S. Shahi    This was in the pilot?

G. Paz      Yes, a long time ago.
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S. Shahi   When I say to Lauren, ―I hate you; it’s simpler that way?‖

G. Paz     Yes.

S. Shahi   I’m sorry, what was your question?

G. Paz     What do you think that line represents to the whole story?

S. Shahi   You’re talking about the part when I tell Lauren— yes, when I’m telling

           her—she’s like, ―Is it me you hate or lawyers in general?‖ I just say, ―My

           mom made him happy until he met you, and I hate you for that; it’s

           simpler that way.‖ That whole thing, what that meant.

           A few things. First of all, you kind of get the impression that Kate is a no

           bullshit kind of girl. She says what she means and she means what she

           says. So she’s very straightforward so that’s one.

           Two: With Lauren and Kate, specifically she’s not making any apologies

           for how she feels about her. Kate was (inaudible). Then all the sudden he

           meets this woman who’s less than half of his age, and Kate kind of gets
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            stuck to the corner and here’s the new wife, the trophy wife, and Kate

            hates it for a lot of reasons. I think it’s just her way of saying, ―Look, I’m

            never going to like you. I’m never going to forgive you and there you

            have it.‖ She’s very unapologetic about her disdain for Lauren and she

            just tells her right there.

Moderator   Ladies and gentlemen that will conclude today’s session. I’d like to once

            again thank, Sarah, for joining us and remind everyone to tune into the

            premier of Fairly Legal on Thursday, January 20th at 10:00/9:00 Central

            on USA Network. Thanks again, and enjoy the rest of your day everyone.

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