Jeri’s new series, Body Of Proof, just got picked up for the fall schedule by ABC. Here’s hoping the show will be successful so we can enjoy Jeri once more on a regular, weekly basis for a long time.
Jeri’s new film for Lifetime, called Secrets in the Walls, finally has a trailer out. It also stars Kay Panabaker, Danielle’s little sister who, as you probably know, co-starred with Jeri on Shark.
The trailer looks really exciting, but be warned if you can’t take scary content, that it’s pretty creepy. You can watch it HERE ON YOUTUBE.
iF magazine did an interview with the writers of Leverage and they had a lot to say about Jeri and her character, Tara.
iF: How long did it take to develop Jeri Ryan’s character Tara?
ROGERS: We knew we needed a grifter. Once we found out Gina was pregnant, we knew she would be super-pregnant in the middle of the season and we couldn’t have her running away from explosions and stuff. We like her and we want her to have her baby. But it’s funny, because she would have done it, by the way. As you saw in the finale, she was going down staircases I wouldn’t go down. She was seven and half/eight months pregnant at the time!
So TNT talked to us about actors they liked and we liked Jeri and talked to her, and that very much drove the character on that.
DOWNEY: And she fit in so well.
iF: Why did you shoot her origin story out of order? Just so you could get a grasp on her origin?
ROGERS: “The Runaway Job” script was just ready first.
DOWNEY: We had Jeri, John was in Portland, I was here, Dean was in Portland, but we didn’t have everyone in one room together to figure out what her back story was. So the decision was, let’s just start with her second episode.
ROGERS: We knew what her problems would be in the first episode and so the second episode would be integration problems and trust issue problems. We could write that. And when I came back, Chris had the idea for “The Lost Heir.”
DOWNEY: And John had the idea of “why don’t we have her con the team.” So once we had that, it worked.
ROGERS: On other shows, they get a writing assignment, they go off to their office and write. This show happens in the writers room. That’s its gift and purpose.
iF: Initially Jeri’s character polarized fans, but by the end of the season, everyone loved her.
ROGERS: Of course it’s going to be that way. Television is, “I’m inviting you people into my home every night.” Then it’s “here’s a new person, I didn’t ask for this person.” Would you be happy if someone just brought someone new to dinner? That’s the response TV fans have to new characters. We knew, they’re not going to like her, she’s going to get a couple good episodes, and they’re going to like her, because she’s a good actor. That’s how it works.
iF: What do you think Jeri brought to the team?
ROGERS: We had talked about moving the show into the crime world, which we’re doing in Season Three, which is in this black money, black market world. And Jeri has a set of shoulders on her. It looks like she can take a punch, she’s a little tougher and a little more physical and she helped us bring that vibe to the show. And also, when she went soft, like in the psychic episode, you saw what a good grifter she was.
iF Magazine did an exclusive interview with Jeri about her role as Tara on Leverage. The interview was conducted a couple of weeks ago after her first week of working on the show. You can find the original source with the interview HERE.
The Leverage finale with Jeri’s first appearance airs tonight at 9 on TNT.
On “The Lost Heir Job,” tonight’s summer finale of LEVERAGE (airing at 9:00 p.m. on TNT), Jeri Ryan (STAR TREK: VOYAGER) makes her first appearance as Tara – a new recurring character that mixes things up for the Leverage team.
While mystery shrouds Tara, iF was still able to nab an exclusive interview with Ryan shortly after her first week of shooting early this summer to discuss her new role.
Here’s what she had to say …
iF MAGAZINE: How did you get involved with LEVERAGE?
JERI RYAN: I had gone in to meet with Michael Wright, the head of TNT, who of course is a huge, huge fan of the show. They had this role coming up [on LEVERAGE] and he told me about it and the series. I had seen a couple of episodes and it was a really fun show. And I was talking to [executive producer] Dean [Devlin] and he screened some of this seasons episodes so I could catch up on what the characters have been doing. And that was it – so I came aboard.
iF: How far into shooting are you?
RYAN: This is the end of my first week of shooting. This is the character’s second episode [but isn’t the first to air]. We’re shooting out of order. Next we’ll shoot my character’s introduction.
iF: How does the team react to your appearance?
RYAN: Of course they’re all hesitant. They’re not welcoming Tara with open arms, so she has to prove herself to everybody and goes one step at a time.
iF: Are you enjoying the twists and turns when you get the scripts?
RYAN: The writing is really great and the actors are all terrific, in addition to being fun people to work with.
iF: LEVERAGE is yet another show where you’ve come in later in the run to mix things up.
RYAN: I’ve been the designated pitch-hitter for most of my career. I think SHARK is the first series I was on, that I was on from the beginning. I think every series I’ve ever done, I was added mid-way through. DARK SKIES, my first show, it only ran one season, I was added to the second half of the season. STAR TREK: VOYAGER I came in Season 4. BOSTON PUBLIC, I was added at the beginning of Season 2.
iF: I loved DARK SKIES, it was a shame it didn’t continue.
RYAN: It was a great show and a great premise. I think NBC just threw it to the wolves, which was unfortunate.
iF: What is the big difference working on LEVERAGE versus other shows you’ve been on?
RYAN: It’s a really ambitious show and schedule. The scripts are really complex stories, with a lot of action that you normally wouldn’t see on an hour TV show. They are doing some pretty amazing work, on a pretty tight schedule. It’s pretty amazing.
iF: This show also affords actors to literally play different characters each week too, which must be fun.
RYAN: For an actor it’s so much fun, you open a script and go “who am I this week?” It’s really fun. I’m looking forward to getting more into this character and I’ve already had a lot of fun with her already.
More information’s emerging about Jeri’s upcoming appearance on TNT’s Leverage. According to multiple sources, Jeri will be playing a character named Tara, and will star in a handful of episodes of the second part of the upcoming season. Her episodes will air (or at least will begin airing) in December.
The producers of the show had the following to say about Jeri and her guest stint:
Chris Downey: Jeri has a different energy to the show. We’re envisioning her more as sweet smart. She’s a grifter friend of Sophie’s. The thing we discovered last year, it was nice to mix up the dynamics of the team a bit. We had Nate’s ex-wife (played by Cari Matchett), who gave the team just a little jolt of energy by changing the dynamics a little bit.
John Rogers : If there’s one summary in the difference between Sophie’s character and Tara, Jeri Ryan’s character — Sophie is the classic European grifter: Art. Inheritance. Tiaras. Diamonds. Where Tara is really seen as the classic crime world American grifter: briefcases full of $100 dollar bills, exploding Russian freighters – that sort of thing. There is definitely a different style between the two of them, which allows us to play the cons slightly different and really mix up the energy.
To read the source and to find out more about the show, click HERE.