In conjunction with our 2007 Fall TV Guide, BuddyTV will be publishing exclusive interviews with the stars of some of the hottest new shows this fall throughout the week. Check back all this week for interviews with the actors and actresses of the new shows.
Tawny Cypress hit it big last year with a role in the smash hit Heroes as Simone Deveaux, the high class woman torn between Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) and Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera). Her character’s death may have taken her out of that show, but this season she finds a new home in New Orleans with the FOX drama K-Ville. The show, which premieres Monday, September 17 at 9pm, is about that city’s police force trying to start over after Hurricane Katrina.
Tawny spoke to BuddyTV about filming K-Ville in the Big Easy, the joys of working with co-star Anthony Anderson, and having her new show in the same time slot as her old show, Heroes. Below you will find a transcript as well as the mp3 audio file of the interview.
I’m doing great. Now why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your character on this show?
Alright, well the character’s name is Ginger LeBeau, but I’m really called “Love Tap.” “Love Tap” is a really hard punch to the shoulder, and that describes the girl pretty accurately, a slap to the face.
Is she doing the punching, or is everyone doing the punching to her?
Oh no, she’s definitely doing the punching, and she would definitely punch you if you ever called her Ginger. She would never be called Ginger, it’s just far too girly. She’s the type of woman who would rather punch you across the face than give you a hug.
So do you enjoy that, playing a tomboyish character rather than a feminine kind of person?
You know, as an actress I have played so many different characters, and I’ve never gotten to play this type of masculine woman before in my life. It’s very exciting for me, there’s definitely a part of me that is very much like Ginger. And I get to play, I get to be one of the boys, and that’s a lot of fun for me. For sure, I hang out with guys all day on set, so it’s just natural that this comes out of me.
Yeah. And what first attracted you to this project, to K-Ville?
The character, for one. I mean like I said, coming off of somebody so sophisticated, who has a very large vocabulary, being able to play this character who says more with the cut of her eyes than with anything she could say, was really something I really wanted to explore. I didn’t want to play another feminine girl, so when this part came along, that was the number one draw. This character was really awesome.
Beyond that, I have family in New Orleans, so coming down here was a chance to be closer to them. I’ve never been to New Orleans. This crazy life that I lead as an actor, allows me to travel all over the world. So this is another stop in my life, that I never thought would have been on my list of places to be a year ago.
And what’s the experience of filming in New Orleans, especially with a show so about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? How is the reaction to your show filming there?
Oh, everybody’s just so happy that we’re here, everybody’s just supportive. We have background players that will just be on the set every day, and they’ll tell their stories. They’ll tell where they were during Katrina, and what they do for a living, and they just want to be there. They want to be a part of it. They are so helpful in creating the right atmosphere, and all the locals that I met are some of the most hopeful people I’ve ever met.
I’ve never met anybody who was more determined to get on with life, and to make their life the way it was before. It’s been really great. The only negative things I’ve ever heard about us being here, or the show being here, is that we make up addresses. We say we’re riding on Bourbon Street, but we’re actually Lakeview. And it’s like, you know it’s like accuracy things that the locals really call you out on.
So they’re extremely passionate about this city. I’m a New Yorker and I’m passionate about New York, but these people are so passionate about New Orleans. New Orleaners are in love with New Orleans, and rightly so, and we just hope to make it to their liking.
OK, and you mentioned being part of the cast, one of the guys. I’m wondering how you get along, because the actors come from a lot of different backgrounds and kinds of career paths. And so how does that…
All of us come from way different career paths. I think that we started getting along from day one, late night after-work karaoke sessions, and just hanging out in each other’s hotel room during the pilot. We really made the most of our time together, and it shows. These guys, I spend 14 hours a day with these guys, and it’s really a nonstop party.
I’ve never really felt like we ever got tired of each other, it’s been really great. And I do feel like one of the guys, they don’t treat me like a girl at all. Sometimes I wish that they would, but they don’t.
And who’s the best karaoke singer would you say of the cast?
Oh come on, Anthony Anderson’s part of my cast. It would have to be Anthony. Anthony is like New Orleans personified, he’s loud and obnoxious, and in-your-face and friends with everybody. He doesn’t need to drink to act like he’s having a one-man party, so definitely Anthony. No matter where we go with him, he is the party.
It always impresses me, because I would agree that I would think that Anthony Anderson, if you’ve seen him in the comedies. But then you see him in a role like this, or when he’s on FX’s The Shield, he’s surprisingly good at turning that off.
He’s completely impressed me. He is totally impressive when he is on set, the way that he gets into the character, the way that he gets into the lines. It’s wonderful to see. But I tell you, between every take there’s something else, all eyes are on Anthony for what he’s gonna do next. You feel bad for him sometimes because that’s a lot of pressure, but he loves his role, he loves being the mayor of New Orleans. And he’s good at it, so it’s cool to be in his posse.
And I guess I have just one more question, and it’s something I’m certain you’ve been asked a million times and this will be a million and one. But obviously, with K-Ville being scheduled Mondays at 9 against Heroes…
I’ve gotta tell you something – nobody’s every asked me anything about that before.
Yeah. I promise you this is the first time. Nobody’s ever made the association between the two before like that
That surprises me completely, because that’s one of the first things I noticed. I was like, “Hey, this great actress who was on Heroes is now on a show in the same time slot.” Do you think about that, or does that make you nervous, even if you weren’t on that show, to be going up against such a huge hit?
Oh, Heroes is such a great show, it really is, and I loved being a part of that show. It’s got its fan base, it’s written in stone. Its fans are gonna be addicted to it, but this is a totally different fan base. This is for people who like cop chows, who like buddy movies, who like that sort of thing, not sci-fi. This is real-life heroes. And coming off of Prison Break, which has its own fan base, it’s definitely gonna be its own thing and I’m not worried because it’s a completely different genre. Beyond that, there’s always TiVo. You can always record Heroes, especially if I’m not on it any more. What’s the point really? [laughs] No, there’s definitely room for both and it doesn’t worry me in the least.
OK, thank you very much for talking to us Tawny, and I wish you all the best on your new series.
Thank you so much, and I will continue to read your site, I really do enjoy it.
Check out our exclusive interviews with other stars of the new Fall 2007 TV season:
Jerry Minor, from Carpoolers
Bill English, from Cavemen
Joshua Malina, from Big Shots
Crystal Lowe, from Bionic Woman
Oscar Torres, from Cane
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of FOX)