The new season of Prison Break brought many new faces, and while Robert Wisdom’s Lechero is one scary dude, he has nothing on Jodi Lyn O’Keefe’s mysterious Susan B. Anthony. The newest employee of the Company, Susan, as she asks to be called, is responsible for kidnapping Sara and LJ in order to get Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) to convince his brother Michael (Wentworth Miller) to break the equally mysterious James Whistler(Chris Vance) out of Sona.
BuddyTV sat down with the new face of evil on the show and was delighted to discover she was all too forthcoming about her character. O’Keefe spoke about who Susan B. Anthony is (MILD SPOILER WARNING), how she got the role, and what it’s like working on Prison Break, her family’s absolute favorite TV show. Below you will find a transcript as well as the mp3 audio file of the interview.
Hi, this is John from Buddy TV, and I’m talking to Jodi Lyn O’ Keefe, one of the new stars of FOX’s Prison Break. Hi, Jodi.
Hi, how are you?
I’m OK. Now, how did you get cast in this role, was it just a straight audition process?
It was. I’ve worked for FOX for many years, but I’ve mostly done comedy for them, and I don’t know how I ever got so lucky as to get in that room. But I did and here I am, it’s been a blessing, the whole thing.
Your character works for the Company, the mysterious organization…
The mysterious organization that nobody reports to and no one knows about.
Exactly. How much did they tell you? Like when you got this role, how much do you know about it, that audiences who just watch it don’t?
Very little, you’d be surprised. I am told on a need-to-know basis, pretty much like my character. So when things are happening and there are things I need to know about, they let me know.
Is it difficult then to play it? To think about who this character is, when you don’t fully know all of her motivations and reasons?
No, I was just given enough to start, I really was. And then as we’ve been going on, they’ve been filling me in as to my backstory, and where I came from. I learned I was in the military immediately and that I was a prisoner of war, and I had some really terrible, horrible things happen to me. Torture, that sort of thing. So that now at this point in my life, that’s how I became the person that I am, and that’s why I’m able to do the job that I do. Because none of it affects me anymore, because things were so bad then that now they told me, you’ll kill someone or eat a ham sandwich, either way, as long as you’re doing your job.
And is it difficult to play such a villainous character, kind of, do you…?
No. I don’t know, I mean, it’s been difficult because there’s so many different subtleties in the character. And at the same time it’s a woman, so there’s all that that goes along with being a woman, and being an assassin, and being a cleaner. It’s hard to balance, but I think that there’s a really dark, horrible place within all of us that we can imagine. We don’t actually act on it, but it’s there, and you can just sort of tap into that. And I got to tell you, it’s good fun being the bad guy.
And were you a fan of Prison Break before you got cast?
Yes, I was. I watched Prison Break, my entire family watched Prison Break, it’s their very favorite show. So you wanna talk about being intimidated on day one? That was me shaking in my boots. I was in a bar scene with Dominic Purcell, and I was, may as well have been in a bar with Lincoln Burrows. It just, walking onto that set being the new guy and being on a show that I absolutely adored, was completely scary and horrifying.
And then does your character get to interact with a lot of other people? Because in Sona and out of Sona, you’re probably mostly working with Dominic. Do you get a chance to work with any of the other actors as well?
I do, and I’m not allowed to talk about that yet, because it’s in later episodes. We’re already filming number nine right now, but yes, I get to interact with a few others. (laughter) You’ll be pleased.
So how much of this character is written on the page? Because when you’re playing this character, what are you bringing? Like, what do you bring that’s not written on the page? It’s just, this is your choice?
I have been told that what I’ve been bringing and the reason that I’m here is because I brought swagger. So that’s pretty much the best compliment I’ve ever been given.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of FOX)