Playing a CIA analyst doesn’t come easy for actress Katherine Heigl. She says stepping into the shoes of daily briefer Charleston Tucker on NBC’s new drama “State of Affairs” has truly been a challenge.
Memorizing lines is one thing, but having to look like you are knowledgeable enough on CIA lingo to brief the President Alfre Woodard is a completely different story. “I have no idea what I’m talking about,” Heigl admits to Zap2it on the set of “State.”
“I’m doing it on the fly as I go now,” the actress says of her process. “I have a really wonderful PA who has volunteered to go through every script and anything she doesn’t know what it means she’ll put definitions and tab each page for me. I can just flip to the page and the scene and know what everything is. That’s been really useful.”
Heigl also tells Zap2it it helps to have two advisors on the program who have done this job in real life. “We have Rodney [Faraon] and Hank [Crompton] who are ex-CIA and also producers on this who have been such a wealth of information,” she says. Both Heigl and creator Joe Carnahan admit it has been extremely helpful to be able to run ideas by the two men to make the show as realistic as possible.
The next time Heigl’s Charlie Tucker briefs the President on a mysterious and technical matter of national security and looks like she understands it, just know a lot of work went into developing that confident approach.
“State of Affairs” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.