Talking TV with CRIMINAL INTENT guest star Laura Harring

Image from Photo credit: Kris deWitte

On tonight’s all new episode of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, Laura Harring (who a lot of you know from MULHOLLAND DRIVE or GOSSIP GIRL, and who I remember from SUNSET BEACH) plays the matriarch of a powerful political family who will go to great lengths to protect her own.

I had the chance to spend some time talking to Laura this morning about what’s great about tonight’s all new episode, what the plan might be for a return to GOSSIP GIRL, why filming a movie in South America is so freeing, and the state of women in TV and film!  It was a delight to talk to her, and I think you’ll really enjoy reading what she has to say!

I’ve been loving CRIMINAL INTENT this season – I’m excited to see what your character adds.  Tell me a little bit about tonight’s episode!
It’s great.  Lately, I’ve found this little niche, and I feel like playing these darker roles that I’ve been getting introduced me to a whole new world within acting.  Very very exciting.  I’ve always had a very strong imagination, so I’m feeling lucky to have found a little niche, playing a dark role, a very powerful character.  A fierce matriarch.  I’ve always been a huge fan of all of the LAW AND ORDERs.  I feel like these shows are written really carefully, very, very smartly.  And some of them are based on true stories, so I could watch one after another after another.  I feel so lucky that I was able to work opposite Jeff Goldblum who is very talented.

He brings a whole different energy.  It sounds like working with him is great.
I worked with Jeff, and then José Zúñiga played my husband.  He was wonderful to work with, too.  Good chemistry, good harmony on set.  Good vibe.  When you have that, you’re pretty set for an episode, so I felt really lucky to have that.  Sometimes, people get stressed out, so it’s hard.  This episode, we were joking around, we had fun, we had a lot of fun doing it. Even though the theme is strong.   The LAW & ORDER have the strong themes.  I agree, I think Jeff brings a different quality to the show than the past actors.  Certainly unique and very interesting.

Why should we tune in tonight?
It’s very intriguing.  I’ve always had a fascination with shows where there’s a twist and a turn.  I love a TV show that surprises you.  If you like to be surprised then you will be surprised tonight!

Let’s talk GOSSIP GIRL.  They left it open ended for a return.  Is there any talk about bringing your character back?
You know, GOSSIP GIRL has so many twists and turns, and I’m just excited to see how the next season unfolds.  I think that every body likes to keep a mystery.  I’m never too sure about anything when it comes to TV.  People change their minds all the time, so we’ll see!  Very mysterious! [laughs]

What else is coming up for you these days?
I’m actually producing and have written an abstract film.  This summer, I’m going down to Brazil and Argentina to do the final touches on it, so we can begin production.  I’m very excited because I always had this dream of producing and writing.  The next step will be directing.  For now, I’m so excited.  Film-making in South America is so relaxed.  It’s such a creative ambiance.  They don’t have a lot of unions and rules and regulations, so you’re pretty much free flowing with a group of artists.  And if people need to take a creative break and have a cappuccino in the middle of making a movie, they will.  It’s so much fun, it’s just so refreshing.  I love that area.  It’s like being in Europe but it’s got the feel of Latin America.  The food is amazing, the music.  I’m a tango dancer, so you can imagine how much fun it is for me.

I’ve never been to South America – I want to visit so many different countries!
Oh yeah, you have to go!  It’s so different, you know?  You really feel the hospitality is amazing.  The terrain, and the food is so rich.  And the music is so alive.  You feel very alive.  I love traveling, I love everywhere in the world, I really do.  I think that the fact that I’m actually being creative in a different venue, writing versus being in front of the camera.  They want me to be in front of the camera, so that’s another thing that we’re going to discuss, but it’s very exciting for me to be finally producing something, finally writing something.  It’s a very creative process.

There have been a lot of strong female roles, characters popping up on television over the past few years.  Is that something you could see yourself doing, a show like DAMAGES where Glenn Close really owns the show?
That would be beautiful.  I would love to do that.  I’m very open right now to these strong characters.  I really feel that playing these roles have introduced me to a whole new world that I love.  Sometimes, going deep, it takes a lot of focus, attention, and imagination.  If you’re always playing the nice one, it’s just easy.  I find that the strong female roles are very indicative of the world as it is today.  There are a lot of strong women that will not be pushed over.  Who are assertive, who have opinions, and it’s exciting to see all that on television.  You know, and then there’s the category of women who have gone crazy.  I love playing that too.  I’ve had my fair share of playing victims and abused women and I’m kind of liking the other side of the spectrum.

It’s nice to hear that you’re doing the writing and producing.  That’s become a new “thing” as women are finally putting their mark on the arts.  It’s weird that it’s taken so long to get where we are, and there’s so much more that still needs to be done!
Yes, I think we’re right on schedule, though!  Since the year 2000 turned, a lot of people, I don’t know if you believe in numerology, but 2 is supposed to be a feminine year.  And I think through history, women were suppressed and less important than, and in reality, we give birth.  We bear children and it’s a very creative, natural process.  I think that because of that, and our strong intuition, we are destined for creativity and for having a voice and speaking our mind and speaking to what’s right and staying in the heart.  This is a time to stay in the heart.  I’m really happy to see more and more people writing stories that have to do with love and the heart, and what’s right, to keep this world together and connected on a positive route!