From the Set: Callie Thorne gives us a quick look into the mind of NECESSARY ROUGHNESS’ Dr Dani

As a part of the trip we took to Atlanta last month to tour the set of NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, we had the great opportunity to chat with Executive Producer Kevin Dowling, as well as series stars Mehcad Brooks, Scott Cohen, and Callie Thorne.

NECESSARY ROUGHNESS is back on USA tonight, June 6, at 10/9c. A group of us had a chance to chat Season 2 with the star of the show, Callie Thorne, for just a few minutes before she had to head back to filming.  Check out what she has to say about what’s coming up this summer!

Dr. Dani has the season full when the season kicks off. Talk about getting ready for this second season and some of the fine tuning that went on.
That’s a good question about getting back into it because we did have a nice long hiatus and it is always, it’s always a little nerve racking coming back into a show and um, before this I didn’t have so much to think about.  um, this was the first time coming back into the second season of the show being um, number one on the call sheet I was very nervous about that.  And um, we luckily had about a week before we started shooting um, which was little bits of rehearsals, little bits of fittings and so the guys and I got to play and talk and hang out and we all just naturally fell back into our roles.  And uh, it, it really made the first few weeks of, of work that much more sort of giggly and fun.  Because really I think what our cast um, what we all respond to the most is laughing with each other and even if it’s dramatic scenes or silly scenes, um, that’s how we get into it with each other and I think that shows up on screen and so it was very smart for them to have us come a week ahead of time.  And then in regards to Dr. Dani I you know especially that first script coming back which I think you guys saw the first episode, right?

So there’s so much going on but everything was so wonderfully detailed.  It made it easy for us to slip back in and um, and I also really liked the fact that it wasn’t like a year later.  [LAUGH]  You know it was sort of really a perfect time to come back.  Um, the audience wasn’t struggling to remember what happened as nor were we struggling to sort of um, establish things that happened you know do, do expositions, stuff like that.  It was all, so it was like right there.  Um, so I have to say it was easier than I thought and but mainly because we all laugh a lot and we’re able to make those connections again very easily.

How does Dr. Dani help TK get through everything this season?
Well, it’s even sort of questionable when we come back if she’s really helping him at that point because he does think of her in this maternal way which I, I think kind of backfires a little bit when we come back to that.  Because now it’s almost like he’s rebelling as a child or you know a teenager or whatever would with the parent.  Um, and he isn’t accepting what really happened to him.  He’s in this sort of state of denial and, and that makes their relationship really difficult.  She can’t get through to him and so it’s interesting because I have thought of it more in terms of a mother kind of trying to get through to um, to their uh their child um, sort of try and get in any which way to get him to admit what happened because he really is um, completely um, as wild as TK was last year, he’s a wild and, and sort of extraordinary character, he’s even more so you know when we come back but not for the best reasons.  And so I, I, I think it’s really interesting the first few episodes watching Dr. Dani trying to get in there any which way and he’s not, he’s not taking it.  He’s, he’s really not um, working with her at all and that’s new, you know.  I think that is a, a new place to find them and um, and then you’ll see what happens.  [LAUGH]  If that’s good or bad for anybody.

Where does Dr. Dani get all her strength from?
I, I love that because I, I a lot of what I bring um, to the character myself is a lot of my own mother.  Um, I grew up with a single mother and um, so there’s a lot of um, of tone and behavior that I, I, I think of in terms of my own mom as well as the woman that the, the show is based on.  The character is based on a very strong woman, a very, she’s sort of you know, I’ve always said she’s this force to be reckoned with.  And that is in the writing you know because she is in the writer’s office, she’s always there to, you know, be a part of what the uh particular patient of the week is.  So she’s also there to make sure that the character is very true to herself and the circumstances that she has been in that we are now bringing you know to the screen and then I’m also thinking about my own therapist in real life.  And all three of these women are all incredibly independent, are all women that I’ve learned extraordinary things from and still do and so I, I really, I, I think that that has a wonderful mix with the, the way the writers write her and so it also sort of comes, it sort of, it falls into place that these are the women I have in my mind and the way that they write her is, is a, a it’s a very strong voice and some, sometimes that’s not true.  Sometimes you’ve got an enormous amount of homework to do in order to bring a woman like that to life.  Um, often in TV as well, it’s changed in the past few years because there’s so many incredible lead women now and um, they’re very layered.  And some of them are likable and some of them are not and that’s what women are, we’re many different things.  So I, I got all that going on and then I have the luck of good writers that, that are creating this woman alongside with me.

What sorts of insights have you gotten from the real “Dr. Dani”?
Uh, well, there’s one thing that I you know it’s, one of the things that’s really hard for me as Callie, doing a lot of the um, therapy scenes is uh you know you see someone in pain, in emotional pain and my natural instinct and I think a lot of people that I know if you have a heart that you, your, your instinct is to feel for them and to you know I want to go and give them a hug or I want to go oh my God, I know or whatever it is and what the main thing I’ve learned from Dr. Donna is that um, that place that you have to go to, that neutral place um, so that you can be a safe haven for that patient you know that they, a place that they can be honest, not feel judged, not feel like they have to impress you or whatever it is and, and it, so even as an actor I’m learning some things about what, how she’s got to present herself as a therapist help me as an actor just sitting in these scenes and I’m so, you’re so used to reacting as an actor and you know that’s what you’re taught in every class.  You know acting is reacting and but most especially in those therapy scenes I have to really um, I have to go to a certain head space um, to not give too much away and that and let those scenes really be about who I am with and, and let them tell their story so I think that’s the biggest thing I learned from her in regards to the character.  And then in my life I’ve, I’ve very much learned from her.  It’s, it’s a theme in the show as well that sometimes people just want to be listened to and it was something you know I spoke a lot about last year, too, that I have learned to be a better listener because of my conversations with her and I found myself babbling with her, talking, sometimes we talk by Skype and I’m going on and on and I feel so great afterwards and I realize she didn’t even say anything.  [LAUGH]  She just listened to me, she didn’t try to fix me, she didn’t try to you know, make parallels and say, oh I know because this happened to me and um, that’s very meaningful to me.  So those are the two things that you know I, I, I am very grateful for that I learned from her.

What are some of your favorite aspects of stepping outside of the football arena?
Well my first favorite is what happens in the second episode which is the um, or maybe it’s the third, they get, they get tangled but it’s the roller derby and um, so for several reasons.  I you know I was really excited that it was a female you know that we were focusing on a female athlete and then roller derby’s always something that I’ve always loved watching.  We, I you know I had met there, there was the girl I met three or four years ago and she was an actress who um, on her off time was this very famous New York, I think they’re really called the New York Dolls I’m not even sure but she was a very famous New York roller derby girl and she had stories that blew my mind and uh so that was very exciting to me to go to, they created you know a, a, for the show they created a roller derby arena and um, but they did it very beautifully and they got a real team together and so that was Rob Morrow’s episode and um, I think also because he’s an actor you know they got a little bit more into that sort of stuff and the actress um, that they cast as the girl with the issue um, was a real tough little cookie and she was getting really involved in it.  And so that was fun for me because I got to go and sort of be in there and um, and meet all these incredible women, these tough women um, and I think that’s what I’m very excited about in regards to the second season.  There will be way more of, of leaving the football stadium, although obviously I love going to the football stadium.  [LAUGH]  But that just makes it more exciting for me.