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IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured:(l-r) Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network

Mary McCormack and Fred Weller

Back in Witness Protection

by Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: May 1, 2011. 

The popular series In Plain Sight returns to the USA Network tonight with lots of changes and some question marks, but it also has a solid core and a reinvigorated cast. 

Stars Mary McCormack and Fred Weller – who play WITSEC (Witness Protection Service) Marshalls Mary Shannon and Marshall Mann – have grown and changed into their characters. 

And change is in the air, both on screen and behind the scenes.

Season three was cut a little short due to a medical problem with then-show runner John McNamara, so with a whole new production staff the series is focusing even more on the guest roles and background stories of the witnesses who find themselves ripped out of their daily lives and plopped down in Albuquerque, NM, with a new name, a new career and no access to their old world. 

Soon after the season’s filming started, star McCormack received some happy news – but potentially complicated as far as storyline – that she was pregnant with her third child.  The series’ writers has decided to write the pregnancy into the storyline, making one of the least maternal female characters on television suddenly have to contemplate having a family.

We were recently lucky enough to be one of the websites invited to chat with McCormack and Weller to discuss the upcoming fourth season of In Plain Sight. Speaking with them together, you quickly realize the loving-but-prickly relationship between their characters is real. They joke and spar and tease and interrupt each other’s answers and laugh together almost constantly. 

First let me say, congratulations to you, Mary. 

Mary McCormack: Thank you. 

Best to you and your family. 

Mary McCormack: Thank you very much. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured:(l-r) Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Fred, I was wondering how you maintain your awesome aplomb despite Mary's rattlesnake test nest? 

Mary McCormack: She saw that one on Twitter. 

Fred Weller: Well what an interesting question. 

Mary McCormack: Be careful. 

Fred Weller: You know, I just try to roll with it and... 

Mary McCormack: Atta boy. 

Fred Weller: ...forgive, as Marshall would. But that's a very interesting question. I applaud your ingenuity with that question. 

You're welcome. I thought it up all by myself. And Mary, what do you continue to enjoy most about playing your character? 

Mary McCormack: What do I enjoy most? I don't know, I just love the character. David Maples, who created the show, just wrote a really great part. Fred's part is great too, and so is Paul Ben-Victor's. He just really wrote some three-dimensional characters. I love them. I love that Mary Shannon's really good at her job and not so good at her personal life. I like that she's cynical and sarcastic. It's just fun to play someone so grouchy. It's sort of refreshing. I can be a little bit grouchy myself so it's a comfortable fit. 

Can you tell us how your pregnancy will be worked into the storyline? 

Mary McCormack: Well, we're writing it in. I mean we're writing it in and I'm playing pregnant. I did what I had to do to get pregnant first. And now we're dealing with it. Mary Shannon, you don't think of her as necessarily maternal so it's making for some interesting story and character stuff, which is really fun to play. To me it's really interesting to see someone play pregnant who is pregnant. Because it's not altogether as pretty as when someone all chiseled up does it. It's refreshing, at least as a woman I find it refreshing to see someone who's passionate about their career and then having to try to come to terms with this new area in her life, which all women deal with. 

Fred Weller: You're every bit as pretty as any fake-o pregnant lady. 

Mary McCormack: Thanks kiddo. 

And how is Marshall going to deal with the pregnancy? 

Fred Weller: I think Marshall has a pregnancy fetish, but they haven't written that in yet, that I know of. 

Mary McCormack: I love it. You better tell the writers if you want that written. 

Fred Weller: I tried. I told Cockrell. He says he put it in the file. 

Mary McCormack: No but, you've got to tell more writers. 

Fred Weller: All right. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Because one isn't going to pay off, you need to work the crowd. 

Mary McCormack: Yes, work that in because that's hilarious if that's the case. 

Fred Weller: I'll work it. I'll look into that. 

How are they going to work the baby development into the show? 

Mary McCormack: Well, we've just started working it in so we'll see. I'm not sure where it ends up yet. It was a lot of news for the writers and they've had to act fast. They've been really sweet about it and really adaptable. When I discussed it with them and we discussed it with the network too – I think the thought was it might actually provide for… as opposed to just being sort of a wrench, it might actually provide for really an interesting development in season four. Thematically, if the theme of the season is change, it falls right into that. If Mary's whole life is changing, her mom is sober, her sister's engaged and getting married and Marshall is in this relationship which seems to be working and is sort of meaningful. Then what's she left with? All of a sudden she has this enormous change in her own life too. So I think it's going to actually be really rich for stories. 

Are you excited about this season? 

Mary McCormack: I'm excited about it. Fred, are you? 

Fred Weller: I'm extremely excited about it. And... 

Mary McCormack: Oh yes. 

Fred Weller: Yes, the impromptu nature of some of the shifts just makes it more interesting, I think. 

Mary McCormack: Yes, we're excited. It starts soon - it starts [May] 1st. And we've been working really hard so we're about halfway through shooting them. So we're excited. It's more fun when it's airing, you know? 

And so Fred, it must have been very uncomfortable in your partner's car, how's your neck? 

Fred Weller: (laughs) Yes. Yes, it was extremely uncomfortable. I'm glad that they've changed that. You know, I've got this freakish neck length and it's weird when... 

Mary McCormack: He's a tall guy. 

Fred Weller: ...50% of my height is in my neck. So it was nice that they changed that car. 

For this season, it must be hard working with Mary. And now that she's pregnant, you should find it much easier to work with her.

Fred Weller: It's funny but I haven't noticed any substantial change. I don't know if that says  more about her when she's not pregnant than it does in how she's able to handle the hormonal shift. But no apparent shift so far.

Mary McCormack: (laughs) I started out pretty cranky. 

Fred Weller: Yes, she might have been maxed out on crankiness already. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Fred, like Mary stated earlier, you do get a love story this season. How does that change the dynamic between Marshall and Mary? 

Fred Weller: Well, Marshall's feelings are now inevitably more submerged – his feelings for Mary. They're more submerged, like underground lava or tunneling Vietcong. They are more dangerous. 

Mary McCormack: Oh my God, I want to throw up.

Fred Weller: They're more dangerous there. I mean, I didn't have anything prepared, but that's what I would say. 

Mary, like you said, "This is a season of change," but your character doesn't really seem to be a fan of change. 

Mary McCormack: No, she hates that. 

So what can we expect from her emotionally through the season? 

Mary McCormack: Well I think she's confused. Like in the first episode you see her expecting her sister to fall right into old patterns and it turns out she really hasn't. So that kicks off the theme. She just doesn't - it's one of those things, If your whole life is spent taking care of other people, and then those other people randomly either get sober or learn how to take care of themselves, I think her identity's in question. A big part of her is sort around feeling smug and proud of herself for being the only adult in the room and now she's not the only adult in the room. It's interesting. I mean for her it's a big shift. Now on top of it she's becoming the one thing she never wanted to be, which is a mother. So we'll see. I don't know what they have in store. I'm halfway through the season. And these poor writers, I only told them I was pregnant a few episodes in, so they're scrambling. But it should be exciting. 

This is the fourth season, that's no small feat. What do you think it is about the show that keeps viewers coming back? 

Mary McCormack: Do you want to go Fred? 

Fred Weller: Boy, well I think it's a great drama with a sense of humor. And I don't think that's a very common combination on television. 

Mary McCormack: Yes, also to me, something USA does really well is character stuff. Our show, even if you weren't interested in the procedural side of it, or the witness protection side of it, the character relationships are really rich and fresh and funny. I love reading the scenes between me and Fred or I love Paul Ben-Victor's character so much. So I think that's a big part of it. But I also do think witness protection just makes for exciting stories. It's a really rich place to grab stories from. People starting over completely, saying goodbye to their lives before – it never ends in terms of story opportunities. 

I have a a two-part question; but the first part is there are a couple of things I really enjoyed last season which included the incredibly or increasingly introspective monologue, making Stan stronger, stabilizing Mary's family, showing even more of Marshall's ability to read Mary, while also showing both of them working apart. Are any of those items going to be carried over to the new season, or are there going to be any new changes overall to the format? 

Mary McCormack: No, I think those are all changes that are continuing. I mean the first one you mentioned was the monologues. Are you referring to the voice-overs? 

Yes, yes. 

Mary McCormack: Yes, those will continue and be written in the same way. One of my favorite things about – and then I'll let Fred address the rest – one of my favorite things about the voice-overs at least from my perspective, is that Mary Shannon is a person who doesn't let people in. She barely lets Marshall in and he's the closest person in her life to her. So to me it's opportunity for the audience to just know the real her. What's nice is the audience has a really intimate relationship with her, even though she doesn't really allow anyone else to. I love those and I think they're beautifully written. And so, yes I know that is continuing. What were the other things? The stabilization of the family is continuing obviously, along with our theme of this year – Brandi is engaged and getting married. So far her relationship seems to be going great. My mother is still sober and doing great. So that's all confusing for Mary Shannon, but I think in an interesting way. And then Marshall's – what was the thing about you? 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "The Art of the Steal" Episode 401 -- Pictured: (l-r) Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann, Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network Fred Weller: Marshall's insight into [Mary]. There are fewer bits about Marshall's ability to read Mary, but it's very much part of their everyday relationship. 

Mary McCormack: Yes. 

Fred Weller: It's interesting. I mean the pregnancy obviously is the huge shift around which all other shifts are defined. It's interesting how that forms your relationship with your mother and sister of course. 

Mary McCormack: And you. 

Fred Weller: And your relationship with Marshall. Yes. 

Mary McCormack: Yes. 

Fred Weller: It's a definitely a huge twist. I don't think they could have planned a better one. 

Mary McCormack: I'm always thinking of the work Fred, even when I'm family planning. When I family plan I try to put the show first. 

Fred Weller: (laughs) Well done. 

Mary McCormack: Yes. That's the way I work. Total pro. 

In Plain Sight was cut short last season, are there any unfinished story lines that you might incorporate for this season, such as Allison Janney's character, the return of Mary's brother or even –  although Marshall does have his girlfriend – his former feelings for Mary? 

Mary McCormack: That is a really good question. We have new show runners this year, so it's a bit confusing. I haven't heard any mention of the brother coming back this season. Although everyone was a big fan of that actor's work, I thought he was sensational. We do mention him this season. I don't know if there's a plan to have him back later in the season. I'm not 100%. But hopefully we'll have him back eventually if not this season, next season, because he was sensational. Allison Janney is busy unfortunately on another TV show right now [Mr. Sunshine with Matthew Perry]. But she's one of my best girlfriends in the world, so I will call her once a week to harass her. See what we can do, and then... 

Fred Weller: We do have some other West Wing alum. 

Mary McCormack: Oh, yeah. This year we have… 

Fred Weller: Well, at least one. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "Crazy Like a Witness" -- Pictured: (l-r) Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann, Bradley Whitford as Adam WIlson -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network Mary McCormack: Bradley Whitford shows up this year. And we might have Richard Schiff back, I don't know because we still have a lot of season to write... 

Fred Weller: That would be great. 

Mary McCormack: But Richard Schiff was in an earlier one in season… I think he was Season… golly, I don't know, one or two. Or two or three. [Ed. note: It was a season two episode called “Aguna Matatala.”] Anyway, but Bradley Whitford does episode two this season. So it was wonderful to get him down. 

Will we ever return to Marshall's former feelings for Mary? Although... 

Mary McCormack: Good question. 

...someone already asked that question. 

Mary McCormack: Yes. 

Fred Weller: (dramatically) We'll never leave them. 

Mary McCormack: We'll never leave them. 

Fred Weller: The lover deprived. 

Mary McCormack: It's always there, and this season it is interesting because all the sudden I'm pregnant which is confusing in terms of our feelings for each other. Then there's also his new relationship which throws a wrench in it. You see all the stuff percolating along the way. We never leave that story all together, because it's just there. It's in their friendship and their friendship is so close that it's obviously somehow more than that, all the time. 

Although the writers said that they - are there - they're write - working on your pregnancy, is it possible that you would serve as a surrogate mother for a witness? This is something that was brought up by one of the other writers for my site. 

Mary McCormack: Would I serve as surrogate mother for a witness? 


Mary McCormack: No, no. 

Fred Weller: Oh wow, that's complicated. 

Mary McCormack: No. You mean if like a witness came to me and said, “I’m going to implant you with my egg and some fellow's sperm, and will you be a gestational surrogate?” 

Fred Weller: Or do you mean, would she give up the baby... would she allow a witness to adopt the baby that she's carrying? 

No more just serving as the surrogate mother for a witness… 

Mary McCormack: Definitely not. Mary Shannon is not really keen on – I guess anyone who watches the show can guess this and it's not like we're taking a unexpected stance – she's not really into pregnancy. (chuckles) She didn't even want to do it for herself and she definitely wouldn't do it for someone else for sport or money. No way. She'd be like, good luck... She's not built that way. No. I'm not a surrogate. I made it myself the old fashioned way. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "The Art of the Steal" Episode 401 -- Pictured: (l-r) Joshua Molina as Peter Alpert, Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network You mentioned Bradley Whitford; what was it like having him on the set? And I hope Josh Malina has some scenes with him. 

Mary McCormack: (laughs) It was great having him on the set. I mean he's a complete clown. I'll just tell this really quick anecdote about Brad. A lot of people know this already, but Bradley and Josh Malina have a really long history of pulling pranks on each other and teasing each other. When we were doing The West Wing, Brad Whitford wrote a script and he made Josh Malina's character, Will Bailey, say maybe five different times during the script, “I'm a terrible actor, I can't act.” So in this episode that Brad Whitford came down to shoot, Josh called me and said, “Please, please talk to the writers and have them write a scene where Bradley says he can't act and he's a terrible actor.” Whatever. So we did it, and unfortunately it's not in the episode – we ended up not shooting the scene. We were late one night and we didn't really need the scene. Like it was kind of shoe-horned in there. (laughs again) It was a great little monologue. We had him say “I can't act. I'm a terrible actor. I'm the worst actor on the planet, don't make me lie.” It was wonderful. I was so proud of myself. And I would have scored big points with Malina forever. But in the end we didn't shoot it and Bradley won the day, so he was thrilled. 

Now, what is it about Mary and Marshall that you can relate to the most and why? 

Mary McCormack: That's for you Fred. 

Fred Weller: I guess Marshall's fondness for Mary, because she is so intriguing and beautiful. 

Mary McCormack: Oh my gosh. I didn't see that coming. 

Fred Weller: Yeah, well whenever I can talk first I like to throw you for a loop so you can't say something mean about me. 

Mary McCormack: I'm confused. (laughs) I love the relationship between Marshall and Mary. It's a great. We have a lot of fun with it, Fred and I. I mean Fred and I aren't too far from our characters, and so… yeah, I don't know, we just have a good time. We should hate each other by season four, and we love each other. So we have a really good day at work, when we get to work together. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "Crazy Like a Witness" -- Pictured: (l-r) Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann, Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network And are we going to be seeing Steven Weber again this season? 

Mary McCormack: So far, no. Although you never know. I don't know if I'm allowed to say. So far it's... 

Fred Weller: But you can encounter him on Twitter every five minutes. 

Mary McCormack: Yes, follow him on Twitter. Or forget him, follow me on Twitter. 

Fred Weller: Hey, me too. I'm on Twitter now. 

Mary, this is the fifth time for me to talk to you, which... 

Mary McCormack: Well how nice to hear from you again. 

Yes, it qualifies you for a free set of steak knives. 

Mary McCormack: I'll take them. I'm not proud. 

Fred Weller: Nice. 

Mary McCormack: Send them my way. 

Fred Weller: Do I get the Cadillac or am I fired? 

So for both of you, in past seasons when I'd watch the show, I can't shake the feeling sometimes that if In Plain Sight had been made in the '80s, Mary's role would have been played by a guy and Marshall would have been the sidekick in the skirt. Do you agree? I guess that won't work anymore this season, will it? 

Mary McCormack: Well I don't know, I think even knocked up I'm still pretty butch. 

Fred Weller: Do you really have to tee up a crack like that for her, about me wearing a skirt? I mean it's just a meatball coming up for the plate. 

Mary McCormack: He is way girlier than I am. I mean, I'm in and out of hair and makeup in no time, but Fred's in there all day. 

Fred Weller: (laughs) That's a bold-faced lie. 

Mary McCormack: It's true. It's one of the refreshing things about the show David Maples created, is that none of the characters are really what [you expect], everyone's a surprise. In the first season he had this black detective [played by Todd Williams] who had a line where he said [his name was], "Detective Dershowitz," and we all looked at each other like, "Huh?" Then Stan – I think Stan's character's a total surprise. Because usually the boss on cop shows is like, "You have one day to close this case or you're fired." He's not that guy at all, he sort of has no control. Mary Shannon acts like a man in many, many ways and Marshall's completely girly – just kidding. 

Fred Weller: Okay, come on. 

Mary McCormack: Just kidding. I'm kidding. I'm kidding – I'm teasing him. But I think all the characters are drawn in ways that are surprising. It's one of the things I love most about the show. 

Okay, so Fred if you were to answer that, the only part that would be different is that Marshall would have been the sidekick that's a guy, right? 

Mary McCormack: Yeah, go ahead Fred. 

Fred Weller: That's right. No I love the twist on that dynamic. It is always fun. Geez, was it this season or last season when – the basketball thing, that was this season right? That's not out yet, right? When I'm talking about shooting the rock? 

Mary McCormack: Oh yes, that's this season. 

Fred Weller: That's this season, right? 

Mary McCormack: Yes, yes. 

Fred Weller: Yes, okay. I can't blow any cracks then. I can't blow it. Anyway, yes, anytime that I can accuse her of being overly masculine and she can accuse me of being feminine, I think it's a very amusing dynamic. 

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Fred, I asked Mary this once before, so this is just for you, okay? Is it barely possible that you were the type of kid who played cops and robbers? And if so, is this show in a way, like reliving that? Is it like playing all the time? 

Fred Weller: You don't realize the extent to which the cops and robbers you played as a kid inform your career choice, until you strap on that gun. Then suddenly it all comes back. It's a weird Proustian flashback thing, where you're like, "Oh of course, this is why I'm doing this." Yes, absolutely. 

You just have better props now... 

Mary McCormack: Way better... 

Fred Weller: That's right. That's right. I mean the structure... 

Mary McCormack: We have actual Glocks, not sticks. 

Fred Weller: It is such a rush – especially on the days when you actually get to shoot it and they put the half-load blanks in, there's a little kick and it's fantastic. 

The writing is so sharp on In Plain Sight. Do either of you read mystery fiction? And if so, who do you read? 

Mary McCormack: Oh, I don't. Do you Fred? 

Fred Weller: A little bit. I got into Harlen Coben after that French thriller based on his book Tell No One, which I love. That was just an astonishing movie. And let's see, who else? Most of the fiction I read is not mystery fiction. But now and then, once a year I'll pick one up.

Fred, I saw you in Take Me Out. And Mary I saw you on Broadway in Boeing-Boeing. Do either of you plan to do any more stage work?

Fred Weller: Yes.

Mary McCormack: Fred does a play almost every year.

Fred Weller: Yes. Whereas Mary flies in every ten years and gets nominated for a Tony, which is kind of infuriating.

Mary McCormack: It's not about the awards Fred. The awards don't matter. Look that's not why we're in this, you know? I mean Tony-schmoney. It's not important.

Fred Weller: (laughs) The face consolation that's meant to hurt.

Mary McCormack: (chuckles) I would like to do more stage work. I mean for me, it's just finding the time. We're in New Mexico seven months out of the year. So Fred and I have to be really stealth about what we choose to do in our off-time. And the last few years I've been having these little babies. But Boeing-Boeing was one of the happiest times in my whole life. I mean it's such a stupid farce. It was so much fun. I don't think I've ever laughed harder, more. So I would love to do some more theater, soon as I get this baby out and nursed.

And Fred are you doing another play this year?

Fred Weller: Well I'm waiting to hear about something right now. But my wife and I are planning to experiment this fall with moving to Los Angeles. So that would probably impinge on the New York theater. But maybe I'll do another Indie film that no one ever sees, which is sort of my other modus operandi.

Mary McCormack: Hobby.

Fred Weller: Yes, big hobby, exactly.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Mary, you had mentioned earlier you have new show runners for this season. How is it different with the new show runners? I know that David Maples obviously did the first couple of seasons and John McNamara was there last season before his medical problem. How is the show changed and how does it stay the same with the different people taking over?

Mary McCormack: You know it's interesting because obviously the characters stay the same, and that's what their job is. All of them, from John McNamara and now Decter and Strauss – Ed Decter and John Strauss are our new show runners. Luckily they've all been fans of the show. So they didn't' come in sort of saying, “well we think this,” or “we want to make big changes.” They've all been really respectful and sweet, and just fans, wanting to continue the show down the path that it was on. Which is a relief; for Fred and me it's a relief because we love the show that David created and the tone, which is really special and a little bit hard to write. So we've been lucky. I mean I think McNamara did an excellent job. And John and Ed are doing a really good job too. Every show runner comes in with some changes. I mean they hire new writers and they, I think this year we have new opening theme music might change. There's always a few changes. But tonally the show, hopefully is the same. There's a few new characters in the office. And McNamara introduced some who won't be there. There's some new people this year that the new show runners came in with some ideas about characters they wanted to introduce. But it's all along the same lines, which is good.

Well with the new writers, obviously you've been with these characters for four seasons now, so you guys have a pretty strong idea of what they will do and what they're like and everything.

Mary McCormack: Yes.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA NetworkDo you get much input in shaping the characters with the writers at this point?

Mary McCormack: We do. They're really sweet. I mean I have to say, I met with John and Ed yesterday and I was thanking them for that. Because Fred and I have been there since the beginning. And so we do feel a responsibility to the show and the voices of the characters. John and Ed are really collaborative and said, "You know, it's going to be a learning curve" when you're writing someone else's show. If you created the show… I mean if David were to write it, he could write it in his sleep. But for any other writer there's a little bit more work involved, in terms of getting to know the characters and then writing for them. But they're doing great and they're really collaborative. If I call and say, "I'm not sure she'd say this, but it might be this," they're just completely on-board with making changes, which is great.

Do you have any dream scenarios for Mary and/or Marshall - something as an actor you'd just love to play?

Fred Weller: Wow, well every season I'd like to see a payoff on Mary's father search. I think that's a great subplot. Personally I'd like to see some payoff every season on Marshall's feelings for Mary, which is of course, those are...

Mary McCormack: Striving.

Fred Weller: ...those feelings are really interesting in this season with the...

Mary McCormack: Yes.

Fred Weller: ...my girlfriend and her pregnancy.

Mary McCormack: I agree.

Also Fred, sort of on a side note, I really enjoyed your guest appearances on The Good Wife. Was that show fun to do...

Fred Weller: Thank you.

... and was it...

Mary McCormack: Cheater!

...interesting to play a character who is definitely so different from Marshall? 

Mary McCormack: Oh brother.

Fred Weller: Yes it was very… (laughs) Well the most...

Mary McCormack: I mean honestly.

Fred Weller: Really the best thing about it was the extent to which my taking that job has provoked Mary...

Mary McCormack: (mocking) Oh, Julianna Margulies, wooh!

Fred Weller: ...on Twitter and off.

Mary McCormack: Honestly, you shouldn't cheat on other TV shows. It's one thing to go do a play. Enjoy. Mazel Tov. Break a leg.

Fred Weller: (laughs) I really enjoyed doing it. Speaking of Twitter, somebody said that she considered my character on that show, "Evil Marshall," which is kind of an interesting twist. Yes, it's nice to be somebody who's somewhat sinister and darker than Marshall.

Mary McCormack: Huh. I didn't see it.

Fred Weller: You didn't watch it?

Mary McCormack: No, believe me. Nor should anyone.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "Love in the Time of Colorado"-- Pictured: (l-r) John Asher as Jimmy Hart, Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network How do you guys feel about having the day you're on changed? And how do you think it'll affect your viewing?

Mary McCormack: I'm not sure, I mean...

Fred Weller: Well it's...

Mary McCormack: Go ahead Fred. Go ahead.

Fred Weller: This is sort of a new/old time. We should refer to it as...

Mary McCormack: It's our original time.

Fred Weller: It's a retro time at this point.

Mary McCormack: Yes, we were on Sunday nights at 10:00 originally and it was a great slot for us. Then it went to Wednesday nights at 10:00. We did pretty well on a much busier night. So we were proud of how we did there. But I think Sunday night works great. We were always happy there. Programming is a little out of my area of expertise. But I know we did great on Sunday nights at 10:00. So I'm happy to be there.

If you guys had the choice to do a crossover, what would be the show that you would like to see crossover with?

Mary McCormack: Does it have to be a USA show?


Mary McCormack: Because if it's a USA show, I would do Psych.

Fred Weller: A crossover means the same characters going to different shows?

Mary McCormack: Yes. Come on Fred. I would do 30 Rock. That's my favorite show on TV, besides In Plain Sight, Sunday nights at 10:00. But if it was a USA show I would do Psych.

Fred Weller: Well I think it's okay to say 30 Rock because it's still owned by the same company, right?

Mary McCormack: Well it doesn't matter; it's never going to happen. It's a fantasy question. You're crazy.

Fred Weller: No just because I don't want to plug non-company networks right now.

Mary McCormack: I would always plug Tina Fey's 30 Rock, because it's you know, sensational.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "Second Crime Around" -- Pictured: (l-r) Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA NetworkWe have an absolute fantasy show that you wanted to crossover with. How about that?

Mary McCormack: Yes, come on Fred it's not that hard of a question.

Fred Weller: I'd have to say 30 Rock because that is my favorite show on television besides In Plain Sight. It's an amazing show.

Mary McCormack: Right, like I can't crossover onto Survivor, but I would like to.

That would be interesting. Would you be yourself or would you be Mary on it then?

Mary McCormack: I don't know. I love Survivor. I love reality TV. I love reality TV and I love 30 Rock and I love In Plain Sight – Sunday nights at 10:00.

Fred Weller: You may have come up with an interesting idea, to play a character, a fictional character on reality TV.

Mary McCormack: And I love Psych. I love Psych as well.

I have to apologize to Mary.

Mary McCormack: Oh go ahead, I'll take an apology. What happened?

I have to apologize to Mary because I've kind of egged on your little Twitter war with Josh Malina.

Mary McCormack: Oh that's okay. That's okay, I like a Twitter war. I don't mind egging on because I egg on Josh and Dule [Hill, of Psych and formerly of The West Wing]. So I'm an egger. We're eggers. I respect an egger.

How do you like having Josh on the show with you?

Mary McCormack: It's a nightmare. It's a complete nightmare. No, he's all right. I mean, I love Josh. We love him.

In the season premiere, “The Art of the Steal,” Stan puts his foot down in regard to new personnel because the place is understaffed. In terms of procedure how long does Mary put up with Stan's new regime?

Mary McCormack: Yes he does. I forgot, he did put his foot down about the new hire, right? She puts up with that because she can't ultimately boss him around too much. But she fights back when she can.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- "Meet the Shannons" -- Pictured: (l-r) Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon, Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Cathy Kanavy/USA Network What can you tease about some of your guest stars? I'm thinking Bradley Whitford, DW Moffett, John Delancey and Ali Marsh? What can you say about those?

Mary McCormack: Oh Ali Marsh – you want to talk about Ali Marsh, Fred?

Fred Weller: Ali Marsh is a great actress.

Mary McCormack: Great. She plays Dr. Finkle, the therapist.

Fred Weller: The latent sexual tension between Marshall and Dr. Finkle will appear a bit. I think there's a really...

Mary McCormack: Did you know that Ali Marsh is Fred's wife in real life? So it's not that latent.

Fred Weller: There's a very interesting subplot with Dr. Finkle in… what is it, episode three? … where she's calling Marshall in for therapy and it seems like she's doing it really because she wants to date him. I loved it. I thought it was a great idea.

Mary McCormack: Yes, it was a great idea. And she's an excellent actress and fun to have around. So those are always good days at work. Brad Whitford was a blast. He's funny as anything. I loved working with him on The West Wing. So I was really happy when he said he'd come down and do one. He's also incredibly talented, for such a goofball. I watched the episode and I was like: “Oh gosh, you always forget how incredibly skilled as an actor he is.” And DW Moffett I'd never gotten to work with and I'm a huge fan of his so that was a real treat. Yes, it was great. We've had some really good actors come down. And hopefully … we're only starting episode nine now … so hopefully we'll get a bunch more. We've been lucky.

Now Mary, how do you see the future of Mary and Mike playing out after the season three finale?

Mary McCormack: Who's Mike? Oh, Mike Faber?

Fred Weller: Mark? Oh.

Mary McCormack: I was like, “Who's Mike?” I always call him Faber. I don't know how much I'm allowed to say because of this whole pregnancy thing. I just don't know what I'm allowed to say. I don't want to be a bore and be all coy, but I might have to be a bore and be coy. I'm sorry.

Okay well let me word it this way, how would you like to see it play out?

Mary McCormack: Well that doesn't help. (laughs) That's not going to trick me.

Fred Weller: Can I just say that even when you're trying to be a bore, you're intriguing?

Mary McCormack: Thank you Fred. Yes I don't know if I'm allowed to say because I think there's a little bit of a whodunit with my pregnancy, so I don't want to spoil anything and then get in trouble.

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network All right, I understand.

Mary McCormack: What else?

Fred Weller: Can I just ask...

Mary McCormack: Let me answer something else because I feel guilty now.


Fred Weller: Can I just ask, Mary; if Mary had a dream that was kind of realistic about Mike Faber, how would that play out?

Mary McCormack: I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Thank you Fred. Now you're just being a smart ass.

Mary McCormack: I know, exactly.

Fred Weller: Sorry.

Mary McCormack: Now you know what I live with. What I put up with.

How's the Albuquerque heat affecting the pregnancy?

Mary McCormack: It's not bad. I get that question quite a bit. I think people have a misconception about New Mexico. We have four seasons that are incredibly specific. Like right now we're in a beautiful, beautiful spring. It's kind of like the East Coast. Then summer hits, like the East Coast it hits in sort of late June and July and August. Then we did move into a gorgeous fall. And then a snowy winter. So it's not as hot as everybody thinks. I mean August is no joke, it gets pretty desert hot. But right now we're enjoying a beautiful spring there.

So the heat's not beating you down?

Mary McCormack: No. The cold was tough when I was down there; when we first started in January and February and I was in the first couple months of pregnancy. That was less fun than it could have been.

Fred, what are some of the interesting things you've discovered about Marshall over the course of playing him for three seasons?

Mary McCormack: That's a good question.

Fred Weller: Well gosh, I once gave a really long-winded answer to this and I've been trying to keep it short. I think that he's a romantic. I think that he looks at himself and Mary kind of like that famous Isaiah Berlin essay about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy – about the humanities divided into the foxes and the hedgehogs. And I think he thinks of himself as a hedgehog and Mary as a fox.

Mary McCormack: Oh dear.

Fred Weller: To elaborate, the hedgehogs define all of existence by one controlling idea and the foxes see existence as a vast variety of controlling ideas.

Mary McCormack: Is this the short version?

IN PLAIN SIGHT -- Season:4 -- Pictured: Frederick Weller as Marshall Mann -- Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network Fred Weller: (laughs) And for Marshall to control the idea is love. And Mary has no controlling...

Mary McCormack: Oh lord.

Fred Weller: ...has no one controlling idea. Well look, I mean I don't know. I tried to keep it short by ending it with just the fox and the hedgehog thing. But then it...

Mary McCormack: Oh God.

Fred Weller: ...seemed like there needed more.

Mary McCormack: Oh lord.

Fred Weller: Sorry.

Mary McCormack: Aren't you glad you asked?

Can't wait to transcribe that.

Mary McCormack: Yes, that'll be fun.

Fred Weller: My deepest apologies.

Mary McCormack: So glad that you spun out on that. (laughs) It's awesome.


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#1 © 2011 Robert Ascroft. Courtesy of USA Network. All rights reserved.
#2 © 2011 Robert Ascroft. Courtesy of USA Network. All rights reserved.
#3 © 2011 Robert Ascroft. Courtesy of USA Network. All rights reserved.
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#15 © 2011 Robert Ascroft. Courtesy of USA Network. All rights reserved.
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Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: May 1, 2011.  

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