Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Marcia Gay Harden

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Marcia Gay Harden

Article excerpt

Academy and Emmy award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden is taking on the emergency room in CBS's new medical drama "Code Black." Off screen the 56-year-old is the mother of three children with former husband Thaddaeus Scheel. Born in La Jolla, Calif., she moved often with her family, living in Greece, Japan and Germany as well as several cities in the U.S. "Code Black" debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. (Go to post-gazette.com to hear the full interview in podcast)

Your new character on "Code Black" seems to be a tough, emotions- in-hand kind of person who is suppressing or repressing a lot. Is that challenging to play?

If she was a man, would you say he was suppressed or repressed? You might say he is in control. He is professional. So I don't try to use judgment words for her. I try to know that she has a history, and she has a job she has to do, and the professional requirements are not to have the personal seep in.

Is it easy for you to lose yourself in a character?

I do lose myself in a character [laughing], sometimes much to my children's dismay. [They say] "Mom, come back. Please, dear God, come back!"

That is funny. I was going to ask if you ever bring the character's issues home with you.

Not their issues, but their sounds. If I'm trying to learn an accent, I bring it home. So for "Pollock" or this character I did for "The Maiden Heist," she was even more extreme. [Breaks into a strong New York accent] How they were talking was so New York. You can only learn an accent if you are using it in your own words all the time. So I was making them breakfast and using it. "Mom, stop it!" [laughing] They were ready to mutiny.

I am sure that is interesting to them on some level.

Sometimes, but I am sure it was more irritating. On the other hand, they can do something I can't do, which are pristine English accents because they all grew up on "Harry Potter," watching it again and again. …

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