BY JONATHAN SOROFF
WERE YOU A GREY’S ANATOMY FAN BEFORE YOU WERE ON THE SHOW?
I was having my second kid, and we were getting Lipstick Jungle off the ground, so I didn’t have time to watch every episode, but I’ve always admired all the actors and the writing and Shonda Rhimes, (the creator and executive producer). I’ve always thought it was an amazing show.
FAVORITE LEADING MAN?
Denzel Washington. He’s my dream, dream, dream (and repeat three more times) actor I’d love to work with. I just have such tremendous respect for him.
FANTASY LOVE-SCENE PARTNER?
I think I’ve been pretty fortunate in that respect, between Kiefer [Sutherland] and all the other actors I’ve worked with. It hasn’t quite gotten there with my character and Owen [played by Kevin McKidd], but it’s certainly headed in that direction.
HOW MUCH DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT MEDICINE?
How to put on a Band-Aid? Let’s put it this way: When I did my first OR scene, I was like, “Where’s the knife?” And they were all like, “It’s called a scalpel.”
IF YOU WERE AN INSECT, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
A grasshopper, because they sing with their legs.
WHEN YOU SIGNED ON FOR LIPSTICK JUNGLE, WERE YOU CONVINCED IT WAS GOING TO BE A HIT?
No. I’ve been doing TV long enough to know that nothing’s ever a sure bet. I was just psyched to be a part of it with all the people involved, and the character of Nico was so awesome. You’ve gotta be really in the moment in this business, because everything is so fleeting.
MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT ACTING?
The adrenaline rush when everything clicks and the people you get to work with.
THE MOST BORING THING?
The waiting around. There’s a lot of downtime, which you have to learn to utilize creatively. I tend to fill it by reading.
KIM KARDASHIAN OR KATE GOSSELIN?
What about them? [Laughs.]
STRANGEST THING YOU’VE EVER READ ABOUT YOURSELF?
For some reason, they always give me the wrong middle name. It’s always written as Jane, and that’s not my middle name, and I have no idea where they got that.
YOU SPEAK GERMAN. SAY SOMETHING SEXY TO ME.
Meine Mutter ist Deutsche.
WHAT’S THAT MEAN?
My mother is German.
THAT’S NOT SEXY!
I know. [Laughs.]
EVER HAVE PEOPLE SPEAKING GERMAN IN FRONT OF YOU, ASSUMING THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE SAYING?
In French I have. And then I responded in French, and they were embarrassed.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOOGLED YOURSELF?
That just sounds so wrong. It sounds perverse. But I’ve been on vacation, so I haven’t set eyes on any of that stuff for months.
ARE YOU A FACEBOOK OR TWITTER PERSON?
Neither, yet, but Greg Grunberg who I just did a movie with is a big Twitterer, so he kind of turned me on to it. Not to sound like an old lady, but I’m getting up the guts to start, especially because I think there’s someone pretending to be me on Twitter.
STRANGEST SKILL YOU HAVE ON YOUR ACTING RÉSUMÉ?
It’s not on my résumé, but picking up a pencil with my toes. I can pick up things with my feet. Oh, and wire walking. That’s a good one.
WHO CAN’T DO THAT? SO BEING ON SESAME STREET AS A KID—DID THAT RUIN IT FOR YOU?
No! I had front-row seats. Are you kidding me? It was even more of a wonderland. I mean, it was a little weird when they’d start ripping off the Velcro noses to exchange them for smaller or bigger ones, but my buds were Oscar the Grouch and the Count. I asked them for advice! [Laughs] Just kidding.
TELL ME A SECRET ABOUT SESAME STREET.
On the door going from the green room to the stage, it says, “1, 2, 3, Open Sesame!”
COOL! BIGGEST AUDITION NIGHTMARE?
Auditioning for a very, very, very, very big director who basically was just coming on to all the actresses coming in to audition, and it was just creepy. After running out of the room, I ran into another actress who’s become a close friend, and we always talk about our experiences in the creepy room. Not that anything happened. But creepy director. Creepy room. Creepy experience.
IS THERE AN ACTOR OR DIRECTOR YOU’D NEVER WORK WITH AGAIN?
[Laughs.] I can think of one, but I’m not naming names.
WELL, WHAT DID THE PERSON DO?
Again, the word creepy comes to mind.
ANYBODY YOU WORKED WITH WHO INTIMIDATED YOU OR YOU WERE STARSTRUCK BY?
I guess a lot, because it’s always new coming onto a set for the first time.
WHEN YOU WIN AN OSCAR, WILL YOU THANK ME IN YOUR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH?
No. [Laughs.] I’m sorry but there’s something like 23-and-a-half seconds, so it’s gonna have to be my mother, my husband and my family. Although this has been an enjoyable experience.
ISN’T 24 THE BEST SHOW EVER?
Um, one of them…along with Grey’s Anatomy.
ANYTHING YOU TIVO RELIGIOUSLY?
I Tivo a lot and then just jump around.
YOU GOT A FINE ARTS DEGREE FROM BU. WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU’LL BE GIVING THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS?
Wow! I guess as soon as they ask me.