Rose McGowan (CONAN THE BARBARIAN (3D), Death Proof, GRINDHOUSE, and CHARMED) guest stars on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. I caught up with her to dish about her guest role.
Airs 3/23/11, 10 pm ET
A STABBING VICTIM LEADS DETECTIVES BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) AND STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) TO GO UNDERCOVER AT A SWINGERS CLUB WHERE THE MAIN ATTRACTION IS A MINX NAMED CASSANDRA DAVINA(GUEST STAR ROSE MCGOWAN)
After Jerry Bullard (guest star Tom Irwin) is found stabbed in a parking garage, Detectives Benson (Hargitay) and Stabler (Meloni) discover that the family man might have had an illicit hobby. When the detectives go undercover at a swingers club they meet a popular lady named Cassandra Davina (Guest Star Rose McGowan) and her jealous boyfriend, Doug Loveless (Guest Star Ryan Hurst). As tensions grow, the detectives question just how far jealousy can push someone.
What was most challenging for you about playing character within such a sexual world that had network limitations?
Rose McGowan: Well, I don’t think the network limitations were the part that were challenging. I believe I was grateful for those. Sometimes they can actually benefit you. It was funny because Dan Truly is kind of a genius in the way that he coached it, and once you see the episode you’ll know that Bombshell has a double meaning.
Are there any similarities with your personality, and this character, and what was your motivation for accepting this role?
Rose McGowan: I would say there are actually no similarities in my personality or attitude, particularly with my character Cassandra, and that’s what’s delightful. I get to be me 24 hours a day, so I obviously jump at the chance to play something that is very, very different.
The episode is titled Bombshell, are you a bombshell in any way?
Rose McGowan: Well, when I’m at home in sweatpants I don’t feel like it. Sometimes I’m dressed up, but I don’t know, I don’t put the name tag on myself. That’s something for somebody else to do.
What actually drew you to the role?
Rose McGowan: Well, the first thing that drew me to SVU, besides the fact that I actually watch it, my sister and I once got sucked into a ten hour marathon and…watched an entire Saturday. I was like, “Dear God. And wow, what an amazing show.” But, because they’ve had amazing people in it, such as Maria Bello, Jeremy Irons, Marcia Gay Harden. I mean, just – they have had such an amazing lineup of people that, you know, go in and out of it. And, you know, if it hadn’t been the case, I don’t know that I would have been as attracted to it, but they get such powerful actors. And Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni are so good, you know, so to be able to be in that world that I’ve lost many hours of my life to watching was definitely a treat.
What did you like or dislike about your character?
Rose McGowan: Well, I didn’t really dislike anything about her. I don’t know much I’m allowed to give away. If you’re playing somebody you just are them, so you don’t like…or dislike them. It’d be like whether you like or dislike yourself, I suppose. You can’t really look at it from the outside perspective, she just is.
What film are you doing?
Rose McGowan: I’m doing a film called Rosewood Lane. And the thing is is that I was on Charmed for five years and it’s a grind, and so I haven’t been quite ready to go back to that yet. But, that’s what’s brilliant about this episode is I get to go in and work with some knockout actors and leave.
So, rumors of a Charmed reunion show is off – is not true?
Rose McGowan: That is not true. It was great fun.
How was it going on set that first day and are there any different reactions because you’ve seen the show and now you’re on it, versus other acting jobs?
Rose McGowan: Right. It’s so odd because you go into the interrogation room and I was like, “Oh, it’s a lot bigger than it looks on television,” or it – and my sister, who’s actually brilliant, but doesn’t really know anything about the business, she was like – she asked who made the (da-da) sound on the set and I was like, “No they don’t.” I was like, “No, no, they don’t,” but that would be pretty great if they did. Maybe that should be a requirement for next guest stars.
How would you compare your time spent on the Law & Order set to that of some of your other projects?
Rose McGowan: Well, it’s always interesting going into another world that’s been set up. Obviously they’ve been doing this for a long time, so they’re a pretty well oiled machine. And feeling like your guest in somebody else’s house is it’s both awkward and fun, and it – but it wasn’t awkward at all because everybody was so warm and amazing. Mariska and Chris are great and the crew is fantastic. It could have certainly been a lot more intimidating than it turned out to be. I figured out the trick though. There’s no commercial in between episodes. They roll into the next one. And that’s how they suck you in.
What can you tell us about Cassandra and what it was like with Ryan Hurst?
Rose McGowan: Oh, okay. Well, Cassandra is certainly a complex character and that’s what I liked about her. She had a lot of different layers and certainly not necessarily what made meets the eye, but she’s got her own plots going no matter what. I think she’s always thinking of a different angle. And Ryan was a doll. I really could not have liked him more. He just – he’s a gentle giant and he was great fun to act with, and so that was a good stroke of luck for me.
Did you feel intimidated when you first came onto the set?
Rose McGowan: I did. I – or rather I was and – because again, when you walk into somebody else’s family it’s like coming into a family dinner, but only some of the people know you’ve been invited. And so – but they – I was immediately put at ease. And I’m not going to lie, I don’t know if was intimidated as much as a bit scared. I was like, “Oh, I hope everybody’s nice,” because sometimes you don’t luck out. Sometimes people aren’t nice and it’s really harder in some ways to do your job when they really understand that. I mean, they’re just really kind and really generous, and that’s (not often the case).