TNT’s ‘Leverage‘ (Wednesdays at 10/9c) is running a bit of a shell game this season, swapping in Jeri Ryan’s Tara for Sophie while original cast member Gina Bellman wraps up maternity leave. Ryan spoke with Fancast about her grifter gig and whether Tara might steal Sophie’s (would-be) man.
How do you differentiate Tara from Sophie?
Sophie was the quintessential European grifter, one who worked in the art world, while Tara was more, as ['Leverage' co-creator] John Rogers put it, “the bloody money in the suitcase.” [Laughs] Tara is much more streetwise, much more down-and-dirty.
With Sophie “away,” will the writers be playing any sparks between Tara and Nate (played by Timothy Hutton)?
There was obviously a little hint of that in the first episode – that one line that piqued Sophie [appearing via video conference] a little bit. But I don’t want to give anything away. We want everybody to be surprised, to wonder and speculate along with Sophie.
What has been the hardest accent or wildest outfit you’ve had to pull off for ‘Leverage’?
It was all in that first episode, “The Italian.” That was the hardest accent, and that jumpsuit?! Also, I play a fake psychic in another episode, and that required fun outfits, too.
This being ‘Leverage,’ I am required to ask: Have you ever stolen anything? Other than men’s hearts?
I would be a terrible, terrible thief. I’d be too guilt-ridden to get away with anything.
Not even any shoplifting as a teenager?
No, I was a nice, nice girl. I was a very good girl – at least as far as teenagers go.
You’ve been working rather steadily since ‘Star Trek: Voyager.’ Was it a relief that people were able to see past the whole Seven of Nine thing?
It was a huge relief because that’s one of the things ‘Star Trek’ is notorious for, pigeonholing actors. It’s tough to break out of those roles, especially when they’re iconic characters. So I was very, very, very happy to have gotten on a David E. Kelley show (‘Boston Public‘) so soon after ‘Voyager’ wrapped. I’ve been very fortunate.