“I love you, man,” Jodi Lyn O’Keefe superfan Danielle wrote on my Facebook page the day that I posted the new ‘Lost’ promo featuring the ‘Prison Break’ bad girl. “Is the next step an interview with Jodi?” she asked.
Done and done, Danielle. With her guest-star turn set to air this Tuesday (9/8c, on ABC), I hopped on the phone with O’Keefe to seek out scoop on her motel room standoff with ‘Lost’s Sawyer, see if she managed to get any lovin’ from the dimpled hunk, and check in for a status report on ‘Prison’ inmate Gretchen. Plus: Find out who Jodi hails as “the greatest actor of all-time.”
Dude, I was so excited to see you in the promo for this week’s episode!
Aww, thanks! You and my mom.
What was the most painful part: Going to Hawaii to shoot it, or Josh Holloway?
Those two parts were equally painful, yeah. It’s my lot in life to be surrounded by devastatingly handsome men. Make that devastatingly handsome men who aren’t single! [Laughs]
Had you been a fan of ‘Lost’?
I had seen it, but I wasn’t entirely up to speed. Now I have to catch up before I watch my own episode. So my friends are going to watch it on Tuesday night and not tell me. [Laughs] I didn’t even read the entire script they sent me; I read just my part. I was like, “I will not ruin this.”
Do we see how Sawyer and your character, Ava, meet?
No, you see us after we’ve already met.
Oh, so in the motel room is the first we see you?
Hmm. Does that mean you didn’t get to play an “intimate” scene with Josh?
I did get an intimate scene with Josh. You’ll see. I don’t want to spoil anything.
Something tells me there’s a good twist after Ava pulls the gun on Sawyer.
Did the director ask if you were good handling a firearm, to which you scoffed loudly?
No, no… That’s one of the first times where they’ve said to me, “We love your work and we love the way you hold a gun. So girl, go get him!”
I was going to ask if there are any parallels between what happens with Sawyer and Ava and what happens for him on the island, but based on what you said earlier….
I didn’t read Josh’s other stuff, because then I would know what was happening and I would have ruined it for myself.
What’s the mood on the ‘Lost’ set? Does the final season have people melancholy or energized?
I sensed a little bit of both. Everyone there has been together for such a long time, and I know [from 'Prison Break'] what that feels like. Also everyone lives there now…. The consensus was they were so sad to be leaving, that they knew what an amazing life they had there and how incredible it was to wake up and be in Hawaii and go to work. To have a lunch break and go swim in the ocean, But also everybody was really energized because it was the last season. So everybody was really present.
And you’re like, “Well… for ‘Prison Break’ I got to shoot in 100-degree Dallas for six months.”
“Yeah, you could do that. That could be next for you, if you’re real lucky.”
I take it you are not playing a badass in the Hallmark movie ‘The Class’ (premiering in August).
I am not. I am the good one this time. This movie is for my niece, because she never gets to see what I do. She can hide her eyes at this one part where there’s a little bit of conflict, but most of it she can watch. She keeps asking me why I live in Los Angeles and not New Jersey, and now I can show her why.
What’s the movie about?
It’s about a young girl who is raised in a foster home and she falls upon rough circumstances. She gets pregnant very young, so she has a kid and he has all these health problems. She’s constantly getting fired from her jobs because she runs to pick him up at school and take him to the emergency room… The first time you meet them he’s having an asthma attack and being rushed to the hospital.
Was it at all hard playing a sympathetic character for the first time in a while?
No, it’s actually much harder for me to do the other thing, believe it or not. And I had the greatest actor of all-time working with me: Maxwell Perry Cotton, who played my son. I was nervous, like, “What if we don’t click?” And he was right up there with any actor I’ve worked with. We had a blast.
Do you have any thoughts on what ‘Prison Break’s Gretchen is up to these days?
Hopefully she’s broken out of prison by now. She’s served enough time, for god’s sake. She should be out!