"The stakes are higher": 'FBI' star Missy Peregrym talks about the upcoming procedural and what sets it apart from the rest
While little is still known how the 'FBI' will pan out, the cast features a talented ensemble of actors and actresses who are sure to do it justice. Missy Peregrym is one of them.
Dick Wolf is a name that is now synonymous with legal dramas. After all, the television producer is the creator and executive producer of the 'Law & Order' franchise, which went on tie 'Gunsmoke' for the longest-running dramatic show in television history and was one of TV's most successful franchises. It was also nominated for the most consecutive Emmy Awards of any primetime drama series and included six police dramas as well as another four international spinoffs.
But besides 'Law & Order,' Wolf also co-created police drama 'New York Undercover' for Fox, courtroom reality series 'Crime & Punishment' for NBC, and more recently, creative and executive produced the 'Chicago' franchise which includes four Chicago-based police, courtroom, fire, and medical dramas. The 71-year-old has also written a trilogy of books — 'The Intercept,' 'The Execution,' and 'The Ultimatum' —surrounding N.Y.P.D detective Jeremy Fisk. So, when the news broke that Wolf would soon be involved in another of his renowned dramas, 'FBI,' one could reasonably assume that it was going to be yet another barnstormer.
An official description reads, "From Dick Wolf and the team behind the Law & Order franchise comes an eye-opening new procedural about the inner workings of the New York office of the FBI, bringing to bear all the Bureau's skills, intellect and mind-blowing technology to keep New York and the country safe."
'FBI' will be the first Wolf drama series to launch on a network other than NBC in 15 years and was revealed by the producer during the Television Critics Association summer 2016 tour. While little is still known how the 'FBI' will pan out, the cast features a talented ensemble of actors and actresses who are sure to do it justice. Missy Peregrym, who already boasts of significant experience having portrayed Officer Andy McNally in Canadian series 'Rookie Blue,' was cast in the leading role of FBI Special Agent Maggie Bell for the series.
Meaww caught up with the actress for an interview about her upcoming role, her experience on 'Rookie Blue,' her acting career, and her special interest in sports.
1. Tell us a little bit more about your leading role as Agent Maggie Bell in upcoming series ‘F.B.I'
Maggie has been a field agent in the FBI for 6 years. She’s a workaholic and has focused all of her energy into her cases since the death of a loved one.
2. There are several television series that chronicle the lives of government agents. What makes 'F.B.I' different from the rest?
The cases we’re handling are on a federal level; the stakes are higher. The FBI is also connected to over 50 other agencies so we solve the cases differently. Also, Jeremy Sisto.
3. You've already starred as Officer Andy McNally in another police drama, 'Rookie Blue.' What inspired you to play a similar character once again?
Maggie is only similar in that policing is in her background on the way to being a special agent, but she’s not a rookie, so her experience is not going to be colored by “firsts.” Personally, I have always been interested in justice and I really respect the people who sacrifice their lives to handle really difficult situations for the greater good. I felt blessed to be offered the opportunity to work with Dick Wolf on a show he’s really excited about.
4. While your first lead television role was in 'Reaper,' you made your name with 'Rookie Blue' and even earned an Award nomination for your work. Could you tell us a little more about what it was like working on the series?
I loved working on 'Rookie Blue.' It was such a special experience to grow up professionally and personally with the people that I did; I still miss them. I loved playing McNally for so long; in the end, it was difficult to say where the line was between Andy and myself. I appreciated the room to voice my opinion and collaborate with writers, producers, directors, and other cast mates. It was a team effort and I always loved that environment.
5. Having spent six seasons on the show, what was it like when the time came to say goodbye? Was there anyone on set you grew particularly close to?
Ah. Saying goodbye was something we all dread in the last year. It was known that we were only going to do 5/6 seasons but it stung a lot. I’m still close with quite a few of the cast and crew, it’s one of the best parts of making the show for so long.
6. You made your television debut on an episode of 'Dark Angel,'which had names such as James Cameron and Jessica Alba working on it. What was that experience like?
It was my first tv role and I had no lines but had to suck some guys blood and then go and kiss someone else and transfer it. That was my first on-screen kiss! I was so grossed out and nervous! I remember seeing Jessica Alba and thinking "I would love to have THAT job one day.”
7. Your film debut in 'Stick It' came about six years later. Were you initially apprehensive of making that leap? How could you compare working on a movie set to that of a TV show?
I was never apprehensive about 'Stick It.' I loved the script and wanted to play Hailey right from the beginning, but they were really nervous about ME since I had never taken on a role that big before. Casting said I could audition for a smaller role and I passed. Jessica Bendinger really fought for me (there’s always someone behind the scenes rooting for me, unbeknownst to me!) and I will never forget the day that she called me to say I got the job. It was a really tough movie to make, I was physically and mentally exhausted at the end, but I loved playing Hailey. Movies are a treat because you know all the information on the character you’re playing, whereas in television, you find out as you go.
8. You started off with print and modeling, turning for commercials with Mercedez-Benz, the Olympic games, and the likes but decided to move to screen. What inspired this decision?
There was no big decision, I just went from one thing to the next while I was working full time trying to decide whether to go to college for business or to be a teacher. It just got to a point where I couldn’t continue to take time off work to audition, so I chose to make some more room in my schedule. I gave myself a three-month window to “make it”. Hahaha. It still makes me laugh because I thought that was an overly generous amount of time to be successful.
9. You're a dedicated soccer player and have even coached high school basketball! Have you always had this passion for athletics and sports?
I love playing sports… it’s too bad I get injured all the time now, or I’d play more! I think it’s one of the best ways to grow - you learn discipline, communication, how to deal with disappointment and to answer back with perseverance. I still challenge everyone and anyone to a game of basketball.
'FBI' is slated to air on the 2018–19 United States network television schedule on CBS where it is scheduled to air Tuesdays, 9 p.m. beginning September 25.
Watch the trailer for FBI here: