Callie Thorne knows that sometimes being an actress means reaching outside your comfort zone. Now that her seven season-stint on FX’s Rescue Me has come to a conclusion, Callie is gearing up to do guest spots on TV shows, which she admits can be hit or miss in terms of friendliness and camaraderie on the set. Or, like a recent spot on Showtime’s Californication, they can require her to consider showing off more than her versatility as an actress.
“FX was an amazingly perfect place to be because there was very little that we couldn’t say, language-wise…In terms of skin, because it’s basic cable and not HBO or Showtime, there were certain things that you can’t show,” Callie told Crushable. “For me, it was a dream. Suddenly there was a cut off as to how much I had worry in terms of exposing myself, physically and mentally, because there were these boundaries…Then on Californication, because it’s Showtime, obviously there are no boundaries. They really said it was up to me, and they left it up to me and my comfort factor. They never said, ‘You can’t have this role unless you show your breasts.’ Ergo, I felt comfortable. I did show my breasts. I sort of thought, ‘You know what? I’m not getting any younger and this is a hysterical scene and if I’m laughing through it why not?’ And so it happened.”
On Californication, Callie plays a woman who hooks up with David Duchovny‘s Hank, someone who her daughter has also slept with. “The twist is whether or not he knows it,” Callie told us. Her guest part is a departure from her Rescue Me role, Sheila Keefe, a 9/11 widow who butts heads and bumps uglies with Denis Leary‘s Tommy Gavin. Callie said Sheila was, “my favorite job, my favorite character in the whole world,” adding that filming the end of the series was depressing.
“As we were coming down to the final days, everyone had been in denial that these were the FINAL days,” Callie said. “You could feel a switch on set, all of a sudden the energy was very different. Though we were still having the fun we would have, and the same amount of laughter and riagamaroll, you could feel in the air that everything was kind of the LAST time. It was very sobering and very sad. I think everybody was kind of in a daze in those last couple of days. Except for me. I was actually not in a daze, I was actually crying.”
Rescue Me‘s sixth season debuts June 29, but the cast has already completed the final, and seventh, season. Callie reveals that Sheila’s character will try to “selflessly” pull herself away from Tommy as her son joins the FDNY, but of course nothing Sheila does is actually selfless. “Sheila’s not focusing on herself and manipulating situations for her own wants and needs, she’s putting it all on her son, but it’s kind of interesting because it’s still obviously very selfish,” Callie explained. “She wants her son to be safe for her, so that she doesn’t lose her son the way she lost her husband. And it’s sort of interesting to watch her think that she’s being this Zen, upper level life consciousness person, but in Sheila’s style she’s still pulling all these strings to see what she can get away with.”
As with the end of any series, Callie is struggling with the end of Sheila as well as not seeing her fellow cast members, who she admits are all very close. “We’re the kind of group that [doesn't have to make plans] because we’ve all become such good friends,” said Callie, who lives in New York with a majority of the Rescue Me cast. “We ofttimes don’t have to make a big plan. So many of the cast is here…A lot of the time, we all like to do the same things, we all show up at the same events, we all invite each other. It’s corny but it’s true. We really, really enjoy each other still.”
Callie has also become close friends with other actors she’s met through work over the years, like Amy Sedaris and Nathan Fillion. Callie and Nathan met in 1995 on a pilot called 7:08, “which was the time of the train that we all took into Manhattan,” Callie told us. The pilot didn’t work out but Callie and Nathan became close friends. “Not only was it good because it was my first job, but I actually think of that job as the gateway into my friendship with Nathan,” she said. “He is the one of the dearest, sweetest funniest guys.”
Although Callie confesses she’s begged for a guest spot on Nathan’s show Castle, instead we’ll see her next on USA’s Burn Notice, reprising a character from last season (after Californication). And, hopefully, she’ll get a chance to get back into the dating pool in NYC. “My own romantic life now is dead,” Callie told Crushable. “I shouldn’t say dead, I should just say it is barren — it’s low. But the good thing is that I’ve been quite busy and so I haven’t really been on that level of dating or anything. Summertime is a great time to find a playdate and so we’ll see what happens.”
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