Comic-Con 2011: 'Covert Affairs' Star Piper Perabo (Q&A)

The actress of USA Network’s sophomore action drama pitches an idea for a future episode, geeks out over "Super 8" and teases what’s coming up for Annie Walker.
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Piper Perabo

With hundreds of thousands of people attending San Diego Comic-Con every year and the July 20-24 event quickly approaching, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with the big names in television to discuss their favorite memories and tips for attending the annual event. THR’s Live Feed will talk Comic-Con with actors, writers and producers in the days leading up to the event so check back soon for interviews and the latest news on panels and screenings.

Piper Perabo
Geek Cred: Covert Affairs
Comic-Con panel: Covert Affairs, Thursday, July 21, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Ballroom 20

The Hollywood Reporter: This season on Covert Affairs you’ve gone to Paris and gotten to film on location.

Piper Perabo: Last year, we did a lot of the stuff on green screen but because we had good numbers this year, they decided to up the production. We’re doing a lot of international shoots. There’s even talk that after we leave Comic-Con we might go on and shoot something internationally before we come back to set.

THR: Are there any other locations that you’re hoping to film in?

Perabo: I’d really like to go to East Berlin. They have a history of spy culture [there] and Checkpoint Charlie. I think it’d be fun to do a throwback episode that somehow we’re still using Cold War, World War II spy technology in an episode that happens in East Berlin.

Comic-Con 2011: Full THR Coverage
THR: Are there any specific things you want your character Annie Walker to do or attempt?

Perabo: She goes through a lot every episode. [Co-star] Chris Gorham and I keep trying to get Annie and Auggie out in the field together because that’s always fun. Because his character’s blind, it also adds to the excitement when he and I are in the field together.
THR: What would that look like if that were to actually happen?

Perabo: We have an episode this season where Auggie ends up in the field and it’s really interesting to watch how the writers adapt and write so that Auggie is still a spy even though he’s blind.
THR: Covert Affairs is headed down to Comic-Con for the first time this year. What kinds of expectations do you have? Are you feeling it out?

Perabo: I have a little bit of knowledge from friends going, and [co-star] Sendhil Ramamurthy went with Heroes. I don’t know what to expect because it’s really it’s own thing. Comic-Con is a unique event because it’s fan-based and so many different shows all come at the same time. I know it’s going to be wild because Sendhil is so loved there and those Heroes guys are pros at it. I can’t want to see what happens in the back hallways and backstage. What happens when Green Lantern walks past the Captain America cast? Are they bros? Do they hate each other? Is there a rumble?
THR: Have you heard any stories about other people’s Comic-Con experiences?

Perabo: Lena [Headey] said there’s a lot of fans. Be ready. It’s like walking into a rock concert. I’m going to wear comfortable shows and just keep an open mind. It’ll be exciting and fun and hopefully the people that are there are all people that like the show. Maybe they have great ideas for stories for the show.
THR: Which panel would you stand in line for all day?

Perabo: I just saw Super 8 and I think it’d be really fun to meet all the little dudes in Super 8. [Laughs] That’d be fun. I bet they’re great. I love their energy and I love how excited they were. My favorite part was watching the kids make the movie within the movie. Aliens are cool and everything but I remember that feeling of being a little kid and having these projects that you make with your friends. I might wait overnight to meet the Super 8 kids.
THR: What would your dream panel be?

Perabo: It’d be fun to be on any panel with superheroes because there’s always the possibility that a fight could break out, so it would be the awesomest octagon matches ever – if at Comic-Con Green Lantern and Captain America happened to get into a little rumble about something, just sort of cool to see who wins. If that rumble broke out, I would hide with the Super 8 kids under the table. [Laughs]
THR: What else is coming up on Covert Affairs that viewers should be expecting?

Perabo: Right now we’re shooting a hostage situation in Mexico City. Hard day at work for Annie Walker. Peter Stormare just guest starred in an episode that we did set in Belarus. (The episode airs Tuesday.) I think Oded Fehr is coming back, he plays the Israeli Massad agent that Annie is quickly becoming enamored with. I heard rumors in the writers’ room that he may return. Maybe we’re going to get him back before the end of the season. I hope his schedule is free.
THR: It seems like Annie has a lot of love interests this season ...

Perabo: Yes, Annie’s dance card is full.
THR: A possible Comic-Con episode in the future potentially?
Perabo: [Goes back and forth on whether to say anything, ultimately deciding not to.] It’s hard being a spy! It’s hard keeping everything a secret. We had bloggers on the set the other day and the character Ben Mercer is in this episode and I think it was supposed to be a secret. We’re shooting a scene out at the tarmac at a secret airstrip and all of a sudden 10 bloggers walk out with the press from the network. I was like, “Oh!” They were like, “Ben Mercer?” And I was like, “Uh … yea?” At that point, what can you do? They got the scoop.

Covert Affairs airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.


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