STARRY MAG

FEATURED INTERVIEW WITH LEE PURCELL

06/2010
 

Q) What can you tell us about your character Eleanor Sullivan on the show "Persons Unknown?"

A) Eleanor is really unique. You find out Eleanor's familial relationship in the pilot episode, but you have no idea if she is a good person, an evil person and what she is going to do next.

Q) What made you want to be a part of the show?

A) I was a huge fan of "Heroes" and of "Lost." On "Heroes," I noticed the actress that played Angela Petrelli and I thought, "If I could just get a role like thatů." Sure enough, that's the closest parallel I can draw because Eleanor is as interesting as I found Angela.

Q) What about your role have you found challenging?

A) It was quite challenging in the fact that we were not given the next script. We didn't know where in the story we were going because we weren't reading ahead at all, at first. Also, the show has many storylines, just as "Heroes" did, in different locations. My storyline has very little to do with the main storyline, featuring the kidnapped victims. I'm off in another city. San Francisco supposedly. I didn't get to know a lot of people in the cast because we had these very different storylines. For me, it was challenging that I had this whole life going on as this character, but it seems like I don't have anything to do with the people who are the kidnapped victims, except that Daisy Betts (who plays Janet ) is my daughter. It was not knowing what Eleanor is going to do in the next episode and not being in every episode so I had to keep creating that and make that leap myself as to what she's been doing. I'd also talk to Remi Aubuchon about the back-story so I would be able to make that leap into the next transition.

Q) What has been your most memorable moment from filming "Persons Unknown?"

A) Just shooting in Mexico City alone was memorable. I've shot in Mexico quite a lot and been to Mexico a lot. This was interesting though because we shot a lot on the streets of Mexico City, which is incredibly crowded and busy. So, all of our trailers would be parked in the midst of all these crowds. You can't get away from the crowds because they are everywhere. In some of my scenes, I have to have just awakened. So, I'm in my nightgown, slippers and robe. I'd come out of my trailer and we'd always have escorts to go to the set. I'd come out of my trailer though in my gown, robe and slippers through a crowd as they go about their daily business. That was kind of funny because people would be looking at me like, "Doesn't she know that it is noon?" That happened to me a number of times because we had to film several night sequences. Also, there was a town that the studios built just for this show and it is very extraordinary because it is not like other towns you might find on a back-lot. This is way, way up in the mountains. Mexico City is high up in altitude and this town is another 3,000 feet up. It takes a long time to get there because you have to go up these mountainous roads. By the time you get up there, your ears are popping and you are feeling lightheaded. I didn't have to shoot there as much as they did. Most of my storyline is shot in San Francisco , but a bit of it was shot in the town that was built. The town is a very long street. It's not like a standing set because they built it out of nothing, but they built it complete. It isn't fronts where you'd walk behind it and there are beams holding it up. These are whole building that they built, including an eight story hotel. These places are all stocked, but of course there are no clerks there. The town has an eerie flavor, but it's not quite right. There is a twist to it.

Q) Why will people want to take their time to tune in and see the show?

A) "Heroes" and "Lost" are over. If you're missing those shows here is a show that is going to fill that niche. They'll need to watch it every week because it is an evolving series. It's not stand alone episodes.

Q) Where can people go online to learn more about you?

A) They can go to http://www.leepurcell.com and I have a Facebook fan page.