Comic Relief

Soap Opera Digest: What’s your character like?
Jennifer Finnigan: She’s fantastic. She might come off as flighty, but then you see that she has a real thought process. She has her own logic and it’s not anyone else’s, but she truly understands herself. She’s definitely on a different plane than most. She’s quirky, but endearing.Digest: Do you wish COMMITTED had been on last fall’s schedule instead of being a mid-season replacement?
Finnigan: Not at all. I think the beauty of this is the fact that we went on mid-season; [it] couldn’t have been any better for us. The competition between new shows in the fall is just vicious. When you have a show like ours that really doesn’t have any real star power, it could have gotten totally lost in the shuffle. But the network has been so great. They been very supportive and haven’t intruded at all and just allowed us a lot of creative freedom. They’re so passionate and believe so much in the show. Digest: What was the first night of taping like?
Finnigan: I was a wreck. For a pilot, everyone is there: the agents, all the managers, not to mention the entire network. It was so daunting and I have been told so many nightmare stories about pilot shoots. I expected the worst, but honestly, that night was magical. Nobody bothered us or asked for rewrites or changes in performances. Everything went so flawlessly that it was almost frightening. And someone like me, who is a major neurotic, I was like, “Okay, what’s up?” I’ve also heard stories of how shoots can go on for six hours, but we were done in three, which is almost unheard of. So I feel we definitely have something special. For the entire extent of our shoot, we existed in our own little bubble. Since we taped all the episodes before the first episode aired, we didn’t have to come to work after a bad ratings night and have to suck it up and then try to do good work. It was such a great learning experience.Digest: What have you learned about being funny on TV?
Finnigan: You can’t create comedic timing. You either have it or you don’t. Essentially, you need to have it to begin with and then you can hone it. I know some extremely funny people who can’t do comedy for their lives. I also know stand-up comics who can’t play it on- screen.Digest: If your show gets picked up for next season, when do you go back to work?
Finnigan: In July, so I’ll have six months off, but it won’t be like I’ll be relaxing. I’m a major workaholic and I want to keep working, whether it’s doing episodics or film. I really hope I’ll be working until I go back to COMMITTED. If I’m not being creative then I get really antsy and impatient.Digest: What’s your publicity been like?
Finnigan: Very hectic. I’ve been pimping myself out as much as I can because I want to take advantage of it. I’ve done a lot of interviews with EXTRA and ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, Al Roker interviewed me at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and I taped an episode of SOAP TALK as well. Digest: Are you prepared for superstardom?
Finnigan: That’s a foreign concept to me and I know this is going to sound cliché, but honestly, I do acting because I love it. It never had anything to do with fame. If I can make a good living from what I love, then that’s all I need. I was at Tower Records the other day and there were all these photographers outside, pointing their cameras like rifles at the store. I walked in and there’s poor Halle Berry with her sunglasses and hat, looking terrified to go outside. But it goes with the territory and you have to go in knowing that.

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