Dead- end job

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - HOLLY BYRNES

Jeri Ryan, born Jeri Lynn Zim­mer­man in Mu­nich, was raised on mil­i­tary bases in Kansas, Mary­land, Ge­or­gia and Texas. Her rise to recog­ni­tion be­gan when she was named Miss Illi­nois in

1989, then won the swim­suit com­pe­ti­tion in the 1990 Miss Amer­ica Pageant. Ryan has since carved a ca­reer as an ac­tor in shows in­clud­ing Star Trek: Voy­ager and Two and a Half Men.

She plays Dr Kate Mur­phy in foren­sic drama Body of Proof.

Q: What do you like about the med­i­cal- cop show?

A: I’m ac­tu­ally a big sci­ence geek. Al­ways have been. I love the med­i­cal as­pect of it. I love that it’s set in the med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice. We have ob­served au­top­sies, which is amaz­ing. I was so ex­cited when my char­ac­ter fi­nally got an au­topsy and I got to dis­sect a lung. Give me an­other lung, I love it. It’s fun. Q: Blood and gore isn’t nec­es­sar­ily some­thing we would as­so­ci­ate with you, un­til now.

A: I’m not squea­mish. I’m a sci­ence geek and I’m a cook, so a body part is a body part. It doesn’t mat­ter what an­i­mal it comes from. A liver is a liver. A kid­ney is a kid­ney. They’re just dif­fer­ent sizes. Q: What did you learn from the peo­ple you were shad­ow­ing for re­search pur­poses?

A: One was in ex­actly my po­si­tion [ her role in the show]. Ba­si­cally she was the first fe­male chief med­i­cal ex­am­iner in the city where she was work­ing. What re­ally blew me away about the fe­male tech­ni­cal ad­vis­ers was they were in such a po­si­tion of power that you would sort of as­sume they would be fo­cused on work and have tun­nel vi­sion. They’re not at all, which is some­thing I tried to base Kate on. I love that they live their lives. They are the most amaz­ing women. One of them drives race cars, shoots guns. She sky­dives. She moun­tain climbs. I don’t know how much of that is spe­cific to work­ing around death all the time that you re­alise how frag­ile life is and how quickly it can go, so you have to take ad­van­tage of ev­ery minute you have.

Q: Do these chiefs still care about the vic­tims as you do in the show?

A: That was the one thing we all asked when we got to go to the med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice on our first field trip. How do you do this job? How do you do this and then go home? There’s al­ways a re­spect be­cause it’s a hu­man be­ing, some­one’s loved one. But you have to have a dis­con­nect or you couldn’t ac­tu­ally do what you have to do in an au­topsy.

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