TV Plus (South Africa) - - 1 APRIL -

Sea­son 1 Thu 30 March FOX (*125) 20:10 Re­peats Satur­days 19:20 & 20:10 Sci-fi

Thanks to sci-fi show Le­gion (2017-cur­rent), Jean Smart’s 28-year-old son Con­nor thinks that she’s cool again. “I didn’t know the X-Men Mar­vel Comics [which Le­gion is based on] and when he found out that I’d be in Le­gion, he told all of his friends how cool his mom is,” Jean laughs over the phone from LA. And while her other roles are more straight­for­ward – like play­ing Char­lene Olivia Frazier Still­field in De­sign­ing Women (1986-1991) and ruth­less mob boss Floyd Ger­hardt in sea­son 2 of Fargo, (2014-cur­rent) – her Le­gion char­ac­ter Dr Me­lanie Bird is shrouded in mys­tery…

How much did you know about Dr Bird when you signed up? Noth­ing! [Laughs] I only ap­peared in the last 30 sec­onds of episode 1 (9 Fe­bru­ary) and only found out two days be­fore that I’d play some­one who gives sanc­tu­ary at her com­pound to peo­ple with spe­cial abil­i­ties. Talk­ing about spe­cial abil­i­ties, is there one that you’d love to have? I don’t know if there is any one thing, but if I had to choose, it would be to heal peo­ple be­cause I like to take care of peo­ple. Do you take care of the other ac­tors on set? [Laughs] Ab­so­lutely, they re­fer to me as “the mother hen”. I take treats for the cast and I even baked a batch of cup­cakes and put a big “X” on top of the ic­ing as ref­er­ence to the X-Men [movies 2000-cur­rent] link in our show. What was the most dif­fi­cult part of film­ing Le­gion? I’ve never used a green­screen be­fore and Le­gion uses a lot of it. It was dif­fi­cult to fig­ure out how to in­ter­act with the screen, but once I saw the fi­nal cut, I went, “So that what it looks like!” You’ve been on TV, film and stage, so do you have an ideal medium or role? I’m a stage ac­tress by heart and I still hope to play Cleopa­tra one day…

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