Missy Pere­grym


The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - FUN & GAMES - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Be­fore sign­ing up to star in “FBI,” did you have an in­ter­est in the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion?

I didn’t grow up hear­ing about the FBI. It was never a thing where I was like, “You know what I’m go­ing to do when I grow up?” ... mostly be­cause I just wanted to be an Olympian. I was won­der­ing my­self, even, why I was so in­ter­ested in tak­ing this af­ter I read the script. And the rea­son is that I re­ally, re­ally, re­ally have a pas­sion for jus­tice. And I re­ally love to be­lieve that peo­ple want to do the right thing. I’m fas­ci­nated with hu­man be­ings and be­hav­ior and why we choose to do the things that we do. Peo­ple who de­cide to do things that are wrong or bad come from some­where where, if you can get to that place of who they are or what’s hap­pened to them in their cir­cum­stances, it makes it very fas­ci­nat­ing to me.

What do you think the an­swer to that is, if there is one?

I think that we all re­ally want the same things. We want to feel safe. We want hope. We want to be­lieve that there’s a pur­pose in our life.

And peo­ple make dif­fer­ent de­ci­sions based on where they’ve come from and what they’re do­ing, so in that re­gard, I’m re­ally ex­cited to be a part of this show.

How have you found re­lo­cat­ing to New York to make “FBI”?

The city doesn’t sleep. They’re throw­ing crap out at 3 in the morn­ing by the ho­tel. I’m like, “Go to bed. I need to go to bed. I don’t un­der­stand this place.” But what I do love about New York City is the peo­ple. I ac­tu­ally find them very fas­ci­nat­ing. You can look at any­body and have no idea what they do. It’s very in­ter­est­ing to me. What’s the funnest part of play­ing Stan?

I think the funnest part about play­ing Stan is ground­ing him in some au­then­tic emo­tional un­der­stand­ing of what his path is, and that sounds a lit­tle gra­nola but it’s not. In other words, Archie Bunker – we for­give Archie his trans­gres­sions be­cause of Edith and how much Edith loves him. And I think the only rea­son we for­give Stan is be­cause of how much he loves Claire, how much he loves Denise, how much – as much as he doesn’t want to ad­mit it – loves Evie.

And he wants to be this grumpy old guy, but in the bot­tom of the ninth with the bases jacked, you want him com­ing out of the bullpen. Even though he’s un­der­equipped and ill-man­nered and doesn’t know how to ac­tu­ally ac­com­plish dis­patch­ing these witches, he’s go­ing to get it done some­how, some frig­gin’ New Hamp­shire Yan­kee way he’s go­ing to get it done. And the whole time he’s go­ing to be au­then­ti­cally en­gaged emo­tion­ally in what we’re do­ing here.

How did you cre­ate him orig­i­nally?

Well, the first thing I had to do was find his voice be­cause I wanted it to be di­vorced from all things Dr. Cox. And where I met him – this is go­ing to sound like an in­sane cock­tail – but I met him some­where be­tween Ja­son Ro­bards, Ge­orge C. Scott, Lee J. Cobb and my fa­ther. And as soon as I could find that sound and those rhythms, I was locked in.

I had to find a sound first and I know that sounds a lit­tle ass-back­wards but I was val­i­dated by, of all peo­ple, Daniel Day-Lewis. Be­cause right when I was do­ing this, he was talk­ing about find­ing Lin­coln’s voice for Spiel­berg’s movie and said he couldn’t play Lin­coln be­fore he found his voice. And since there are no record­ings of that pres­i­dent, Daniel said that he had to find that guy’s voice. And I swear to you, I know what he meant. As soon as I found Stan’s voice, I knew who he was.

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