Scottie Thompson, Kathy Najimy 'Deck the Halls' Telepic May Lead to More Higgins Clark Projects
Scottie Thompson (pictured, above), who teams with Kathy Najimy in TNT's Monday night (Dec. 20) "Deck the Halls" mystery movie, says she'd be wide open to reprising her role as Regan Reilly from the best-selling series of novels by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.
That is, especially if she could keep working with Najimy.
"She's one of my favorite people -- really creative and funny," says Thompson. "She infused this piece with so much comedy. It would be fun to explore our characters' relationship more deeply."
Thompson tells us that she and Najimy would get together between camera calls to put extra work into their two disparate sleuths -- Thompson's dynamic young detective character, created by Carol Higgins Clark, and Najimy's cleaning lady/amateur crime solver, invented by Carol's mother, Mary.
"You could make those little moments, those subtle moments that differentiate a character, really perfect with the right attention. Kathy and I would sit down at night and make sure we knew where we'd be playing every moment," says the "Trauma" actress.
"Deck the Halls" is the last of six adaptations of best-selling novels, airing since last month, that have been talked as the network's attempt to resurrect the TV mystery movie genre -- with Bill Pullman, Marcia Gay Harden, John Corbett, Carla Gugino, Dermot Mulroney and Anne Heche among the names on board.
Behind-the-scenes talent has been top-shelf as well. "Deck the Halls" was directed by Ron Underwood ("City Slickers," "Tremors").
"We were filming at a really fast pace -- 18 filming days for a 105-page script," Thompson recalls.
"I'd worked with Ron Underwood before ... He was calm and determined all along the way."
Carol Higgins Clark was not only on the set, Thompson says, but she has a part in one scene as well. There has been talk of continuing with more Higgins Clark adaptations. Time will tell.
ANOTHER 'JOB': "Leverage" costar Aldis Hodge, fresh from London and the first "Leverage" convention in the U.K., still sounds somewhat awed by the fan interaction there.
"I know it sounds a little weird, but there was this woman who made these really awesome dolls of everyone in the cast -- hand-stitched and everything. It shows the kind of time and dedication people devote to this show," he says. Did she capture him? "I don't know if she captured me, but she definitely captured Hardison," Hodge answers, referring to his character.
There were also funny moments. Hodge relates that he and his mom were in an elevator when a fan told him he had a voice "like dark melted chocolate." Also, "There was a little 4-year-old girl who drew a picture for me. That was pretty cool. That had to be my favorite thing," he says.
"Leverage" continues to be hugely popular at home, too. With its fifth season already assured, Hodge reports that the team will go back to work in March.
MEANWHILE: Hodge says he likes the occasional departure episodes the series creators have been throwing into the mix this season -- including the recent "The Office Job," which borrowed style elements from "The Office" comedy, and the current "Girls' Night Out Job"/"Boys' Night Out Job" two-parter that ends Sunday (Dec. 18).
"You know, it's always a risk," Hodge says. "I hope the audience loves it -- or loves us enough to stay loyal. You've got to play it year-by-year. I enjoy taking risks and breaking away now and then."
THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: They have their stars -- Tom Cruise and Jessica Chastain -- and they have their director, Joseph Kosinski ("Tron Legacy"), and a start date in March. But the makers of Universal's forthcoming Cruise/Chastain science fiction flick have yet to settle on a title, a location or the actor who'll be Cruise's younger costar. That character is described as being in his 20s, tall, battle-hardened, and with a keen intelligence in his eyes. What a plum part for an up-and-comer.
© COPYRIGHT 2011 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
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