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Liz - Played By Merrin Dungey

Ray meets woman in library

HBO

What brought Liz to hire Ray?

Merrin

She needed to fix the problem.  She's the kind of gal who likes to have her ducks in a row, a little type A.  She's a Cosmo gal, but those tips and tricks she's tried are not working so maybe someone else can show me something different. So let's go to the top -- let's get a professional in here who knows what he's doing and can get to the heart of the matter.

HBO

Liz wants a white guy to help her through her sex issues to keep things anonymous... Do you think that's really true?

Merrin

I think it has less to do with race and more to do with the fact she needs someone who doesn't know who she knows.  She's trying to find someone as far out of her circle as possible -- I'm going to get an escort, and I'm going to the best place, Happiness Consultants, and I'm getting a white guy because he's not going to know anybody. It's the perfect scenario because she wants it to be a secret, and not that a white guy is going to know anything better to do than a black or Asian guy.

I like that they didn't make a huge issue about race. And I liked how Thomas [Jane, "Ray"] played that moment - he was befuddled by it: Why are we talking about this?  I think being the first of his black clients it was a way to mention it, but not mention it. Liz is an organized person. She's not like the birthday girl who was just "F**k me!"  She really wants to fix the problem. She's hyped up and tense through the process. It doesn't come easy -- no pun intended.

HBO

Why meet at the library?

Merrin

I love that it was the library. That's another indication of the kind of person Liz is. It's a public place. It's during the day. It's not a sleazy bar. It's another way of controlling.

HBO

Did you have any qualms about doing the role?

Merrin

It's funny, I was a big fan of the show but when I was talking to Colette [Burson, the series creator] before I got the part, I didn't remember the nudity. This show doesn't bring to mind boobs, it brings to mind great characters. And it's certainly something I have [sings] never done! Or even been asked to do before. So it was exciting to try something different.

I was nervous when I got to do it. But to work with this esteemed group and such a wonderful creative cast and really stretch, and as an actor - expose myself. And to work with [episode director] Lisa Cholodenko -- she made junkies look beautiful in 'High Art.' This was not a scene about my boobs. It was about a woman trying to figure something out sexually.

HBO

What made you more anxious, the nudity, or playing someone who doesn't like sex?

Merrin

The nudity! A lot of women can play "I don't like sex." You cross your arms and legs and sit in the corner.  Actors are always talking about peeling off your layers, but when your moment is actually peeling off your layers... Oh my God! I was so nervous before I kept saying to myself, "You've gotta calm down" ... and it turns out I was pregnant.  I was like: Just take the test tomorrow, I can't deal with that information right now. And I did. And I was.

HBO

That's how you realized you were pregnant?

Merrin

On the way over I felt so sick and I called my friend and said, "I don't know if it's because I'm so nervous, or because I haven't eaten all day, and she was like: "Are you pregnant?" I had forgotten that could be a possibility.

But they make it really safe. It's a small group on set. The wardrobe gal who has to put on your privacy patch is lovely. They talk about what you're willing to show and not willing to show.  But it's an interesting thing when you go in to block that scene -- blocking is sitting on Thomas Jane and if you move this way, your vagina's gonna show. It's like, Oh Jesus, this is nothing like 'Alias' at all. Oh to be hanging from a wire, kicking someone's ass.

THINK FAST:

 

[blank] bores me to death:  Waiting

Fantasy date [person]: Sam Merlotte

Dream date [activity]: Sex!

When I'm bored, I:  Daydream

Best compliment I've ever gotten:  "You're a really beautiful person."

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