Interview With Saffron Burrows


Obviously as an actor, when you’re making something like this, just the detail is what’s really important in the beginning. … It is exciting because they’re building the set, then you’re shooting as soon as the set’s built, so you want to lay down the foundations in a way that’s satisfying, so that three episodes later you feel like there’s some solid foundations.

Q: As an actress, is that kind of interesting to see somebody professional get into someone else’s head? Because that’s what you do, to a degree, every day.
SB: Absolutely, it’s really intriguing. There’s one particular man I’ve met who writes books on psychotherapy. … He’s a Freudian. I’ve also talked to a Jungian, he’s very specific about what it requires, what good therapy requires and psychology and about it … involving emotional intensity. And of course as actors, we’re very drawn to people who are emotionally intense because that’s how we work, so there are some parallels there just in terms of focus that are interesting.

Q: Have you been on the other side of the couch?
SB: I have not [laughs].

Q: L.A. is quite a long distance from London. Do you miss being in London?
SB: You know, I just landed there the other day. I was there last weekend; I went to a festival in the Czech Republic … and I flew London and there was Big Ben and all my favorite buildings ’cause it was a very clear day [laughs]. So I had an hour at the airport, I ate an English breakfast and then I got back on another plane [laughs].

But seriously last year, I went home, I was flying all the time. And then this year I thought I would just try and settle down a little bit with all my flying around because I did a lot of journeys. I would sometimes wrap something on a Friday night and go straight to LAX. And so I’ve realized England is there. It’s my home; I love it.

Q: What do you miss the most when you’re here?
SB: The media; I miss the radio. But I love NPR, I have to say. I miss BBC Radio, which you can get here. So a lot of things that I love about the culture there, thankfully are to do with the intelligence of the media, which you can access anyway. And then NPR I’ve fallen in love with, so I live with NPR.

Q: Do you have a favorite NPR show?
SB: I like the morning stuff, I like the very early morning, the Rene Montaine … and then Larry Mantle. I like to go through the day. And then I’m in my trailer I get very annoyed if they disrupt me and say "come on set," because I have the radio on in my trailer! Or This American Life, that is wonderful!

Q: Is your character employed by the agency?
Yes. Alfre is my boss. Alfre Woodard’s character is my boss.

Q: And what are you trying to do for Henry and/or for Edward? Are you trying to get one of them out of there?
SB: In Episode 1 what I’m doing is I’m allaying his fears, and I’m in some way trying to calm his mind down, because he comes to me very troubled in Episode 1. It’s probably clear in Episode 1 that we already have a working relationship, but on this particular day, where I see him, he’s particularly troubled. So I’m … attempting to maintain the status quo.

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