INTERVIEW SHORTS: LIZZIE PEET

Interview shorts is our new feature, chatting to episode guest stars who help bring the world and stories of THE LAST SHIP to life.

The season four premiere of THE LAST SHIP was a goldmine for guest stars who imprinted themselves on their scenes, and on our memories. Lizzie Peet was one of those guest stars. Playing Captain Michelle Boylan, we saw a flash of affection between her and Mike Slattery as the crew of the Nathan James arrived at Base Naval de Rota in Spain. Unfortunately, any developments in this affection were not to be, as Boylan was gunned down when the base was invaded by Omar’s terrorists.

However, although her time on screen was short, Michelle will be remembered by fans. Lizzie recently took the time to answer a few questions about her character, what it was like to work with Adam Baldwin, and what else she’s been up to.

Had you seen any of ’The Last Ship’ before working on the show?

“No, I hadn’t.”

What’s your take on your character Capt. Boylan?

I instantly knew who Michelle was. She’s a daddy’s girl who never quite fulfilled his dreams [for her], so went to overdrive, and has accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time, as the Navy consultant on set informed me. I had some medals there! I myself am the third of four kids, was the only girl and a massive tomboy, who grew up climbing trees, playing flashlight tag, and swimming in ponds with snapping turtles. And don’t even talk to me about a dress until high school! So the feeling of being scrappy, needing to compete in a man’s world, and, most importantly, having to prove myself and take no prisoners was intrinsic to my upbringing in McLean, VA.”

You nailed the no-nonsense, military style demeanour; was the character based on someone, or have you had experience playing military roles?

“My dad was in the Korean war, and, like all veterans, it played a huge toll on his life and child rearing skills. I was awakened for chores every Saturday morning with the “First Call” in the form of my dad humming thru his fingers, so the military was not a stretch. Sitting up straight was a huge thing at our dinner table.”

You had great chemistry with Adam Baldwin, and some really fun lines. What was it like working with Adam on that scene?

“Lemme tell ya, it’s not every day that you are sent to the Naval Base in San Diego to shoot a big-budget TV gig EP’d by Michael Bay, so I’m not gonna play the big shot, shrug my shoulders, and say it was “cool”. It was friggin’ awesome!!! Like playing GI Joe when you were a kid, except you’re all grown up, and GI Joe is Adam and Eric!! And daunting. There’s a LOT going on, these guys are pros, and you need to step up, and setup up quickly. My first day of shooting, I had to walk down the Naval base steps, meet Adam and Bridget at the bottom, and pass a team of paramedics carrying a wounded Omar on the way down. Paul [Holahan], the director, came out (and you never want them to leave video village to talk to YOU), and said “you’re early. Give yourself a count after Action.” Um… ok! And that’s exactly what I did. It all worked out, but I’m not gonna say it wasn’t a tad daunting at first! Adam took the time to come up the steps to where I was hanging in between takes and say “This next take, look at me right in the eye the entire time. It’ll be more effective.” And I did. And, of course, he was right. But he took the time to make my performance better. And that’s so very rad.”

We see lots of shenanigans going on on set, via social media. What was it like as a guest star working with such a close knit cast & crew?

“By shoot day 2, I was feeling more comfortable, and I said to Adam as we were running lines on the ship..”Hey, do you wanna play name that tune?” “Um… sure…” he said. So I began humming the theme of one of my all time favorite films, Adam’s breakout role, “My Bodyguard.” If you’ve ever been bullied, or felt like you were from the wrong side of the tracks as I did for much of my life, you loved this movie!! We shared a chuckle, and he again gave me a tip on how to end the scene, with one last look. Oh! I almost forgot! The first day of shooting my eye popped a blood vessel!! I had no clue what happened, and was so petrified of being replaced! The DP looked at my eye for like 10 seconds, shrugged, and said..”it’s cool, we’ll shoot around it.” Christina and the crew were so kind. The familial vibe was omnipresent, and I sure do wish I didn’t get shot, but isn’t there this thing called reincarnation?? I mean, do we really know who shot JR??”

Capt. Boylan wasn’t going down without a fight!

What can we see you in next?

“I just finished an amazingly rad Shakespeare in the Sphere VR project with Michelle Hurd and Neil Flynn, where we film parts of Hamlet and Macbeth in virtual reality: the future is here!! Thanks for a great voyage, Nathan James – albeit brief!”

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