BRIDGET REGAN INTERVIEW 2017

THIS GIRL CAN


Bridget Regan talks Sasha Cooper, learning to kick ass, and just who she would be in Homer’s Odyssey.

   

One of the fan’s favourite new additions to the team in season three was Sasha Cooper, played by Bridget Regan. A kickass, capable woman, former Naval Intelligence, she was introduced in the season premiere as a diplomatic aide working in China, with President Peng Wu. Quickly staking her place as a member of the Nathan James team, Sasha – and Bridget – won a place in the hearts of fans of “The Last Ship” with almost unprecedented speed.

When we catch up with Bridget, she has just returned from San Diego Comic Con, where she, Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin and showrunner Steven Kane appeared on a THE LAST SHIP panel in the hallowed Hall H, before hosting a special screening of the season four premiere at the nearby San Diego Naval Base for the serving sailors.

Photoshoot: San Diego Comic Con 2017

“I’m a bit pooped from Comic Con,” she admits, laughing. “It’s always really fun, though, and it’s great to interact with the fans. We went down to the Naval Base in San Diego and got to hang out with some real sailors, which was pretty awesome.”

SAN DIEGO NAVAL BASE SEASON 4 PREMIERE GALLERY

READ ABOUT THE NAVAL PREMIERE HERE

Bridget’s character, Sasha Cooper, is a relative newcomer to the show, having only been introduced in season three. However, she’s already firmly entrenched herself as a part of the team. “In season three, the crew of the Nathan James really needed me,” she explains. “Sasha’s an expert on the region – we were in Asia in season three – so I became an integral part of the mission, because I was so knowledgeable on our adversaries and allies. She jumps right in.

“She’s the kind of character who thrives when she has a job to do, a mission, she keeps her head down, and she loves the work. I was drawn to that. I loved how strong she was, and capable, and confident, and I also love that she was rough around the edges and stubborn, and sometimes speaks out of turn. She isn’t always right, but she tries her hardest.”

Season 3 – “Rising Sun” – Photo Credit: TNT / Doug Hyun

It’s fair to say that Sasha made her mark very early on in season three, and the focus placed on her character was constant throughout the season: in some ways, she was someone who helped draw seemingly disparate strands of the plot together. However, there were a few specific moments that helped to define the character. “If you go backwards, she’s chosen – all the characters who are on the Nathan James – have chosen to give their lives in service, in defence of the constitution,” says Bridget. “They’re all servicemen and women. That’s pretty defining in terms of her character.

“In terms of the season three, the finale, where Chandler was leaving the ship, abandoning the crew, leaving his mission, Sasha confronted him, and told him to put his uniform on, and really challenged him. That’s pretty defining. She was saying ‘the crew needs you, everyone needs you’, but I think that she would regret that she never said ‘I need you’. That was the truth of the moment, that was the subtext.”

Season 3’s “Dont Look Back”

Even though Sasha was initially portrayed as a more intellectual type, with her language and diplomatic skills coming to the fore, she is still very much a kickass woman, and able to hold her own in a fight. “I had a lot of catching up to do,” admits Bridget. “The rest of the cast had already had two previous seasons to learn a lot, so I was asking a lot of questions, but, thankfully, we’ve got real Navy SEALS on set with us every day – Kevin Kent, Harry Humphries, Todd Sharbutt – they help us not look like idiots! These guys’ opinions matter the most to me, and they’re the real deal. When we’re doing the action, it’s pretty hilarious, because after they yell ‘cut’, I don’t look to the director to see what he thought. I’m looking to our military advisors, going ‘hey, what did you think? Was that right? What do I need to change?’ And then I look to the director.

Season 4 – Photo Courtesy of TNT

“Their opinions matter to me so much, and they’re so fun to have on set, because they’ve got a great perspective. We’re just playing make-believe, we’re having fun, those guys have actually served our country, gone on tours – many of them multiple tours – and they know what it’s really like out there. I just have the deepest respect for them.”

Of course, this isn’t Bridget’s first season on the show, and a lot has changed in terms of the show’s storyline since the end of season three. “We’ve fast forwarded a year and a half since the end of season three,” she explains. “Sasha’s gone through the loss of Chandler, the shock, the heartbreak, and she’s trying her best to move on. It’s not easy, but she’s trying her best. In a way, her heart has been hardened by it all. She’s trying to move on, and at the start of season four, we meet a new love interest for her, but I will say that Chandler is not an easy man to get over.

“They do have a history, and I love that about the character. She wasn’t coming in out of nowhere. She had a past with Chandler, which is always really fun to play, and they went back, before he was married, before she was married. There was a lot of expectation, especially on Sasha’s part, that this was meant to be. The universe, god, whatever you want to say, brought us back together. After all this death, the fact we’re both still alive, and we’re back together, and on board this ship, I think there was a lot of hope that this would happen. When it didn’t, she was devastated.”

With all this history between them, especially with the nature of Chandler’s departure, it’s obviously going to have an effect on Sasha. “We don’t see the immediate effects,” says Bridget. “We have fast forwarded, and when they are reunited later in the season, in a way, like we all do, when you see someone from your past, you just go right back to that last moment you saw them: your body, your heart, your mind remembers, and it just goes right back there.”

SEASON 4 SNEAK PEEK OF 4×02 – THE PILLARS OF HERCULES

It’s no secret that season four of THE LAST SHIP has been based around Homer’s Odyssey. Chandler is clearly portrayed as Odysseus, following the hero’s journey, but Sasha isn’t necessarily aligned with the character you might expect. “One would think his wife Penelope, because she’s left by Odysseus in the beginning,” says Bridget. “But Sasha doesn’t wait around for him, she moves on, so maybe Athena. She’s a warrior, she’s wise. Athena’s also constantly in disguise, and Sasha’s skill of being fluent in so many languages gives her the ability to infiltrate so many different cultures and communities. So, I would say maybe she’s the goddess Athena!”

Season three carried a lot of subtext around Sasha’s interpersonal relationships. As well as having a history with Chandler, there were inferences that she may have been involved with both Jesse and Peng. Bridget is surprised that people saw subtext around her relationship with Peng. “That’s like a total surprise to me,” she admits. “That was actually the first time I’d heard about that, but I did hear a lot about a lot of fans reading into Jesse and Sasha’s relationship. I loved working with Dichen [Lachman], we had a lot of natural chemistry. Those characters do have a past. That wasn’t what we were playing, but I always find it so fascinating when the fans pick up on something that we weren’t intentionally putting there.

Bridget & Dichen Lachman – Credit: @BridgetRegan (Twitter)

“That’s how storylines get developed, often, in long running series. One of the greatest things about television is that the fans can influence the story. I would love for Dichen to come back, she was such a great addition to the cast, but, the nature of this show, people come and go, and everyone’s just trying to survive, so we’ll see.”

Bridget’s not just known for her acting skills, and has been a proud and vocal supporter of the LGBT community for many years, both in the roles she’s known for, and through her latest project, CAMP WANATACHI. “Ever since I was really young, I never really understood why all humans aren’t given the same rights,” she explains. “I’ve always felt really strongly about it. I grew up doing a lot of musical theatre, surrounded by a lot of the LGBT community, and I never understood it. It’s always been an important cause to me, and I believe so deeply that love is love, and it’s as simple as that.

CAMP WANATACHI is a musical that I’m producing in New York, Natalie [Elizabeth] Weiss, a dear friend of mine who I went to college with in North Carolina, has written a musical and it’s brilliant. It’s an electro-pop musical, it’s not your typical Broadway-style musical theatre show. It’s really alternative, it’s exciting, it’s fresh. It takes place at a Christian summer camp for teenage girls, and two of the young teenage women fall in love.

“We see that pan out, and what it means for their relationship with God, and with each other, and it’s a beautiful piece. I’m thrilled with it, and I’m excited about what the next stage could be, whether it’s going in the direction of a film, or continuing in theatre. We’re excited! I’m just trying to help in whatever way I can.”

Not content with a starring role on THE LAST SHIP, Bridget has also been playing a concurrent recurring role on The CW’s JANE THE VIRGIN, as well as producing CAMP WANATACHI. She’s a very busy lady. “Thankfully, I’ve got really amazing producers over at THE LAST SHIP,” said Bridget. “They’ve worked with JANE THE VIRGIN and GREY’S ANATOMY, and other things that I’ve done, and I’ve managed to make it all work. I’m very lucky that they’ve been so cooperative and supportive of my career.

“[For] CAMP WANATACHI, I’ve mostly just been on my phone or writing emails. I did it to have something creative going on in my life, but the irony of producing is that it tends to be less of a creative-feeling job, and more nuts and bolts, and getting stuff done. I get a lot of stuff done while I’m on set, and make it all work. I feel blessed to have the work. Being an actor, for me, is a gift, and I’m thankful for it every day.”

Don’t miss Bridget lighting up our screens in the season four premiere of THE LAST SHIP, August 20 on TNT in the USA, and worldwide the following day.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE WATCHERS MAGAZINE FOR THE CONTENT SHARE & ASKING SOME QUESTIONS FOR US! YOU CAN READ THEIR INTERVIEW WITH BRIDGET TALKING SEASON 4 IN THE LATEST ISSUE (AVAILABLE FREE FROM MAGZTER).