|With the writers' strike now wreaking havoc across the networks, a new emotionally charged episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent is set to air on December 13 called "Senseless" that sees Logan and Falacci investigate the execution-style murder of four young college students. On April 8, Law & Order: Criminal Intent also makes the leap to USA Network to give fans a chance to catch up on the previous seasons with a slew of repurposed episodes.|
Late last week, The Deadbolt was part of a conference-call with both Noth and Witt who dished the dirt on the upcoming episode "Senseless", what they do in their down-time, working with the great Ben Vereen, and the impact of the ongoing writers' strike. And for all of you Sex and the City fans, Noth shares his thoughts on the upcoming big screen version of the series.
Chris Noth on whether he ever wished he could play a villain or a victim instead of Logan:
"No. When I’m doing the show, I’m not in that - my mind doesn’t go there. No. Honestly, I never went, 'Oh, I’d like to be playing this guy or...," instead of me. I like my character and it’s just that, you know, I can’t - I’ve never jumped over into going, 'Oh, this would have been a..., You know, I thought, 'Oh, I would like to play a different cop in a movie,' or something like that. But I never, on our show, I’ve never felt like not while we’re on, and I’m pretty much into what I’m doing."
Noth on where Criminal Intent stands with the writers' and how many episodes are complete:
"We’ve got a couple things going into the new year, I think. But we’re like everyone else. We’re going to have to wait. But we’ve got these shows going over to NBC, so I think we’ve got some time. I don’t know. You have to ask, actually, someone more informed than I am about how that works. But I would assume that we’re going to go whenever the strike is resolved and I’m hearing all kinds of different things. We’re going to go right back into making more new episodes and we’ll [there will be] some time that they show some repeats or something before they show the new ones. I’m not really clear to tell you the truth. [April 8th on USA] ... So that date is possibly - may have - may change. I don’t know. So far we’re still - next week we’ve got this one we shot and then all of these episodes that appear will go as new episodes on NBC. So...
Alicia Witt on what was it like to work with Ben Vereen in the "Senseless" episode:
"Oh, Ben was great. I wish we could have worked with him a lot more than we did. But we had such - I mean, he’s playing the father of oneof the victims,so it’s a rough role, you know. He was amazing and we did our scenes with him. But then in between scenes, he and I started to sing together. So that was really fun. We did some Sammy Davis, Jr. covers. So that was really awesome. It was like much needed levity to this extremely depressing day of being - so we started to sing. He’s a great singer, obviously."
Witt on being the new kid on the block on Criminal Intent:
"It’s been really great, you know. I’ve felt like I kind of have the most amazing gig doing this because it had all the benefits of coming into a show that was already running very smoothly after being on for seven years. So the glitches that you might have with a new show weren’t going to happen."
Chris Noth on the reaction of the real NYPD toward the show:
"Well I think they get it’s a TV show, you know. They’re not expecting, you know, complete reality. How can you have complete reality when you only have like 42 minutes to tell a story, you know, really? You know, you give the illusion of that reality and I think they understand the difference, you know. I think they’re pretty good natured about it and I like - I think we do a good job of presenting who the New York Police are and I think they like that, you know."
Alicia Witt on the emotion in "Senseless":
"It’s hugely emotional because - at least in my limited experience, it’s the most emotional episode that we’ve done. It’s - I think this episode is one where the detectives really end up getting invested in it in a way that doesn’t usually happen because they deal with this all the time. And obviously you feel something and you wish the people that you need to interrogate who just lost a family member weren’t having to go through this but you deal with it because it’s part of the job."
Noth on the meaning of "Senseless":
"The title of the show kind of says it all - "Senseless" - and, you know, we do what we do. We’re trying to solve a crime and be objective, and not get sucked into the tragedy, because it can get in your way if you do get sucked into it. But then every once in awhile, it hits you. There’s a scene where the father of the young lady who’s on life support and maybe is going to make it, maybe not, and..."
Alicia Witt on how she winds down from a normal shooting schedule:
"I’ve found that it was funny. Like sometimes I would, I would do that [have a glass of wine]. I would come home, have a glass of wine or literally sometimes I didn’t even have time for that. Sometimes I’d come home, take the dogs out for a walk and fall into bed - take off the makeup, go to bed, wake up the next morning. But the way I kind of work sometimes is I can go a couple of days with very little sleep and then I pull these crazy Saturdays where I sleep for literally 14.5 hours."
Noth on the difference between being on the regular Law & Order and Criminal Intent:
"It’s a bigger responsibility. We’re carrying the show and the story, and in a sense that we’re leading you through all the different points to the resolution of the crime. And have on our shoulders, to sort of present the case and how it unfolds. And it’s the full hour. It’s not just, you know, half and then it goes to the (boards). The cases, I think, are sometimes more complex and sometimes being major case - they’re often something that has a reverberation in the community or the political world, or something like that. Not always, but..."
Alicia Witt on the stresses of the shooting schedule:
"It’s exhausting shooting these episodes and the only thing that I think is like even more tricky than the fact that we’re shooting these long hours and having to keep focused on the facts, and all of that, is that a lot of times when we’re on location what makes it especially challenging mentally is that we’ll have a specific location for the day. So, for example, if we start out the episode interrogating a certain suspect at their home and then later on in the episode we return to that same suspect’s home. And then later in the same episode we return again, and this time we arrest the suspect, we have to shoot all of those that same day right after each other. And in between the scenes, we have to remember exactly what has happened, exactly what we think the person might be guilty of and sort out the sequence of events even though they haven’t been shot yet or they’re not in sequence."
Chris Noth on filming both Criminal Intent and the Sex and the City movie in New York:
"Yeah, it’s pretty schizo. Totally antithetical subject matter, feeling. It’s completely two different sets although for a movie I think they cover an enormous amount of ground as, you know, they may not be doing eight or nine pages like we do. But they cover what they do very - I mean, they cover a lot, you know. They’re going at a rapid pace. So both sets were positively exhausting in completely different ways."
Noth on meeting Sex and the City fans while filming Criminal Intent:
"We were mobbed in Sex and the City on the first week. I mean, every set we were on there were 500 people with their camera phones, you know. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it and they stayed there all day long. So that was pretty interesting."
Alicia Witt on how Noth's legacy as Mr. Big affected the filimng of Criminal Intent:
"I have to tell that one very funny story though, because any - what I noticed being around you when we were out on the street shooting the show is that yeah, some people were really interested because of Criminal Intent. But you could definitely tell, especially with the female fans - the ones that were into Chris because of Mr. Big. And so that was sort expected, you know. There were always girls like with googly-eyed and just completely mad about him, which is adorable. But then this one day we were shooting a scene in a car and we were following another car, which had the equipment in it and stuff. So there we were in the car with, you know, we’re sort of blocking traffic a little bit. And the camera is in our car and... we had to do a U-turn to go back to where we started from and shoot the scene again. And there was this huge truck that was being blocked by our little caravan. And he started honking the horns furiously and he’s this big, burly guy, you know, mid-40s truck driver. And we figured, 'Okay, he’s just pissed off that he’s - the road ahead of him is blocked and he can’t where he needs to go. And he kept on honking and finally we were turning in front of him and he caught Chris’s eye with the honking. And he yelled out of the window of his car, 'Marry Carrie. Marry Carrie.'"
Noth on whether Carrie and Mr. Big will remain connected and if he sees himself doing Sex and the City later in life:
"Well, so is Falacci and Logan. They’re always - well, I mean, their imprint on each other’s lives, you know, emotionally is going to always be there. I’m trying to think of a - maybe come up with after that one. I don’t think you could call it, if I’m in a wheelchair, Sex and the City... No, there’ll be no Sex and the City with wheelchairs. It’ll be the Golden Girls and the, you know, something old guys."