The last time we saw Annie Walker on “Covert Affairs,” she had just faked her own death —
convincing the CIA! — and disappeared for a life on the run. What’s next? Piper Perabo previews Annie’s secret new world in this interview.
There may be a few “Covert Affairs” spoilers in this, so please read with caution.
First of all, what can you say about the new hair Annie has in the promos for the upcoming episodes?
Piper Perabo: Annie has gotten into so much trouble that the only way to protect the people that she cares about is to fake her own death … And because of what’s going down, her picture is all over the place, and she needs to be unrecognizable. We figured that this was one way that she could change her appearance fast while she’s on the run.
My hair is a total metaphor. When Annie goes blonde again, you know everything’s going to be fine.
What do you think of yourself as a brunette?
Piper Perabo: The first morning, I was like ‘Oh my God! What if my clothes don’t work?’ You know, you have your go-to outfits in your real life and then all of the sudden you go, ‘I should try everything on again.’ But I like it!
Why did you go with dying your hair instead of just wearing wigs?
Piper Perabo: It’d be hard. I got a motorcycle — or Annie got a motorcycle — and you don’t want to be like, when you pull off a motorcycle helmet … When you pull off a motorcycle helmet, you want your hair to like go like this. Not come off in the motorcycle helmet. So wigs and a motorcycle don’t match.
What was your reaction when you realized the very first scene of Season 4 showed your character’s “death”?
Piper Perabo: It was the first scene of the premiere, and I got shot. I was like, ‘Do I need to start doing auditions?’
How does a life on the run change Annie?
Piper Perabo: It changes her in a giant way, because she’s on the run. Because she had to fake her own death, she doesn’t have the support of the CIA. So it almost brings you back to a rookie status, in that you’re doing everything on your own. But she has the experience of being four years an operative.
It makes her solve problems in the old-Annie way of having to figure it out on the fly. It’s very super-charged. I mean, she only has herself to rely on. She’s out there in the dark. She does have some assets that she’s cultivated through seasons past that perhaps she could reach out to … If she trusts them enough to tell them what’s going on, and if they would help her.
What she’s doing, she knows how to do, but she doesn’t really have permission to do any of this. So you’re meeting up with more nefarious people and putting yourself in compromising situations. I think, as always with Annie, the balance is to sort of keep her ethical core there, so she doesn’t become a psycho. It’s just like, if you were in this position, how would you function and how much is too much and where do you draw the line when nobody is working?
If she just becomes a psycho, then she’s anybody. Like you’ve just lost your friend.
Who, specifically, might be able to help Annie — other than Eyal, who we already saw?
Piper Perabo: Helen starts to play a big part … Because she’s also dark, she can get to Annie. So the whole thing like intensifies the triangle more — not necessarily in a good way. By the way, when you fake your own death and your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend can come find you is not awesome.
Does anybody back at the CIA know that Annie is still alive?
Piper Perabo: Some of the team knows and some of the team doesn’t … I was shocked that not everybody knew! I couldn’t believe that we weren’t going to tell everybody. And then that puts incredible strain between the four that are left behind — because some know and some don’t. Those that do have slightly different opinions on whether to reach out or not.
How does the villainous Henry Wilcox figure into Annie’s upcoming actions?
Piper Perabo: It involves his Lexington Group and his past — which we haven’t seen that much of … 15, 16 is so exciting. I don’t even know all the details about it. You don’t really see the details, the full flesh of Henry’s world until the very end.
“Covert Affairs” returns with new episodes Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m. on USA.