Watch out, leading men of USA Network. Callie Thorne is coming through.
Thorne stars as psychotherapist Dr. Danielle Santino in USA’s new summer series “Necessary Roughness,” premiering Wednesday, June 29.
Dr. Dani’s life unravels after she find her husband cheating and must tackle single parenthood. She takes on the challenge of rehabilitating a football player (played by “True Blood’s” Mehcad Brooks) whose misbehavior off the field threatens his career. Soon, she becomes the go-to therapist for other high profile athletes.
The show is actually inspired by the real life story of Dr. Donna Dannenfelser, the show’s supervising producer.
“It wasn’t so much about research and researching her actual history,” Thorne explains. “What was important to me mostly was I just wanted to soak up her spirit because I think that’s partly what makes her so extraordinary and her story so extraordinary.”
Thorne continues, “You know though the show isn’t a documentary, it’s a show that is inspired by her. It’s still very important to me that I represent her in the right way.”
Zap2it also chatted with Thorne about Dr. Dani’s love interests, upcoming guest stars and which USA Network star she’d like to have on the show. Spoiler Alert — it’s all of them.
What drew you into the show and, more specifically, the character?
I think initially really the fact that it was a true story and that it was based on a real woman, a real extraordinary woman is you know why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the script and read it in the first place. To me, that automatically means that a story’s going to be that much more rich and that much more layered in terms of the – you know if Dr. Donna is there especially in the writing room it just means that everything’s going to be that much more true, that much more grounded.
I was right, I read the script, I flew through it and it felt so honest and based out of a real kind of truth then even when I got to meet her, once I landed the role and I got to meet her it all sort of fell into place so perfectly. There’s a spirit about her that fills up the entire page which then makes it that much easier to go ahead and get in front of the camera and try to sort of tell her story.
What do you find most challenging about the role?
She’s a therapist but because she’s a different ilk you know she’s not as formal, she’ll go to the football field, she’ll go to the bar where the football player is partying instead of showing up to practice. Sometimes it’s hard for me as Callie not to play her even more maternal, you know because you know in terms of the comfort level. It’s hard for me to sometimes remember that there still is a boundary of the therapist and the client.
In the first episode, we see the beginning of this relationship with Matt (“Buffy’s” Marc Blucas), but we also see your character’s dynamic with Nico (“Gilmore Girls”‘ Scott Cohen) — Are we going to see a love triangle?
It’s kind of a delightful accident that happened during the pilot that not necessarily that we weren’t meant to enjoy the relationship between Nico and Dr. Dani. But I think that after all was said and done and the show was put together it – because the relationship is so different between she and Matt and she and Nico that it does kind of set it up for a delicious place for there to be a possible triangle.
Do you have a favorite client of Dani’s yet?
It’s always going to be TK (Mehcad Brooks) because he’s the first, you know it’s always going to be Mehcad Brooks’ character I think, even though each episode so far, each client that’s come in, the stories have been so great and so out of the box. I think TK’s always going to have this special spot in her heart, you know because he will have been the first and he’ll – he will always be the sort of constant patient.
Can you talk a little bit about some of the upcoming guest stars viewers can expect to see?
I would love to do that because each time the new cast comes in I’m floored by the people that they’re getting. We’ve had Matt Barr who plays the race car driver and Nick Bishop, who I love also, who’s on “Body of Proof” with Dana Delany.
Is there anybody from another USA show that you would like to bring on “Necessary Roughness” as a guest star?
Oh, I want to bring all of them. I want to bring Mark [from “Royal Pains,” I want to bring Matt [Bomer] from “White Collar,” I want Jeffrey Donovan over here, I want Gabrielle Anwar, I want them all! They can come as their characters, and they all come to me and I think that that would be a really good idea. Not only for me but for the audiences as well.
Watch “Necessary Roughness” tonight (Wednesday, June 29) at 10 p.m. EST on USA Network.