The reviews are in and while The Mysteries of Laura might not be on every television critic’s must-watch list this fall, Debra Messing is still giving it her all in the latest CTV/NBC drama. And that includes rocking out in the car whenever called for, and stuffing her face for the sake of her character.
As witnessed in the pilot (premiering Wednesday night), Messing’s Det. Laura Diamond does what many women with high-stakes job situations tend to do: stress eat. In the first episode alone we see her ram cake down her throat like it’s her last meal, and don some spectacular looking Spanx to hold it all in later on.
“I will tell you something that no one else knows yet about the pilot,” Messing tells The TV Junkies. “The cake that I ate in the mansion was made of quinoa. It was disgusting. I’m lactose intolerant. And eating, you have to eat those things over and over and over again. Quinoa is a good source of protein, so I was like, all right it’s a long day, make it of quinoa.”
According to the actress, her character’s eating habits aren’t all that off from those of real life officers who sometimes have to work 36 hours straight. Messing met with real life homicide detectives in order to prep for the role, and learned this firsthand.
“One case will break and they’ll be on the go and they don’t know when they’re going to eat next,” she explains. “They’re not going to be able to sit down and eat, so if you see something you grab it.”
Eating isn’t the only thing the actress went for in order to try to sell the role to audiences. Although Messing might not have lent her pipes to Smash alongside Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, she certainly does in The Mysteries of Laura. Full out car styles.
“That was fun, I love it,” she recalls of the scene, in which she literally rocks the stress out in the car. “That was a late night release, and we did two takes. We did the song we used and then we did a song from The Wiggles—’Fruit Salad.’ And I was like, I was belting it and I thought it was the funniest thing. I was convinced they would pick ‘Fruit Salad’ but they thought the other one was funnier.”
As with any detective drama, the series isn’t all quirks despite its light tone. Much like Columbo, Messing wears a signature trench coat (from Zara, she reveals), at times appears to be the dimmest bulb on the force and attempts to balance her two misbehaved children while dealing with her colleague ex-husband, as played by Josh Lucas. It all leads to another reference from a former popular TV drama.
“We might see a little bit of Moonlighting,” Messing hints. “Kind of tension at work, having to work together. Deep down we still love each other.”
It’s not a hard role to play, or at least get into.
“Josh is not sore on the eyes,” she laughs. “He’s lovely. I’ve been a fan, he’s a huge talent. But he’s also just a gentleman and we have so much in common. He’s a single parent, I’m a single parent. We both have boys. We’re both believe our children walk on water.”
Here’s hoping audiences feel the same about the show.
The Mysteries of Laura debuts with a special time on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET. It shifts to 8 p.m. ET the following week on CTV and NBC.
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