411mania Interviews: Constance Zimmer
While Constance Zimmer is best known for her role as Dana on Entourage, her resume includes work on Boston Legal, Royal Pains, Love Bites, The New Adventures of Old Christine, NYPD Blue, Joan of Arcadia, In Justice, and the new Netflix original series House of Cards. Currently she can be seen in the middle of a five episode run on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.
Al Norton: Sometimes I wonder what people are going to sound like but with you I was 100% sure of your voice.
Constance Zimmer: (Laughing) Yes, my voice is always my giveaway…But yet I can’t get any voiceover work. Go figure.
Al Norton: That’s really strange.
Constance Zimmer: I know, isn’t it? That’s alright, I’m not complaining.
Al Norton: I know you’ve done medical dramas before but was last week’s episode of Grey’s the first time you had done that sort of intense surgery scene?
Constance Zimmer: Yes, absolutely, especially with how specific they are, that level of attention to detail, which in those scenes in particular is crazy. We spent almost a full day shooting that scene. I learned a little bit about a pneumatic tourniquet, which before I couldn’t even pronounce, and that’s kind of cool; I get medical lessons and I get to act at the same time.
Al Norton: It’s a skill set for an actor to be able to walk into an environment where everyone else already knows each other and just start working.
Constance Zimmer: It is one of the things in our business that is always very surprising to me; in some ways it’s all about how you can get along with strangers. They’re all people that you feel like you know because you’ve seen them on television for years and yet you don’t know them at all because they are not their characters. Sometimes it’s easier to come in as a character and then ease your way in; your character becomes a stepping stone to getting yourself familiar with them.
Al Norton: Was that sort of distance easier in this role since your character was not well received by the others?
Constance Zimmer: It was actually. I didn’t have emotions or feel bad about being bitchy (laughing) but at the same time I liked to be liked – don’t we all? – so I kept trying to remind them, “this is just a character, I’m actually really nice. Let’s get to know each other because I’m not really a bitch.”
Al Norton: Last week we saw a more personal side of Alana; are we going to keep seeing more of that?
Constance Zimmer: You will, yes, thank god, because you can’t play one type of personality since we all have so many of them within us. You do get to see the position that she’s in and why she has to be as strong as she is but then later down the road you will also get to understand why she isn’t going to be a surgeon and why she is very good at the job she is doing now, even if she’s not the happiest she’s ever been in her life.
Al Norton: Most of the time you do a guest spot on a show you have one story and get to work with one set of the actors but in this case, with the role Alana plays in the story, you have gotten scenes with just about the entire cast.
Constance Zimmer: I tell you, that was definitely a huge bonus. On Entourage, for example, I was almost always with Jeremy (Piven), but when I read who Alana would be and what she would represent, it was very exciting to me to not be locked into just one storyline. Getting to do five episodes and being able to work with every single person, you get to form a bond, and you don’t get to do that as a guest star very often.
Al Norton: You mentioned Entourage; I am not sure if you’ve seen a copy of the movie script but if Dana is in it, are you up for it?
Constance Zimmer: I believe I am in it, it’s just a matter of how much, and of course I’d be up for it. I mean, what other television shows get turned into movies, and I’d like to be part of the kind of cult phenomenon of Entourage. I’d have to be a part of it, right?
Al Norton: Plus you’d get to see Dana using her salty language up on a huge screen.
Constance Zimmer: (Laughing) Yes, exactly; who doesn’t want to see someone saying the F-word on a huge screen?
Al Norton: Can you give me a preview of this week’s Grey’s Anatomy?
Constance Zimmer: Because I have been pretty much crafting the hospital for possible buyers we can expect to see some people who might be buyers come into play, which also causes a whole new stir. We’re also trying to find a new face of the hospital, find someone who can represent Seattle Grace to the public, and that also stirs up a lot of competition amongst the doctors.
Don’t miss Grey’s Anatomy, Thursday at 9pm on ABC.
For more information on Grey’s Anatomy, visit http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomy