The actress discusses her part on the hit show.
by Jeff Otto
March 14, 2006 - Robin Tunney got her first big break as one of the many raven-haired actresses of The Craft. Since then, the actress has stepped out of the limelight theatrically to work on indie films such as the acclaimed Niagra, Niagra and smaller parts in Vertical Limit and Paparazzi. Recently, she's returned to the public eye as attorney Veronica Donovan on FOX's breakout new series, Prison Break.
During the press day for the upcoming thriller The Zodiac, we had the chance to talk to Tunney about her part on Prison Break. The show returns on FOX next week after a lengthy hiatus.
During the initial shooting of Prison Break, no one knew whether the show would last or not. These days, its future is far more secure. "Look, I think everybody approaches their career differently. My whole thing is sort of like, 'Okay, when is it gonna fall apart? Now we've been on hiatus this long. Are people still gonna watch?' It's such a unique, high concept thing. Everybody had the same thing with Lost. Can they carry this on? I think the show is definitely getting better and we're just finding our stride. It was great to begin with, it's just one of those things like, can we keep this going? The further in we are, the more the writers start to know the characters and you start to have a bit more character development. I'm definitely really pleased with it and I hope that America agrees…
"Personally, I'm really proud of it. Wentworth [Miller] is such an amazing man and such a pleasure to be around. The attention hasn't changed him one bit. He's really remarkable. The whole group, Rob Knepper and everybody is just, it's a pleasure to go to work and I feel really blessed about that... It's not derivative. You can make the comparison to 24, but it's not derivative of anything else. I think when anything original slips through the cracks... I also think the reason has been successful is that it does have a unique look and it's not fake. We're so Burbank'd here [in L.A.], you know what I mean? We shoot on real locations, it's a real prison, and I think people see that. I don't know if they're putting it together literally in their minds, but I think it's one of the things about it where they're like, 'Okay, that's why that's different. It just feels different.' And that has its price, because hanging out at Joliet State Prison for nine months is not my idea of a good time. (Laughs) I mean, try going to the bathroom… It's creepy."
Tunney's character is a lawyer on the show, which she says is fun for a change. "I've also never had a job in anything. Generally I'm sort of like the disenfranchised, like taking pills, drinking, can't get a job. (Laughs) If I have a job, it's like in a convenience store or a mountain climber, but they gave me a brief case and they put me in a suit and I was like, '[Shriek]!'"
Even portraying a lawyer, Tunney has had the chance to get down and dirty with the rest of the cast during a few action sequences. "Well, it was a question that I had when they offered it to me, because I kept on say, 'This is called Prison Break. Obviously I'm not going to get them out by legal means…' But, you know, it's more fun, because if I had to sit around talking legal jargon, that would just be so dull to me… I like to act because I'm really interested in human behavior and I think when you're sort of bogged down with just having to tell the story and not having scenes where you have a visual reaction and things are going on, it gets a bit dull for me. Other actors love it and they're really good at it and that's what they're into, but that wouldn't be mine…
"[Prison Break] has been really fun. I gotta tell you, I've been doing this long enough that you can tell the difference when people have seen you in something that they didn't enjoy and when they've seen you in something they actually enjoy. And people really seem to enjoy it, which is really great."
Prison Break's next episode, entitled "The Rat," airs this coming Monday, March 20, at 8:00 PM ET/PT on FOX.