Gabrielle Anwar plays Fiona on the USA Network’s Burn Notice. And SciFiChick.com was recently able to participate in a conference call with Anwar:
What’s the status of Fiona and Michael’s relationship? Will we see them becoming a couple again?
G. Anwar: That depends how one would define a couple.
Yes, like a traditional relationship, like boyfriend/girlfriend.
G. Anwar: I don’t think either of them has a traditional bone in their body, so I think perhaps not in that respect.
What’s the best part of doing scenes with Bruce Campbell?
G. Anwar: The hysterical laughter that it is inevitable. I think I may have cracked plenty of neatly executed make-up applications on my cheeks from the kind of laughter that goes alongside with working with Bruce.
The show features some pretty strong female roles, and now that Carla’s in the fold, how does that change Fiona for you?
G. Anwar: I think that Fiona is as threatened as Fiona can get. I don’t think it’s about necessarily how attractive physically a woman is. I think it’s how much a monopoly she might have on Michael Weston’s mind and livelihood and thinking. So I think she is perhaps threatened by Carla more so than anybody else she would be threatened by.
We have learned lots about Michael’s life and his past and quite a bit about Sam’s life and Sam’s past. We know very little about Fiona’s past. Does Fiona have girlfriends? Does she go for lunch, shopping? What’s her apartment like? Does she have a life outside guns?
G. Anwar: Very funny. I don’t think Fiona’s the type of gal who takes lunches with her BFF. I don’t even think she gets her nails done. I think that any attempt at being aesthetically feminine goes to the wayside when handling all these black market weapons. I think that perhaps she doesn’t really settle anywhere. So as far as an apartment is concerned, I’m not sure she has many trinkets other than her snowglobes. She’s not your average woman, let’s face it.
So then, are we going to learn more about Fiona’s background beyond the fact that she’s a former IRA agent?
G. Anwar: I don’t know. I’d like to because of her narcissistic connection…but it’s really not up to me. I have my own secret fantasies of who she is and where she came from and where she’s going. But unfortunately that life hasn’t connected to mine.
So there’s nothing coming up in the rest of this season that you know of that will cast some light on her background, nothing revealed to you yet?
G. Anwar: Not this far, no. Perhaps once we go back in a couple of weeks I’ll have a different story for you. But as of now what you all will be seeing tonight and so on, not so much.
What about your role continues to challenge you?
G. Anwar: That I still have to speak the American dialect. I think it’s a bit nerve racking now that we’re heading into season three that I’m still going to be in a bikini. I think I’ll probably have to have a hip replacement if we get to season eight. I’m not sure if the bikini’s going to work then.
What has been your most memorable moment you’ve had since filming the show?
G. Anwar: I don’t know if I have just one moment. Every day that I’m working on that show I really feel incredibly blessed to be there. And I’m really not kidding you. I know that’s an awful cliché to hear, but I really mean it. I just have a series of memorable moments that are strung together which makes me very happy, because otherwise I’d just be hoping to relive the lost memorable moment. But I’m actually looking forward to going back to work. It’s something I haven’t often said.
Talk about the challenges of having to retail of all these guns and bombs, and what are some of the things that you like about the challenges that the role offers you?
G. Anwar: I’m very glad that we have a wonderful weapons master who knows what he’s doing with a weapon, because I’m clueless. Without the crew, I would look absolutely ridiculous, which is basically the way I look when the camera’s not rolling. I’m really enjoying the fantasy of it because, obviously, it’s not really a role that I’ve been offered in the past. So I’m really relishing the fact that I think I’m tough. It’s challenging to really make it look like I know what I’m doing.
Jeffrey’s actually pretty good with self-defense, and he’s quite technically minded. He’s very logically minded mostly because he’s male and I am sort of a mishmash between being super feminine and being super feminist. I’m enjoying that aspect of my character in both Fiona and in myself.
What is, apart from Fiona, the favorite role of yours that you’ve ever done?
G. Anwar: I think I really had one of the best experiences of my life when I played in a film called Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. I just had a ball. I loved the character. I loved the script. I loved the crew, and I loved that we were shooting in the South, and I discovered the Piggly Wiggly. It was one of my first All American experiences, and I just thought, “Wow, life is extraordinarily good.”
Even though Fiona and you are quite different as characters, do you find that you see bits and pieces of Fiona sometimes popping up in the things that you do?
G. Anwar: Unfortunately, yes. I have actually been able to get myself in quite a bit of trouble when the Fiona takes over for Gabrielle. I need to sort of remember that I can’t actually speed down PCH because I will get a speeding ticket; I’m not playing a role in an action TV show. Unfortunately, I now have a speeding ticket.
You mentioned that it’s the guns and the weapons and things that are harder to deal with, but are you finding it more comfortable as the season goes on?
G. Anwar: Perhaps. I’m still covered in bruises from the first day of shooting to the last. I can be a little clumsy. I’m quite petite, and a lot of these weapons are designed for big burly military men. They’re actually cumbersome and rather heavy. And when you drop them on your bare toes in a pair of stiletto heals it’s no fun. I could use a pair of combat boots every now and then I think.
How much input do you get in terms of the costumes that you wear?
G. Anwar: Rather a lot actually. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful costume designer and costume department who are very patient with me. As I mentioned, I’m quite small so I have a hard time shopping for myself so I can imagine anybody who isn’t me would too. So I tend to sort of storm the big department stores and do a big old shopping spree and sign everything up to Burn Notice Production, which is quite possibly one of the most fun things to do in the world. So yes in answer to your question, I have plenty of freedom.