Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron / CBS
With the second season of Madam Secretary gearing up to start, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get to know the beautiful Kathrine Herzer, the talented actress behind 'Alison McCord.' We talked Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, Tim Daly, and what fans would be surprised to learn about this talented actress.
The Reel Spin: Season 2 of Madam Secretary is set to premiere [tonight], you must be excited...
Kathrine Herzer: Yes, I can not wait!
TRS: Morgan Freeman is also appearing in the premiere, correct?
Herzer: Yes, I mean he directed the first episode. Honestly, one of the most surreal experiences of my life. He's such a legend, and to work with him was insane... something I had not even dreamed about at all when I started the show. I never thought that would become a reality, so it was really cool.
TRS: I bet... what is the dynamic like on set when Morgan Freeman is there?
Herzer: Obviously it's Morgan Freeman, so I was a little bit intimidated going into it... How could you not be?
TRS: Of course...
Herzer: He is just so nice and has such a calming presence about him, and he's so helpful and so involved. I mean you wouldn't think someone so highly regarded and so established in their career would be willing to really get on your level and get into the dirty work of directing and connecting with the actors and making sure you know what's going on. He came into my dressing room before we started to talk about it... all of the scenes, and just everything. Honestly... one of the most involved directors we've had on the show. It was so cool.
TRS: That's amazing... Speaking of working with acting greats, you kind of get to do that all the time, because your character's parents are played by Tea Leoni and Tim Daly, who are each acting legends in their own right. What has that experience been like for you?
Herzer: Yeah... it is a blessing. They are such veterans, and they have taught me so much. I have established such an amazing foundation for the rest of my career, because of them and everything that they've taught me. Every time we go on set, I learn something new. They want to make a great show . . . they make the environment so welcoming and warm... they just care so much. Tea and Tim... they're so nice, they just want to make sure that you feel comfortable, and that I'm doing my best work and that everyone's having a good time on set. They're real professionals. It's really cool to see.
Pictured: Kathrine Herzer & Tea Leoni in Madam Secretary. Photo credit: Barbara Nitke / CBS
TRS: That's important that they're so giving, because that helps you give back also.
TRS: One of things I also really love about the show is that we get to see the Secretary of State's family life and how her job isn't always the easiest on her family, but they still seem to have a pretty open dialogue to communicate their feelings. Is that communication satisfying to play as an actor?
Herzer: It really is, because it's so different. Usually there's so much that happens behind closed doors in usual family settings, but the good thing about the McCords is that they really want to make it real. I mean they have a very healthy family life. It's nice to play. You never see really communicative families, and it's really nice to play something that's different and not commonly seen on TV.
TRS: Speaking of your character, Alison, is she someone that you can relate to on a personal level?
Herzer: She definitely is. I mean I'm a little bit older than Alison, but I've gone through every emotion that she has. It's so fun to play her, because she goes through every emotion on the show. She's constantly doing something different, and feeling something that every teenager is feeling, and I love that about her. She's so bright and exuberant and has so much ferocity when she approaches new things, and that is so nice. She's a teenager, she doesn't really know who she is, but she's figuring it out.
TRS: She is figuring it out, and I think that's what makes her so relatable and fun to watch. Is there anything that we can expect from her this season that you can share?
Herzer: I don't know if I can give stories away. You will definitely see new sides of her you haven't. There's a lot that goes on with her this season, and you're going to learn a lot about her, which is really cool.
TRS: Some fun surprises to look forward to...
Herzer: Definitely. You'll definitely be surprised.
TRS: Speaking of surprises, what do you think fans of the show would be surprised to learn about you?
Herzer: Well, probably that I just started NYU. Not many people know that. I'm actually a full-time student at NYU while I'm on the show.
TRS: That's awesome... congratulations.
Herzer: I'm in a special program at NYU, so they've allowed me to kind of be flexible with my schedule.
TRS: That's fantastic, but one thing that I was surprised to learn about you online was that your first job, not to embarrass you, was a Geico commercial, where you were singing "Kung Fu Fighting" in a car seat, which I thought was just adorable.
TRS: It made me wonder... if someone were to catch you on camera right now singing in a car, what song would it be?
Herzer: Which is funny, because I'm in a van right now... that's really funny. Actually, in an episode coming up, I am listening to music in a car, and I'm mouthing the words to "Uptown Girl." So, that's kind of a really weird one. Honestly, I listen to so many different types of music. My song of the summer was definitely "Cheerleader" though. That was my number one car jam.
TRS: Yeah, that's a great song. Any embarrassing songs that you'd be like... oh, no, they caught me singing along to it?
Herzer: Honestly, every song that I'm singing along to would probably be embarrassing, because it's such an eclectic group. But, you know... the classic... like Lizzie McGuire stuff... Hilary Duff... all of those throwbacks... early 2000's music... I'm a huge fan.
Madam Secretary premieres tonight on CBS 8/7c.
For more on Madam Secretary, please click here.
Follow Madam Secretary on Twitter: @MadamSecretary
Follow Kathrine Herzer on Twitter: @KathrineHerzer
Interview by Pamela Thomas