New ABC drama includes Marcia Clark as a writer and producer
Former prosecutor Marcia Clark is a prime force behind a new law drama, but its star stresses that she’s not playing Clark.
After her long run on “The Mentalist,” Robin Tunney returns to series work as ABC’s “The Fix” premieres Monday, March 18. Not unlike the result for Clark (an executive producer and writer of the show) in the O.J. Simpson trial, Tunney’s Maya Travis suffers a defeat in trying to make a murder case against a celebrity (“Lost” alum Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). She then goes off the grid for several years … until the same actor becomes a murder suspect again, and Maya is brought back into the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to pursue justice once more.
The pleasant Tunney says of Clark, “Playing her would just be too stressful. As an actor, it doesn’t give you any freedom if you’re just being the person who’s sitting on the set with you. You feel like you can’t own it properly. This is (Clark’s) origin story, but she has two children and has been married three times. This character has no children and has never been married.”
For any differences between fact and fiction, “The Fix” does draw a bead on today’s American legal system and what its flaws might be. “Maya is very much about right and wrong, and she cannot believe that the system failed the victim,” explains Tunney. “If you have enough money and have a fancy legal team, you can buy yourself out of a murder (charge), and that’s really depressing for her.”
Additional “Fix” cast members include Adam Rayner (“Tyrant”), Merrin Dungey (“Alias”), Breckin Meyer (“Franklin & Bash”) and two veterans of “Necessary Roughness,” Marc Blucas and Scott Cohen. However, Tunney admits she’s still adjusting to her new experience of being No. 1 on a series call sheet.
“I learned so much from (star) Simon Baker on ‘The Mentalist,’ ” she reflects. “He has such a strong work ethic, and he would give tiny little hints along the way, and I listened … things like, ‘When you do a walk-and-talk, you have to walk quickly if you want to give the scene urgency.’ I feel like I was so lucky to get paid to watch somebody who was really good at it at work.”
Also fairly new for Tunney is being a working mom: Her first child, Oscar, turns 3 in June. “I’d wanted it for so long,” she notes. “I did a few movies before this and when I went to work in the morning, he’d either be sleeping or standing at the window, staring at me going down the driveway and sobbing. So, I was like, ‘This show had better be good!’ ”