Jill Hennessy was born to play Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh. Fitting the part of the carefree and witty medical examiner so well, she truly put herself into the role with ease. While this casting choice seemed to be written in the stars, Crossing Jordan series creator Tim Kring had initial doubts on Hennessy pulling off the part.
“I thought she was completely wrong,” remarked Kring about his first thoughts on Hennessy as Dr. Cavanaugh. Much of his original hesitation had to do with her most recent lead TV roles at the time before Crossing Jordan.
Prior to her casting, Hennessy was a lead on Law & Order as A.D.A. Clare Kincaid and later Jackie Kennedy in the NBC mini-series, Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot. Noting both these roles to be more straight-laced and button-down, Kring had a hard time seeing her transitioning over to the role of the loose-cannon medical examiner.
Making up his mind on the casting decision, Kring would invite Hennessy to breakfast only to find the restaurant they had made plans for was closed. Embarrassed by this mistake Kring apologized profusely with Hennessy responding “Dude, f— it. Who gives a s—? We’ll go someplace else.”
In those words alone Kring had found Dr. Jordan Cavanugh. She was hired soon after their breakfast and the rest is history. Kring would later ask Hennessy if she could incorporate more of herself into the role, specifically with her word usage like "cool and dude and man.” Hennessy responded to the idea saying “dude, that’s awesome.”
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