There are specific roles that stay with actors forever. You know, the ones that define their careers or help them see that acting is genuinely their first love. For Mary McCormack, playing Mary Shannon in In Plain Sight was a part that gave her insight into how versatile women characters can be.
"I love that part. I never loved a part so much," she told the McClatchy-Tribune New Service in 2008. "She's totally tough and not always likeable... she's like a real woman. I always say I got the boy part—by that I don't mean strong and tough—although she is that. I just mean, from my experience, the boy parts are generally more complex and women are usually the moral center or the ethical barometer."
McCormack added, "I've done my share of those parts and probably will do many more, but this is the GUY role."
Clearly, the talented actress enjoyed showing off her tough side and benefitted from the In Plain Sight role. Yet, before the success of this part, McCormack was going through hardships—at one point, she was terrified to answer her phone because of bill collectors.
"There was no way to pay my rent or school loans, so my sister and I—she was in law school—[came up with a plan]. They'd say 'Is Bridget McCormack there?' I'd say, 'No.' We always played the other one."
Those financial hardships would soon dissipate when she got her first major role as a defense attorney on Murder One. She didn't have any experience performing in front of a television camera (her expertise was the stage), but it was a new experience she knew she could tackle.
"It was scary because I've never been here, and the part was huge. I remember the first episode after the pilot was me, my trial, so there were huge speeches, like closing arguments that were pages long—that they would rewrite the day before—I worked hard, and I think I pulled it off enough to keep my job."
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