When Mary McCormack read the pilot script for In Plain Sight, she felt that the character of Mary Shannon was tailor-made for her. As we can see, they share the same first name. But what about the role made McCormack feel that way? The creator, David Maples, made Shannon "flawed and real."
Too often on television, women characters were written to be flawless, with surreal beauty and expensive taste—holding themselves above the "normal" standards. Yet Shannon was cheap and "feisty."
"[David Maples] didn't write a superhero. Instead, he wrote someone who's flawed and real," McCormack told the Associated Press in 2008. "One of my favorite details: He made her cheap. I just love that she's cheap—it's SO unattractive!" According to the interview, another core detail is that McCormack also kept a list in her car to control her hectic life.
"I'm a list keeper too," she added. For the actress, then-39, the role had a lot of action, and she loved it. "There's a lot more comedy than a lot of things I've done. And it is action-y, which I've always wanted to do. I'm sort of built for action, and I've never really had the opportunity."
McCormack was nominated for a Tony when she starred in the Broadway revival Boeing-Boeing. The Associated Press called her character on the Broadway show outrageous and dissimilar from Mary Shannon. However, she was able to portray the lives and fulfill the antics of these characters, often in heels, and to the actress, it was no big deal.
"Oh, women are used to that. I can do almost anything in heels. I did the whole season of In Plain Sight in high-heeled boots—running, tackling people. I can do anything in heels, and now that I have kids, I can do anything one-handed."
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