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G Force

Rescued by her new show

(Justin Stephens/Usa Network)
By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / September 3, 2011

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Q. You’re the kind of actress who pops up in so many places and does such good work that viewers really hope to see them get their own show. Now you have your own show!

A. It’s so crazy and not at all the luck I thought I was going to have. I felt like all my luck may have run out with seven seasons of “Rescue Me.’’ I was thinking, “That’s it, I’m probably never going to work again.’’ (Laughs.)

Q. And if that had been it?

A. I would’ve been very grateful, because “Rescue Me’’ was the most fulfilling part of my life ever, in terms of the work I got to do, the friends I got to make, the experiences I’ve had, the stories I got to tell. So being able to jump right into a new network, new show, new ideas, new storytelling was awesome but also really daunting and scary.

Q. Being the star, you are now the “set the tone’’ person on the set. You must have learned a lot from Denis Leary in that regard.

A. Being with Denis was a master class, not that I think I can be him in terms of what type of playground he set up for us. But I’m also surrounded by people like [costars] Marc Blucas, Mehcad Brooks, Scott Cohen, and now Jason Gedrick and Andrea Anders. Everyone has such a high level of experience. They love to laugh as much as I do, so then I don’t feel like I’ve got too much pressure on me because we’ve all banded together as a force.

Q. Plus, you get to look at Mehcad Brooks every day.

A. I mean, he’s so pretty.

Q. And you get to sort of boss him around.

A. We get to boss each other around, which is really fantastic. The scenes I get to do with him are some of my favorite because we laugh so hard.

Q. I’ve read that the creators of the show wrote it specifically for you.

A. What I have been told is they wrote with my voice in mind. In terms of what they’d seen me do, the character on “Rescue Me’’ and just the idea of a tough but vulnerable chick. [At this point in the interview Denis Leary walked by, leaned over, and offered a friendly curse word and Thorne cracked up.]

Q. Have you gotten much feedback from the woman your character is based on, Dr. Donna Dannenfelser?

A. She’s so involved. She was there for every day of the pilot, which I was really grateful for. And it’s not that she would step in and say, “I never did that.’’ She was just literally there in case I ever wanted to turn around and say, “I’m confused. How do you not hug someone who’s crying in your chair?’’ So I was really lucky to have her there. Now she’s in the writer’s room every day in LA helping with story lines. It’s important to me that I have a good grasp on her spirit. Because I think it’s her energy and personality and values and drive and the force that she is that make the story unique.

Q. Have you asked her to be your therapist yet?

A. I’ve come very close to calling her and asking, “Do you do hypnosis by Skype?’’ (Laughs.) As a new friend to me and as one of my bosses in a way, we’ve had some amazing conversations where she’s just been unbelievably kind, which I try to keep in mind because sometimes all anybody wants is just for someone to say, “I hear you.’’ I realize that I actually want that a lot. All you want is to be loved and heard, and hopefully everything else comes through. And that’s what I’ve really learned from her and what I hope filters through the show.

Interview has been edited and condensed. Sarah Rodman can be reached at

Callie Thorne
The Boston-bred actress is having a bittersweet summer. On Wednesday, Thorne will say farewell to the long-running FX firefighter dramedy “Rescue Me’’ - in which she co-starred as the nutty Sheila - while simultaneously celebrating her starring role as the much more even-keeled therapist Dr. Dani Santino on the hit USA series “Necessary Roughness,’’ which concludes its first season Sept. 14. We recently chatted with the amiable spitfire in Beverly Hills, Calif.