With Rescue Me set to launch its final season next month, Callie Thorne has already set up shop as one of USA's newest characters, Dr. Dani on Necessary Roughness. This Long Island therapist seems to have it all together, but in the first minutes of tonight's premiere, she sees her entire world blown apart.
Necessary Roughness premieres Wednesday, June 29 at 10 p.m. on USA. The final season of Rescue Me premieres July 13 at 10 p.m. on FX. Here's what Callie Thorne had to say about it all.
Also, stay tuned for Marc Blucas' video interview about shooting a premiere sex scene with Thorne and the dish on Andrea Anders coming to Necessary Roughness.
SheKnows: What can you tell us about Necessary Roughness?
Callie Thorne: This show is unique in that it's about re-teaching yourself: "Teach yourself to reach yourself." We find this woman, Dani, in the beginnings. Her whole life is shifting into another gear. She thought it was perfect, but gets kicked in the teeth by the fact that her husband is a cheater. Suddenly, she's a single mom of two very normally crazed teenagers and a divorcee whose career is shifting. What's fascinating is watching it all happen at the same time. The trailers do a good job of reflecting that [parallel between] the football issues and the issues we all tackle as human beings. A lot of times, the decisions we make are based on old history. We see it with Dr. Dani, her clients, her kids and her romance. You have to change your behavior and sometimes that's a momentary thing. It's not about working through the past 20 years and when you were locked in a closet: It's about the choices we make in the moment.
SheKnows: Dani is thrust into a new world by her husband's (Craig Bierko) infidelity and a rebound hookup with cutie Matt (Marc Blucas). How much does romance play into this show?
Callie Thorne: I love Craig Bierko. He comes back in episode five for a big thing, but we don't get as much of him as I want, because he's a busy dude. With Matt, it's always going to be there. In every episode, we see them in work-mode, with little flickers of them checking each other out. He's so delicious. Then there's also something between Dani and "fixer" Nico (Scott Cohen), which I don't think was planned. It's all just flickers. It stays subtle, which I like.
SheKnows: What's the story on troubled footballer T.K. (Mehcad Brooks)?
Callie Thorne: A lot of times, you see someone's character by how they react to failure. Dani and T.K. are both people who know about being crapped on. It's about flipping that in the moment. T.K. is the string in each episode, though she's getting other clients. Matt Barr, the hottest of the hot from Hellcats, plays a NASCAR driver in the second episode. We have a poker player. Nick Bishop (Body of Proof) plays a war reporter...
SheKnows: You are surrounded by studs!
Callie Thorne: It's daunting. However, I do have experience, because of all the boys on Rescue Me. I'm very used to the pretty and the funny. And though I'm with all guys all the time, I also get to have a relationship with Dani's mother (Concetta Tomei), daughter (Hannah Marks) and two best friends (Amanda Dudner, Nadia Dajani). I'm lucky enough to have that kind of connection, which you need -- unless it's something like Rescue Me, which is based upon a firehouse of brothers.
SheKnows: Speaking of Rescue Me, how does tough Dani compare to FX's tough Sheila?
Callie Thorne: Sheila is a bona fide bipolar manic depressive. Dani is this phoenix rising out of the ashes of what she saw as utter stability. That to me was beautiful, considering what I'd been exploring for seven seasons on Rescue Me. Sheila's story has nothing to do with stability and everything to do with greed, love, hate and fear. All the darkest things of life are encompassed in Sheila and in the lives of everybody in the bubble of Rescue Me.
SheKnows: Word is the final three episodes of Rescue Me are so big, you can't even talk about them.
Callie Thorne: I can't! The final season is going to be half how you expect it would end and half very outside the box. It's not like anything gets tied into a bow, because Rescue Me would rather burn itself in hell than tie up in a bow. But [after all] the angst we've seen my character Sheila go through over the seasons, she finally lets go of that horrific dream and lust of Tommy (Denis Leary) replacing her dead husband and all the havoc she's caused everybody. There's more a family thing that comes together.
SheKnows: Some of us wanted her to make it work with Tommy, as sick as that sounds.
Callie Thorne: It's not insane. I wanted it too! I'm not going to lie.
SheKnows: What is it like to be on a show that's not as dark as Rescue Me?
Callie Thorne: It's my own therapy! The heartbreak on Necessary Roughness is based on watching the people who come to Dani for help, because it's a true story and these experiences are real. It's about breaking someone down to help them realize what they're fighting. That's where the angst is, but there's always progress.
SheKnows: What have you learned from Dr. Dani so far?
Callie Thorne: I'm not very adventurous. I don't like change. I don't even like when people go "Guess who?" and cover my eyes. It upsets me, so I was pretty frightened about learning how to go from an ensemble role on Rescue Me to being here. By virtue of scenes in the show, talking to Dr. Donna (the "real" Dr. Dani) and learning more about cognitive behavioral therapy, I've been able to handle it. It's all about changing your behavior, so it's, "You know what, maybe this is going to be awesome," instead of, "This is going to suck." Sometimes, attitude is all it's about.