Burn Notice began airing in June, 2007 on the USA Network. The series, created by Matt Nix, centers on Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan), a spy "burned" by his own agency who ends up in Miami, Florida. When a spy is "burned," he is considered a threat to national security and dumped somewhere he cannot leave. It's tough to go anywhere when your bank accounts are frozen and you have no assets. Since the beginning, Westen has been trying to find out who burned him and how to get back into the agency's good graces.
Luckily for Westen, he has friends and family in Miami. His mom, Madeline (played to the hilt by a chain-smoking Sharon Gless), lives in Miami, as does his friend and former FBI agent Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) and his former IRA operative girlfriend Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar). This odd quartet mixes camp humor and action in an explosive combination.
This Thursday, Burn Notice ends its third season with another cliffhanger to hold us over until the fourth season begins in June, 2010. As the season ramps down, actors Donovan and Anwar took some time out of their schedules to answer a few questions.
It was obvious from the beginning of the conference call that the pair had a good relationship off camera as well as on the set. The duo laughed genially a lot at many of our questions but seemed happy to answer just about whatever came up.
When asked what drew the actors to the show and their characters, Anwar said it was the initial script and how her character Fiona was written. "I couldn't believe that a man had actually written the script," she said. "I mean at least her character. When I first met Matt Nix, who created and wrote the script, I actually said to him 'You must have a remarkable relationship with your wife, because you have such incredible insight.'" She continued, "When you sign up for a TV show, you don't know if it's going to be for a pilot or for the rest of your life, so I wanted to play a character that I enjoyed thoroughly - and there weren't that many of them out there."
Answering the same question, Donovan said he was hooked by the introduction. "The first page is a voiceover. It says 'You know what it's like to be a spy?'" The opportunity to not only play a spy, but play a burned spy and "on top of that... talk to the audience about what it's like being a spy [as a voiceover]" piqued his interest.