Crook & Chase TonightFebruary, 1999
Lorianne Crook: Recently Charlie and I travelled to Los Angeles to bring you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most popular shows on television. We're starting out tonight with a weekly drama about a legal team in the Navy that specializes in cases of people accused of crimes in the military.
Charlie Chase: Yeah. JAG is military lingo for Judge Advocate General, and it stars David James Elliott as Lieutenant Navy Commander Harmon Rabb Jr. Harm for short.
Now last season the show producers invited country star Trisha Yearwood to appear as a special guest star. Take a look.
[showed a clip from The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse, where Coulter is saying to Harm, "I wish I wasn't so attracted to you!"]
Who knew a gal could find romance in a morgue?
LC: [laughing] Well, Trisha's character is a Lt.-Cmdr. trained in forensics and the show's producers have invited her back for a second appearance. We talked with Trisha about her new acting career and we even got a backstage peek from a very special tour guide.
[clip from shooting of scene for Nobody's Child]
CC: Acting alongside David James Elliott has been a challenge for Trisha and so has her wardrobe.
LC: You look very official. You look great!
CC: Check it out!
LC: Do you feel good in uniform?
Trisha Yearwood: I feel ... official. It kind of helps you. I've never done this before. Once you put the uniform on, you stiffen up because you're in trick clothes and you have to behave yourself. It really kind of helped me be more into the character.
[another clip from The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse]
CC: And checking out the uniform here ... What's your official title in this military production?
TY: Well, I don't know ... Actually, I'm Lt.-Cmdr. Teresa Coulter. You can just call me Lt.-Cmdr.
CC: Okay, Lt.-Cmdr.
LC: Theoretically, you can do an autopsy on Charlie here ...
TY: Sure, let you know what he died from ...
CC: Not yet, not yet, please!
LC: Trisha's talent is under the microscope and JAG's lead actor, David James, is surprised by her acting ability.
David James Elliott: You know what, she's a real natural, and she's not touchy. There's no ego there. You can tell her anything and she's said from the very beginning, "Please do not hesitate because it's not something I do on a regular basis."
LC: Do you coach her a little bit?
DJE: Oh yeah! Absolutely! She's great. She responds really well.
TY: You know, I knew I'm not an actor, but they were great. Country singer's here, we've got to help her out! They were really helpful. And it kind of helps me on stage too. Because if I can get out of my comfort zone a little bit here, then that will only help me when I go back to the stage.
DJE: [teasing as a crew member fastens a watch on Trisha's wrist] See, they do everything for Trisha here. They even put her watch on. She never has to lift a finger.
TY: Well, I don't know how to do it ...
DJE: [makes scoffing noises]
CC: As Trisha transforms into military brass, the JAG crew readies the set for a pivotal scene. This is where one of the scenes is about to be shot, but this is not real daylight, but boy! is it hot! ... What kind of light is that, do you know?
DJE: [to a crew member] Hugo, what kind of light is that?
Hugo: That's a zenon.
DJE: It's a zenon.
LC: A zenon?
CC: I knew that. .. This area is actually a prop room where sets are built and it's a great place to begin a tour.
DJE: This is the crew.
LC: Hello crew!
CC: Hi crew! ... This is your office, right?
DJE: Yeah, this is JAG OPS.
CC: Looks great from this side ... Look at this!
DJE: This is the Admiral's office.
LC: Looks like heck from the outside.
DJE: You okay? [reaching a hand to help Lorianne up the steps]
LC: Thank you. Yes.
DJE: That's the forest outside. [pointing to backdrop]
LC: Oh look at the forest! It's lovely.
DJE: Not a lot of light in here.
LC: How do we turn the lights on in here?
Crew member: Would you like me to turn up the lights?
DJE: Yeah ... let there be light!
CC: Look at the transition from that to this! And this is quality workmanship.
LC: So when you walk into the set, do you immediately take on the persona of your character?
DJE: It helps, you know. It really does.
LC: The workmanship holds up to any fine carpentry, but these walls break down for various camera angles.
CC: Also interesting is the JAG OPS area. It too, breaks into smaller parts.
DJE: Here's the courtrooms right here. It's many courtrooms. It really depends ...
LC: Oh, so obviously you're not using this one this evening.
DJE: Not in this episode. There's no courtroom.
LC: Just as this room has to adapt for different uses, David James has to adjust to days that can often begin very early and run until the wee hours.
Now here's my question: How can you remember a line at three in the morning?
DJE: I'm good at it now, but sometimes it can be tricky.
LC: Now you're getting ready to shoot a scene in just a few minutes. Does this really throw you off, having to do a television interview before you go in there and then hit a scene cold like that? ... I feel bad ...
DJE: Ah, if it were every day, it might. But no, we knew you were coming so I prepared extra last night.
LC: Oh, you studied real hard. Okay!
CC: May I refer to ...
DJE: Oh, some of this ... [goes over to join Charlie at the bookshelves beside the Admiral's private door]
CC: Yes, book number 872, for those of you following law at home ... open this ... and, oh my goodness! It's styrofoam!
DJE: Okay, if you look over here, you have Lt.-Cmdr. S.H. Tireso ... is in Cilantro Lasalsa Camry Toyota. [pointing to the "Active Investigations" board]
LC: You don't leave it up like that for the shoot?
DJE: Yes we do. ... A. Mattoni is in Yum Yum Spam ...
CC: So you're not gonna see this on TV ...
DJE: You'll never ...
CC: No way in the world ...
DJE: This is the nook-and-cranny people ...
LC: What if I take this off the air and then I freeze frame it?
DJE:You'd never get the definition, I don't think.
LC: I wouldn't? Okay.
CC: Oh, Delta House? Is that Animal House?
DJE: That's right.
CC: There, I gotcha. ... Well, the crew's ready. Duty calls.
DJE: I gotta go ... See you later.
LC: Okay, they're coming to get him. He's got to go work. We'll watch.
DJE: Be seeing you.
CC: Hey, you got your lines?
LC: He's got'em. Leave him alone.
[The bell rings, and the cameras roll.]
LC: Trisha is quickly mastering the art of acting and she's willing to turn the tables.
Now you're in David's territory. Do you think he'll come into yours and try singing?
TY: Well, he sings around the set. ... Maybe he's hinting around it ...
CC: Chance to coach him back?
TY: I told him ... I think I can help you out!
LC: Big question: Last episode your character had this thing for David's character. Does that continue in this episode?
TY: Well, we talked about it when they were writing the script. They wanted to do the next step, whatever that means. But the storyline was so heavy, involving a child, that they decided it would be best not to really. There's a friendship between them in the show .. there's not a ... you know ... any real relationship thing. There is friendship that evolves but it doesn't really go beyond that.
CC: Do you know already whether you'll be back?
TY: I think I might.
LC: Really? This is big stuff.
TY: Here's the deal though. Every time I live through a show, I think I might have a chance to come back.
LC: They haven't killed her off yet. You gotta come back. ... Robert would not have a fit if you become the love interest of Harm here?
TY: Well, you know, I recall a video years ago where Robert gave a girl a peck on the cheek on a bicycle and I've been trying to get him back now for six or seven years. It's time. It's perfect.
CC: Meantime, can we do the showbiz kind of thing? Let's do lunch!
TY: Sure. I'll have my person call your person.
CC: I don't have a person.
LC: Nobody'll have him!
TY: You can get one, Charlie.
CC: Maybe a drive-through ...
TY: The first thing you need is a person.
LC: Well, that was fun! Thank you, Trisha!