Laura Regan is no stranger when it comes to television or film. After getting her big break in the film, M. Night Shyamalan’s, Unbreakable, followed by her first starring role in Robert Harmon’s, They and then an award for her role in My Little Eye, Regan certainly has quite the resume.
Audiences may recognize her as Jennifer Crane, wife to Harry in Mad Men but viewers will soon know her as Agatha, Precog in the upcoming anticipated FOX series, Minority Report. I had the pleasure of speaking with her to discuss what we can expect, her first experience at Comic-Con and her amazing cast that already feels like family!
The Minority Report film was so futuristic from when it was originally made, Steven Spielberg had such a vision. I’m excited to see what production is going to do involving newer technologies that we have. What can viewers expect from Minority Report the show? How much of it is going to be like the original film?
“Well I think that one of the things you probably responded to is that projection to the future. Spielberg was right on the money in so many ways, the ads that talk to you, it’s kind of uncanny how close he was. I think viewers should expect the same kind of thing, we’re ten years after the film, and 50 years in the future from now on the show. Something really cool is that Spielberg sort of allowed the producers into his inner vault to bounce his ideas and stuff from the film. So they have access to all of that and he’s very involved watching over. Plus our producers have this guy, whose job is writing about the future and he’s really involved. Like they [writers] might come up with something and he says, “No, that’s not realistic. That won’t happen,” so they go back to the drawing board or he gives them a suggestion. So it’s not like they’re making stuff up and hope it flies, there’s a process and hopefully that’ll make it similar to the film, really exciting and it’s interesting and thought provoking for people to watch.
Viewers should expect a futuristic crime drama, with the science fiction elements that we’re talking about which hopefully is not as much science fiction but more of a glimpse into the future. And the series is really about a guy who’s haunted by his visions of future crimes that he just desperately has to try and stop. So his precognitive ability, same as mine, makes him and my character Agatha sort of akin to superheroes but at the same time we’re also very much just normal people trying to fit in. Well incase he kind of fits in, in my case I’m kind of trying to escape from society.”
Going off of that can you tell us more about your character Agatha? I read a brief summary on her and what I gathered is that Agatha is really trying to pull her brother out of that world.
“Basically her brother, Dash, the three Precogs were Agatha, Dash and Arthur and my two brothers both ended up back in the city. If you remember at the end of the film we were all put in this kind of precognitive protection program is what I keep calling it. We were removed from society so that we weren’t in close proximity and we weren’t having these haunting visions. But they both, for whatever reason after 10 years of being isolated, go back to the city, so they both have and they are perhaps taking different approaches to entering back into society. They have very different personalities.
But my character feels like society very much took advantage of her. She feels that she was exploited in the pre-crime program and she doesn’t want to have any part of that. But at the same time she loves her brothers, she’s worried about them and that may hold her back. Also there are people who know more about her gift, people who are looking for her. So it seems like she won’t stay secluded for long. She’s a complicated person and I think it’ll be interesting to see when she does get back kind of into the fray to see which facets of her personality come out because she might be very resentful of this world that took advantage of her gift and held her for most of her adult life. And will she be someone who wants to help or will she be someone who kind of turns her back and resists? I don’t know. There are a lot of things for me that I have yet to find out too [laughs].”
That’ll be interesting for audiences to see as her character progresses throughout the season, seeing as she’s already quite defensive.
“Yeah I mean she has one of the richest backstories of any character you could possibly hope for and it can really go in a lot of different directions. As an actress it’s a complete gift because she’s a fascinating person. But yes, it’ll be really interesting to see where the story takes her.”
The original movie was pretty action packed, did you have to do any type of physical training for the role?
“I didn’t yet, no, because at this point, at the start of the series my character is still kind of in recluse. So not yet, but I know that the characters who are playing police type characters have this futuristic, technical police training and a lot of intense stuff. That’s literally what they call it, it’s future tech police training and it’s on the schedule! [laughs] I saw that and thought, “I want to sign up for that! That sounds cool!” but my character hasn’t done any of that yet, no.”
I know you guys recently went to Comic-Con, was that your first time going to something like that?
“[Laughs] it was my first Comic-Con, yes!”
What was that experience like seeing as the show has already gotten great reception from fans?
“Yeah, I know that was kind of crazy! I really didn’t know what actually to expect and just the size and scope of the place was incredible. To give you an idea, I took a train from LA to San Diego and it was a beautiful evening, I asked someone and they said the hotel was nearby, so I thought I could just walk to the hotel. And the whole way, the whole town was just all convention! [laughs] for a 20-minute walk from the train station to my hotel it was just characters dressed up and people excited and laughing and families and friends. It was just totally crazy, these people having this awesome experience! It was really cool and it put me in the right mood when I arrived but I still don’t think I could have been prepared for the next morning. Just the scope of it, when we did the panel, there was 4,500 people in the room and you couldn’t see the back. It’s not like a sloped auditorium, it’s a ballroom so you couldn’t see to the back of the room. It was packed, it was crazy and the best part of it was the fans who were so engaged and enthusiastic.
Before our panel I knew that we would be asked questions by the moderator and then afterwards the fans would get a chance to ask us things as well. After the panel I thought, “they must have screened those questions because they were so good!” and I was told, “No they don’t screen the questions,” but the fans were so engaged and knew what they were talking about and were interested. Their questions were brilliant! So that was pretty cool and then we went down on the floor of the convention hall which was just so big and we kind of had to push through since some members of our cast are very renowned and so we had security helping us get through. There was a long line up for us while we signed posters and we haven’t even started yet but the fan base is definitely there and people are excited to see the show. That already is pretty gratifying to be working on something that people are so excited to see and I just hope that we please them.”
Do you think that makes it harder for you guys to film already knowing that the show is based off of an original movie? Or do you think it makes it easier for you guys since there already is a fan base?
“That’s a great question because it can cut both ways. I’d say it’s 50/50 of each. You can sort of look at it either way but in the day-to-day process of making the show we just don’t even think about it. It’s like let’s show up, let’s make it the best. The writers are working hard to makes this and we show up and the scenes come alive and we try to make them fun and interesting and surprising. You can’t really think about that stuff, I think for everybody if you kind of think about that everyday then you kind of feel paralyzed. You have to have the freedom to sort of act and do your job.”
What was the process like for you guys to wait and see if the pilot was ordered for a series?
“Oh wow! [laughs] it was crazy! I mean seriously it was crazy! Because everybody said to us, to me and the other cast members, “Oh look there’s a week in May when they start ordering pilots and yours will be early because it was a pretty sure thing, you guys will hear about it pretty early on.” And that meant a certain Monday. So you know it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and I’m thinking, “Okay so we’re not going to hear right away,” and then Thursday rolls around and pilots are being ordered and it didn’t seem like there were any spots left depending on if other shows were getting renewed and stuff.
So Friday, I was just like oh my gosh this is crazy! The cast, we were emailing each other back and forth and it was really actually quite funny because the lead of the show, Stark Sands who plays Dash, his wife was due to deliver a baby very soon. And at one point on that Friday I wrote to all the cast, “I’m sorry, if I was Gemma (Stark’s wife) I would be in labor, like this would put me in labor!” we were all so stressed out wondering if we were going to get picked up or not, it’s Friday, it’s 2PM, 3PM, 4PM and we hadn’t heard anything yet, it was crazy! [laughs] It was really funny because Wilmer Valderrama, who plays Lt. Blake, he responds, “Gemma? I just gave birth to twins!” [laughs] which was a joke, basically saying that the wait was just crazy!
So it was literally 7:30PM on that Friday when they made their final, final decision. They picked up us and I think one more show and then their schedule was complete. We were literally on pins and needles and we were all so invested in it and people were saying, “Oh yeah you’ll get picked up early,” but then the process was just nuts.”
What was the first thing you guys did when you found out you were picked up?
“Well we weren’t all together, some of us were in LA, some in New York, some in Austin, everyone was really all over the place, so we didn’t get together. Once we were in Vancouver we went out for dinner, we sort of had this little, “let’s kick this off celebration dinner,” so that was fun. Basically we got the news that it was picked up and then we got the news that it was shooting in Vancouver where some of our cast has never even been before. So then we started looking into how to arrange our lives so we’re ready to shoot.”
How is the shooting process going? Are you guys mid-way through the season?
“No, we’re just started episode two! It’s been amazing, so shooting is just been getting off the ground but it’s going well and it’s a great crew. For me it’s actually been a sort of reunion because there’s some people I’ve worked with in Vancouver a lot before on movies here. And the first AD is someone I just love and adore so it’s been so great to work together again. It’s been an awesome project to be a part of and I hope we bring something that you guys love and get behind and come and see every week!”
FOX’s Minority Report premieres this Fall on Monday, September 21 at 9PM ET. Check out the trailer below and be sure to follow Laura on Twitter @TheLauraRegan and @MinorityReport for updates on the show!