It was certainly an unexpected storyline and I think it will be for the audience as well. When I went into Wardrobe and saw it was a prison uniform that I needed to try on, I told my costume designers, “That’s not a suit…” When I read the episode, I was excited for the potential to show these new colors for Cary. At the same time, what I loved about the episode was how it’s really a ripple effect for all the characters and all the story lines. I was very surprised, very excited and it required an incredible amount of work. It was exciting to get into Cary’s head.
We haven’t seen Cary in this dire of a situation before and it must have been tricky getting into his headspace since jail is a completely different environment for him. What’s his state of mind right now, and how did you prepare?
I watched a television show called Locked Up, which documented real prisoners. I found a blog by a former prisoner and read that and took notes on that. What I found was that when you have the clothes stripped off your back, there’s this huge loss of dignity. There’s loneliness, isolation, vulnerability. I was able to see what real prisoners felt like through that research. When I was at work I tried to mirror that loneliness and vulnerability by isolating myself on set, staying in handcuffs longer than I needed to, not going back to my trailer, staying in the actual prison we were shooting in and staying in the cell. I really wanted to create that vulnerability and get into that headspace. I’ve never been arrested so I had to tap into what the character was feeling and thinking at that time. Those were some of the things I did. I didn’t eat as much as I usually do to try and feel a little bit weaker. The food, from what I’ve read, is not great in prison.
How much of a shift in Cary’s personality and world perspective will viewers see?
Cary at the beginning of the episode is innocent and when he is put in jail he is presumed guilty, and when you’re presumed guilty, it’s tough to go back to that innocence. That affects Cary both personally and professionally. Professionally, what clients are going to come to you, what clients will stay, what clients will leave? Personally, what does it mean for the relationship between him and Kalinda? In this case Cary and Kalinda grow closer because she fights for him. It’s not a story line that’s going to go away. We’re going to see how it affects Cary personally and professionally and how it affects everyone at the firm and on the show.