Heather McComb has charmed audiences in her recurring role as Patty on Showtime's Ray Donovan, and now she's won us over, too. We sat down with Heather last week to talk about what it's like to come aboard a show already in progress, other roles she's loved, and that one time she played a superhero you probably don't know about.
"When I got that phone call it was one of those phone calls that, my entire agency called me. I knew it was something good," she laughed. "They told me that I got the part - and I was beyond thrilled. I'm actually a really big fan of the show, so it was huge for me to be part of this amazing show with such great writing and such a killer cast."
She told us working on the show was "one thousand percent" as cool as it seems. "I love Dash Mihok, who plays Bunchy. He's such an incredibly talented actor. I had met him a few times but he's just really amazing to work with," she enthused. "My first day on set, the executive producer Ann Biderman - who also created the show - was there, and David Hollander, who is also an executive producer, who I actually worked with on a show that he did called The Guardian with Simon Baker.
"It's your first day and you're very nervous. You never know what to expect when you walk on a show. And they just greeted me with such warmth."
Then of course, there's the audience. "I think that any time you have a role on a show that is as popular as this, you always don't want to disappoint the fans," she reflected. "So hopefully they will like what I did. That's all I can hope for."
Heather's been a TV mainstay for years; you also know her as FBI agent Angela Collier on NBC's short-lived The Event, Rita Morgan on FOX's Prison Break, and guest appearances on dozens of shows, including Showtime's Shameless. Which of her many roles still stand out to her as memorable?
"I did this movie called Steel City," she reflected. "It was with America Ferrera and Clayne Crawford. It was such a great time. It was just one of those special experiences. And I also did a movie eons ago, one of the first lead roles I'd done was a movie called God's Lonely Man. I was sixteen, I think when we did it...It was the first time that I really had the chance to explore in a deeper way with a character."
Her next role after that film was more flashy: the TV-movie adaptation of the Marvel comic Generation X. Finola Hughes (General Hospital) and Jeremy Ratchford (Cold Case) headed up the cast as Emma Frost and Banshee respectively; Heather played the part of young upstart Jubilee, with her friend Randall Slavin as teammate Refrax.
"That is way, way back and totally obscure. Nobody knows about that," she laughed. "That was one of the coolest jobs I'd done, because I got to play a superhero, that's really cool, and wear crazy makeup and shoot fireworks out of my hands. I think it was a backdoor pilot for FOX, so they intended, I think, to make it a series, but it never went."
Almost twenty years after Generation X, Heather's expanded her career both in front of and behind the camera. "I did produce my first movie this year, which was pretty interesting and cool," she explained. "The movie's called Another Stateside. It was a whole new world to me, because you'e exposed to things you're not exposed to as an actor."
She enjoyed the producing experience, and she hasn't ruled out directing if the right project comes her way, but this talented and energetic actress is at home bringing to life interesting characters like Patty on quality shows like Ray Donovan. "I really love acting, I really do," she enthused. "It's definitely my main drive and creative force for sure."
Heather returns to Ray Donovan in tonight's episode, airing at 9 PM ET/PT on Showtime. For more with Heather, be sure to follow her on Twitter (@HeatMcComb). For more on the show, you can also check out our interview with another recurring cast member, Vinessa Shaw.