ABC's Mind Games is charging through its first season, and BFTV recently had the opportunity to speak with star Jaime Ray Newman - who plays con artist Samantha 'Sam' Gordon - about how it feels for an actor when a show launches, when she clicked with her character, and her history of roles on the Alphabet network.
"It's awesome. What can I say?" she enthused. "To work for months and months and months, you kind of spill blood and give your heart and soul to something, and then you just sort of let it out into the universe and hope that people like it. How you see it in your head is never how you see it on the screen, so it's almost like an out of body experience."
In tonight's episode, Sam is looking to solidify her relationship with Edwards & Associates, headed up by her old friend Ross (Christian Slater) and his brother Clark (Steve Zahn). "Sam's relationship with this company is tenuous right now, because she was hired for a one-off gig," Jaime explained. "She realizes this can be a way for her to do what she's good at, which is con people. To do this legitimately and not get thrown back in prison. And then things work in her favor, but she gets in her own way."
As fans, we're always looking for shows with characters we can embrace, but what about the people who have to be those characters? We asked Jaime when she thought she clicked with the character of Sam. "The truth is, I auditioned for this on a Thursday, got the go-ahead on Friday, and Saturday morning my husband and I packed our bags for Chicago. I was working on Monday," she told us. "It took a couple episodes before I sort of figured out where I was, even. I feel like I got my sea legs after a few episodes. But I feel like it's that way for everybody. Even writers, you're figuring out the story you want to tell."
"But the cool thing about Kyle Killen, he writes really defined characters," she continued, praising the show's creator. "I was a big fan of Awake and also Lone Star. I just think that he's a really, really special writer, and complex and deep, and a really smart dude. To get to work with him was a major factor in doing this." (You can read our interview with Kyle Killen here.)
Mind Games is the latest in a series of shows that Jaime has appeared in for ABC. Most recently, she was a series regular on the short-lived Red Widow, opposite Radha Mitchell. What's it like for her to once again join the Alphabet network?. "God bless ABC. They are my knights in shining armor," she told us. "I love their content. Just as a person, I'm a huge fan of Scandal, I still love Grey's Anatomy, and Resurrection looks amazing.
"I just feel like they're a network I have a good vibe with, and I'm very grateful," she continued. "My first job with a network was General Hospital, and that was ABC. I feel like I have so much history with them, that they treat their shows well and they have good, discerning taste."
Yet of all the TV roles she's had, the one that gets her the most recognition hasn't been on ABC. In fact, it'll probably surprise you which one it is. "I get a lot of people coming up to me, 'You look exactly like this girl on Grimm. Have people ever told you that?'" she laughed, referring to her two-episode guest stint as Angelina Lasser. "I played this crazy werewolf who killed people and ate people. And I feel like that more than anything has gotten me a ton of attention, which is kind of funny." Here's hoping Sam's adventures aren't so hazardous to everyone's health.
Mind Games continues tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on ABC.