Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Tea Leoni: TV 'Madam Secretary' role inspired by Benghazi investigation?

See also

Tea Leoni's TV return in the highly anticipated CBS fall drama "Madam Secretary" was given the nod of approval by two kids, her 15-year-old daughter Madelaine and son Kyd. The Associated Press reported on July 17 that Leoni will play Elizabeth McCord, a newly appointed secretary of State, who takes the position after receiving a job offer from the president. "There was something—I adored her. I adored her by page two, there's no sarcasm to her. Sarcasm is too slow," Leoni told E! News' Kristin Dos Santos about her character. "I want to wake up and be her every day."

The 48-year-old actress, who's starred in a range of films including "Jurassic Park 3" and "Bad Boys," has worked sporadically in recent years while caring for her two children.

"I turned to my 12-year-old son and I said, 'It's going to be a little tricky. I'm not going to be around as much. Are you cool with that?'" Leoni said during the summer TV critics' meeting on Thursday.

"He said, 'Yeah, I was getting kind of sick of you,'" she said. "So I'm back."

Her most recent movie role was in the 2011 film "Tower Heist," where she played the character Special Agent Claire Denham.

As the show's executive producers Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman explained Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, "Madam Secretary" centers on the personal and professional life of a maverick female secretary of state as she drives international diplomacy, handles office politics and balances a complex family life. The show will also examine global international issues, and, reportedly, the idea from the show was sparked from news coverage of the Benghazi investigation.