Just in time for the sizzling summer, Burn Notice is back. The season premiere of USA’s top-rated series about the sometime comic adventures of Michael Westen, a ”burned” (blacklisted) spy played by Jeffrey Donovan, is back for season 3. The little show that could also just won a major victory: officials decided not to raze the Coconut Grove Expo Center, where much of the set-in-Miami show is filmed.
We caught up with Donovan’s on-screen love interest Gabrielle Anwar, who plays former IRA operative/explosives expert Fiona Glennane. The English actress, 39, has a Coconut Grove cottage that she shares with young son Basil and daughter Paisley (Anwar also has a teen daughter, Willow, whose father is actor Craig Sheffer). Anwar, who got her break playing the mysterious woman who dances with Al Pacino in 1992’s Scent of A Woman, says playing Fiona is her favorite role.
What can we expect from the new season?
“We get to find out a little more about why Fiona is the way Fiona is. Some of my Irish heritage comes back to haunt me. Let’s just say a little Guinness is involved.”
Any other secrets you can divulge?
‘I’m not a spy. Quite frankly, I get lost in the plot lines myself. But I can tell you that Michael is given some freedom from his `burn.’ We’re shooting an incredible amount of action and stunts and special effects. We’re really treading over a lot of celluloid.”
Is there camaraderie on set?
“I know it sounds like a cliché to say that it’s wonderful. What most people say is a crock of crap and everyone’s fighting and no one can stand each other. We really are like kin: All human pretenses of altruism and philanthropy go out the window — you’re too bloody pooped.”
Do you prefer working in film or TV?
“This is by far my favorite role. The first season, I thought this really could be a hit. Now I’m trying to stay present and in the moment. This really is such a tenuous industry. There are so few shows that come to fruition in this business. I’m relieved to be one of the few people working.”
How do you like living in South Florida?
“I’m not super crazy about the energy in South Beach. I’m a bit of a homebody, not much of a party girl, so it’s perfect to be on the periphery in the suburbs. It’s my little oasis, so tropical and lush.”
You’re pretty buff — how do you stay fit?
“I eat organic and am a bit of a yogi. Pushing 40, yoga’s about all I can muster, I’m afraid.”