The dream for any actor is to leave home a nobody and come back a star, and for Anna Wood -- starring in the new, steamy CBS legal drama "Reckless" -- the dream became a reality.
The series shoots in Charleston, South Carolina. Wood grew up in Mount Airy, a sleepy North Carolina town. She now lives in Brooklyn, but you can't take the South outta the gal -- note her Twitter handle, @annawoodyall.
In "Reckless," which airs Sundays at 10 p.m., Wood plays Jamie Sawyer, a Yankee lawyer new to town, who spars with suave City Attorney Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet) in court. Cue the sexual tension. Meanwhile, a major police scandal threatens to rock their world.
The up-and-coming actress has had small roles on TV's "Royal Pains," "Deception" and the sci-fi film "Chronicle," which starred her husband, Dane DeHaan. She spoke recently with Newsday contributor Joseph V. Amodio.
What's it like being from the South, starring in a new show set in the South, and all the actors are doing Southern accents except you?
It was definitely a challenge not to fall back into my Southern accent. It's easy to do that when I go home, or when I speak to my parents on the phone.
But your character's from Chicago.
That's right. I was jealous of everyone getting to speak in my accent.
What's your biggest challenge so far?
Cam and I had to learn a lot of legalese. It's almost a new language. It was tough, committing all those huge speeches to memory every night, and making sure I understood everything coming out of my mouth.
Is Charleston as beautiful as they say?
It's wonderful. Now I don't know if this is totally true, but I've been told it's the most historically preserved city this side of Rome.
Hmm, I wonder. Although I suppose cities like Athens or Carthage are mostly ruins.
Charleston has a historic society that's very conscious of the amazing old buildings, keeping them in good shape. And there's unbelievable food there. It's almost a bad thing, how good the food is. And the Southern people . . . I'm partial, but Southern people are the sweetest.
What was it like getting the call that said you got the part -- your first major role?
It's a funny story. I wouldn't have auditioned for this show had my flight not been canceled. I'd just tested for another show that didn't go my way. I was all grumpy -- then my flight gets canceled. So my managers said, "Why don't you go in for this other show while you're here?" I did, and I'm leaving right after for my rescheduled flight when they call and say, "STOP! Turn around. You booked the job. And we're starting now."
I'd packed for three days -- wound up being away five weeks. I had to go straight to South Carolina. They took me to a salon that day and said, "We've gotta do something with those eyebrows." I'm significantly lower maintenance than my character. So I had a "Princess Diaries" transformation -- gave me highlights, separated my eyebrow into two. It was pretty magical.
You grew up in the same small town as Andy Griffith.
That's right. I could walk to his old house from where my parents live.
Ever catch reruns of "The Andy Griffith Show"? Do you think he based Mayberry on your town?
He completely did. It's the same. Just like on the show, Mount Pilot is the next town over. It was our rival school. And Mount Airy has Mayberry Days every summer, when they honor the show. It's very sweet.
Now you're in Brooklyn. Big change.
My husband and I dabbled in L.A., but this is more our pace. I feel like I earn my sleep here. I love it. New York is the greatest city in the world.
You're married to the Green Goblin.
I know. I like bad boys.
Since his role in "Spider-Man 2," do you two get freaky fans approaching you?
Not so much. Every once in a while -- it's not freaky, though. People are lovely. The Internet is crazy, people on Twitter are otherworldly. But in person, it's all good.