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Sharon Stone, Jeff Hephner Talk Stunts, Politics and Action at TNT’s ‘Agent X’ Premiere

Sharon Stone, Jeff Hephner and Olga Fonda attended the premiere of TNT’s newest fall television series, “Agent X,” at The London Tuesday in West Hollywood. Guests enjoyed a prescreening cocktail party and a popcorn and candy bar.

The show follows newly-elected vice president Natalie Maccabee (Stone), who upon inauguration is greeted with a surprise and Washington’s best kept secret — Agent X (Hephner). Maccabee has full discretion over this top secret agent’s unseen work, sending him into the field (without even the president’s knowledge) during times of extreme crisis.

The new series merges action and political drama, with an emphasis on dramatic fight scenes. Hephner, who plays Agent X, and Fonda, his Russian enemy, perform almost all of their own stunts. “I was going to go out bleeding if I had to,” Hephner said.

Although Hephner loves the thrills of the show, he acknowledged he’s happy there is a stunt team for the more dangerous activities, like jumping a motorcycle. “I can barely ride the dang thing,” Hephner said. “If I break my legs, the show stops.” The actor dedicated his free time to rehearsing fights, learning the choreography through repetition.

Fonda has intensive experience performing her own stunts, with weapons training and martial arts instruction in her repertoire, because she loves the action.

While Hephner and Fonda enjoy the excitement of fighting on camera, Stone, who also executive produces “Agent X,” explained that the characters get smarter as the season progresses on. But the action will continue. “Let’s face it, people love a shoot ’em up,” Stone admitted. She also praised her leading man. “Jeff is so strong and smart and he got himself in such great condition for this. He’s a wonderful action hero.”

Carolyn Stotesbery, Sadie Bernstein and executive producer Armyan Bernstein and Nathan Fillion at the “Agent X” party.
Michael Buckner/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

With TNT reshuffling their projects, the full “Agent X” season was filmed a year and a half after the initial pilot shooting. “It’s like riding a bike,” Fonda said. “Within seconds, you’re back into your roles.”

Hephner noted it was more difficult for him to get back into his character. “It’s been the very long birthing of a very big baby,” he said.

Geoffrey Blake, who plays the CIA director, drew character inspiration from his own family, admitting he suspected his late father was a spy. “My father went to this very small liberal arts college [with Michael Dukakis], and Dukakis said in Time Magazine that half of the school went into politics and the other half went into the CIA,” Blake said.

Stone, on the other hand, portrays a female vice president – something Americans haven’t seen come to fruition. John Shea, who plays the president, doesn’t think gender should matter in politics. “It’s all about your heart,” Shea said. “Do you love your job? Do you love your country and do you do things for the right reason?”

Looking to the upcoming election, Stone emphasized Washington needs someone who, regardless of gender, will help our country. “We have to have people who are listening, talking, considering and responding,” Stone said.

After the pilot and a five minute season preview, guests headed to the rooftop pool for an after-party to enjoy a buffet dinner and dessert bar.

“Agent X” premieres Sunday, Nov. 8, at 9 p.m.

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