In what for many Television Critics Assn. press tour attendees was their first interview opportunity with Tierney since the former “ER” and “NewsRadio” star underwent treatment for cancer last year, there was a pervasive sense of relief that she was healthy and back at work. Tierney stars with Rob Morrow in the fall ABC law drama, “The Whole Truth.”
For her part, Tierney seemed to want to downplay the events of the past year, but she did appreciate the well wishes she had received over the past year and allow that she was happy to be working among friends. Tierney went to NYU with show exec producer Tom Donaghy.
“It’s a priority for me to work with people I really like and trust,” said Tierney. “It’s too much time in your life to not enjoy it. So I guess (my perspective) is somewhat adjusted.”
Donaghy said he wrote the part of Kathryn Peale with Tierney in mind. Joely Richardson was cast in the role for the pilot, but withdrew from the series for personal reasons. Tierney, coming back to TV a year after she herself had to withdraw from “Parenthood,” was ready to go.
“I’m healthy, so that’s sort of with that,” said Tierney, who performed in the play “North Atlantic” earlier this year. “And then I read the script and I liked it.
“I really responded to the character that Tom wrote, I guess because he wrote it for me – ego’s not involved there,” she joked. “I thought it was a really, really appealing character, because she’s so curious, and she’s dear and she’s funny. I thought it was nice to find a character who had such a great sense of humor and yet was driven.”
Said Donaghy: “I’d been seeing a lot of female characters on television that weren’t strong in the way I know women can be strong and also feminine. I knew Maura had this elegance … and also wit, and I wrote it with her talents in mind, never thinking she would be available. So it’s quite a gift that she’s available.”