main 2News 2Locations 2Funstuff 2Music 2ReviewsMonk WorldContact 2

Tuesday, January 8th 2008
Eve Gordon 1
Eve Gordon

Eve Gordon willl be guest starring in this week's episode of Monk, "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" as loan officer Madge. Fans may well remember Eve from the season one episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum" in which she plays Janie. In that she has one of my favorite lines ever, in response to Manny another patient who thinks Santa may be on his way: "It's August, whack job!" There's just something about the way she said it that sticks with me.

Eve has an impressive resume of film, theater and television work including another favorite of mine The Powers That Be (also starring Holland Taylor, Natalie's mother in "Goes to a Wedding" and "At Your Service") and Almost Grown with Tim Daly ("Mr. Monk and the Airplane".)

Eve was born in Pittsburgh PA and, like Tony Shalhoub, she attended the prestigous Yale School of Drama. She's married to actor Todd Waring (who also made a guest appearance on Monk as a maintenance worker in "Mr. Monk Gets Fired".) They have two daughters Tess (13) and Grace (10). "I'm really happy with my career," Eve once said in another interview. "It's exactly what I want. I have a great husband, two amazing little girls, and a nice house and security."*

Eve recently answered a few questions for me.


Having been on the show in the first season, did you have to audition for Monk this time or did they have you in particular in mind for the role?

Ooh, you caught that it’s my second time on the show! I did have to audition, but I love auditioning. It’s acting, after all!

I think my name came up in a preproduction meeting, and the director, Michael Watkins, had been the cinematographer on my first TV job ever (a David Chase show called Almost Grown) so he was already in my corner and Tony knows me.

Almost Grown
Eve Gordon in Almost Grown

I think they thought I was an unusual choice for this character, and that intrigued them a bit.

What character do you play in the upcoming episode?

I’m the loan officer at Monk’s bank. I’ve known him for years, and there’s a robbery at the bank, so I’m a witness.

What did you think of the character?

It was fun playing a grown-up in a suit. I am not exactly a grown-up in real life, so it was fun.

What is it like to work with Tony Shalhoub?

Asylum 2
Eve Gordon and Tony Shalhoub in
"Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum"

Heaven. Perfection. He makes it so easy and inspires by example – he’s so subtle, and so energetic and focused. And elegant. I’ve actually worked with him many times; we went to drama school together, and he asked me to do “Love Letters” with him a few years ago for a fundraiser. I have a photo of us in a Brecht play in school, and I’m up on a pedestal, and he’s on his knees worshipping me. I like that picture.

Did you have the opportunity to work with the rest of the regular cast?

To my intense delight, I got to work with all of them. I’m a longtime Ted Levine mega-fan, and Traylor Howard and Jason Gray-Stanford are treasures. Actually, Jason is rather wicked to work with. He urged me to do my lines in one take “like a terrible actor”, because I was off-camera and it “wouldn’t matter” and better yet, might actually throw Tony. Tony is not throw-able. So I did. And Tony’s eyes actually widened and he looked like he’d actually seen something terribly embarrassing, like someone getting their wound dressed. I rather regretted letting Jason talk me into it. You do understand, don’t you, that it was all Jason’s fault?

Do you have any funny, peculiar or inspirational anecdotes about filming this episode?

Well, I just told you a peculiar one (I hope it wasn’t inspirational), but I will tell you that I just adored how much time Tony, Ted, Traylor, Jason and Michael (the director) took to figure out how to shoot one tiny moment, a four-second shot, to make it as truthful and honest as possible. I think they took about an hour to figure it out, and every second was well-spent, as it all fed into the understanding, by everyone, of the story and the characters. With a TV schedule, there is no time to waste, but they didn’t short-change what really matters. I was impressed. Don’t know if I’ve explained it well, but it was unusual and honorable.

Also, there was one scene that we filmed MOS, which means ‘without sound’ (it comes from the early German film directors working “Mit Out Sound”), and it was the robbery scene, terrifying, with lots of screaming. The first time we did it, I screamed for real, and then when I realized it wasn’t being sound recorded, for the next take I sang Rogers and Hammerstein songs at the top of my lungs instead of screaming. That cheered everyone up for the day, I must say.

What do you remember about the filming of the first episode, “Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum”?

I remember everything. All will be revealed. I loved Toronto, and other guest actors, especially Ken Cheeseman, Dennis Boutsakaris and Kevin Nealon. I remember I had to say some disparaging things about Ken’s character’s “insane” belief in Santa, which troubled me, as I DO believe in Santa. Hi, kids! Do you mind if I say hi to my children?

Asylum 3
"It's August, whack job!"

Where was that filmed?

Oh, I keep answering your questions too soon. Toronto. The only year it was filmed in Toronto. I got that part because the character was an angry person in an insane asylum, and Tony keeps telling me that “no one wigs out like you do”. I think he means it as a compliment.

Compared to other work you've done was Monk a challenge or pretty easy?

Pretty easy, because of the wonderful atmosphere of creativity on the set, which I attribute to Tony setting an example of professionalism and friendliness, and Michael Watkins setting the tone of wild creativity with practicality.

What was the best role you've ever had?

Maybe Cunegonde in Candide (the Leonard Bernstein operetta), maybe the lead in Richard Foreman musical “Africanis Instructus”, which I did in NY and Europe. On film, probably David Chase’s first TV show, “Almost Grown”. I got to be 16 years old with beehive hair, 40 years old with a streak of interior darkness, and all the years in between. Great, great scripts.

Professionally, is there anything you wish you hadn't done?

I wish I hadn’t turned down the title role in “Erin Brockavich”. They were miffed that I couldn’t spell it.

Do you prefer film or television or stage work? And why?

My absolute favorite is multi-camera sit com, because it’s exactly like doing a play, only you get to do a different one each week, so no boredom, and you get paid about 4,000 times as much money as you would doing a play. But I know, from experience, that I’m best at film. Or maybe musical theater. In any case, what you learn in each medium improves your work in the others. I’m more subtle on stage now, and …well, actually, I can’t think how stage work helps my film work. My college drama teacher was right about one thing: just work as much as you can, in any place. It’s all good.

When did you first know you wanted to be an actor?

I would say, in my second year of drama school, when John Madden (not the sports announcer, but the future director of Shakespeare in Love) told me to forget my secret plan to go to law school after drama school, and to face the fact that I was an actor. He was very encouraging, and very dreamy, and I decided to give up the idea of law school, and embrace being an actor. So rather a late decision. But to tell the truth, I still have my diary from when I was ten, and there it is, in pink gel pen: I WANT TO BE AN ACTOR! Written all over January 4th, nineteen, uh, something. So I guess I must have always been a little showoff.

What is it about acting that attracts you the most?

The feeling you get when it’s going really well, and I can only compare it to skiing or surfing or something that makes you feel like you’re soaring.

What do you like least about it?

The scarcity of jobs, which leads to a very hard-to-shake feeling of unworthiness. If you like gambling, you would like to be an actor. There is the same excessive elation when you win a role, that you feel when you’re at a crowded craps table, and you throw eight the hard way, with your bet backed up to the maximum the house allows. But when you don’t work for a while, you start to feel that empty, lousy feeling that you get when the dice are cold, your stake is gone and your ATM card is maxed out. Or so I hear.

What do you think you would want to do if you couldn't be an actor?

Write, work for a non-profit environmental group, or teach. I do all these things sometimes, and I love them sometimes.

What are you working on now?

Asylum 4
"Welcome to my world."
Thank you for asking. I’m in the HBO film “Recount”, playing Kevin Spacey’s wife. It’s a thrilling movie about the Gore/Bush Florida recount. Even though we know how it ended, we learn a lot about what happened behind the scenes, and it’s a nail-biter. My character behaves precisely as I did on the actual night of the 2000 election, pacing, yelling at the TV, riding the emotional roller coaster.

It didn’t take any acting, just remembering, and it was a blast watching actual network coverage from that night, especially knowing what we know now.

Do you have any dream projects you'd like to work on in the future?

I’d like to come back to Monk one more time. See, I have this theory that my character in the first season, the angry crazy Janie, eventually was released and became a bank loan officer, and changed her name to Madge. I think she’s secretly gleeful that Monk has never recognized her as the same person. At least, that’s how I played it. See if you can tell. So, in a future episode, I think Monk puts it together, and … well, perhaps I could get killed or kill someone. It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a good story.

Eve Gordon 3
Eve Gordon

*Eve Gordon Profile


Index 2back to topinterviews 2