Alberta Watson: Happy New Year to all of those wonderful Alberta's Apprentices!
teeker1_98: Did you ever expect the show to become so popular?
Watson: You never know. You truly never know. I thought it had a chance. Because I thought the casting was clever, and it was a fresh idea.
nikitafreek: Alberta, you haven't received as much press as some others in the show. Tell us a little about yourself.
Watson: It's top secret! There's so much! I wouldn't know where to start.
tmiller429: From what has been filmed so far, how do you like season three?
Watson: Seems more violent to me. Not that that bothers me. This particular show we're shooting now, show seven, I'm really enjoying. I'm trying to have some slight nuances with Madeline. I'm trying to find different areas I can do that, and I hope that comes through.
Cathy_Atkinson: Alberta, I've been wondering I saw that you did some guest appearances on The Equalizer when Joel Surnow was working with that show. Is that where he met you and did he have you in mind for Madeline when the character was created?
Watson: Joel and I didn't know each other, I didn't know him before Nikita or Equalizer. I think when they knew they were going to shoot in Canada, being Canadian, I think maybe at that point he knew he wanted me. I'm assuming this, I've never really sat down and talked to him about it. But I never knew him before Nikita.
reega: What is it like on the set?
Watson: The cast and crew are really terrific, I'm so comfortable with everyone there. For the most part, we have a good time. The hours can be so long though, it can get tedious. We wait around a lot. That's the hardest part about shooting. But it's a really great group of people.
WalterOlsen: What was it like to do a action film like The Soldier? Did playing an espionage agent in that film help you get the part on Nikita?
Watson: I doubt it. And to be honest with you, that whole experience of The Soldier I had a great time because we shot in Germany and then in Israel and I was drunk most of the time. Unfortunate but true; those days are long gone however! So I only remember having a good time, I don't remember much of the movie!
Danalfn: Which guest star have you most enjoyed working with?
Watson: There's been so many of them! On Nikita, Harris Yulin. He was probably my favorite. I've liked a lot of them. Everyone has been so gracious. I've never gotten attitude from any of them. People are happy to be working.
T_Bo40: How did you get started in showbiz?
Watson: I joined a theater company when I was 15. It was a very avant garde theater company. In Toronto. From there I started working professionally when I was 19. My first gig was a CBC Movie. A good movie actually. Then I went to New York to study with Gene Lasko. And I studied with him off and on for years.
Jane_Bond14: What parts of the character Madeline can you relate to?
Watson: Control. Something I'm trying to soften myself from. I need to relinquish some of it.
Jenni_Apprentice16: Alberta, do you enjoy portraying a character with as many cunning twists and turns as Madeline? Is it difficult or do you just like to have fun with it?
Watson: I wish there were more twists and turns. On this last episode I played a psychiatrist, and I got to step out of the Madeline bounds. I got to be more soft, more caring. I got to play another dimension. And that was great. I'd like there to be a lot more of that. The parameter is real small in terms of just being Madeline. Like, Madeline going under cover is a lot more fun. Madeline, who she IS, is very constricted.
Wickddoll: Alberta, do you have much input with your character's development?
Watson: I haven't really thought a lot of it until recently. It's a double-edged sword for me, because I like the amount of days that I work on the show, which usually averages only three days out of seven. Plus I'm always in the studio. Now if I were to request that they start developing her role, it would mean more days. I need those days for other jobs and other things that I do in my life.
_Yeknom_Ym_: How were you cast for the part? Were you automatically given the lead,or were you recommended for the job??
Watson: I just got a phone call, and they said we love you. I had to screen test. I didn't want to. But I spoke to Joel, and he said don't worry about it it's a formality. So please just do the test to appease whomever. And I said OK.
Juliet1716: When you first met Peta and Roy what did you think of them?
Watson: Wow! They were both so good-looking. I was intrigued. By both of them, because they're both so different. Peta is a whirling dervish, a tornado of energy. Roy is very reserved. And hawkeyed. And both so beautiful.
LindaVa_lfn: I am really curious to know exactly how Madeline came into Section, can you give us any hints?
Watson: Your guess is as good as mine. Yours would probably be better.
Nikita507: We have seen Madeline stop her heart, kill her husband, and cancel people, is there anything that she won't do?
itm55: Alberta, do you do any socializing with the cast members after hours?
Reeeh: Is there an inspiration when you play Madeline?
Watson: I don't draw on anything. Or as little as possible.
RedAura: Hi Alberta! What was the most difficult episode for you to prepare for as Madeline?
Watson: I never prepare. And I don't mean that to be flip. It's not the type of role where I need to do a lot of background. Because as you know in the audience, you don't see a lot of history. Maybe the one with Harris Yulin.
_G_I_JADE: Was it the show's choice to have your hair cut or your own? By the way, I like it.
Watson: No, I was sick, I had treatments, I lost it, and I'm well now.
hbrown180: Will Madeline and Operations ever allow Michael and Nikita to have a serious relationship?
Watson: No. Good God, no!
sosefin: Alberta, are you going to be doing TV apperances in the U.S. anytime soon?
Watson: If I don't have to leave Toronto I won't. I did The Mike Bullard Show up here, and I had fun, but I'm not like a publicity hound. It's nice to see things said about you that are nice, but I don't really care about it. I'd like to be respectful to the fans, that's for sure. Because they put in a lot of time and effort. And send lots of good wishes and thoughts. So I'd like to show them my appreciation, but that's about it.
Kiki_Lfn: Is it hard for you to slip into Madeline's character or is she a part of you now?
Watson: Not really hard, no.
Cathy_Atkinson: Alberta, who is your favorite character that you've ever played, and why?
Watson: Probably the one I played in Spanking the Monkey. Because her actions were pretty radical and horrific, and trying to find the humane part of her was challenging and fun.
Wickddoll: Considering its controversial subject matter, do you regret doing Spanking the Monkey?
Watson: Good God, no! That's why I did. Who wants to do pale, mundane, shit? As an actor you look for things that are going to be moving in some way. It doesn't have to be deep and profound, it can be funny and absurd, but you want it to be moving. So I wouldn't want to do anything that was on the fence.
Cathy_Atkinson: Alberta, one of my favorite episodes was "Gambit." Are we going to get another episode focused primarily on Madeline this season?
Watson: Hi Cathy! I have no idea, I hope so.
latika_2: Do you think that a place like Section One exists in the world?
Watson: Oh probably. What a thought! Probably.
lynette_taylor: We are so glad you're back and looking great! What lifestyle changes have you made since being diagnosed with lymphoma?
Watson: I just try and slow down much more. And try and be aware of every day. And knowing that at any time life ends. My appreciation for who is in my life and what I have accomplished in my life makes me feel really good. And I don't ever want to take any of that for granted. And I don't want to take my life for granted. So I've tried to slow down and really try and smell the roses. Some people don't get well and we're all going to die sometime. So I guess just having it in my face made me realize that I want to try and be fulfilled every day as much as possible.
Reeeh: How do you spend time off the set?
Watson: I love to read. Anne Tyler, Rose Tremaine. Reading those books, those sort of self-awareness books by Carolyn Myss, Thomas More, those types of spiritual, other-wordly kind of books. I like to spend time at my cottage with my dogs. And I love to just hang out with my boyfriend. And my friends.
Kiki_Lfn: What did you do on your LFN hiatus?
Watson: Over Christmas we went to the Bahamas. The first day we landed we got to the resort, and it was all Italian! It was a resort for Italians, which we didn't know! And the food was so mediocre. But we were on Eleuthra and it was so beautiful. And I got lots of sand flea bites. And nobody pities me, they just say, shut up!
Jenni_Apprentice16: Does everyone like to play practical jokes on the set?
Watson: When we're inspired to! Roy is pretty funny, he has a very dry sense of humor. The crew members are pretty silly. I'd say it's a silly group all in all.
WalterOlsen: You did a action film called Best Revenge. Was it fun to shoot in Turkey? And why did it took five years for the film to get released?
Watson: Because it wasn't a very good movie! It was made a long time ago, about 16 years ago. We didn't shoot in Turkey, we did a mockup of Morocco in Spain. And Spain was delicious. Beautiful country. I have actually never seen the movie. I've not seen a lot of my movies.
MarieApprentice1: We've all heard about your bunny slippers. Do you have any other secrets to share with us?
Watson: I just walk around in my slippers. Because they have me in these three inch heels which I cannot walk around in! Sometimes, occasionally when I watch a show I look like I walk funny, and now I know why.
Au_Natural_101: Alberta, what can loyal viewers except from your character in the future episodes??
Watson: I don't know. I get the scripts a week before we shoot.
ALL4SCHMOO: How long does it take to shoot one episode?
Watson: Seven days.
Reeeh: What is your favorite scene and episode?
Watson: Probably one between Harris and I, but we had a good connection going, I can't remember which one. Or maybe one with the mother, that was a good one. I don't know.
churchmn: Will you do more plays in New York?
Hollydream: How do you feel about having such a big following of fans?
Watson: It's mixed. It's good mixed. I'm really flattered. It's just odd to have a slew of people think you're something special. It's very odd. They want to know everything about you and your character. To me it's just odd. I'm not particularly interesting, I don't think.
alyxx_: Alberta, do you or any of the cast ever read the message boards on the various Web sites?
Watson: I do. I read the one that Cathy put up. She's the unofficial Alberta Watson fan club.
ALL4SCHMOO: What other actors or actresses would you like to work with in the future?
Watson: Emily Watson. I'm so inspired by her. She's a very gifted young lady. I like Kate Blanchett. Helen Mirren. Frances McDormand. I love Morgan Freeman.
Hollydream: Everyone seems to make New Year's resolutions. Many that don't get kept. :) Did you make any and what were they?
Watson: I did, but I didn't keep them, so it's not worth saying. Actually I didn't make any, I was just being flip. This is the first year that I did not.
KEYLFN: Alberta, We know you attended the Lights, Camera, Auction fund raiser, what did you think about it, and would you attend again next year?
Watson: I had a lot of fun. The fans were so considerate. It was fun watching them have a good time. And yes, absolutely , I would go again. They sent my portion of the money to charities that I love, which was great.
reega: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Watson: Who knows? I have no idea. And that's OK. I don't need to know. As I say, I'm trying to keep myself in the present as much as possible.
HawksGuy: Is Alberta your real name or a tribute to being Canadian?
Watson: That's cute! No it's my real name.
Danalfn: How does it feel to have message boards and mailing lists devoted to you? Is it flattering, unnerving, or both?
Watson: It's flattering. How could it not be? When I was sick, I had the most touching wishes and prayers, and that helped me through a lot of really hard days. I just want to let people know how much that meant to me.
Cathy_Atkinson: Hi Alberta! In your Elm Street interview last year, you talked about a movie that you might be doing this year based on the life of a real person. Any news on that yet?
Watson: We're still working on that one.
TVGEN: What do you have coming up next?
Watson: The Life Before This, a film I shot in the fall, with a great cast; Steven Rea, Katherine O'Hara, a lot of great talent from Toronto. I think it's going to be a very good movie, and I'm excited about it.
TVGEN: Thanks so much for joining us and best of luck with LFN and the upcoming movie! We are glad that you are feeling better and look forward to seeing more of you!
Watson: Thank you for all your good thoughts. All the best in '99! And stay tuned to the show. And it's my pleasure to be here! I'm sorry I couldn't get to all the questions!