Leelee Sobieski suits up like you've never seen her before in the new CBS drama "NYC 22." She plays one of six rookie cops assigned to Manhattan’s gritty 22nd Precinct, but her character, Jennifer "White House" Perry, is pretty disciplined after serving as a military police officer in Iraq. The show, which premieres April 15, certainly has a prestigious pedigree, considering Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal serve as executive producers.
The 28-year-old actress, who is mom to 2-year-old daughter Louisanna, spoke to The Huffington Post about the new show, being a young mom and her uncanny resemblance to Helen Hunt.
Do you feel tough playing a cop?
(Laughs) A little bit. I probably know the difference between right and wrong a little better, although actually a large part of our show is showing cops sometimes even going against the rules to come up with the right solutions. But yeah, it is cool wearing the uniform.
Does it make you realize what cops go through?
Oh my gosh, you have no idea. Those belts are so heavy. The amount of things that they have to carry around with them on their hips, it’s painful. On my pack we cheated a little bit, but it's heavy, that thing. You look at a cop and you don’t treat them like a pregnant woman, but they gave the same amount of weight around their hips.
I meant what they go through emotionally?
(Laughs) Right. It’s interesting, like with anything, there are good cops and bad cops. I always get scared of traffic cops when I’m driving, like I freak out even when I’m not doing anything wrong. I still think they’re going to pull me over and arrest me. I get off on an exit if there’s a cop behind me. It’s really silly, but I panic.
I think people really don’t like cops so much; they’re kind of rude to them or treat them like they can’t see them. This morning my daughter was doing this tiptoe sidestep on the block and she pretty much almost walked into this cop and I was like, "Are you tiptoeing sideways into the policeman?" and he was so happy we were playing with him instead of treating him like the scary, mean, bad cop.
Were you worried about the executive producers' track records?
(Laughs) No, that part didn’t make me nervous. I was nervous about the show in that, what if it goes on forever? And then I thought well, what if it doesn’t? You just don’t know. I’m open to whatever is meant to be, it will be.
You were 26 when you had your daughter, Louisianna Ray.
I don’t have any friends from childhood that have kids yet. I’m the only one. I’m waiting for them. I’m like, "C’mon guys, let’s get moving here because I really want to be knocked up at the same time as you so we can complain about our backs and drink lemonade and sit in rocking chairs."
You must mean your house in North Carolina, because it can’t be in Manhattan.
I don’t know. It’s in my head (laughs). I live in New York and it’s the greatest city, but sometimes I want to move to the place with the porch and the lemonade and the farm.
Do you think your "mom" Helen Hunt will guest star on "NYC 22"?
No, I think she’s definitely too young to be my mom. I don’t think we look alike anymore. I do see how we used to, when we had the long hair and the high foreheads and the noses and I think we’re both tall women who happen to have big boobs. It was like all these things. I only met her once at an awards show very briefly.
"NYC 22" films at Chelsea Piers. Ever go play ice hockey afterward?
No, but I should. I should take up ice skating or golfing. Maybe I will if the show gets picked up for another season.