Former 'Just Shoot Me' Stars Enjoy Life on 'Mars'
Laura San Giacomo and Enrico Colantoni reunite on CW drama
"It was just kind of a no-brainer situation for me," says the actress, who is currently in the middle of a three-episode guest stint on The CW Tuesday series "Veronica Mars." "I love Rico, love working with him, and it was just as much fun as I thought it would be."
San Giacomo plays Harmony Chase, a casual acquaintance who asks investigator Keith Mars (Colantoni) to check up on her husband, whom she suspects of cheating.
"They had met at a couple of Christmas parties thrown by one of the local judges," executive producer Rob Thomas says of the characters, "and it doesn't take long for Harmony and Keith to discover that they dig one another.
"We started thinking about this story arc for Keith very early in the season, and Enrico suggested Laura. Frankly, we assumed Laura wouldn't be available at the budget on which we shoot our show, but I think she and Enrico really wanted to work together so we got special dispensation and were able to book her in the role."
The professional reunion brought back warm memories for both actors, who have remained close friends since "Just Shoot Me" was canceled by NBC in 2003 after seven seasons. Colantoni concedes that it took a little adjustment to work with San Giacomo in roles that were very different from their "Shoot Me" guises as magazine editor Maya Gallo and photographer Elliot DiMauro.
"You're darned tootin' [it was strange], but what happened that I didn't expect was the foundation that we had with each other," he says. "After seven years of working with each other every day, you forget how much trust you have for the other actor.
"I had forgotten how intense Laura is and how she brings choices to what she does that are so unique to anybody else. It was like being bathed in warm water, working with her again. We had three great episodes, and each time we got together it just reinforced the respect and love that I have for her."
"At one point Rico turned to me and said, 'Just like Friday night,' which is when we used to tape 'Just Shoot Me,'" San Giacomo says. "He and I were just remembering certain episodes and quoting lines to each other. But the great thing was just to look across the room, and there's that bond and that history of playing ball together for seven years."
Both actors say the "Just Shoot Me" cast still tries to get together regularly for lunch or dinner reunions, although recent schedule crunches have made that more difficult.
"We were having one lunch, and a bunch of NBC executives came in and saw our table and did a huge double take, like 'Don't you people know that we've wrapped your show?'" San Giacomo says.
Both Colantoni and San Giacomo enjoyed their "Veronica" reunion so much that they have begun lobbying for more Keith-Harmony stories.
"That notion has definitely been planted, and I definitely loved working on that show," San Giacomo says. "That crew is so sweet and great and were really so warm and embracing of me. I loved working with Rico again, and I want to do some more!" That's absolutely fine with Thomas.
"I wouldn't hesitate to go back to this, because I was really happy with how it played out," he says.