If everyday Middle Eastern conflicts weren’t enough to keep up with, imagine what would happen if, from deep beneath the streets of Jerusalem, a 2,000-year-old plot to overthrow the world came to light. That’s the case for the world according to Dig, a compelling new series—from the creators of Homeland and Heroes—on USA that focuses on a team of FBI agents in the Holy Land as they uncover a conspiracy as ancient as the city itself.
Anne Heche plays the Bureau’s legal attaché Lynn Monahan (opposite Jason Isaacs’ Agent Peter Connelly), who finds herself embroiled in an effort to thwart the malevolent machinations behind the murder of an American student and a series of far more sinister acts. Here, Heche talks about filming in Israel and living out her action-hero dreams.
You’re playing a U.S. lawyer living in Jerusalem. How’d that happen?
Luckily, my agents called me and told me that Tim Kring and Gideon Raff were interested in me playing this FBI agent, and would I please read the script. I was of course excited—when you have the creator of Homelandand the creator of Heroes coming together, you already know that it’s going to be fantastic—and when I read the script, I was just amazed.
And you moved to Israel to film instead of faking it with someplace in Arizona?
Yes, for several months, until the conflict with Gaza. Then they relocated us to Croatia. But we got shoot the entire first episode, which is an hour and a half, in Israel.
That must be a completely different experience than using a sound stage or domestic location to double as the Middle East.
It’s a family commitment when you’re in another country shooting. It was impossible to say no and I wanted so badly to be a part of the project, but my kids and husband needed to spend three weeks with me in Israel, so it was a really big decision.
That must make it more of a life experience than just a job.
It was really life changing. It was absolutely incredible. We took those kids everywhere we possibly could, because we didn’t know if we’d ever be back there again.
Your character, Lynn, has a very specific role. What did you do to prepare for playing her?
It’s a unique job for a woman and quite a commitment, and a huge part of what I love about this character. She’s there to look out for crimes that Americans have been involved in, whether they committed the crime or the crime has been committed against them. This world, this kind of incredible intrigue and conspiracy, there’s nothing like it. There’s no preparation, and I think that’s what’s amazing. What’s really fun about this character is that Lynn is rooted in the truth and fact, while Jason’s character is more emotional. That cross between the two of them is what drives the story, and not preparing for that is the fun of it.
She’s also pretty tough. What did you most enjoy about playing someone like Lynn?
I have to say, I’ve always wanted to be an action hero. I really loved doing the action scenes. I don’t want to give too much away, but Lynn does get out of the office.
What can you say about what happens to her during this first season?
I think she goes from disbelief to belief, and that’s a very difficult journey for her. She has to believe and it’s built on her trust in this man in her life. She has to jump some hurdles.
Now that you’re done filming and the show’s actually on the air, how are you handling being back at home?
I can’t even believe that it’s on! I told my kids that they’re just going to get sick of me because I’ll be home so much.