‘Madam Secretary’ PaleyFest Red Carpet: What Can We Learn from Elizabeth this Election Season?

Téa Leoni was looking very like her character Elizabeth McCord when she was on the red carpet at PaleyFest on Friday night. 

Téa was seen taking a phone call in between interviews and later her PR person handed her the phone and she was texting. It seemed like we were front and center seeing Elizabeth at work as the secretary of state.

20161014_194051There’s an election happening on screen and off screen. When I asked Téa what was one thing people could learn and take from Elizabeth for the 2016 election, she said:

You’ve never heard Elizabeth mention Republican or Democrat and I think if there is anything that Elizabeth and this show as a whole is demonstrating, they listen to the issues, listen to the policies, listen to the plan. And if there isn’t a plan and there isn’t a policy, run for this hills.

I think that’s very good advice for people to take from Madam Secretary.

Elizabeth is clearly not a politician and creator Barbara Hall said, it was very “important that she wasn’t a career politician, that she came in from the outside.”

Instead of being a politician, she is bringing a certain view of foreign policy to the table because of her time in the CIA.

Zeljko Ivanek (Russel Jackson) said: “I don’t know if being political is in Elizabeth’s bones so much. The great thing about her character is she’s not political. What she brings to the table is her passion and sincerity.” 

She’s attempting to change how things are done but Zeljko pointed out that you have to be in power to do some good. The question is, “how far do you go to not have to sell yourself to stay in power.”

For a brief moment, we almost thought that Elizabeth would be VP. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one asking if that would change the show, given the name of the show.

Barbara said:

I feel like we can call the show Madam Secretary regardless of what happens. Because that’s the origin of the story, but we felt like it was a natural thing that might happen. It was very organically conceived and then when we decided how we were going to go with the direction of the election, it again made sense that we step back.

It’s hard not to admit that Elizabeth had a major effect on the election, even if she was doing the right thing.

Zeljko said:

She kind of has messed things up or it seems like it for the moment. Russel gets very passionate and cares so much about what happens and what happens to President Dalton. So, in the middle of all that we all get carried away. I think things will work out in the end. 

Zeljko doesn’t think Russel would have ever envisioned or even suggest Dalton run as an independent but he’s determined to keep him in the oval office.

He said that the story arc will last most of the first half of the season and will challenge everyone involved. There’s a lot of things happening inside the election and outside the election that will influence the outcome.

“Nobody knows, even as much as they know what they’re up against, they don’t even realize how rough a ride they’re going to have,” Zeljko teases. 

Executive Producer Lori McCreary also said: “[Elizabeth will] definitely affect [the election] in ways you can only imagine.” 

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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