Why You Shouldn't Miss 'Leverage' - Beth Riesgraf

Beth Riesgraf"Leverage" is one of TNT's newest original dramas and if you've watched, chances are you love Parker (Beth Riesgraf) just as much as we do.  Described in the show as "20 pounds of crazy in a 5 pound bag", she scales walls, repels off buildings and squeezes into small spaces with an eerie sense of calm.

I had the opportunity to interview Beth and I gotta tell ya, she's just plain awesome.  Relaxed, funny and best of all, she's really into what she does. 

Currently on a break from filming, Ms. Riesgraf was kind enough to indulge my stunt girl dreams.  Believe it or not, she does most of them herself (including hanging upside down from a 44 story building) and this is the first time she's ever done anything like this. 

Since she appears to be such a natural at it, I asked if there was anything she did growing up that might have helped prepare her, i.e. dancing or sports.  She told me sports were more her thing as a kid, particularly soccer and softball, and that definitely helps, but most of all it's her 5 year old son that keeps her strong and ready for the hard work. The busy job of looking after a little one has made the transition into long, strenuous days on the set a little bit easier.

So how else does she train for the big moments?  Pilates for one, but she says the key to building her upper body strength is simply sit-ups and push-ups!  Of course, she also has the help of a harness and cables to keep her safe and take some of the pressure off, but that doesn't mean it's easy. In the episode "The Snow Job", for example, she spent a couple hours, off and on, dangling from a ski lift.

Aside from stunts, I was curious to learn more about the background of Parker.  We've learned from the show that she's deep and mysterious, but with a personality playful enough to keep you entertained.  In fact, she's so multi-dimensional that some even question her sanity.  When I asked Beth how she chose to play the character like this, as opposed to your average badass femme fatale, she said it was the adjectives used to describe Parker in the script (like "clumsy" yet "oozing dangerous sexuality") but mostly it's all instinct.

In fact, the writer's ask Beth for her input on Parker and even let her keep some of it a mystery, because y'know, that's what Parker would do. 

I did ask if there was anything she could tell us about Parker's budding relationship with Hardison, but of course, she's not allowed to spoil us that much.  She think there's room to grow, but the bottom line is that it's hard to see Parker calling anyone "boyfriend".

As far as what to look for, Beth hinted that we're in store for a doozie of a finale.  She said they spent a couple days just working on stunts alone.  It sounds like they'll definitely be going out with a bang.

Be sure to see the newest "Leverage" airing tomorrow at 10pm Eastern on TNT.  You're definitely not going to want to miss this one and since it just got picked up for season 2, you won't want to get left behind!


Wow, how fun that you got to speak with Parker... I mean Beth. I love her on the show, she's quickly created a character that could easily be just a sociopath but has given her a streak of fun and tenderness (the orphan episode was a great Parker story) that she is really interesting. I look forward to more of her back story, hope we'll get more history on all of them. But, I love the flirting with H, but no way should she have a boyfriend. That would never do.

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