Téa Leoni’s nuanced portrayal of the Secretary of State keeps the Hilary Clinton comparisons coming. But she’s not the only actress doing the heavy lifting on CBS’s drama Madam Secretary. Kathrine Herzer portrays her daughter, Alison McCord, who is dealing with her own issues—which while not quite global, are quite emotional. We sat down to ask her what it’s like to play the daughter of one of America’s most powerful figures.
What do you love most about playing Alison McCord on Madam Secretary?
Alison is definitely a trip. One episode she’s crying, the next she’s wildly happy, then of course the next week distraught about something else, like all teenage girls. But I love that about her. She’s such an empathetic person—she throws herself whole-heartedly into everything she does. She’s a very real character. She’s like all 15-year-olds just trying to figure out who they are, with the additional pressure of her mother being one of the most powerful people in the world. But it’s refreshing to see a teenage girl who hasn’t lost all of her innocence. Alison walks a fine line, but she never crosses it like most teenage characters.
What can we expect for the rest of the season?
Alison is turning 16! As she gets older we see her maturing through the difficulties of her mother’s job, the exposure of it, as well as just dealing with high school problems. Of course we are talking about Alison, which means plenty of more boys, too!
You are working with such an amazing cast including Téa Leoni and Tim Daly. What have you learned so far from these amazing actors?
I am very fortunate to work in a friendly environment and so much of that has to do with the tone that Tim and Téa have set. They are both so kind and willing to help and give advice. I’m so thankful that I get to work with them now at the start of my career, while I’m still building a foundation.
Who would be your dream guest star for the show?
It would be so much fun to have Betty White on the show! Working with her is definitely a dream of mine, and I think her sharp and witty sense of humor would work perfectly with the dynamic of Madam Secretary.
When you have the time what are your TV guilty pleasures?
I’m obsessed with watching HGTV and the Food Network. Love It or List It is my absolute favorite! I also love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but I try not to watch it because it makes me too hungry!
Madam Secretary returns in March on Sunday nights on CBS.