CBS will premiere Dick Wolf’s all new series, FBI, tonight at 9:00 PM ET/PT. FBI centers around New York City’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and stars Missy Peregrym and Zeeko Zaki as agents Maggie Bell and OA Zidan.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Peregrym and Zaki ahead of tonight’s premiere to discuss their the show, their characters and what it’s like to play a ninja.
MW- Good morning Missy, good morning Zeeko, how are you both doing today?
MP- Good morning! Doing well, thanks!
ZZ- Doing just fine, Matt!
MW- So you two are starring in the new show FBI from Executive Producer Dick Wolf and as a fan of the genre I’m really excited for this show to premiere tonight. Can you give us a preview of the tonight’s pilot?
MP- Yea, it’s a really intense episode. Things go very quickly, it’s a huge story to tell and I think that’s kind of what every episode is going to be after this as well. This specific one we’re dealing with bombs and all of these episodes take place in New York City. Hopefully you just love the characters, it’s an introduction for what you’re going to be seeing in the rest of the season.
I play “Maggie” Zeeko plays “OA,” we’re partners are you’re going to be experiencing it through our perspectives.
MW- You mentioned Maggie and OA, can you each take a minute to walk us through your characters and their relationship with each other?
ZZ- Yea, so my character is OA Zidan and I play an Arabic American FBI agent coming from West Point to an undercover role with the DEA, Army and I’m really hoping that it’s a fresh and new perspective that we get to tell a story through a different set of eyes. I’m really excited for it. Our relationship is new in the beginning of the season as you’ll find out tonight.
MP- We bring different skill sets to the table, which by the way is the entire FBI, there’s so many different facets of it that you’ll get to see. I play Maggie who’s been an agent for six years, OA and I are newly partners, about three months in and we bring different stuff to the pairing. I know the legal stuff, I know the bureau, I know how to get things done through that system and I’d say OA is a little more reactive…
ZZ- More of a shoot first, ask questions later [laughs]. Coming from undercover you kind of make your own choices and answer to less people -with the FBI it was really cool to learn how meticulous they are, to see actions and decisions that they make and it’s a different world. There’s no grab your gun and go when you’re in the FBI, it’s very thoughtful and it’s exciting to work within that environment.
MW- There’s so much going on mentally of course, but there’s also a lot going on physically I’d think. What kind of physical preparation did each of you make for FBI?
ZZ- Well [Missy] played a cop for a long time, so that was some nice physical preparation.
MP- Yea, I’ve done physical roles the whole time I’ve been doing this so and so this one of the least physical roles I’ve taken on actually. I actually just came from playing a ninja, so this is easy for me [laughs]. Really there’s no time to even do anything, if you’re going to do a fight scene or a stunt you’re learning it five minutes before you film, which I’m so used to an have no problem with. I really enjoy the thrill of that.
ZZ- In terms of fight scenes I used to play a terrorist a lot, getting type cast, so my fight scenes would end up with me losing. It’s nice to change up that narrative [laughs]. Preparation wise its been a lot more research than physical. We just try to stay fit so we can show up everyday…
MP- You try to stay fit? This guy is at the gym, he’s running everyday. He’s up two hours before call, which I don’t understand. Three in the morning he’s going…
ZZ- Just trying to represent [laughs].
MW- You’re both really getting to live out childhood fantasies. Cops, ninjas, FBI agents it’s like a kid’s Halloween wish list.
MP- [Laughs] Honestly, everyone always asks me what I’d be doing if I wasn’t doing this and I just end up picking things that I can play and it’s probably better that I just play the role. But, obviously now I want to be an FBI agent in real life, I’m like I’m going to quit and go work for the FBI.
ZZ- You and I, we could go undercover.
MP- I would not work with you undercover [laughs].
ZZ- Yes, you would and it would be great!
MW- Putting the bad guys on notice on TV and in real life. Now lastly, before we go can you give the audience at home a quick summary of why they should tune into FBI?
ZZ- The show is about the inner workings of the New York City Federal Bureau of Investigation and you guys should tune in because you’re going to see different crimes that haven’t been on TV represented in a Dick Wolf universe before. We’re hoping that things will be bigger, more exciting and a refreshing look at what the bureau is really about.
MW- You’ve got me sold. Thank you both for taking the time to speak with me today and good luck with the premiere!
MP- Thank you very much!
ZZ- Thanks Matt!
Tune into the season premiere of FBI tonight at 9:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.