Amy Quinn isn’t your typical TV defense attorney. On All Rise, Lindsey Gort’s character may be a formidable courtroom opponent—but the CBS drama also shows her as a smart, warm, and witty person outside of her trials.
Before tonight’s new episode, Precinct TV spoke with Lindsey about playing the show’s only series regular defense lawyer, what she loves most about Amy, and Amy’s relationship with Mark Callan (Wilson Bethel), which will hit a speed bump when his old friend Rachel Audubon (recurring guest star Ryan Michelle Bathe) unexpectedly becomes their roommate.
Even though All Rise season 2 is Lindsey’s first season as a series regular, she’s felt like part of the show’s ensemble from almost the very beginning.
” I started in episode 2. That was the first episode everyone came back with, after shooting the pilot, so it kind of felt like everyone’s first day as well,” she explained. “And I was in so many episodes in the first season that everyone kind of adopted me as a regular and would make jokes like ‘oh, you’re one of us anyways.’
“Even shooting the Zoom episode [“Dancing at Los Angeles”] with everybody, it just felt right. I kept joking ‘You’re going to have to kill me off to get rid of me,’ because I just love everybody so much.”
All Rise originally introduced Amy as a foil for Mark Callan, and their relationship has evolved from her defending his father to their dating to now living together. In the most recent episode, Amy is even going into business with Mark’s father! Things have changed in leaps and bounds for them, and it’s not over yet.
“Last season, a lot of it was kind of showing how we are sort of like these sexy archnemeses, nd it was more based around who Amy was as a lawyer,” Lindsey said. “Now that they’ve moved in, in season 2, just with COVID regulations anyways, we are spending a lot more time in our home, just learning more of who they are as partners in spite of being in the same kind of legal worlds.
“it’s been nice kind of just exploring different storylines,” she added. “We’ve learned Amy has some issues with her family, similar to Mark—and just seeing two real people adapting to pandemic-related quarantining and isolation, and all the things that go into a relationship because of that.”
While Amy’s romance with Mark is a major part of her storyline, that’s not all that she’s about. All Rise has shown her as a professional and as a person, which is important for any TV show, and a refreshing change of pace for Lindsey.
“So often I’ve gone in for roles that are a stereotypical blonde woman. I call them the ‘wiggle and giggle’ type,” she said. “Whereas with [All Rise], they immediately had written her to be the strong contender against Mark. She could have been written as a man and they still would have had a lot of that same banter back and forth.
“So for me, I really wanted to make sure that we continue with that—that she is successful, that her life does not revolve around Mark, does not revolve around his job. They’re very much equals in that sense. I’d like to continue exploring that side, just how she came to be, how she continues to dominate in a male-driven industry and break the stereotype of just a blonde female.”
What’s particularly interesting about Amy is that she’s both an insider and an outsider. She’s part of the All Rise family group but being a defense lawyer she’s on the opposite side of the aisle, and she also doesn’t have the years of history that many of the other characters have with each other. That means she’s sometimes not involved in some of the show’s trials or storylines, at least as a direct participant. How does that affect Lindsey playing her?
“I still like reading it as a fan of the show, and I’ll think oh, that’s interesting. I still like Googling all the terms that they use, or I’ll ask Gil Garcetti, who consults for the show. You kind of do get a mini legal education reading these things,” she told us. “I’m sure people that work on medical shows learn a little bit more about medicine just by reading the scripts and trying to make sure you know what you’re talking about.
“Of course, I always look forward to more time in the courtroom and getting to play with some of the other actors in the show,” she continued. “It’s a positive and a negative that I don’t get to have those cases with everybody. I want to go toe-to-toe with Emily or Luke. But it is always interesting to read some of the crazy cases they get thrown and how they get out of them. And then I wonder, what would Amy do? How would she argue that? What position would she have taken?”
But because she doesn’t have all that backstory and she’s not part of the same system, Amy also has the freedom to call things exactly like it is.
“That’s the best,” Lindsey enthused. “Those are some of my most favorite times, when I kind of come in with the sassy one-liners against everybody. I know we have some of that at the beginning of season 2. Some of it was a little too sassy. They ended up cutting some of the lines out of the first episode back, because we were like dang it, Amy’s really coming in strong against people. But it’s fun.
“It’s fun to have a strong opinion, and not feel obligated to placate people because we work together. I can just come in and say what everyone else is thinking maybe at home, like ‘Just get together already.’ Or whatever it is. So for that, it definitely is fun to have that freedom outside of the court.”
Chances are you recognize Lindsey Gort from something before All Rise, whether it’s The Carrie Diaries or her memorable guest star episodes on Lucifer as the title character’s fake wife “Candy Morningstar.” But this TV crime drama is a different role for her, and the most complete showcase of her talents.
“After The Carrie Diaries, I was worried,” she recalled. “Right afterwards, a lot of the roles I started going in for were kind of more sexualized roles, from playing Samantha Jones. That was the first role people had really seen me do, so I was worried about that, and I played more, as I said, ‘wiggle and giggle’ characters. I am not, by proxy, a typical blonde person. I used to sing in a pop-punk band, and I had piercings and long black hair. I feel like I just tend to shy away from any of those stereotypical roles. And I like to choose ones that just have something else to them.”
“With Amy, I’ve never [before] been able to really show sort of a more professional side, like a strong sort of boss side,” she said, adding, “All Rise is addressing so many important storylines, so for that alone, I would play a doorknob, and be proud to be a part of it.”
There is one thing that’s still on her wish list.
“The one thing that I hope the show gets to do is a musical episode,” she revealed. “We keep joking about that, because it seems like almost everybody on the show sings. I doubt that I would get that many singing lines, because its hard to beat two actors on the show with Tonys [Ruthie Ann Miles and Lindsay Mendez…But I think we would all have so much fun doing that. Especially with season two, we are having to be so separated a lot, because of COVID protocols, that we don’t get to show everyone how much fun we all have together.
“J. Alex [Brinson] and I are buddies, and during our breaks, would get socially distanced drinks at one of my restaurants with his wife and my husband. We don’t get to see a lot of the friendships that a lot of us established. So I hope that as things progress with vaccines and stuff, that we can start having more of that, see more of the buddy side of everybody…and also of course a huge, giant, ridiculous musical number!”
All Rise airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.