Laura Innes discusses her new show “The Event”

By Greg Hernandez Anyone who saw Laura Innes as the skilled but abrasive – and later it turned out lesbian – Dr. Kerry Weaver on “ER” knows that she is a terrific actress.

But she’s also a terrific and very in-demand director who was nominated for directing an episode of “The West Wing” and has also directed “House” and “Brothers & Sisters,” among other shows.

This fall, Laura steps back in front of the camera in the NBC series “The Event” which also stars Jason Ritter and Blair Underwood. The action and unfolding mystery gives the show the feel of “24” and it was great to talk to Laura about it at the Television Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour earlier this month.

“I’ve been directing a lot and I read a lot of pilots, some of them very, very good, but a lot of things are very derivative,” she said. “This show is of a certain genre but I really loved how tightly it was structured, I loved the people they were starting to cast. When I met with them I really liked them. They were nice, smart people. And it’s a fun, fun job.”

After 12 years on “ER,” Laura enjoyed her time directing but points out that those opportunities are still all too rare for women – especially when it comes to directing feature films.

“I think it’s getting better and better but I think the DGA is still about 7 percent women so it’s a very small percentage,” she said. “It’s a complicated issue because the movie business is so much about relationships and there’s so much money at stake that I think the way that these younger female directors are going, directing independent movies, that’s the way to go. You’ve just got to do it and make your movie.”

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