Ashley Judd: new ABC series 'Missing' is 'wish fulfillment'
Ashley Judd returns to television on March 15 with "Missing," where she portrays a single mother and former CIA agent Becca Winstone, who goes to track down her teenage son who disappeared in Italy.
"There is definitely an element of wish fulfillment because every parent's nightmare is that something will happen to their child and its one of those - I wish I could stop thinking about it but I can't and if something were to happen, of course the dream is that you would be able to completely handle it," Judd told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a recent interview. "That's what Becca Winstone can do, is face anything, face anyone, run, fight, use firearms, as well as be unbelievably canny, however I fail miserably at speaking Czech while flying a helicopter."
Judd, who is known for roles in films like "Kiss the Girls" and "Double Jeopardy," is the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and half-sister of Wynonna Judd. Though Judd has no children of her own, she wed Scottish race car driver Dario Franchitti in 2001 and dedicates much of her time to women and children's causes.
"[Motherhood] is, pun intended, the DNA of the show -- I'm a mother looking for my son. I also happen to be a former CIA operative, who however reluctantly, begins using my former skills in order to try and find my son," Judd continued. "And over the ten episodes, which is very different for a network, there's never been a ten episode series on ABC, I have to connect with characters from my past, most of whom I'd rather forget because I'm not terribly proud of what I used to do, as well as new characters, who both help and hinder me in the urgent quest to find my child."
Cliff Curtis, who is no stranger to the action genre, having appeared in films like "The Last Airbender," "Live Free or Die Hard" and "Blow," portrays CIA Agent Dax Miller in the series.
"One of the great things about the show is that it has a cinematic aspect, this could easily be a movie. But where it differs from a movie, is usually in this genre, when a character like Ashley's has a movie like this, they lose all morality - they lose all sense of what's right and what's wrong and just blindly go to complete their mission. That's not how this runs," Curtis told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "Central to this show is this theme of family and the cost of our careers and ideals and our values and my character empathizes and wants to help her but can't because she's going to mess up. This is a high stakes game - the CIA, FBI, French Intelligence, Interpol - you're going to have that running around through Europe."
It was announced in March, that Judd would star in the ABC series "Missing,". The series was given a 10 episode order.
"It's transcendent," Judd said of the series demographic. "Each episode is grounded in the emotional arc of the characters and that's what the writer's started with every time they met to write an episode - is what is happening emotionally. They never wanted to depart or stray too far from that really visceral connection with the viewers."
The 43-year-old actress has been on television before. Judd was a regular on the NBC drama "Sisters" with Sela Ward. The actress also earned an Emmy nomination for her role on the HBO film "Norma Jean & Marilyn" in 1996.
"I think it's a network's dream - it's looking at all the demographics," Curtis agreed. "You know, we have the young love story that emerges from your son, which is a fantastic, great storyline, I'm intrigued by that. For me, I love action movies, that's kind of what I do and that's what I like and so it's got a lot of intrigue, a lot of action, and a lot of spy thriller stuff. And I like spy stuff."
Judd's rep recently slammed rumors that the actress had undergone plastic surgery, instead claiming that any change in appearance was caused by medication for a serious sinuc infection. Her rep told E! News, "Ashley is a natural beauty enjoying her 40's gracefully."
"Missing" is set to premiere on March 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Watch a trailer for the series below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet"(check for local TV listings).