He Said/She Said With Wilson Bethel & Simone Missick of CBS’ ‘All Rise’
Fall’s breakout courtroom drama offers compelling cases, but fans of CBS’ All Rise are tuning in for another reason as well: the friendship between Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) and prosecutor Mark Callan (Wilson Bethel).
The November 4 episode reveals more of its depth as Mark is forced to cross-examine Lola’s mother, Roxy (guest star L. Scott Caldwell), when she’s called as a character witness in his latest trial. What would Missick tell viewers who still find themselves shipping the platonic pals, who’ve known each other since college? “Ha! I’m not one to ruin people’s dreams,” she says, “but I think Lola and Mark are like brother and sister. If they haven’t tested those waters in the 15-plus years they’ve been friends, I don’t see it happening. Unless it’s in a flashback…”
To find out how like-minded the actors are in real life, we gave them each a questionnaire to fill out for a friendly round of He Said/She Said.
What’s the secret to Lola and Mark’s friendship?
Simone Missick: Food and drink! She always lets him raid her good bourbon stash, and pick off her plate! That and they are one another’s sounding boards. Whether it’s an honest debate on a case, or a listening ear with work or family drama, they’re always there for each other.
Wilson Bethel: I think Mark and Lola fundamentally view one another as equals. There’s a huge amount of respect between them. Intellectually. Ethically. In a career-sense. I love how they use one another as sounding boards, how each values the other’s opinion. But they also aren’t super stuffy and pretentious. They get silly together. They give each other s–t. I imagine they’d be the kind of people who’d turn up a dance party.
You knew the two of you would be friends in real life when…
Missick: We were on set and broke out into “Notorious Thugs” by Notorious B.I.G. and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. We both knew all of Biggie’s verse, and most of the ones past verse one. I said, “we can be friends.”
Bethel: Simone showed up at a BBQ at my house a few years ago with some mutual friends and I remember hearing her laugh and being like, “Yeah. This chick is good people.” I think you can tell a lot about a person from the way they laugh. Simone has a real good one. It’s a big-hearted laugh.
You’d go to your co-star for advice about…
Missick: Great restaurants in LA. And cool places to get vintage furniture.
Bethel: Probably anything. Simone’s a f—ing oracle. She’s Zoltar. Whether or not she actually has the answers is anybody’s guess (I mainly ask her about where the nearest food is; she usually knows), but she certainly projects a sage-like vibe. It’s very comforting to be around.
Your favorite object in your character’s office?
Missick: The photo of my real-life mom that’s snuck into the office. It’s great to have her as a reminder of how far I’ve come, who my support system is, and to walk with grace and dignity in the world: I love making my family proud.
Bethel: Mark has a Chemex coffee filtration system in his office which I, Wilson, don’t know how to use. But I know people who know how to use them. They’re pretty cool. And they make a damn good cup of coffee. And I’m like semi-addicted to coffee, so… He also has a puck that says, “Take the shot.” But that tends to get him in trouble. Thanks for nothing, Lola.
One thing you’re dying to learn about your character’s past?
Missick: That’s a two-parter: Professionally, what were some of the cases that may come back to haunt Lola? I think she’s probably got a skeleton or two in her closet. And personally, who did Lola date before she married Robin (her FBI agent husband)? There are LOTS of theories, and I’ve got my own. Let’s get a flashback or two!
Bethel: I feel like there’s a big story surrounding Mark’s mom. We spend a good amount of time in the first season with Vic, Mark’s dad. We get to witness their weird, kind of heartbreaking dynamic. We learn a little about Mark’s unusual childhood. His issues with his pop… but the mom is still a mystery.
One thing you’d add to your co-star’s backstory?
Missick: Mark’s mom. We know his father is a huge influence (not necessarily a good one) in his life. I’m curious who/where Mama Callan is in Mark’s life.
Bethel: A “lost years” chapter. Kind of like how Amish folks do a “Rumspringa.” (Which is basically just a window of time in early adulthood where this otherwise very orthodox, religious people are allowed to go off the rails, do drugs, raise hell, etc. For reference watch the documentary, Devil’s Playground. Yikes!) I think maybe Lola had something like that before she settled down and decided to be Your Honor. Lots of psychedelics and such.
Both characters are known to go rogue. Which of you is more likely to go off-script?
Missick: We don’t call him Wild Willy for nothing! Wilson is hilarious in interviews. His sense of humor is sometimes a little “colorful,” so the rest of us have fun watching him make interviewers blush.
Bethel: Equally likely. Although Simone is more likely to get away with it.
Which cast member would you ask to defend you in real life?
Missick: Jessica Camacho. Have you seen the vigorous defense Emily gives her clients?! She’s undefeated!
Bethel: Either Simone or Jessica. Simone’s got the gravitas, but Camacho knows how to tug a heartstring. Juries are suckers for that stuff. Or so I hear.
All Rise, Mondays, 9/8c CBS