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Taylor Schilling of "Mercy" Embraces a Fierce New Role

Wonderwall, Thursday, August 20, 2009, 2:43pm (PDT)

By Dana Flax

Keep an eye on those pulses, gentleman. Hottie TV newcomer Taylor Schilling will soon star alongside hottie TV vet Michelle Trachtenberg in NBC's new hospital drama "Mercy." As Veronica, a hardened Iraq War veteran/New Jersey hospital nurse, Taylor plays love interest to not one but two men -- including a foxy James Tupper of "Men in Trees." Now that's what we call feminism! Taylor recently spoke to Elle.com about adding a lil' moxie to "Mercy"; check out a couple highlights from her interview below.

On what attracted her to "Mercy":

"I was interested in Veronica's flaws. I thought it fun that there was a lady who was so complicated in a way that I could really relate to -- a fish out of water. And I think that everybody may have a little bit of an experience like that, not necessarily a war, but certainly something that changes them."

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She may have had to study from the book of Tyra in preparation for this role:

"I think [Veronica is] a lot fiercer than I am, but that's certainly a fun part of myself to explore."

On what sets "Mercy" apart from other hospital dramas:

"It's relatable. These characters aren't glossy. It doesn't strike me as soap opera–y. Everything is grounded, and it's really working-class culture. I see people I know in all these characters. It doesn't feel like TV Land. It's human, it's messy."

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On her favorite hospital shows (and insomniac television preferences):

"I was a huge 'ER' addict. And recently, when I can't sleep, I've been watching "M*A*S*H." I do''t know if that counts as a hospital show, but it's impressive that they pull off that fine line of treating the serious things you deal with on a daily basis with levity."

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"Mercy" premieres Wednesday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC.

Visit ELLE.com for the full interview

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