After five years of playing Mary Shannon, a U.S. Marshal working with the Witness Security Program (WITSEC) on In Plain Sight, Mary McCormack will hang up her badge when the series wraps up later this spring. “I have mixed emotions,” she says of the series coming to a close. “It’s long hours, but both the cast and crew are my family. It’s a big part of my life.” So what if she had another life, like the protected witnesses on her show? We turned the tables and uncovered who she’d be.
American Way: Say you’re taken into a witness-protection program. What’s your job?
Mary McCormack: The only other job that interests me is being a political strategist — [planning] campaigns and speeches, why they wear a red tie versus a blue tie. I did this show, K Street, and got to know [politicians] Mary Matalin and James Carville really well. I was immersed in that whole world.
AW: Where would you live?
MM: I love D.C., and if I did that job I’d have to be there. But ultimately I’d love to live in London.
AW: What are the three things you’d insist on bringing with you?
MM: You’re not allowed to bring mementos, so … I have three kids. [Laughs] I’d bring those. Or at least two of them. Two kids and a BlackBerry.
AW: Would you be able to resist contacting family left behind?
MM: It’s incredible. People go through counseling to ensure that they can handle it. I can’t imagine. But if you want to stay alive, you have to.