Graceland Q&A: Vanessa Ferlito On Charlie's Dangerous Association

Access Hollywood
Vanessa Ferlito as Charlie and Vincent Laresca as Jangles in USA's 'Graceland' -- USA
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Vanessa Ferlito as Charlie and Vincent Laresca as Jangles in USA's 'Graceland' -- USA

Vanessa Ferlito's Agent Charlie DeMarco is on a serious quest to take down Odin, and it appears to be leading her into a dance with the devil on "Graceland."

Charlie has been forced to team up with Federale Rafael Cortes (Vincent Laresca) to continue her investigation into the mysterious Odin (who she thinks will get her Jangles) heading into this week's all new episode of the USA drama. Secretly pairing up with Rafael might not be to her benefit as last week's episode revealed that he is actually Jangles in disguise.

It's another tough twist headed the way of Vanessa's character, who has seen more than her fair share of troubles in Season 1. She lost an informant she cared for (Whistler), and jumped on the heroin train twice.

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To play the role of the tough FBI agent, Vanessa, a vet of "CSI: NY" and "24," spoke with people who do the job for real, and she has a lot of respect for those who have to go undercover.

"In my opinion it's one of the hardest professions," she told AccessHollywood.com in a new interview. "You have to be really crazy, or really love what you do because you put your life on the line like that."

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In this week's episode, Charlie again puts her life on the line - unknowingly - thanks to her association with Rafael/Jangles. Vanessa hinted at what's ahead.

AccessHollywood.com: So, Rafael- the audience knows he's a bad guy, but Charlie doesn't know. Should we be concerned for your character?

Vanessa Ferlito: Absolutely! ... It gets pretty bad. ... I was actually really shocked. You know? I mean, I know it's cable, but still.

Access: I'm surprised you're shocked considering that when the show started to get really dark, your character was one of the first to take that dark twist with the heroin.

Vanessa: But that was like self-sabotage. That was hurting myself... I guess every episode I was just like 'Wow, wow, wow, really? OK.'

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Access: Why do you think Charlie trusts Rafael?

Vanessa: I don't think she trusts him. Trust is a very big word. I think he's a Federale, she's FBI. He wants Jangles as badly as she does, or so he pretends that he wants Jangles as bad as she does, so she teams up with him. Nobody else is showing an interest. Mike is doing his own thing with Bello, Briggs keeps shutting her down, Johnny's telling her she's crazy... So she just kind of jumps head first with this guy and takes a chance. That's how desperate she is... She's like, he's Federale. Let me use this guy to my advantage and use what he knows about it... I mean, nobody else would bite.

Access: The cast handles a lot of weapons on the show. Was learning how to shoot fun for you?

Vanessa: Yeah! I don't love guns. I have to be honest, I don't love guns. [Some people say they] get a thrill, they get a rush when they shoot them. I'm just like, 'It's really loud.' ... You pull the trigger, it's loud. It made me a little nervous sometimes because you don't know if it could backfire or whatever. I have the best shot out of the boys, FYI.

Access: Wow!

Vanessa: I broke my metal stand. I shot the metal. Mine broke in half.

Access: Aaron Tveit, who plays Mike Warren, is supposed to be the best shooter on the show because his character was undercover, training Bello's men in previous episodes.

Vanessa: Acting wise! Really, life wise, I'm the better shot.

Access: What did the guys think of that?

Vanessa: They laugh. They think I'm crazy. I was gonna say before that, anything that I had to do with them was fun. We all just get along so well. I love them dearly and we're all really tight and anything we had to do together, we had a blast, whether it was gun training, or we went to the, what's the other kind of training? Like house [clearing]... [It's] when you clean a house of drug dealers and stuff. It was me and the boys... When things pop out and you have to shoot it. Manny [Montana, who plays Johnny] and I were killing everything - anything that popped out, we were just like lighting the place up.

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Access: Beyond the weapons training, was there a 'Graceland' gym on set?

Vanessa: Absolutely not. Why because everybody's ripped?

Access: Everyone looks pretty good.

Vanessa: I do Yoga, but they're pretty ripped. They're all like on, 'Who doesn't eat carbs? Who doesn't eat gluten? Who doesn't eat meat?' I'm like, 'Yeah, OK. I'm hungry.' Although I'm trying really hard. I want to be really ripped for [a] second season, but no, there's not a 'Graceland' gym. No, we just kind of all do our own different kind of workouts. Who boxes? Who goes to Crossfit? I do Yoga, I'm pretty dedicated.

"Graceland" continues Thursday at 10/9c on USA. Catch old episodes of the show through On Demand.

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