Arts & Culture

March 12, 2014

Actress Stevie Lynn Jones is ready for ‘Crisis’

The new NBC show, about teenagers abducted in Washington, D.C., premieres March 16.

Let’s all hope that our nation’s safety never rests in the hands of Stevie Lynn Jones.

The young actress, who plays an abducted teenager in Crisis, a new action-thriller on NBC, has a glaring weakness that can too easily be exploited.

“I’m happy to say I’m surrounded by people I care about in my life, my family and my friends, but that might not be good if I were ever in a real Crisis situation,” Jones acknowledges. “I’m too vulnerable. If somebody took my parents, I would be like, ‘I’ll do anything you want! Just name it and I’ll do it!’ ”

So keep the state secrets and the launch codes away from her.

Problem is, there are many other people just like her, and they wield real power in Crisis, which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.

The show reveals how easy it can be to bring these people to their knees.

Students from Ballard High, a school for the children of the Washington, D.C., elite, are taken in a carefully choreographed kidnapping plot.

Now a terrorist mastermind has all the leverage he needs to manipulate corporate CEOs, international diplomats and political power players to do his bidding. One of those abducted teenagers, in fact, is the president’s son.

It’s the kind of powder-keg scenario that cries out for a hero like Jack Bauer.

But seeing how this show is on NBC and that it’s not a new season of Fox’s 24, a couple of no-name agents, Susie Dunn of the FBI (played by Rachael Taylor) and Marcus Finley of the president’s Secret Service detail (Lance Gross), will have to step up.

The ensemble cast also includes Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney as parents of hostage kids. Jones plays Beth Ann Gibson, one of the kidnapped teens — and she’s a particularly feisty one at that.

“I think this show is going to keep the audience members on the edge of their seats,” Jones says. “I know it kept all of us, the actors, on the edge of our seats.

“We would get the scripts every episode and we had no idea what was going to happen next. And every script left us wanting more. I think it will do the same for the audience.”

Jones says she was the first person cast in the show, after which she would check the showbiz reports on a near-daily basis to find out who her co-stars would be.

She ultimately was joined by a solid group of actors — headed up by Anderson, a TV icon thanks to her years on The X-Files, and Mulroney, who has starred in more than 60 films.

Although Jones doesn’t have an extensive list of film and TV credits yet, the 18-year-old has been acting since she was 12 years old, so she’s not the type to be starstruck.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s not completely amazing to be part of this show,” Jones says. “It’s absolutely phenomenal to call Gillian by her first name and to work with Dermot Mulroney in so many different scenes.

“I’ll be watching a television show on Netflix or something and Dermot’s in it and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, my goodness! He’s my dad on TV!’ So even though I’m never starstruck, because I always want to be really respectful of them and not freak out on them, it doesn’t change how amazing it is.”

While making a show like Crisis, Jones found it easy to imagine how she might react in real-life pressure, chaos, danger situations.

“I’d like to say that I would step up and keep my wits about me,” she says. “I haven’t really encountered any crises in my life so far, thank goodness.

“But when there was the one earthquake I felt, I did not freak out. And I’ve been in a couple of car accidents and I didn’t freak out. At least not until afterwards, when I came down from the adrenaline high.”

Jones is biased, of course, but she thinks every demographic can find characters to connect with in Crisis.

“You have the heroes of Rachael and Lance, who are fighting crime and being bad---,” she says, “And you have all of the parents, who are experiencing their worst nightmare.

“And then you have all the kids, whose lives are so dramatic even before there’s a hostage situation — because high school is always one crisis after another!”

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