On the New York set of the CBS Thursday night drama "Elementary," steps are being taken to reduce water, plastic and paper waste. "Plastic bottles are a no-no. At the beginning of the season the production purchased bottles everyone can fill before they come to work, and we have coolers all over the set," reports executive producer Rob Doherty. Scripts and sides are transmitted electronically, he adds. "Virtually everything comes as a PDF. If you need a hard copy, you can print it, but we don't blindly assume everyone needs it."
Star Lucy Liu does her part by not driving. "I take public transportation. I have the Metro card and that works on the bus, too. There's a convenience there," says the native New Yorker. "You can walk everywhere, and you can ride a bicycle, which I do a lot. Sometimes when we have an hour break, which sometimes we have, I run to the museum — the Guggenheim, if we're uptown shooting — or see a show if we get out early enough."
Liu relishes playing Dr. Joan Watson, the eccentric Sherlock Holmes' (Jonny Lee Miller) sober companion and confidante. "I love that she's sort of becoming more of the heart of the story and there's a human aspect to her that I love playing," she says. Portraying "a more cerebral character," adds the action flick veteran, "I also love the idea that I get to do something where I don't have to go around doing martial arts."
She also enjoys the relationship between Watson and Sherlock. "The chemistry between the two characters brings out the best in each other. I think that she respects him highly and cares about him deeply. I don't know that she completely accepts the way that he treats other people; because of his brilliance it can kind of cancel out some of the rude behavior that he has. I don't know that she always agrees with him and also she's a little bit confused about his living habits, his sexual habits, but her job is not to be there to judge."
As the #1 scripted new show, "Elementary" won the coveted post-Super Bowl slot this Sunday, Feb. 3, a vote of confidence and support from the network, says Liu. "We feel very honored about that." The episode will be "a little more colorful and heightened, a little sexier than normal — a different kind of sexy." In deference to viewers who may tune into the show for the first time that night, the episode will contain a bit more exposition and back tracking than usual, "but after that it will move forward in a much more clear, bolder format where we don't have to explain everything," she promises.
Although the show's storylines are rather dark, "We try to keep it light on the set," says Liu. "At lunch, there will be someone missing an arm or you'll see Jonny with a bullet in his head or a knife hanging out of his back. It's a funny environment to be in."