When it comes to green living, "Covert Affairs" star Kari Matchett goes back to basics. "I employ the powers of good old-fashioned baking soda and vinegar, just like my Grandma taught me," she says. "I use one or the other or a combination of both on almost anything and everything. I even polish my silver jewelry with baking soda. A little water and baking soda takes any tarnish away. It's quite miraculous. I also recycle anything I can. I always have shopping bags in my car, and if I can water with rainwater, I do. The set recycles and uses biodegradable take-away stuff," she adds.


For three seasons now on "Affairs," Matchett has been playing senor CIA officer Joan Campbell, who has a stressful job to begin with, compounded by the fact she's married to her superior (Peter Gallagher) and is dealing with a prescription pill problem. "I really like that there are two powerful women in it and I am playing one of them," she says, referring to co-star Piper Perabo. "I'm proud to play a woman with that kind of internal and external strength. I'm glad we're a show that is putting that out there into the world: strong, interesting women. I think the show keeps getting better and better. The writers did a wonderful thing with season three in that they created a massive season arc full of unexpected chaos and intrigue. It was such a smart thing to do. Not only was it a joy to work on, but it hooked people in an even bigger way than the previous two seasons. I've heard a lot of people started watching it this season for the first time. That is a huge coup."


Regarding the husband/boss situation, "It's a wonderful dynamic to play because the question always lies in where do you draw the line in terms of the professional and the personal? How honest can you be? How much information can you withhold without it making your relationship crumble? It's a fine line to dance on, and not an easy one ... but an absolutely fascinating one. And Peter Gallagher is such a joy to work with. All kinds of colors and levels are explored and played with that enriches the scenes in ways that are almost always unexpected," she says, adding, "Joan and Arthur's relationship hits a whole new level of trouble. And Joan has some personal struggles that show a whole new side of her."


Matchett shot a film during a work hiatus called "The Riverbank," playing a woman "who has run away from her past and all the pain in it. She has to go back home because of a death in the family, and in doing so has to reconcile herself to it, to her father, to the world she's from and all the ghosts in her closet. It was an absolutely beautiful role to play."


Asked about other career highlights, "I think my absolute favorite was playing Mariel in 'Invasion' and also Julie Jaquette in 'Nero Wolfe,'" she says. "I was completely consumed with both of those roles. I felt they were meant for me and me for them."


Personally, she's proudest of her "relationship with my family and friends and my travels. To me, experiencing the world and having wonderful people to experience it with is the most important thing."


Looking ahead, Matchett's wish list includes "continued and further satisfaction creatively, more great movies, more great television. Some stage work and great abundance while doing it all. I have a feeling that I will act until I am in the grave," she says. "I also might have to begin delving into other facets of the creative world I'm in. But I will save that conversation for when it happens."


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Kari Matchett cleans green, the old-fashioned way
'Covert Affairs' star Kari Matchett takes eco-tips from Grandma, discusses upcoming works.