And late into a long day.
But Morgan Fairchild looks fabulous on the Bradenton set of “Workers’ Comp.”
She’s shooting a scene with David Proval.
He’s clad in black and appearing only slightly less intimidating than he did as Richie Aprile on “The Sopranos.”
Off screen, a standard poodle behaves inappropriately.
Director Harrison Sanborn calls “action.”
Fairchild delivers her line about the dog’s dirty deed and then:
“I screwed that up,” she says. “Plus, I think I heard a plane overhead.”
Moments later, she nails the hilarious zinger.
The glamour goddess returns to the air-conditioned monitor room -- the A/C makes too much noise to be used on set -- without saying a word and watches the scene closely.
“I’m dripping,” Proval mutters as he walks back to join Fairchild, co-stars Robert Carradine and J. LaRose, executive producer Dori Sperko and others.
We’re at the fictitious Pinnacle Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company in the actual Pinnacle Plaza on Sixth Avenue where a local company, NELCO, used to have its offices. It’s now home to VADAR Productions.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Fairchild says while seated alone in between takes. “We’ve done stuff with a dog, a chicken!”
The shoot started Sunday and continues through April 23.
“Workers’ Comp” focuses on eccentric employees dealing with even weirder insurance claims.
In addition to directing, Sanborn wrote “Workers’ Comp” with longtime friend and collaborator Castille Landon, who plays Fairchild’s daughter on the show.
Virginia Dorris (inspiration for Fairchild’s character) and daughter Sperko built NELCO into one of the state’s best professional service companies before selling it a few years ago.
Now Sperko is president of VADAR.
Sperko’s daughter, 19-year-old Landon used what she overheard, and plenty of embellishments, about the family business, to create “Workers’ Comp.”
Fairchild plays boss Joan Arendes-Nichols.
“She’s smart, owns her own business and does what she wants,” Fairchild says. “She’s not flighty but a little dotty, she goes off on a lot of different directions.”
The TV icon who has appeared on everything from “Falcon Crest” and “Friends” to “My Name is Earl” and “Chuck” likes to make each role her own.
“I’ve saved every character I’ve played,” she says while flashing a killer smile. “I’m such a wise-ass. I ad-lib a lot.”
If a network picks up “Workers Comp,” Fairchild hopes to continue shooting in Bradenton.
“People here are so friendly and warm and welcoming,” she says. “I can’t say enough -- thank you to the town -- and especially Castille’s family.”
An assistant soon arrives to retrieve Fairchild for another scene.
Proval’s in his dressing room, shoes off, sitting cross-legged, eating from a bowl of fruit.
He describes his character Joe Basq as “mysterious” and “exotic.”
The actor who stars in the 1973 Martin Scorsese masterpiece “Mean Streets” describes the 19-year-old Sanborn as having “his ego in the right place.”
“He has respect for Robert, Morgan and my experience -- that’s a big plus,” Proval says. “He’s not like a lot of these young directors I’ve worked with before who behave like young directors.”
Carradine, the actor best known by thirtysomethings for “Revenge of the Nerds,” by teens as Lizzie McGuire’s dad and by movie buffs for starring in the 1980 classic film “The Big Red One,” concurs.
“He’s so technical,” Carradine says of Sanborn. “He stays out of the way, which is great, and focuses on the angles and what the next shot will be. Harrison knows he’s working with -- how should I put this? -- actors with deep resumes.”
Carradine plays Kevin Andrew, the firm’s defense attorney.
The actor says the character’s “manic, twisted episode are fun to do,” then returns to work.
The same room soon fills with Charley Koontz and J. LaRose, who share a small sofa.
The gorgeous Jennifer Lee Wiggins sits on a chair to Koontz’s left.
The star of low-budget thrillers such as the 2007 flick “I Am Omega” likes being able to attack with words rather than weapons as the lead adjuster at Pinnacle and “save the company money -- by any means necessary,” she says with a laugh.
Orlando resident LaRose is best known for his roles in the horror blockbusters “Saw III” and “Saw IV” as well as “Insidious.”
“To be in a comedy like this is a welcome change,” he says.
Koontz, the most playful person on set, can be seen on the hit NBC series “Community” as Fat Neil.”
“There’s this shortage of shows that don’t think you’re stupid,” he says. “So it’s great to have something like ‘Community’ and then ‘Workers’ Comp.’ ”
“Which is a smart, intellectual comedy,” Wiggins adds.
The three then return to the set.
In between takes, Koontz says, “I sent you a tweet while filming.”
And he did.
“@wtatangelo is on our set writing a story right now. He does not know I’ve been Googling him from my fake desk for 20 minutes. What up Wade!”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at Bradenton.com/blogs