Depending on your personal TV tastes, you may equate veteran actor Chris Noth with "Mr. Big" on Sex and the City. Or perhaps you think of him as Detective Mike Logan from Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Or maybe you're most familiar with Noth's current role, that of scandalous politician Peter Florrick on The Good Wife.
Regardless, you may not think of him as the type of guy who's super into period pieces. But not only does Noth enjoy watching them—as you'll soon see below—he recently finished filming one: The 12-part miniseries Titanic: Blood and Steel, which debuts tonight on Encore. You won't find any Leonardo DiCaprio love stories here—Titanic: Blood and Steel focuses on the construction and sinking of the legendary ship, and Noth stars as American tycoon J.P. Morgan, the man who paid for and owned the famously "unsinkable" vessel. (Neve Campbell, Kevin Zegers, Liam Cunningham, and Derek Jacobi also star.)
In honor of tonight's premiere, I talked to Noth about his Titanic experience, Peter and Alicia's chances on The Good Wife, and, of course, his favorite TV shows. Here's what he had to say.
Your latest project is a TV miniseries called Titanic: Blood and Steel. Did you cry when you first saw the 1997 James Cameron movie?
I did not cry. It was a fabulous spectacle, and it was a good old-fashioned movie, but yeah—it didn't make me cry."
In the new miniseries, you play American financier J.P. Morgan. How did you prepare for the role?
Did what I could. I read a few books about him, and found him to be a very interesting yet very mysterious character, maybe unfairly represented historically. There isn’t any film about him, and I had a ton of pictures, read a lot about his life... just jumped in.
What challenges did you face during filming?
The most challenging thing was I would’ve loved to hear the quality of [Morgan's] voice. I wanted to get a sense of what his dialect was. He was American, but that could mean a lot of things. I knew he wasn’t from the South, most of this cast was British, and you don’t want a contemporary sound since people talked differently in the turn of the century than they do now.
On The Good Wife, is there any hope for Alica and Peter's relationship?
I have no idea if I’m going to win, if the marriage is going to last, I just don’t know, really. The show has been getting better and better and this season feels like it will be the best. So many great actors, best ensemble I’ve ever worked with, headed by Julianna Margulies.
And now the question of the hour: What are you five favorite TV shows, and why?
I’m not going to go through each one, but I will say all of them never sacrificed character for storytelling. The period pieces were done with fantastic precision. And, it always has to do with bringing you into the lives of people; especially in the period pieces. What the time is like, so that you really learn something about what it was like to live on the planet a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago. The detail, wonderful detail, in the acting and the production—that’s all I’ll say.
And now, here are Noth's
five six favorite TV shows, in no particular order:
The Sopranos (bonus!)
What do you think of Noth's picks? Did any of them surprise you?
The first two parts of Titanic: Blood & Steel premiere tonight at 8pm on Encore. The network will continue airing two parts per night through October 13.
– Celebrity High-Five: Chris O'Dowd's 5 Favorite TV Shows
– Celebrity High-Five: Comedian Eric Andre's 5 Favorite TV Shows
– Celebrity High-Five: Krysten Ritter's 5 Favorite TV Shows
– Celebrity High-Five: Community Star Yvette Nicole Brown's 5 Favorite TV Shows