Alana De La Garza is best known for her role as one of the many super-attractive female assistant district attorneys who prosecuted some of New York City's bad guys in the forever-running TV show Law & Order.
The role fit her desire to land a strong female character. It probably didn't hurt that she's -- did we mention? -- attractive.
Raised in El Paso before she attended the University of Texas, De La Garza returns to NBC in the midseason startup drama Do No Harm, in which she plays a neurosurgeon who has her heart set on a man who leads a split life. The show premieres Thursday.
As the star of a midseason startup show, do you sweat whether these will get renewed?
I enjoy the journey. I take the ride. It's a project that I chose, and thank God they chose me.
It's a project I believe in. I read a lot of pilots, dozens and dozens. When I read this I thought, "I love this. I want to be a part of it." If people watch it, they will really enjoy it because it gets better and better.
Networks are quick to pull the plug on shows. How long do you think a show needs to establish characters and storylines?
It all depends on so many things. What is your lead-in? What night are you on? What are people doing that evening? It's a guessing game, and, unfortunately, a lot get the plug pulled before they find their audience.
When you began in this profession, what were the roles you wanted and how have those goals changed?
At first I just wanted to work. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do for a living and get a paycheck. I would audition and thought, "Maybe I'll get this." And occasionally, I would get it.
Now I'm a little more sure of who I am. I really do love and respect smart women, and it makes me feel good to represent women who are intelligent and Latin as well, which is cool. It's a different perspective.
Do you consider your character on Law & Order as the ideal role for you?
Being a part of that force, Law & Order and the Dick Wolf family was such a gift for me. That role was something I strived for. Strong, intelligent and a take-no-[stuff] kinda girl.
For years, I had played the damsel in distress, the high-priced hooker or something like that. It was fun not to be the seedy person who gets to lock the bad guys away. It was really fun.