Laurie Got 'Miracle' Role, Will Greet Sci-fi Fans At Shore Leave

July 09, 2009|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

Miracle Laurie didn't want to get a role on just any TV show. She wanted to be on a Joss Whedon TV show. And now she is, and Fox has renewed Dollhouse for a second season, and life just couldn't be a whole lot better.

"I auditioned for Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) at least a thousand times. I tried out to be a series regular on Firefly. I auditioned for years for his stuff," says Laurie, who will be in Baltimore this weekend, signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans at the annual Shore Leave sci-fi convention at the Hunt Valley Marriott. "It was really a miracle, no pun intended."

Meeting her fans, she insists, is the icing on the cake. She and her boyfriend, actor Christopher May, attended their first fan convention in April, "and it was a blast. We had tons of fun. There were all kinds of crazy, cool people." And many of them, she says with a laugh, had theories about her character's up-in-the-air future on Dollhouse.

The series, starring Eliza Dushku, centers on a group of "dolls," men and women who assume whatever identities their employer wishes, then have their memories erased when the job is over and wait to be reprogrammed.

When last seen, Laurie's character, Mellie, had been released from life in the dollhouse, with the promise of leading a normal life with her FBI-agent boyfriend, Paul Ballard. But this being TV and all, here's betting that doesn't happen.

"All I know for sure is that I'm coming back next season," Orange County native Laurie says over the phone from Los Angeles, where she's enjoying a break until Dollhouse begins filming again in late summer. "I don't actually know in what form I'll be back. The writers are kind of teasing me. ... Everybody knows but me."

She's prepared, Laurie says, to hear all kinds of fan speculation this weekend. "All the fans are giving me their theories and stuff. One is that I wasn't actually released, that the dollhouse is just using me to get at Paul. Another is that I'll be involved in bringing the dollhouse down from the outside. I think their love story will continue in some manner. We'll see who's right."

Chances are, she'll hear even more theories at this weekend's Shore Leave, which for the 31st time will be offering area sci-fi fans the chance to meet, mingle and otherwise hobnob. Besides Laurie, the guest list includes Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo and Ethan Phillips, Stargate: Atlantis' Jason Momoa, Clifton Collins of the latest Star Trek movie (he was second in command to the bad-guy Romulan determined to kill Spock) and Edgewood-born actor Johnathan Schaech (That Thing You Do!).

There will also be fan forums, where all the latest sci-fi developments can be discussed down to the most minute detail, plus a dealers room, costume contests, film screenings, even a comedy roast of author Keith R.A. DeCandido.

"We like to give fans a lot of choices," says Shore Leave spokesman Michael Schilling. And if a bunch of those fans choose to spend a chunk of their convention time speculating with Miracle Laurie over her character's fate - and maybe even, for $35, getting their picture taken with her, or any of the other celebrity guests - they'll find a receptive audience.

"I love meeting people. I love hearing their stories," Laurie insists, basking in the glow of the TV spotlight. "I'm pretty much a happy girl."

If you go

Shore Leave 31 runs July 10 through July 12 at the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley. Tickets are $20-$75. Call 410-496-4456 or go to shore-leave.com.

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