Posted: Wednesday September 19, 2012 12:49PM ; Updated: Wednesday September 19, 2012 1:49PM
Stewart Mandel

More Mailbag (cont.)

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Jordana Spiro
Jordana Spiro, the star of FOX's new prime time drama 'The Mob Doctor,' originally appeared in the Mailbag in 2007.
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

One of the most frequent responses to Question 6 in last month's Mailbag Reader Survey was, "Bring back the Mailbag Crush." The main reason I discontinued that little tradition is it had become a bit too polarizing.

So, if you're one who never dug the Crush ... no hard feelings. We'll see you next week. There happens to be a pertinent reason this week to bring it back.

On Monday, FOX debuted a new prime time drama, The Mob Doctor. If you've watched a football game on FOX this season, you've probably seen the promos, in which case you may have recognized the star: Jordana Spiro, whom Mailbag readers first met five years ago, back when she was still on basic cable. Early reviews of the show, in which Jordana plays a sassy Chicago surgeon who's indebted to the mob (hence, the title), say she "is an appealing lead" (Chicago Tribune) who "imbues her Dr. Grace Devlin with equal parts brass and cleverness" (Boston Herald) and is "one of the freshest and brightest stars on TV this season" (New York Daily News).

What can I say? I've always had an eye for up-and-coming talent.

So purely as a service to you loyal readers -- and not at all because we once had a baseball date -- I tracked down Jordana last week.

Stewart: So -- it's been a while.

Jordana: I know! How have you been?

Stewart: Well, a lot has changed in four years. I got married, and I moved from New York to California.

Jordana: Awwww. I'm so happy for you. ... You found someone that will tolerate you.

Stewart: And what have you been up to?

Jordana: Actually, I moved back to New York three years ago. I [enrolled in] the two-year Film Program at Columbia. I've still got to write my thesis.

Stewart: And somewhere in there you found time to land the lead in a network drama. How would you say your time as Mailbag Crush helped your career?

Jordana: It's really opened every door that's ever existed in my life since then. The amount of respect I get now is exponential.

Stewart: My Boys was a pretty light show. Your character was always smiling. From what I can tell, your new character is in a chronic state of personal conflict.

Jordana: It's different. The difference is what makes it fun for me. It's a new challenge. Unfortunately, I have less time to go to sporting events.

Stewart: Friday Night Lights fans will be interested to learn that Zach Gilford -- or as we know him, Matt Saracen -- plays your love interest on the show.

Jordana: Yeah, lots of my girlfriends are jealous of me for that. A lot of my friends were crazy Friday Night Lights cult heads. Already people are mad at me because there's a few times I have to lie to "Dr. Matt Saracen."

Stewart: It's funny, when FNL ended, Matt had moved to Chicago to become an artist. He's still in Chicago, apparently, but that's quite a career change.

Jordana: He went through medical school very fast.

Stewart: What else should the readers know about this show?

Jordana: If it was a strict medical procedural show I wouldn't be as interested as I am, because it's not the type of show I watch. What was compelling to me is that at the heart of it is a story of a transformation -- a woman who grew up feeling very powerless, who grew up to become a surgeon, only to be pulled back into her former world.

Stewart: Well, thanks again, Jordana.

Jordana: My pleasure. And sorry I missed you [for a previously scheduled interview]. ... I guess you were too good for me.

Stewart: No, it wasn't that. Unfortunately I had a bad flight delay.

Jordana: Sure -- that's what they all say.

See -- why name a new Crush when I can just call up and take abuse from an old one?

I assure you this will not become a regular thing again, but I have to admit, this job has its perks.

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