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NEW YORK (AP) — On TV's "Covert Affairs," Piper Perabo plays a field agent with the CIA. And in real life, she's traveling around the globe with the show, thanks to location shoots.
The series, which airs its fifth season finale on USA at 10 p.m. EST Thursday, has taken Perabo to Medellin, Colombia, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul and Buenos Aires.
In a recent interview, the Golden Globe-nominated actress said it was a conscious decision by the show's cast and crew to use a tight budget to allow for filming in foreign locations.
"We had a real serious conversation about how do we create a model to film in almost an indie hand-held style that is mobile and small enough that we can take it foreign and afford to do it," Perabo said. "And because Doug Liman is one of our executive producers and he loves that kind of filming ... we started amassing this group of people that know how to get real skinny and tight."
Translation: The actors and crew work with little to get the shots they need, where they need them.
"We don't use lights when we're foreign. We don't have trailers. Everybody carries their own equipment. If you want water you carry it yourself. It's so bare bones and we all pile in the same van and we all eat lunch together. It doesn't look like a movie set and it's required if you want to be able to go to these places. If you wanted to bring trailers and cranes and movie lights, you could never do it."
People who see them often don't even realize they're filming. Perabo recalls shooting a chase scene that bystanders believed was real.
"(In the scene) a bad guy steals this folder that I have of top-secret paperwork and so I have to chase him through the streets of Venice. ... Three men were sitting at outdoor tables. ...You see them look and get up and start chasing the guy with the folder! They think I'm like some chick that got her bag stolen or something and he's a pickpocket."
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