Barbara D’Alessandro, the co-producer of Army Wives, invited me to tour the set if I ever came to Charleston, where the show is filmed. I didn’t think I’d ever be there, but when Dorothy Cannell expressed a wish to see Charleston, we drove down together after Malice, I called Barbara, and she graciously invited us over. We had lunch first on site. The “mess hall” was a couple of shabby modular trailers hitched together, but the food was delicious. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the menu was all Mexican. While we were eating, Catherine Bell, who plays Denise Sherwood, came over to talk to us. She’s even prettier than on-camera and announced that yes, it was a real baby bump, a little boy. From left to right, here are Barbara D'Alessandro, me, Catherine Bell, and Dorothy Cannell.
After lunch, Barbara gave us a tour of the various sets, the wardrobe trailer, the make-up trailer, the property person who makes sure that all rings, jewelry, wallets, etc. are returned to him as soon as the scene is shot. The contrast between what goes out on the airways and what the set looks like two feet out of camera range always amazes me--the cables, the lights, the overhead mikes, the production crew, the tons of details that must be noted and attended to. Every single person we met was unfailingly down-to-earth and willing to answer every dumb question.
Having been a Navy wife once upon a time, I find that this show really does capture the essence of military life. I hope it runs forever!