Madam Secretary Star Téa Leoni on Those Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright Comparisons

<em>Madam Secretary</em> Star Téa Leoni on Those Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright Comparisons
Jan Welters

Though the show is called Madame Secretary, last night's season two premiere left everyone wondering if it should be renamed Madame President. Yes, Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) was sworn in as the acting POTUS (by Morgan Freeman, no less). And with her Secretary of State to President trajectory, not to mention the blonde hair and power suits, comes the Hillary Clinton comparisons.

"At first, I thought it was funny," says Leoni, who adds that the likeness is mostly about the hair. "But now, I hope people will just sit back, watch, and not worry about Hillary." While Clinton may not be the main inspiration for Leoni's character, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright definitely had an influence on her.

Jan Welters

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"I got the chance to have breakfast with her and she was fascinating, whip smart, and so generous," says Leoni. "There were aspects of her life that we were going to steal and she knew that going in. The idea that our show is making foreign policy more relatable is her dream come true."

And that dream will be partially realized when Albright guest stars as herself on next week's episode and gives advice to McCord about how to negotiate the safe return of a kidnapped State Department employee—because who else would have better insight? Don't miss their meeting of the minds on October 11 at 8/7 central on CBS.

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