Peter Gallagher Tweets, Plays CIA Director On New Show ‘Covert Affairs’

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Peter GallagherDid you ever think you would see Sandy Cohen on Twitter? Well, get used to it.

Peter Gallagher, perhaps best known among the under-30 set as tree-hugging, touchy feely, surfing father Sandy Cohen on The OC, joined Twitter a few weeks ago, at the insistence of a new co-star, Christopher Gorham (@Chris_Gorham), who you might recognize as Betty's love interest Henry on Ugly Betty. “I was paralyzed at the thought of telling anyone anything…now I’m like digging it,” Peter (@petergallagher_) said of his new love of tweeting. He said a frequent event in his house is him yelling, “Just one minute, honey, I’m twitting!”

Peter met his Twitter mentor Chris on the Toronto set of their new USA Network show, Covert Affairs, a one-hour show starring Piper Perabo as a young, promising CIA agent. Chris plays a blind agent/friend/mentor to Piper's character Annie, and Peter plays their boss, Arthur Campbell.

Speaking to reporters last week, Peter was self-deprecating, and said he didn't know how long his small part on Covert Affairs, which debuts July 13, would last. “I had no idea how many episodes I was going to be in this season,” Peter said. “I thought I was just going to be doing the first couple.”

To get into the mind of a CIA director, Peter talked to the show's technical advisor Valerie Plame (remember her?) and developed a background for the character. But not knowing how big his part would be, Peter said he didn't do any big research or training. “If this was a show called Arthur Campbell: CIA sure, I’d be living in [CIA headquarters] Langley and I could kill you with a look. I could beat you to death with my eyebrows,” he joked. “But that’s not the show.”

For Peter, getting involved in Covert Affairs was just a chance to work with executive producers Doug Liman and David Bartis, who he had previously worked with on The OC. And, it was a chance to get back on TV and connect with fans. To that end, Peter said he's been loving interacting with fans through Twitter.

“I love the fans. I’d be out of business without them,” Peter told Crushable. “I’m still crazy enough to think that storytelling is really important…And there’s nothing more powerful, in my eyes, than a story well told, other than contributing to that story being told well. When a story works, it sort of creates a little sense of community…I’ve been talking to people from all over the world…I’ve gotten lots of notes from people about Sandy Cohen and fathering. And sad stories and things, and I’m moved by that…If people were coming up to me on the street and throwing Bibles at me and saying, ‘You suck,' that would be different. But that hasn’t been my experience. I can look forward to that.”

(Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)