Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in a scene from the TV series Madam Secretary. Supplied by Network Ten.
Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in a scene from the TV series Madam Secretary. Supplied by Network Ten.

Strong women don't intimidate Madam Secretary's Tim Daly

TIM Daly relishes the chance to star opposite a powerful woman.

The Wings actor plays Tea Leoni's husband in the American political drama Madam Secretary.

Leoni plays newly-appointed US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, while Daly's character, Henry, is a religious scholar.

"The thing I like most about this show is the marriage and the fact that I think the show is really good for men to see," Daly told APN.

"I play a guy who is strong and interesting and he is unintimidated by the fact that his wife is in a position of tremendous power.

"I think that is a great message for men. He doesn't undermine her; he doesn't tear her down; he doesn't cheat on her."

Madam Secretary is Leoni's first leading TV role since the 1990s comedy The Naked Truth.

"Working with Tea is a disaster, you can tell," Daly laughed.

"No, it's really great. Tea and I, from the minute we met, we knew we had the shared experience of going to this tiny little high school. It was not at the same time, but it's a unique place.

"We really hit it off… we play very hard at our work and we like to have a good time."

Daly was instrumental in convincing Madeleine Albright, America's first female Secretary of State, to work as a consultant on the show.

"She lends the show a sense of truth," %he said. "I met her at a White House Correspondent's dinner… we sat at the same table and when I first met her she looked at me and said, 'oh my God what's going on with Private Practice?'

"She's a woman who dealt with a potential crisis every day, but she's a real person and she has her favourite TV shows and one of them was mine."

The show also attracted another big name, Morgan Freeman, who serves as an executive producer.

"He's such a sweet and intelligent man. It can't possibly hurt to have someone who is that iconic and powerful in the entertainment industry on your side," Daly said.

"He's not there every day, but he's our secret weapon. He's a very powerful ally to have. I'm glad he's around."

Madam Secretary airs Thursdays at 8.30pm on Channel 10.