Meredith Stiehm is writer and producer for the television shows Homeland and Cold Case. Before participating in a panel on whether we live in TV’s golden age, she sat down in the green room to talk cheesesteaks, condiments, and her love of Gordon Lightfoot-but unlike most Homeland fans, Zócalo did not ask her to identify the show’s mole.
Q. What’s your favorite condiment?
A. Mustard. Spicy.
Q. What’s the best episode title of any TV show you’ve written?
A. The pilot of Cold Case: “Look Again.”
Q. Describe yourself in five words or less.
A. Writer, tennis player, theater lover, mother.
Q. Why did you get your last traffic ticket?
A. I got a ticket for kind of nosing into the crosswalk and almost hitting a pedestrian. I deserved it. I almost hit the guy.
Q. What question do people ask you most often about Homeland?
A. Plot questions like, “Who’s the mole?”
Q. What inspires you?
A. Music. Real stories.
Q. What’s the last event you saw live?
A. I don’t know if it was the last thing I saw, but the coolest thing I saw recently was Gordon Lightfoot at Royce Hall at UCLA. He’s almost 80. It was great. I went by myself.
Q. How do you exercise?
A. Tennis. Running.
Q. Where do you take visitors to L.A.?
A. We live in Santa Monica, so the beach, Malibu-and downtown, museums.
Q. You went to college in Philadelphia: Pat’s or Geno’s for cheesesteaks?
A. Geno’s. I was just there last year. It’s on a corner, near South Philly. But … is that Geno’s, or is that Pat’s?
*Photo by Aaron Salcido.