Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...Jill Hennessy

updated 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

She sees dead people. It comes with the territory when you play a medical examiner, as Jill Hennessy does on NBC's Crossing Jordan. But until recently, the actress hadn't come across a lot of ghosts. Then she went to Hollywood's famed Sunset Sound, where rock legends like the Doors used to record. "Jim Morrison's ghost was definitely there," says Hennessy, 34, who was raised in Kitchener, Ont. "I didn't feel like I had the right to even step onto the same carpet."

Actually Hennessy's insecurity is unwarranted. She's an accomplished singer and guitar player who just recorded two songs for the new Crossing Jordan CD—covers of Bob Dylan's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue and Tom Waits's Innocent When You Dream. For Hennessy, they're familiar tunes: "I used to sit on the kitchen floor and listen to Dylan and Waits on the record player." And before she got her break on Law & Order (from 1993-96), her guitar helped her make ends meet. In Toronto, "I would be on the streets with my guitar case open for change," says the actress, who's expecting her first child with actor husband Paolo Mastropietro, 37, in October. "I've been singing for my supper for years."

From Our Partners