A sexier, grittier modern-day M*A*S*H, Combat Hospital (Tuesdays at 10/9c, ABC) follows the personnel at a medical unit in Southern Afghanistan through OR crises and forbidden hookups. Michelle Borth, whom you may have seen a whole lot of in HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, plays Major Rebecca Gordon, a fresh-faced arrival at the airbase in Kandahar as the series opens. We asked the Hawaii Five-O vet and latest Made Babe about the show, gettin’ nekkid and what she digs in a dude.
MADE MAN: Tell us about your character in Combat Hospital.
MICHELLE BORTH: Rebecca is a tough chick, with the strength and determination to be the best that she can be. I love the fact that she’s not a weak, vulnerable girl. She’s a tough, confident woman, and I can relate to that for sure.
MM: Did you research the medical and military aspects?
MB: I did more medical research by far than military. You would be amazed at what you can learn on YouTube, like how to insert a chest tube. They brought in consultants, people that were at the Kandahar hospital between 2006 and 2009. Colonel Chris Kay, a surgeon, has been my biggest asset here.
MM: What got you into acting?
MB: I grew up wanting to be Nadia Comaneci. I was determined to be an Olympic gymnast. I had no delusions of Hollywood. But I ended up taking the wrong path and doing a lot of drugs and got sent away to this camp in my senior year of high school. They had us do acting exercises to release tension, stress, aggravation and anger, all the emotions that I didn’t have an outlet for. It continues to let me release certain emotions that build up inside and make me angry, so it’s healthy for me.
MM: Many viewers remember you from Tell Me You Love Me, when you were proclaimed ‘The Nakedest Woman on Television.’ How do you feel about that distinction?
MB: I want a plaque for my house!
MM: Can we assume we’ll see less of you in Combat Hospital?
MB: This is what you are going to see: Michelle with no makeup on, hair pulled back and oversized camos. It is the most unattractive that I have ever been. But there will be bedroom scenes. I know they’re coming, so I’m being careful and watching my food because I can’t exercise it off. We’re working a lot on weekends as well and I’m just too frickin’ tired to go to the gym. Thankfully, my character is a jogger, so I’m jogging a lot in character.
MM: How do you feel about those upcoming bedroom scenes?
MB: Well, coming from Tell Me You Love Me, anything else is a cakewalk! That was about as hard as it’ll get for me. I don’t get nervous now. I coach the other person through it: ‘Just go for it. Don’t be scared.’ I am totally the sex scene whisperer!
MM: What makes you feel sexy?
MB: I feel the sexiest when I go home at night, take a shower and put on a tank top and boy shorts. No makeup, wet hair, I feel super sexy when I’m lying in bed like that.
MM: What’s sexy to you in a guy?
MB: A good mix of confidence and humility. I don’t want to have to constantly fluff someone’s ego but I don’t like arrogant men. You have to be confident and you have to be able to laugh at yourself if you trip.
MM: What’s the best way for a guy to approach you?
MB: As organically as possible. I don’t like gimmicks or pickup lines. Be yourself and don’t try to put on a show. I get turned off immediately by that. What wins me over fastest is a sense of humor. I like to laugh, and if the humor is there and you can have fun together, I think that’s the most important. A lot of the glamour of falling in love is great, but if you don’t have fun together you’re miserable.
MM: Any deal breakers?
MB: You can’t have dated any of my friends, and you have to love dogs. I have a Chihuahua—beagle mutt. And you have to accept my one vice: I smoke. It’s awful, I hate it and I will quit one day, just not right now, in the middle of shooting. It chills me out. I’d go insane if I tried to quit right now. Some guys are totally turned off by it. If you can’t kiss me we can’t date. I love making out. You can be gorgeous, hysterical, awesome, but if you can’t kiss, I can’t do it.
Lead photo by Smallz + Razkind