NEW YORK — Call it a role reversal: Angie Harmon, once the new kid on the block on NBC's "Law & Order," is the seasoned mentor in charge of a teenage spy in the film "Agent Cody Banks."
Harmon plays CIA operative Ronica Miles, who isn't too keen on her assignment as a "baby sitter" to teenage spy Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz of television's "Malcolm in the Middle") — until she gets to know him.
Agent Banks — sort of a James Bond for the junior set — is hard to dislike — just like Muniz himself.
"You meet a kid like Frankie who is so fantastic that it restores your faith in the next generation," the 30-year-old actress said with a laugh.
Hanging out on the set with Muniz and co-star Hilary Duff taught her a thing or two, said Harmon, who noted that teens are usually ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to music.
"Frankie is a huge John Mayer fan, and I was just discovering him. Frankie brought me right up to speed," she said.
She is also taking tips from her four godchildren, ages 1 to 11. "They keep me abreast of what's cool. The 5-year-old just told me pink is the chicest color."
Although Harmon, a former model, wears a tight, formfitting silver ski suit for most of the movie, the outfit — made of the same material as a scuba suit — was comfortable, she said.
Plus, said Harmon, she was the only one without a clumsy, heavy parka when they were filming on a mountaintop in British Columbia.
Harmon, who starred as assistant district attorney Abbie Carmichael on "Law & Order" for three seasons, married pro football player Jason Sehorn in June 2001. Harmon and Sehorn divide their time between Texas, where her family lives, and New York.
1: In "Agent Cody Banks," Frankie Muniz has a lot of cutting-edge spy gadgets such as a turbocharged snowboard, X-ray sunglasses and suction-cup shoes. What happened with your character?
Harmon: I did get a single-woman helicopter, which was pretty cool. It was my only gadget but it was the coolest. I flew 20 feet above ground and I had the best view of the Vancouver mountains.
2: Did the filmmakers use a stunt double for any of your fight scenes?
Harmon: It was me but they were more like posed moves. The stunt guys would fall on command. I tried out some of those fight moves on my husband and he'd just put his hand out — while he was talking on the phone — and stop me in my tracks. He'd look at me and say, 'Aren't you so cute trying to fight me.'
3: What's your real-life exercise routine?
Harmon: I do cardio. I run, swim, do the bike. I don't lift many weights — I tend to bulk up and that's not too pretty.
4: Why haven't you accepted any acting jobs during the football season?
Harmon: I don't want to be in Botswana shooting a movie if Jason gets hurt. It's worked out. Every off-season I've gotten a movie and during the season I'm a wife and I go to his games.
5: What's your least favorite domestic chore?
Harmon: I hate washing dishes. The wet, the food, yuck! It just doesn't work for me. . . . I have two dishwashers so one is empty at all times so I can just load the dishes in.