Sunday, July 12, 2009
Hutton likes having "Leverage"
To actor Timothy Hutton, there's only one major difference between movies and television: "You need to hire a babysitter to see one of them."
Hutton would know. His film career stretches back decades and includes an Oscar-winning performance in Robert Redford's acclaimed drama "Ordinary People." But, over the past several years, he's also developed a thriving TV career. In the early part of the decade, he co-starred for two seasons in A&E's delightful "A Nero Wolfe Mystery." In 2007, he was part of the ensemble of NBC's short-lived drama "Kidnapped."
And last year, he snagged a role as a Nathan Ford, the ringleader of a gang of thieves and con-artists who rip off the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the less fortunate on TNT's drama "Leverage."
"Leverage" returns for its second season Wednesday at 9 p.m., and, arguably, has firmly established Hutton as TV star. But the actor said he doesn't see a lot of contrast between acting in television and acting in films, and doesn't have a preference for one medium over another. "It's all about the material," he said.
With "Leverage," he's been handed some pretty fun, if lightweight, material, and Hutton said we're in for more of the same this season.
When we last left Nathan Ford and his merry gang of crooks, they had parted ways. Spoiler alert: that doesn't last. The season premiere quickly reassembles the group for a new job. Also, we see that Nathan is trying to turn over a new leaf. Last season saw the character -- whose son's tragic death left him with a collapsed marriage and a drinking problem -- flirt tentatively with the idea of getting sober. This season sees him trying to commit to quitting (though he is now living over a bar). "He's off the bottle and he's trying to stay that way," Hutton said.
He added that this season "doesn't go as dark" as the last, so there won't be as much emphasis on Nathan's drinking this time around. His battle with alcoholism will be there but "he has other issues to deal with -- like being a control freak."
Other aspects of Nathan's past might come back into play this season, including his ex-wife, played by "Nero Wolfe" co-star Kari Matchett. Hutton said he's heard Matchett will be back but he's not sure how her character will return.
Meanwhile, the focus of the show will remain Nathan's relationship with the other members of his team, and how this group of seemingly mismatched criminals works together.
Now that these characters know each other better, Hutton said, it opens the door for some interesting complications. "Their relationship is more and more complex," Hutton said. "The big conflict and struggle with the team is how long they can stay together."
The second season of "Leverage" starts Wednesday at 9 p.m. on TNT.