Interview with Timothy Hutton of "Leverage" on TNT - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Timothy Hutton

Transcript of Interview with Timothy Hutton 5/24/10

I was very busy the last few weeks and didn't even have time to read my email. I am still kicking myself because I missed this interview! I love him. He is great. An Oscar winner, too!  Argh!  At least we have the transcript. Leverage is a fun show and everyone should watch it!! It returns Sunday, June 20, on TNT, so don't forget!

Operator: Good day everyone and welcome to the Timothy Hutton conference call. Today's conference is being recorded.

If you would like to ask a question today, you may do so by pressing the star key followed by the digit 1 on your touchtone telephone. If using a speakerphone, please make sure the mute function is turned off so that signal can reach our equipment. Once again to ask a question, please press star 1. So that everyone has an opportunity to ask a question we are asking that you limit yourself to one question. If you would like to ask a follow-up question, you will have to re-signal.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Miss Maya Brooks. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Maya Brooks: Good afternoon. Thank you so much for joining the Timothy Hutton conference call in support of Leverage season three. Leverage season three will begin on Sunday June 20 with back-to-back episodes airing at 9:00 pm.

Timothy, the call is now turned over to you. Please – excuse me, participants please press star 1 to ask a question.

Operator: And as a reminder to the audience if you would like to ask a question at this time, please press star 1. Again, we ask that you please limit yourself to one question and if you would like to re-signal for a follow-up please do so.

We will take our first question from Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go ahead.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi, it's a pleasure to speak with you again.

Timothy Hutton: Hey, how you doing?

Jamie Steinberg: I'm good. Thank you. I was wondering this season who are some of the guest stars we get to see you play around with?

Timothy Hutton: Well this year we've got some, just like last year, we have some really great guest stars. We've got Michael O'Keefe, (Jen Carlos Espisito), John Schneider, (Arry Gross), Richard Chamberlain, Clancy Brown and yes got some great people that have joined us this year.

Jamie Steinberg: Great.

Operator: And we'll take our next question from Brittany Frederick with Please go ahead.

Brittany Frederick: Hi, Tim. When I interviewed Dean Devlin a couple of months ago he said he was really surprised at how much comedy you were able to bring to the role of Nate Ford that he hadn't really thought about. Can you talk about the more comedic aspects of the role and how you balance that with the dramatic plot?

Timothy Hutton: Well one of the things that the show – it sort of has evolved into is it's you know it's not just strictly you know this heavy drama or a caper show you know pulling off these cons and heists.

I think it started with the kind of the chemistry and the rapport that the cast had with each when we were shooting the pilot in Chicago. We used to just you know crack each other up and pull pranks on one another and we just had a very easy kind of fun way with one another.

And it kind of spilled onto the set a little bit and we used in the pilot and in season one used to improv and some nice banter started to develop and so that's kind of how it happened. And the writers picked up on it and thought oh OK well we can have some fun with this.

And it's been great because the show has, for me, has a nice balance between you know we learn a lot about Nate's back story and there have certainly been some big moments of you know drama with exploring his life and that character but there is also within the cons with each of us taking on roles within the roles we're playing I think it's lent itself to some good comedy moments.

Operator: And we'll take our next question from Jenny Rardon with Please go ahead.

Jenny Rardon: Hi, thanks for talking to us today. I had a question about Nate and Sophie. They kissed in the season two finale. What will be going on with them at the start of season three?

Timothy Hutton: Well at the start of season three what happens with Nate and Sophie is they find it very difficult to talk about the kiss that happened on the ship there. And you know Sophie wants to talk about the kiss and Nate wants to talk about the slap. As I said one time before it’s sort of – that’s the nature of their relationship right there you know a kiss followed by a slap.

But both gestures having you know quite great meaning for both of them but it’s something that’s dealt with in season three. They come upon it when they’re alone and they sort of dance around the issue a little bit but there’s some nice moments of them trying to figure out what’s going on between the two of them as season three goes on.

Female: Great thank you.

Timothy Hutton: Thank you.

Operator: We will take our next question from Fred Topel with Hollywood News; please go ahead.

Fred Topel: Hello thanks for doing this call. Are we going to see more of the sort of wild disheveled Nate or any touches of the put himself back together Nate we saw a little bit of him in season two?

Timothy Hutton: I think with season three you’re going to see very determined Nate Ford you know a man on a mission. He gets out of – he gets in jail and he’s determined once he gets out if he gets out we don’t want to really say whether he does or not. But he’s determined to really take on much bigger cases and to get the team you know reunited and kick off season three as sort of a man on a mission.

So the drinking and being disheveled and not really being in control of anything is something that is going to be put aside for the time being. It’s certainly comes up again during the third season based on issues that happened in Nate’s life that sort of come out of the woodwork. There’s sort of a haunting figure that we never thought – never expected we would see but someone comes out of the shadows and comes back into Nate’s life and we really learn a lot about why Nate is the way he is. And that’s going to perhaps you know put him into a state again that we’ve seen before.

Operator: We’ll take our next call question from Eric Meers with U please go ahead.

Eric Meers: Hi, thanks for taking time to talk to us. My question is season three begins in prison and I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit, about how you filmed those scenes. Did you film it in an actual prison and what sort of preparation you did for that?

Timothy Hutton: Well the – yes, season three begins with Nate in prison and we found this amazing place that was built and never finished here in the Portland, Oregon area this very high tech prison that they never completed. But this one wing was and now it’s used – a lot of the prison is used for office space, which is kind of unusual but this one sort of wing we took over and there weren’t any real inmates.

But we had many extras for those scenes and we filmed those scenes you know here in Portland. And it was you know it was – each show is a 7 day shoot and I think we were in the prison 5 of those 7 days and it was a great – for me it was a great way to start the season three to have Nate in jail. And him wanting to – if he’s going to get out of jail has to be – it has to happen after he takes care of something that’s very important to him that’s going on inside the prison.

Operator: We’ll take our next question from Jay Jacobs with; please go ahead.

Jay Jacobs: Hey Timothy; how are you doing?

Timothy Hutton: Good; how are you?

Jay Jacobs: Good. I was like really pretty shocked when I was looking into this to see this is actually the 30th anniversary of Ordinary People. I was wondering – yes, when you got that role could you have ever imagined that you’d still be working at this 30 years later. And have you heard if they’re doing anything for the anniversary rerelease or special addition or anything?

Timothy Hutton: Yes you know I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything a couple of things have come up but I haven’t heard anything if Paramount is doing anything or if Redford’s doing anything. I remember when the 25th anniversary came and went I thought oh, it would have been a good opportunity and 20th anniversary – but yes, I can’t believe it’s 30 years. Did I expect that I’d still be at well I don’t know around the time I was doing Ordinary People you know I still wasn’t sure that was the path that I wanted to be on or was going to stay on. So yes, I guess it’s kind of amazing to me that I’m still at it and feel very fortunate that this became my line of work.

Operator: We’ll take our next question from Courtney Shincke with Raked Reviews; please go ahead.

Courtney Shincke: Hi; how are you doing?

Timothy Hutton: Good; you?

Courtney Shincke: Good. I was wondering the show has always had this distinction between being an honest man and a thief. Now that Nate has become I’m curious to know if we’re actually going to see a change in the way he acts this season.

Timothy Hutton: Well, yes, I think that the biggest change once he declared at the end of season two my name is Nate Ford and I’m a thief. Once he declared that, I think what we see in the beginning of season three is a much more determined sober in many ways man who is just absolutely determined to help as many people as he can.

And to take down the worst most you know horrible people that are ripping people off taking advantage of people and he doesn’t care how powerful they are or even who they are or what they are. I mean you’ll see in the third season that the team takes on drug cartels, takes on governments, they’ll take down anybody and they’re just – they’re fearless. And the means by which they do it are very clever and very dangerous.

And you know, Nate Ford now that he’s declared that now that he kind of accepts who he is he is absolutely you know a man on a mission. And he will you know stop at no end you know he’ll just keep at it until he can you know square things off with people who have been ripped off in some way.

Operator: As a reminder to the listening audience if you would like to ask a question or if you have a follow up question for Mr. Hutton, please press star 1 on touchtone telephone. And we will take a follow up question from Brittany Frederick with the; please go ahead.

Brittany Frederick: I was wondering if you could talk about working with Mark Sheppard that adversarial relationship and whether or not we’re going to see Sterling back in the third season.

Timothy Hutton: We’ll certainly see Sterling back I don’t know if it’ll be the third season or not. Mark is such a wonderful actor and everybody wants him on their show so you know we’re just waiting in line. We’re hoping that he has time to do our show he’s been so great in the show and great for the dynamic of the story telling of you know Nate and Maggie and the way he kind of brought Nate into you know Maggie getting set up for being held hostage last year.

It's the writers loved it when Sterling shows up and Nate has a, you know, a good counter. So you know I'm sure we'll see Sterling again. It's been a, you know, real pleasure working with Mark and he brings a lot to the show.

Operator: OK, we'll take a follow up question with Jenny Rardon with Please go ahead.

Jenny Rardon: Hi; are there any upcoming back story ups for other members of the team since we've already had several for Nate?

Timothy Hutton: I'm sorry; could you say that again?

Jenny Rardon: I'm wondering if there are any back story ups like you know where we learn more about before they got on the team or whatever since we've already seen for Nate.

Timothy Hutton: Yes. You know one of the things that is happening in the third season which has been great, is the first six or seven shows are very much about learning who Hardison is, where he came from.

There's a Parker episode where we learn a lot about her past and her background and we meet her mentor who is Richard Chamberlain. We learn a lot about Sophie in one of the episodes and a lot about Christian Kane's character, Eliot in a show we did about the Memphis music biz and a corrupt music producer played by John Schneider.

So it's – what the writers have done is they've really set season three up and really set the table nicely where you're given, not just in quick little flashbacks but almost dedicated episodes that really explore each of the characters in depth.

Operator: OK, we'll take a follow up question from Fred Topel with Hollywood News. Please go ahead.

Fred Topel: Hello again. As you're doing season three of the show and it looks like this will probably last a good few years, how comfortable are you in the TV world?

Timothy Hutton: Well to me it's just a great job. It's a great work environment. I'm working with wonderful actors on a great network of TNT and it's just a really good situation.

Great writing and fun character, complex character, so many different directions the show could go in and the group dynamic is wonderful, the fact that they all you know become this kind of dysfunctional family and you know it's – you know I hope it lasts you know a good while longer.

I really like doing the show and it hasn't taken me away from doing other things. You know I think since we started doing Leverage I've done four or five movies when we were on you know breaks from doing Leverage.

So it's not like I have to do one or the other. I'm going to be doing a play probably next year when we're on break. So it's – you know it's 6 months out of the year and it's a wonderful 6 months and I really enjoy working on Leverage.

Operator: We'll take a follow up question from Eric Meers with Please go ahead.

Eric Meers: Hi. So you got to work with Elisabetta Canalis on the early part of the season. I was wondering what your experience was like working with her and if you have any specific memories of working with her on the show?

Timothy Hutton: Well yes. I mean working with Elisabetta was great and she's going to be doing more shows with us as the season goes on because she's set up as a very central figure. You know audiences when they see the first show they'll see that Nate makes a deal that the rest of the team is not very happy with.

But Nate makes a deal, it's kind of blackmailed in a way in to accepting the deal to go after someone. And she's the one who presents the plan. And they have these kind of secret clandestine meetings throughout the season.

Working with her was great. She's just such a lovely person and she brought great excitement when she came to the set. She was so excited to be in the show and she worked so hard and she was worried that her accent was too thick and you know one of the great things is her accent.

And you know she's working very hard to minimize the accent and we all wanted her to have the accent. So anyway, we're all looking forward to her coming back. I've already seen a couple of the shows that she's in and she's just great in the show and she really adds this amazing kind of dangerous you know spy in from the cold element to the show.

Operator: OK, we'll take a follow up question from Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go ahead.

Jamie Steinberg: Well the show has a lot of followers on line, how does that make you guys feel?

Timothy Hutton: Well you know it makes us feel great that people are interested in the show and that they're following it on message boards and writing their comments. You know I've never experienced you know anything like that.

So it's – and you know it's quite amazing. You know Christian Kane said that there was a lot of that on Angel show that he did. But you know it's – we all occasionally you know check in on that sort of thing and share our, you know, some of the things that we've read.

It's great and there's some of us are on twitter. Well actually all except Gina Bellman. We're trying to convince her too. But you know we make videos from the set and it's kind of an interesting time where you know you're able to kind of put out there directly.

I mean I've experienced it where I'll do a little video from the set from my iPhone and then put it out there as a tweet or a (twitvid) and then boom all these responses come back from people that are watching the show.

It's really something. If anybody wants to get news from the set or watch any of these videos, my name on Twitter is (act Tim Hutton). So I post things quite often from the set.

Operator: OK, we'll take a question from Sandie Sahakians with Damon's CV. Please go ahead.

Sandie Sahakians: Hi, Timothy. Thanks for taking the time today. My question is about Sophie. I was wondering if Nate will ever find out her real name. And more importantly, if the audience will ever find out what her real name is?

Timothy Hutton: You know I think that Nate is absolutely obsessed with finding out her real name. Not just her real name, but who she is in general. And so as the season goes on you know there're some funny moments.

We've already filmed where Nate tries every possible name he can think of to try to catch her off guard. And he also tries to con the members of the team who know her real name and they all keep it as a tightly held secret.

So it's – one of the themes throughout the third season is Nate just obsessed with finding out you know who she is and feeling like an idiot for thinking that her real name was Sophie.

Operator: OK we'll take a follow up question from Jay Jacobs with Please go ahead.

Jay Jacobs: Yes, hi, Tim you had mentioned earlier that one of the good things about this show is that you do have the time to do other side projects, as well. One of your movies has came out a few months ago, The Ghost Writer which is a terrific film by the way, what was that like to work on?

Timothy Hutton: Oh, Ghost Writer was amazing to work on. We filmed it in Berlin in the Northern part of Germany, Baltic Sea and it was you know a great script and working with Polanski was incredible.

I mean he is a director of such intense concentration and fascination with the detail of characters, behavior and has an amazing eye for every detail on a set. The space that the story is told in is as important to him as anything else and you know, it was just a really interesting experience working on that movie.

Jay Jacobs: Thank you.

Operator: And we'll take a follow up question from Courtney Shincke with ((inaudible)), excuse me, Raked Reviews. Please go ahead.

Courtney Shincke: Hi; on that same note, I'm a little curious to know more about the play that you hope to be in in the next year.

Timothy Hutton: Well I can't mention the title of the play yet because it's changing – it was in one situation and now it's going to be in – I can't really talk about it other than to say it's a play that I'll be doing in London on the West End in the fall of 2011, most likely.

Courtney Shincke: That's great.

Timothy Hutton: Yes.

Operator: And we'll take a follow up question from Jenny Rardon with Please go ahead.

Jenny Rardon: You talked earlier about Nate and Sophie. I'm wondering how the rest of the team handles Sophie being back?

Timothy Hutton: Oh the rest of the team is thrilled to have Sophie back and you know as far as the characters go from the second season they grow to accept the Tara character played by Jeri Ryan. But it was important for the story telling and for the writers and for all of us to have the characters miss Sophie and feel that she you know was vital to the team.

So you'll see that in the third season a real sort of welcoming of Sophie. And you know the team feels that Sophie is the only one who can really keep Nate in check although that hasn't gone too smoothly in the past that's what they believe.

Operator: And we'll take a follow up question from Brittany Frederick with Please go ahead.

Brittany Frederick: I know a lot of people are focusing on the relationship between Nate and Sophie but I know that we saw last season too that there are still feelings between Nate and Maggie. So are we going to be seeing that come back in season three or that impact his relationship with Sophie at all?

Timothy Hutton: Well yes in season three we're going to deal a little bit with the Maggie character. And I don’t know how or when just yet as Kari Matchett who played Maggie is on another show right and can't – for at least the time being can't do ours.

But I'm sure we'll see her again just don’t know when or in what way. But that's a relationship that to me is as interesting and has just as many possibilities as the Nate/Sophie relationship. So I'm hoping that Kari becomes available to do the show and that the writers are inspired to deal with the Maggie/Nate relationship.

Operator: And at this time, there are not further questions. Miss Brooks, I will turn the conference back over to you for closing comments.

Maya Brooks: Thank you. Thanks, Tim, for participating in the conference call. And thank you to all as well. Just a reminder, that Leverage will premiere on Sunday June 20 with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9:00 pm.

A transcript will be available within 24 hours. Please check with your specific network representative. Thanks again and have a good afternoon.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, this will conclude today's conference call. We thank you for your participation.

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