Interview with Greg Kinnear of "Rake" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Greg Kinnear of Rake on FOX

Interview with Greg Kinnear of "Rake" on FOX 2/11/14

I was on this call, but unfortunately, I didn't get to ask him any questions. They had too many callers and not enough time, I guess. Still, it was nice to hear his voice and hear him talk about the show.

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: The Rake Conference Call
January 21, 2014/2:00 p.m. PST

Kim Kurland
Greg Kinnear


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Rake conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later weíll conduct a question and answer session. As a reminder this call is being recorded.

Iíd now like to turn the conference over to our host, Miss Kim Kurland. Please go ahead.

Kim Hi, everyone. I just wanted to thank you for taking part in the call today with Greg. Weíre very excited. As all of you know, Rake premieres on Thursday night at 9:00 eastern and pacific time. If anybody has a question after the call, needs something clarified or whatnot, feel free to e-mail me.,And, Dave, I think we can take our first question.

Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Jerry Nunn with Windy City Times. Please go ahead.

Jerry Hey, how are you? Iím calling from Chicago here.

Greg Hi.

Jerry I want to ask you, how are you similar to this character?

Greg How have I what?

Jerry How are you similar to this character, how did you relate?

Greg Weíre both horrible gamblers. The most obvious connection is that I have no skills in that department and he seems to be tortured by his own lack of ability as well. But, I donít know, I mean, similarities; the truth is I donít know that thereís a lot. I think itís what really attracted me to the character when I saw the Australian show and kind of the zone they were playing in, not only the ensemble nature of the show, but just this, Keegan himself with the inability to not get out of his own way and his kind of needs and wants and addictions all sort of snowballing around him constantly and just that notion of two steps forward, three steps back seemed like a fun zone to play in.

Not that I donít have my own little bag of self-destructive traits. We all do, but he has them in such a flawless rate, such an ease of his ability to miscalculate and to set off little personal landmines around his life so regularly that it really seemed like a fun area to play around in. I hadnít played an attorney before so one that was dealing with that kind of world seemed like a great plan.

Jerry Great. Well, come visit us in Chicago.

Greg Oh, indeed I will.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Tony Maglio with TheWrap. Please go ahead.

Tony Thank you. Hey, Greg. So, watching this role it just seems to me and strikes me Ė and Iíve talked to several other TV people about this Ė it just seems like such a Greg Kinnear character and I think thatís more like a testament to your charm than a suggestion of it being typecast or anything like that. It just seems to work so well, which is a positive thing I hope.

But can you talk a little bit about as an actor what thatís like, whether itís a little frustrating at times; I donít know if itís comforting or annoying that people look at it as, yeah, thatís Greg Kinnear being Greg Kinnear. Does this mean thatís Greg Kinnear at his best to you or does that mean thatís Greg Kinnear not putting as much work into it as he probably really is.

Greg Well, I canít really drill down too deep on other peopleís perceptions of myself. I felt like in terms of my interest on this particular role that it would be fun to play, that it would be something that could evolve and something that might be a nice starting point in an onward journey and where it will go and what will happen specifically to the guy, obviously weíve done a lot of conversations, Peter and I, about what that is.

But, yeah, I donít know what a Greg Kinnear role looks like or is. I guess if I do the role then it is that. But this didnít feel; obviously, Iím not playing a junkie. I donít think that thereís a, at least in the starting place of who this guy is and my hope for what he can be, I was attracted to it and wanted to do it because of what I saw on the page and less about how I could define or redefine peopleís perception of me. So, that was just not the mandate here.

Tony Okay, cool. Thanks.

Moderator The next question comes from Bill Zwecker with Chicago Sun-Times. Please go ahead.

Bill Hi, Greg. Nice to talk to you again. My question for you, as you just mentioned you never played an attorney. Hollywood has some pretty notorious, well, a lot of cities, including Chicago, has a lot of notorious attorneys. Did you bone up a little bit on some sort of edgy characters to try to work some of that into creating this guy?

Greg Well, specifically defense characters, thereís quite a pantheon of very, very colorful types in this world, both men and women. And, you know, thereís an inherently despicable rap that I think defense attorneys get as the defenders of people, particularly people that we all recognize as guilty or think are guilty. And yet, theyíre an essential part of the balance of justice.

And I guess we wonít be doing a lot to undespicasize Ė I donít know the word; I would have to go to Google and see if we can undespicable something Ė I donít know that weíll be doing a lot with this role to champion peopleís perceptions of defense attorneys.

Listen, I mean there is a gambling element to being somebody who is going to take on the job of constantly trying to represent and prop up people who might be somewhat shady. And that notion of that is probably part of how they got the rap, but I think itís to try and find the balance of being colorful, being at times despicable, but also being somebody who does believe in something.

Weíre on episode 10 now and there have been cases where there are people who for sure the audience is going to want to not be found innocent and at times they are and at times theyíre not. I think the real cool thing about the show is most of the people I represent are guilty and the truth is thatís the way it is in the system. If youíre innocent or there isnít enough seriously compelling evidence to put you up against the state, chances are itís never going to go to trial and, of course, trial is where all the fun stuff happens.

So, we do some cases that go to trial. But we also do cases that all are negotiated in back rooms and sort of quietly handled between people negotiating. And thatís another kind of cool aspect of the show. But there are colorful characters in this world. Iíve seen many of them and theyíre a treat to watch.

I havenít seen anybody quite like this guy, but Iím looking.

Bill Okay. Thanks very much.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Joan Porter with MSN Canada. Please go ahead.

Joan Hi, Greg. I was just wondering how much will this version of the show borrow from the original Australian series?

Greg Yeah, thatís a good question. Well, listen, in terms of its format, one of the most significant changes that weíve had to embrace is being on a network where I think we have 43 minutes or 44 minutes or something like that and Peterís Australian show was like 58, 59 minutes and that time change has been a real difficult sort of readjustment that has been something weíre conscious of.

Obviously, in an Australian show you always had kind of a case, sometimes more significant one week, sometimes less significant another week, which is still the tempo we follow here. But you canít really reduce down the case. The case is going to be the case, so what ends up being compromised is the additional time to deal with the sort of orbital world of these pivotal characters in my life and my life and their lives, which is one of the coolest things about the show I think is the ensemble element of it.

We worked really hard to cast great actors in this ensemble. I think theyíre all excellent. And that aspect has really come up in the last few shows. It starts a little Keegan-centric as the show kind of starts, but it really evolves and you get to know all these characters a lot more. But there are limitations just with time. As far as the cases, sometimes there is some stuff that we have taken from the Australian show, some of the cases, some of the story lines.

But I would say a lot of it is its own thing and has kind of organically found its own place. So, I donít know what the percentage would be to give you for that, but maybe 30%, 40% kind of comes from the Australian show, but I think the rest of it feels very different. So, I feel like the balance is good.

Believe me I wanted to do a nice tip of the hat to the Australian show because I really admired it, but, obviously the hope is for all of us to try to find our own DNA and kind of develop our own vibe here.

Joan Thank you.

Moderator One moment, please. Weíre experiencing technical difficulties. Weíre now going to go to the line of Preston Barta with North Texas Daily. Please go ahead.

Preston Hey, Greg. Thanks for talk to us today.

Greg Hi, how are you doing? Very 21st Century man, this is 2014 year floating out here in this electronic bubble with calls coming in from PanSTARRS-1. Iím digging it.

Preston Yeah, itís pretty new. So, since becoming a part of this show how has your view of the court system changed?

Greg Well, as I said earlier and I think itís true, I never really had considered how; I had just always assumed that people who might have gotten themselves into some sort of legal entanglement would eventually sit before a jury and kind of go through this whole sort of straightforward, very clean process of justice.

And I think what the show has done, because we have lawyers working on it and just through conversations and just through stories that we work on, the truth is that you learn that there is not a straight through line on any of these cases, that theyíre all varied. Many of them never go to trial or the ones that do have a whole different expectation than the ones that donít in terms of the outcome and how theyíre negotiated.

So much of the process seems inconsistent to me. And, obviously, I donít think itís a bad thing. Maybe itís a reason that the legal world has over the years had so many films and television shows about it. Thereís just a great sort of imbalance to the process, an imbalance to the outcome and justice is not always served fairly for sure. Thatís been made very clear talking to a lot of the guys we have access to and we try and represent that fairly in the show I think.

Preston Great. Thank you. Have a good rest of the day.

Moderator The next question comes from Tom Teicholz with Life Free Image. Please go ahead.

Tom Hi. Itís Tom Teiholz, Life Reimagined. Greg, I know that youíre a guy who likes to work a lot and I was wondering, as you survey your career at this point in your life whether you see the landscape as having more interesting possibilities than you expected or compared to a few years ago how you sort of view the landscape as you make the sort of decision to do this series and the kind of things youíre being offered.

Greg Well, I donít know if I concede your point that you know Iím a guy who likes to work a lot. We may have to have some debate about that. And I think a lot of times just by the nature of; I guess Iíve done a lot of movies, but a lot of them arenít leads, the roles that have demanded enormous amounts of time. And so, I guess an illusion might be that thatís always the case, but you know, itís been a balance of work, for sure, that Iíve enjoyed.

This show and these shows are, obviously, thereís a lot of work, particularly starting out, as I said earlier, the show is very focused on my character before we start to bring in Miranda and John Ortiz and David Harbor and all these other great actors. But I think, itís no different than any aspect at any other time in my life in the sense that theyíre not really a great blueprint for what to expect from one job to the next.

This was attractive in the sense that it was a fairly contained series order and weíre doing 13 and so to build a story line of my guy and the people around him in 13 episodes felt like thereís something manageable about that and with an end date in sight, which is fast approaching. So, beyond, I donít know what will really happen. Other opportunities are always hard to speak to, but Iím enjoying the show. Itís been a blast and Iím getting to work with some excellent people. So, I guess from that standpoint itís all good.

Kim Hey, Dave, Iím so sorry, but we have time for only one more question.

Moderator The last question comes from the line of Sheldon Wiebe with Please go ahead.

Sheldon Thanks for doing the call.

Greg Absolutely.

Sheldon The thing that I found most fascinating about the pilot, besides having such amazing guest stars, I mean, Peter Stormare is amazing; itís a Sam Raimi thing you can tell because the banter and the dialogue are so beautifully put together and Iím just wondering are the seven scariest words in Keeganís life, ďThis is going to be a conversation?Ē And why?

Greg Well, theyíre certainly the seven scariest words in Benís life, played by John Ortiz because itís coming from his wife. You know, I donít know. I donít know that those are the seven scariest words for Keegan. I think that he thrives on conversation. I think dialogue and words are not; he doesnít use an economy with them and I think our writers are really good at keeping that vibe alive here. At any given moment me, at least my character, in particular, is spinning a lot of plates and words prop him up.

And I saw it in the Australian show. They had a real, you know, Peter Duncan and what those guys had done down there had a really nice balance of stuff going on, but really I thought their management of language was really cool to watch. And itís been fun on this show as well.

And, by the way, Sam, I worked with Sam a few years ago in a movie and I was very nervous. We were doing the show and we didnít have a director for the pilot and I was so terrified. Iím friends with Sam, but I really didnít know if that was crossing a line and my wife was the one who said, you know what, just ask him. All he can do is say no. And I asked him and he read the script and he loved it and, in fact, has gone on and done another show for us and helped us with some other pieces along the way and has really become an ally to Rake and Iím grateful to that because, obviously, heís my friend, but heís also just I think a great artist and I think the show has some cool colors in it that have, like Peter Stormare and like Sam, and its early incarnation attracted some really smart people, so Iím grateful for that.

Sheldon Well, thanks so much for doing this and the pilot is amazing. It is easily a match of the first episode of the Australian series, so thanks very much for that.

Greg Thank you very much.

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