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

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By Suzanne

Interview with Timothy Hutton (Nate) and Beth Riesgraf (Parker) of "Leverage" December 1, 2010.

I was very nervous for this call. First of all, it's not every day that you get to talk to one of your favorite actors, let alone an Oscar winner! But also, Leverage is a great show that I never miss. So I was very nervous and had trouble thinking of good questions to ask, and I barely was able to even get them out in a coherent manner! Fortunately, they were both very nice people, and lots of other reporeters asked some great questions.

Moderator: Erin Naman
December 1, 2010
12:00 pm CT

Operator: Welcome to the Turner Entertainment conference call. Todayís conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Ms. Erin Naman. Please go ahead, maíam.

Erin Naman: Thank you for joining our Leverage conference call today with Timothy Hutton and Beth Riesgraf.

Leverage returns to TNT with a special Christmas-themed episode on Sunday, December 12 at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific. And the two-part season 3 Finale airs on Sunday, December 19 at 9:00 and 10:00 pm Eastern and Pacific.

A transcript of this call will be available within 24 hours.

I will now turn the call back to our moderator to give instructions on how to queue your questions.

Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. The question-and-answer session will be conducted electronically. If you would like ask a question, please do so by pressing the star key followed by the digit 1 on your touch-tone telephone. If youíre using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. Once again, that is star 1 on your touch-tone telephone to ask a question.

Weíll take our first question from Jamie with Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Itís a pleasure to speak with both of you.

Beth Riesgraf: Hi.

Timothy Hutton: Hi there.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Thanks you so much for your time.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, thanks for joining us.

Jamie Steinberg: Electronically.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah.

Jamie Steinberg: I was wondering, what keeps challenging you about your role?

Beth Riesgraf: I suppose a few different things. Physically, thereís some challenges, you know, depending what types of stunts are called for each episode and those types of things. But, I guess I would say the - whatever the writers end up coming up with and - I donít know (what this is). Wow, okay. For the most part, I think keeping it - keeping the growth of the character, you know, going at a steady pace and sort of working with what they give us. And I donít know, coming up with new ways.

I mean, weíre going into a fourth season, so itís - it still feels pretty fresh. So I suppose it - like a challenge may be in the way that, you know, you want to keep it exciting and fun and all of that stuff. But, I think so far everythingís been laid out pretty well and I think itís been pretty fun so far.

So does that answer your question?

Jamie Steinberg: Yes.

Beth Riesgraf: There you go.

Jamie Steinberg: Tim, why do you think people continue to tune in watch Leverage?

Timothy Hutton: Because of, I think, Bethís growth in the character. No.

Beth Riesgraf: Shut-up. Okay, it was my first question. Cut me some slack. I was just - didnít warm up. Iím trying to wake up still.

Timothy Hutton: I think the show is fun to watch to kind of participate in for the viewer, you know, week-to-week, and go along on the ride to, you know, these five characters go on. And, you know, I think that, you know, the writing has been really terrific throughout and the character development, thereís been a nice mix of, you know, drama and comedy. You know, the stakes have been very high at times for all of the characters in the shows and the situation I think theyíre put in.

And, you know, just over the first, you know, three seasons and continuing with these three shows that are airing in December -- coming up here -- you know, I think audiences are getting to know different sides of each of the characters, and thereís some nice surprises coming up. And I think thatís what keeps people interested in. Just when you thought you know, you know, or you knew what - who or what a character was, there some unexpected turns, especially in the three episodes coming up in the principle characters.

Jamie Steinberg: Okay. Thank you guys so much again.

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, yeah. Thank you.

Timothy Hutton: Absolutely.

Operator: Our next question comes from Brittany with

Brittany Frederick: Hey, guys. First of all, itís great to talk you again.

Beth Riesgraf: Hey...

Timothy Hutton: Hey, how are you doing?

Beth Riesgraf: too. How are you doing?

Brittany Frederick: I suppose I should say an extra hi to Beth since we were just Tweeting like ten minutes ago.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah. Hey.

Brittany Frederick: The first thing I wanted to ask you guys is a lot of showsí holiday episodes can come off as corny or forced because theyíre trying way too hard. What would you say makes Leverageís holiday episode different from what weíre used to from most shows?

Timothy Hutton: Well, I think - I mean, for me one of the things that, you know, avoids that nicely is that - I mean, here you have the Leverage team infiltrating this mall for kind of the sole purpose of saving Santaís reputation, and it makes for kind of a great show.

Things that are, you know, kind of sacred to - in peopleís minds about, you know, what the season is about and everything get kind of trampled on and the team comes in to sort of restore that, and it ends up, you know, they do it as kind of another case without any kind of sentiment. And it ends up being kind of a nice twist where they get pulled in to the kind of holiday spirit in a way they didnít expect.

So itís one of my favorite shows, the holiday one coming up.

Beth Riesgraf: ((Inaudible))...

Brittany Frederick: Now, how did you guys like working with a season long sub-plot, because youíve been doing the Damian Moreau thing all season. How has that worked out for you?

Beth Riesgraf: Wait. Sorry, what was the first part of it?

Brittany Frederick: Is it - how did you guys enjoy working with the season long sub-plot that youíve had through the season?

Beth Riesgraf: Oh.

Timothy Hutton: Well, I mean itís been great because we didnít of course have that in the first season or the second season to sort of have this kind of ongoing nemesis and Damian Moreau.

You know, again as I was talking about earlier about keeping the stakes high, the team having to kind of be on their toes, and every single character that you meet along the way on the - in the third season and the finale ends up having some kind of, you know, pointed relevance as to, you know, what the teams needs to do to get to Damian Moreau and that their mission isnít going to be complete.

So it gave us all kind of something. It was this - the - each episode of season 3 had its own kind of specific goal, but thereís this larger goal that was always with twists and turns that were - that was always kind of put in our way and it gets - finally gets realized and comes to this amazing kind of place in the final two episodes where thereís the confrontation with Damian Moreau and the Web that heís cast across everything and everywhere.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, I would agree with that.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, great.

Beth Riesgraf: Iím going to go ahead and let you take over, Tim, because youíre doing great. No, I would say that...

Timothy Hutton: Oh, dear.

Beth Riesgraf: ...ditto. (No, I agree).

Brittany Frederick: Iím going to print that just like that too.

Timothy Hutton: Ditto.

Beth Riesgraf: What he said.

Operator: Our next question comes from David with Hearst Newspapers.

David Martindale: Hi. Thank you. I saw the two-hour - or the two-episode season finale this week; enjoyed it. You all make...

Beth Riesgraf: Good.

David Martindale: ...a great show and youíre both really quite wonderful in it.

Timothy Hutton: Thank you.

Beth Riesgraf: Well, thanks.

David Martindale: Tim, Iíve done three stories on you since the show premiered, so I hope you donít mind Iím going to ask Beth a question, and she canít just say ditto.

Beth, after a few years now of playing a thief, of picking pockets, and whatnot, and Iím sure that youíve gotten guidance from experts. Well, how adept have you gotten at that? I mean, for real?

Beth Riesgraf: For real, you know, I can get away with some little things here and there, but Iím definitely not a highly skilled thief at this point. I mean, most of my time is spent, you know, working out the beats of the scenes weíre doing. On my off time I try to practice, you know, the things Iíve been shown. Like you said, Iíve had some help from Apollo Robbins who has sent me a lot of videos and heís a very busy man, but heís always there when I have questions.

And, you know, I try to stay involved with it as much as I can, but for the most part itís whatís written in, you know, the time that we shoot is - we donít have a ton of time in between episodes. Actually, we go, you know, one right after the next. So I focus on any tricks or any sort of, I guess, moves -- excuse me -- moves I have to do for the show, and then thatís ((inaudible))...

David Martindale: So this is sort of like a party trick, but not a second career, but it could be for you, right?

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah. I mean, I wouldnít say Iím going to, yeah, be a master thief at any point in real life.

Timothy Hutton: Well, letís be honest. You know, sheís stolen quite a few scenes if that counts.

Beth Riesgraf: (Wha-wha).

David Martindale: Okay.

Timothy Hutton: ((Inaudible)).

David Martindale: In practically every episode, Parker is dangling from some high place or scaling the side of a building, or doing a daredevil jump. You know, like how much of the physical acting do you get to do? How much do you want to do? How much are you allowed to do?

Beth Riesgraf: I think sometimes - thatís a very good question. Sometimes I do things I probably shouldnít. No, Iím kidding. I donít know. You know, if itís written and itís something I can do safely and thereís time for me to do it, I do, you know, obviously Iíll do it. But, sometimes because weíre shooting so fast, you know, theyíll have to have a stunt double do something that maybe I could do, you know, but she does it. But then, thereís definitely stuff I cannot do at all, so of course she fills in.

But, you know, there is a fun - some fun stuff I got to do in the finale and some other things I got to do that I hadnít done before. And itís fun for me, but I think, you know, at the end of the day Iím not a stunt...

David Martindale: Right.

Beth Riesgraf: ...woman, stunt girl, so I need to, you know, be realistic about my limitations. And theyíre good about helping me, you know, like know whatís safe for me to do and whatís not.

David Martindale: Fair enough. Whatís like the most outrageous position youíve found yourself in? Maybe youíre - it boggles your mind to think that you were in it?

Beth Riesgraf: I would say running on top of a moving train is one of them, and then the other one would be the - is still the pilot. That - when I hung upside down in Chicago on a 40-floor story building. I mean, the roof was under me because we cheated it, but it was still like when the wind would kick out, I was like, ďWow, this is really still very scary,Ē so that kind of blows my mind when I think about it. I guess in the moment I just - I didnít really have time to think about it, but now Iím like, ďWow, that was pretty intense.Ē

David Martindale: Well, okay. Well, thanks much both of you.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah. Thanks.

Timothy Hutton: Thanks.

David Martindale: Bye now.

Timothy Hutton: Bye.

Operator: Our next question comes from Mike with TV America.

Mike Hughes: Hey, Beth, kind of the same deal as David said. I havenít had a chance to talk to you before, so I want to focus a couple of questions at you here.

Beth Riesgraf: Okay.

Mike Hughes: In kind of continuing this, I mean you really are believable in some of that kind of cat burglar gymnastic stuff you do there. Do you have any kind of background as a dancer or acrobat or anything like that?

Beth Riesgraf: My background is in dance. No, Iím kidding. No, I was really uncoordinated actually as a child when it came to dance, but I did play a lot of sports and I do some breakdancing from time-to-time. No, I really donít.

Mike Hughes: You did - you were at least an athlete? What kind of sports did you do?

Beth Riesgraf: I played - yeah, I played tennis, I played softball, I played, you know, I - we had horses growing up. I was really active as a kid. I mean, I was outdoors constantly, so I think, you know, growing up in Minnesota I had a lot of freedom to sort of run around and we had go carts and four wheelers, and all that stuff.

So I think, you know, I have that in me, that sort of - I get - I like that adrenalin sort of rush stuff. But at the same time, I, you know, I did a little bit of dance and stuff, but mostly sports.

Mike Hughes: Okay. Iíve got ask that because one listing had you growing up in Las Vegas, which clearly is not Minnesota. Thatís a long ways away.

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, yeah. Well, you know what, I did move when I was 13 to Las Vegas.

Mike Hughes: Okay. So tell me what part? Where in (there sort of) did you grow up, and what do your folks do for a living that caused them to move from Minnesota to Vegas?

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, sure. Yeah, weíll Iím a family of - thereís six girls in my family, and so my parents are in construction. They do fixtures and installations in Targets and things like that and so, theyíre business was growing so much on the West Coast that, you know, four of my sisters were already grown up and in college and living their lives. And they decided to move us out, so (Mary) and I, my other sister, we moved out to Las Vegas and did junior high and high school there.

Mike Hughes: Okay, so just one other thing on that. I mean, youíre a kid from Minnesota, and Iíve lived Minnesota. I know thatís very, very ordinary life...

Beth Riesgraf: Okay.

Mike Hughes: ...((inaudible)), just starting your teenage years and thereís all this show business around you. How did that influence you and did some ways did that help nudge you towards this show business career?

Beth Riesgraf: Well, remember that background in dance I talked about?

Timothy Hutton: (Wow, yes).

Beth Riesgraf: Hello? No, I donít know. To be honest with you, I think my sisters did a little bit of theater. You know, and growing up I went to the Minneapolis Childrenís Theater quite a bit with my grandma, and I always sort of loved the idea of plays and storytelling and imagination and all of that.

So I think it really did start in Minnesota, and then going to Las Vegas, I donít know, we didnít live by the Strip, so we were sort of, you know, not around that side of it very much. So - and we - even when I was, I suppose I had a different view on all of that stuff living there as a resident and whatever.

But, I think it mostly started from, you know, like when I would go watch the theater with my grandma, to be honest with you. Las Vegas was - I did a lot of sports and stuff, but I didnít go to a lot of shows there.

Mike Hughes: Okay. Okay, cool. Thanks.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah. Sure.

Operator: Our next question comes from Earl with Wireless & Digital Journal.

Earl Dittman: Hi, guys. How are you all?

Beth Riesgraf: Hi.

Timothy Hutton: Hey.

Earl Dittman: Timothy, can you believe that youíre coming up on a season 4?

Timothy Hutton: No, I - yeah, I mean...

Earl Dittman: Isnít that amazing?

Beth Riesgraf: Can you believe it?

Earl Dittman: I know...

Timothy Hutton: It is.

Earl Dittman: ...itís incredible.

Timothy Hutton: It is. Yeah.

Earl Dittman: And the reason I ask that is is because youíve been on other shows that have also been just as well-written. Well, not even as well-written, but have been good, and they didnít make it very long. Do you think that if this show had been on a network, a big, you know, one of the big threeís that it would have made it this far?

Timothy Hutton: Yeah.

Earl Dittman: You think so?

Timothy Hutton: Well, I mean I do, but you know, who knows? I mean, itís - honestly I think that the show has really benefited from being on TNT. And because TNT has really been so supportive of the show, and you know itís been a great home for the show. So itís hard to say, but you know weíre just all incredibly happy that itís still going.

I mean, we love doing the show and, you know, just as excited reading the scripts, and it doesnít feel like weíre going into the fourth year. It feels like we just - you know...

Earl Dittman: Just started.

Timothy Hutton: ...we just started. Yeah...

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah.

Timothy Hutton: really does. Yeah.

Earl Dittman: And really - and it feels so fresh. All of you - both of you seem - everybody seems fresh. I mean, itís just wonderful how it continues to be a fun show.

Beth Riesgraf: Yes.

Earl Dittman: And Beth, I mean, did you - you obviously must feel the same way. I mean, this is like a - itís like - you must like going to work every day.

Beth Riesgraf: I do.

Timothy Hutton: We do.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah.

Timothy Hutton: Yeah.

Beth Riesgraf: Definitely.

Timothy Hutton: And we really - we like working together. I mean, that started - the chemistry that I think the, you know, the - that comes across with the five of us, it started in Chicago when we were doing the pilot. We just kind of in the first moment all enjoyed being around each other and working with each other, so, you know, and thatís just continued.

I mean, we find ourselves now in the fourth year working together and on weekends when most people would want to, you know, be away from one another, weíre all having dinner together and making plans and, you know, going bowling and doing this and doing that, and our kids are playing together.

So itís - well, Beth and I are the only ones who (hang around).

Beth Riesgraf: (Like), yeah, our kids - yeah, we basically are afraid to - no. We - yeah, I think thatís very true actually. And I think one thing too that was I thinking about the other day, because I was like, ďMan, it already seems like, you know, itís coming - the time to shoot again is right around the corner.Ē

But, I donít - I think none of us take it too seriously. Like, we donít take ourselves too seriously, and you know, the tone of the show allows for us to be goofy and have fun, and the directors that come on board are always, you know, in that spirit of play, so to speak. Itís like they all kind of get the tone and to work as hard as we do and for - to work the hours that we do, I think if anyone of us, you know, didnít have the approach that we had, it would be tough, but...

Timothy Hutton: Yeah. Yeah.

Beth Riesgraf: ...since we all, you know, have fun with it, it makes so much easier.

Earl Dittman: Well, Timothy, before I let go, the reason I mention that is is that from my point of view or for our side, TNT has really done an incredible job because Iíve seen how other networks treat shows and, you know, big shows that fall after two or three episodes. And it seems like TNT has really made this one of their, you know, pet projects and have really treated it, you know, really good to make it the hit it is.

Timothy Hutton: Well, I, you know, I think thatís true, but I think they, you know, I think TNT does just a great job on all of their shows. Theyíre very passionate about what theyíve programmed and, you know, with our show theyíve managed to keep, you know, keep the show. Whenever thereís, you know, kind of promotion about it or an advertisement or, you know, a trailer or whatever, a commercial about the upcoming episodes, you know, itís just - itís a new approach each time. Itís a fresh approach.

So itís a combination of that, the scripts, all of our enjoyment in working together, you know, that really makes it all kind of go. And weíre really excited about these three shows that are coming up, you know, the holiday show and then the - where the team infiltrates the mall, that one, and then the two-part season finale. And of course, we canít wait to get back to Portland and start up season 4 because thereís a lot of things that are going to happen in season 4.

Earl Dittman: Oh, we canít wait. Well, thatís a great Christmas gift to your fans, believe me. We - theyíre going to love it. And thank you guys, you all have a Merry Christmas too...

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, you too.

Earl Dittman: ...and a Happy New Year. And anything special you all are doing?

Beth Riesgraf: I guess Iím going to be with family.

Earl Dittman: Okay.

Timothy Hutton: Yeah, Iím going to be with family, be with my sons, and you know be home and, you know, hopefully itíll snow because weíre thinking about skiing or something like that.

Earl Dittman: Have fun. Thanks guys.

Beth Riesgraf: Thanks.

Earl Dittman: Thanks for a great year.

Beth Riesgraf: You too. See you.

Timothy Hutton: Thanks.

Earl Dittman: Bye-bye.

Operator: Our next question comes from Suzanne with The TV Megasite.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, nice to speak to you guys.

Beth Riesgraf: Hey.

Timothy Hutton: Hey.

Suzanne Lanoue: Letís see. Let me start with Beth. Beth, I love how your character is kind of a - well, all the characters on the show are kind of dysfunctional, shall we say. But, your character is sort of - seems to be unaware of her beauty and yet sheís sort of a nerd girl always this - or socially nerdy, anyway.

How do you figure out how to play that when you have the - sort of all these emotional things going on and social ineptness, and everything?

Beth Riesgraf: I - wait, sorry. What was that last part with these social what?

Suzanne Lanoue: With the social ineptness and the emotional things going on...

Beth Riesgraf: Oh...

Suzanne Lanoue: ...and the vulnerability and all that stuff that you manage to show very easily, at least it looks that way, anyway.

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, well, yeah. You know what, I guess I donít - I think for me the - that I - actually I donít think about that stuff. I think about, I guess being that character, you know, in those moments when youíre working, for me itís best not to think about trying to create any sort of effect with that kind of stuff, but just play the truth in the moment and sort of how she would feel about situations.

And, you know, I donít think Parkerís a vain girl and she doesnít, you know, she doesnít think about her appearance in the way maybe some other girls would or whatever. But, I think her mind is like a computer so she sort of processes things differently than many other people would. And the nature of what she does and her viewpoints on life, and those types of things, you know, shapes the way she talks and thinks and stuff.

So yeah, I always try to sort of I guess not think about playing an emotion or whatever, but really just sort of having that intention and whatever weíre all kind of going for in the scene, and thinking about just, you know, her reality in the way that she does thing differently maybe than other people, so...

Suzanne Lanoue: Okay. Actually, the character reminds me a lot of the heroine of the Stieg Larsson books. Have you read those or seen the movies where they draw...

Beth Riesgraf: No.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...dragon tattoos?

Timothy Hutton: Yeah, thatís a good - thatís - yeah.

Beth Riesgraf: (I havenít seen that).

Suzanne Lanoue: Theyíre very similar in a lot of ways, kind of socially retarded.

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, really?

Suzanne Lanoue: But, beautiful but doesnít know it and all that kind of - and her mindís like a computer and sheís a math genius, and all this kind of stuff.

Beth Riesgraf: Right. Yeah, I mean I think that also itís like her life experiences have shaped sort of, you know, where sheís at now. And some of those barriers, I mean, surely with this season have started to come down a little bit because of the growth, you know, being part of the team, and everything sheís experiencing with them and stuff.

So I think itís - for me itís really fun because I get to sort of, you know, step into these new chapters with her as sheís growing and - depending on what the season brings and all of that, so yeah, but itís a lot of fun.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right. Thank you and...

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...Timothy, first I wanted to tell you, and I hope this doesnít creep you out or anything, but when I was about 12 I had a huge crush on your dad because I loved the Ellery Queen TV series.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, wow. Oh, thatís great.

Beth Riesgraf: Awww.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yeah, well. Anyway, I was going to ask you, it seemed like your character, when the show first started, was more or less normal. I mean, he had gone through all the problems with his family and everything, but he sort of, in a way, gotten more dysfunctional as heís hung out with this team and tried to deal with his problems with alcohol.

What do you think heíll be able to do? I know you canít give much away in the way of story, but do you think heíll be able to overcome more of his problems?

Timothy Hutton: Well, you know, I think that with Nate, you know, the writers have, you know, kind of decided that, you know what, the way heís - his starting point, which was pretty bad, you know, when - in the pilot when you first come across this guy, Nate Ford.

And you know, over the years the writers have come up with these interesting ways to not just keep him, you know, having this one kind of cycle of problems, but to have other things happen to him. People coming out of the woodwork that he, you know, was hoping, you know, he wouldnít see or have to deal with, you know, along the lines of Sterling, his old nemesis when he was an insurance agent and then...

Suzanne Lanoue: Right.

Timothy Hutton: know, his - an episode this year where his father shows - suddenly he shows up and (McQuaries) place, and things like that. So beyond the drinking and the grief of losing his son and his marriage falling apart and all those very real things to him, you know, there are other areas that, you know, since heís chosen to go on this path with these other characters, you know, itís - some other things start to happen.

And you know, heís definitely got a lot of issues and we havenít seen the end of problems and, you know, with Nate Ford. I think itís, you know, I think thereís going to be more to come.

Suzanne Lanoue: Great. Well, I love the actor that plays his father. I mean, I hope he comes back sometime.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, yeah, Tom Skerritt, yeah.

Suzanne Lanoue: Yeah. Well, thank you very much both of you, and have a happy holiday.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah.

Timothy Hutton: Thanks.

Beth Riesgraf: Happy holidays.

Timothy Hutton: Happy holidays.

Operator: Our next question comes from Lena with

Lena Lamoray: Hi, Timothy and Beth.

Beth Riesgraf: Hi.

Timothy Hutton: Hey.

Lena Lamoray: Pleasure to speak with you. Now, in Leverage you both get to play so many characters, and Beth, I loved your ((inaudible)) (impersonation), so...

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, thanks.

Lena Lamoray: was fun. So which identity has been your favorite to assume and why?

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, sorry. Can you repeat that?

Lena Lamoray: Which identities has been your favorite to assume and why?

Beth Riesgraf: Oh, for sure I would say that character for me, the (pjork), (pjark), as we called it. Yeah, I loved - that was so fun for me. I loved that. I loved the costume, getting to step into that kind of wacky world and Parker snapping in and out of that character. I had lot of fun with that episode.

Lena Lamoray: How about you, Timothy?

Timothy Hutton: Well, there, you know, there have been different ones. I, you know, any time that we read a script and the Leverage team has to infiltrate a place or, you know, assume identities or become con artists ourselves to take down the really bad con artists, itís always fun to do that. And so I think for Nate, itís kind of a real release because he wasnít of that world. He investigated that world, but he wasnít of that world.

And I think that - so he has his own kind of version of these different people that we get to play when we decide to put together a con. And sometimes he gets - just goes a little bit too far and itís fun playing that when Nateís playing a, you know, another character. I mean, there was one we did with Bill Engvall where sort of Nate, you know, becomes kind of a, you know, a car shark salesman guy. And anytime, you know, Nate assumes that kind of role itís - I think itís always sort of a release and he gets a bit scary and the rest of the team has to kind of pull him back a little bit.

Lena Lamoray: Great. Now, what can you tell us about Nathan and Parker that we donít know, and how they compare to you in real life?

Timothy Hutton: Go ahead, Beth.

Beth Riesgraf: Okay. How Parker compares to me in real life? Well, I didnít realize we were separate people. Iím only kidding. I donít know. You know, I think that - gosh, I guess I - thereís - on a clear leap, you know, I hope Iím much saner in certain moments, but I - no, I donít know. Thatís a tough question actually.

Thanks for directing that to me first, Tim. I like the, you know, the fact that I get to do the stunts. As an actor itís really fun to kind of change things up. I love that side of it and think, you know, Iím similar, I guess, to her in those moments.

I love the physicality of the character and all that stuff, and being able to do, you know, jumping off of stuff and crawling through the vents and all that stuff is always fun. So I suppose the adrenalin junkie in me is nowhere near what it is in her, but I - itís a similarity.

And what you donít know about Parker? Well, I donít know what we can say yet. Thereís a nice little - I like the Christmas episode for Parker. Thereís some very sweet stuff that happens in that and I think that, you know, people will find the soft spot there when they see that episode. Thereís a nice little few moments she has there, so Iím not going to spoil it. But, itís in that episode thereís something nice that happens.

Lena Lamoray: And Timothy?

Timothy Hutton: Oh, geez.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, I feel like that was a horrible answer, but I ((inaudible))...

Timothy Hutton: No, that was a great answer.

Beth Riesgraf: Itís hard.

Timothy Hutton: Well, unfortunately I donít share any of the circumstances or conditions of Nate Ford, you know, so it makes it - I mean I remember when we started Leverage and we were all in Chicago. And I read the script for the pilot and I thought, ďBoy, this is just a real interesting place to begin a character,Ē that the writers had come up with here, and you know, how to go about playing someone who has kind of hit rock bottom.

And it just were - it kind of presented itself as not a narrow opportunity, but quite a wide open net of possibilities of where this character could go and sort of, you know, climb out of it, fall again, climb out of it, fall again. And that was just, you know, I think itís just an interesting place to be with the character.

And, you know, other issues of not being able to get close to people, kind of shut off, and then, you know, Parker and Eliot and Hardison and Sophie, you know, really become kind of his family, and everybody becomes everyoneís family with the five of us. And, you know, I think thatís something that has really brought the characters together in this kind of an undercurrent that keeps the show kind of compelling no matter what it is that weíre going through case-by-case.

Lena Lamoray: Now, what about Nathan that we donít know?

Timothy Hutton: Oh, well, I mean I think that, you know, a lot is revealed in the two-part finale, as well as the Christmas show that Beth was just talking about. And then, thereís going to be something - itís kind of a nice surprise at the very end. And of course - and then in the season 4 I think thereís going to be a continuation of what weíve already seen where, you know, with what youíre asking as far as, you know, what we donít know about Nate.

You know, I think a lot of people come out of the woodwork looking for Nate wanting to settle the score, both in terms of people that weíve met as the series has gone on, and then new people, you know, along the lines of his father showing up. So thereís just quite bit about Nate Ford and his past that, you know, we donít know about and I think the writers are going to bring forward, and itís going to be really fun for me to kind of see what that is.

Lena Lamoray: I canít wait to see it. Thank you so much, guys.

Timothy Hutton: Thank you.

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, have a good holiday.

Lena Lamoray: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Kristi with the Oregonian Newspaper.

Kristi Turnquist: Hi.

Beth Riesgraf: Hey.

Timothy Hutton: Hey.

Kristi Turnquist: Hi, guys. So I was going to ask if you were going to be returning to Portland for season 4, and it sounds like that is indeed happening.

Timothy Hutton: Yes. I think so.

Beth Riesgraf: Yes.

Kristi Turnquist: And when can we expect to see you guys around town shooting again?

Timothy Hutton: I think around March, beginning of March-ish.

Kristi Turnquist: Yeah and...

Timothy Hutton: Yeah.

Kristi Turnquist: ...youíve talked a little bit about some of the things we can expect in season 4. What else can you tell me about sort of maybe some more secrets that will be revealed about both your characters in that season?

Timothy Hutton: Well, you know, I donít, you know, we really donít - at this particular stage, we donít know, and I think to some extent the writers are kind of, you know, going over what happened in season 1, season 2, season 3, and where can we, you know, lead these characters, and what can we do to, you know, keep going in interesting directions.

So we donít really know whatís going to happen. Thatís part of the fun of it. And, you know, Beth and I and the others anticipating, you know, what their, you know, what John Rogers and Dean Devlin are kind of cooking up in their laboratory, you know?

Beth Riesgraf: Yes.

Kristi Turnquist: So obviously the, you know, this season has been leading up to the encounter with your big bad Damian Moreau...

Timothy Hutton: Yeah.

Kristi Turnquist: ...what else can you tell us about the season finale? What are we going to be - what are some of the things we might be learning about the characters and about their relationships to ((inaudible))?

Timothy Hutton: What are you suggesting? Well, you know, I would love to answer that in a very direct way, but weíve been asked not to speak about what happens in the final kind of moment there of the season finale. But, you know, thereís something that happens. Itís more of a visual than anything else that is going to be, you know, thereís going to be a need for follow-up, letís just say, in season 4, so thatís going to be something.

Thereís - one of the characters of the five of us, it is revealed has a few secrets and a few things that - a few associations, we might say, that are rather disturbing.

Kristi Turnquist: I think I know who that might be.

Timothy Hutton: Yeah. And, you know, the adult Parker who sometimes becomes, you know, four years old in just a split second, wonderfully makes an appearance in the holiday episode, and - yeah, so those are just a few things.

But, I, you know, season 4 is really, I think itís safe and same - to say that season 4 is really when we begin that thereís going to be a lot of - a lot more understanding of, you know, how the show kind of sometimes goes into flashback mode and we learn in a little snippet like what Hardison was like, what Sophie was like, Eliot, Parker, Nathan. And I think thereís going to be, you know, more of that and weíre going to kind of learn about these peoplesí back story and in a fun way while theyíre on a con.

Kristi Turnquist: Okay. And also, Tim, you directed the music video for Christian Kaneís first single off his album here in Portland, didnít you?

Timothy Hutton: Yeah. Yes, we did. We directed it and we did it in Portland at...

Kristi Turnquist: At Danteís?

Timothy Hutton: Danteís, yes. Yeah.

Kristi Turnquist: And the video, were you inspired by Goodfellas, because itís got that long sort of continuous take at the beginning.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, thatís really nice that you noticed, yeah. That - well, I mean, you know, I - itís really fun to kind of, in a music video especially, come up with, you know, an interesting first shot. And when I did a video for The Cars, the first shot was this kind of long, starts on the - a close up of a pool table pocket with a ball falling in, and then kind of goes up and moves across the pool table and goes in a does a 360 around the person singing.

And then a Don Henley video, the opening shot was one long shot that started in a balcony and then all the way down - you know? Anyway, but going on and on about videos, but itís just been something that I like - Iíve liked to do in the beginning of a video. And Christian and I talked about it and, you know, the idea of one shot really carrying the video until he joins the music on stage, and it just seemed like kind of neat idea.

And, you know, I think we pulled it off pretty well given, you know, we just had six hours to film the whole thing...

Kristi Turnquist: Oh, my.

Timothy Hutton: ...the whole video.

Kristi Turnquist: Really?

Timothy Hutton: Yeah.

Kristi Turnquist: Wow. Yeah, and did...

Beth Riesgraf: You did a fantastic job.

Kristi Turnquist: Yeah. Yeah, it looked terrific. Yeah.

Timothy Hutton: Thanks.

Kristi Turnquist: Yeah.

Beth Riesgraf: ((Inaudible)).

Kristi Turnquist: And so I know that you canít give too much away, but, Beth, are there just anymore hints about some more secrets that we may learn about Parker, because she keeps sort of unfolding like an onion?

Beth Riesgraf: Yeah, thatís one of my favorite parts about playing Parker. Yeah, I suppose I, you know, each season she sort of grows a bit and lets her walls down just another inch or two. And I think that, you know, in the Christmas episode you will, like Tim said, see some - a few sweet moments with her and her sort of child-like enthusiasm and the way - what that does with the team.

And, you know, I canít really say too much more, but - than that, but you know, thereís some pretty great twists and turns in the finale with everything, so I think people will be excited by it.

Kristi Turnquist: Yeah. All right. Well, thanks you guys. We look forward to seeing you back in Portland.

Beth Riesgraf: Thanks.

Timothy Hutton: Well, we look forward. Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from Troy with

Beth Riesgraf: Hey.

Timothy Hutton: Beth, are you on your cell phone?

Beth Riesgraf: No, that - I think that - Iím on my landline. I think it might be the connection.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, no, no, it sounds great. You should just - you should check your cell phone when you get a chance.

Beth Riesgraf: Oh.

Troy Rogers: Hello? So hey. Hi.

Beth Riesgraf: Hi.

Troy Rogers: Hi, Beth. Hi, Timmy - Timothy.

Timothy Hutton: Hey.

Beth Riesgraf: Howís it going? Hey, Timmy.

Troy Rogers: Beth, I wanted to know since Parkerís socially awkward, how does she handle the holidays?

Beth Riesgraf: She loves the holidays. I think, you know, depending on which holiday it is ((inaudible)). But, no I think, yeah, she - thatís one of the great things, I think, about Parker is that at any moment she kind of kicks into sort of little girl, like she gets really excited about things, and in holiday episode you get to see that side of her.

And, you know, just like when she zones in a heist or on a plan to break into a safe or whatever, her mind is like very one-track, like thatís all she focuses on. And so, I think that with Christmas and her enthusiasm about Santa Clause and all that stuff thereís some pretty great stuff in that episode.

Troy Rogers: Nice. And same for you, Timothy, how does Nate handle the holidays after everythingís heís been through, especially the death of his son?

Timothy Hutton: Oh, heís, you know, I think heís miserable when it comes to the, you know, the Christmas season and everything. I mean, you know, for that reason, of course because of the loss of his son and, you know, the break of his marriage with Maggie. And just in general the whole idea of, you know, people celebrating and, you know, joy and all this sort of stuff just makes him absolutely miserable, and he wants to just be alone.

And I think that the episode starts in kind of a nice one of my favorite ways. I always love it when Beth and I have scenes together. Thereís just - it just becomes kind of fun and itís so easy to make her laugh in the middle of a scene, and you know...

Beth Riesgraf: What are you talking about?

Timothy Hutton: And so, we all - whenever weíre with Beth in a scene and stuff, you know, and the camera is on her, one, you know, it can be any little thing and - can get her going.

Anyway, the episode starts off with this really nice moment with Parker and Nate where, you know, Parker is just so into it being Christmas and the holidays and everything, and Nate is just not. He wants to be left alone and Parker is just bugging him, you know, with the Christmas spirit and everything. It was one of my favorite things that I read, this little scene that we get to do in the beginning of it.

But yeah, I think, you know, in those situations Nate would rather just, you know, be somewhere and - somewhere else but around a lot of people.

Troy Rogers: Excellent. I enjoyed the title of episode 2 by the way.

Timothy Hutton: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Troy Rogers: Thanks you guys.

Timothy Hutton: Thanks.

Beth Riesgraf: Okay, thanks.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude our question-and-answer session. Ms. Naman, I would like to turn the conference back over to you for any additional or closing remarks.

Erin Naman: Thanks for joining everyone. Just a reminder that Leverage returns to TNT with our Christmas-themed episode on Sunday, December 12 at 9:00 pm Eastern and Pacific, and our two-part season finale on Sunday, December 19 at 9:00 and 10:00 pm Eastern and Pacific.

Thanks. Have a great day.

Operator: This does conclude...

Timothy Hutton: Thanks, Erin.

Operator: ...todayís conference. Thank you for your participation.

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