PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
June 11, 2010.
It’s a huge honor
but also a big responsibility when in your first film role you end up
winning an Oscar.
knows this all too well. He had grown up around show business, his
father Jim Hutton was a well-known character actor in the 60s and 70s,
probably best known for playing famous detective Ellery Queen in a 70s
TV series of the same name.
Tim Hutton been
acting for a few years, particularly in the critically acclaimed TV
movie Friendly Fire, when actor Robert Redford hired him to play
the lead character in his first directing project, Ordinary People.
Hutton won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the film.
That role was so
special that it was hard to repeat, however Hutton has worked
consistently for thirty years since that breakthrough role, starring in
films such as Taps, Daniel, Turk 182, The Dark Half, Everybody’s
All-American, Secret Window and The Ghost Writer.
Hutton also has worked on a few short-lived TV series, including Nero
Wolfe and Kidnapped.
current series is finally the one which has taken off for him. The
cable drama Leverage, which is just starting its third season,
stars Hutton as the ring leader of a series of high-tech thieves who use
their crimes against corrupt corporations as modern-day Robin Hoods to
help the less fortunate.
A few weeks before
the third season premiere, Hutton was kind enough to do a conference
call with us and several other websites to discuss his show and his
I was wondering
this season who are some of the guest stars we get to see you play
Well this year
we've got some, just like last year, we have some really great guest
stars. We've got Michael O'Keefe, Giancarlo Esposito, John Schneider,
Arye Gross, Richard Chamberlain, Clancy Brown. Yes got some great people
that have joined us this year.
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
Well one of the
things that the show has evolved into, it's not just strictly you know
this heavy drama or a caper show pulling off these cons and heists. It
started with the chemistry and the rapport that the cast had with each
[other] when we were shooting the pilot in Chicago. We used to just
crack each other up and pull pranks on one another. We just had a very
easy fun way with one another. It spilled onto the set a little bit and
we used in the pilot. In season one used to improv and some nice banter
started to develop and so that's how it happened. The writers picked up
on it and thought, “Oh okay well we can have some fun with this.” It's
been great because the show has, for me, has a nice balance between
learning a lot about Nate's back story and there have certainly been
some big moments of 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
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?
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.
Sophie wants to talk about the kiss and Nate wants to talk about the
slap. That’s the nature of their relationship right there – a kiss
followed by a slap. Both gestures have 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 dance around the issue a little bit.
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.
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?
I think with
season three you’re going to see very determined Nate Ford you know a
man on a mission. 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, to get the team
reunited and kick off season three as 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 come out of the woodwork. There’s
sort of a haunting figure that we 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. That’s going to
perhaps put him into a state again that we’ve seen before.
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?
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. This one wing was and now
it’s used for office space, which is unusual but this one wing we took
over and there weren’t any real inmates. We had many extras for those
scenes and we filmed those scenes here in Portland. Each show is a
seven day shoot and I think we were in the prison five of those seven
days. It was a great. For me it was a great way to start the season 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.
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, 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 – a
video rerelease or a special addition or anything?
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 the 20th
anniversary. But yes, I can’t believe it’s been 30 years. Did I expect
that I’d still be at [it]? Well, I don’t know, around the time I was
doing Ordinary People 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.
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.
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 – to take down the worst most horrible people that are
ripping people off, taking advantage of people. 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. They’re just fearless. The
means by which they do it are very clever and very dangerous. Nate Ford
now that he’s declared that – now that he kind of accepts who he is – he
is absolutely a man on a mission. He will you know stop at no end.
He’ll just keep at it until he can square things off with people who
have been ripped off in some way.
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.
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 Nate and Maggie and the way he brought Nate
into Maggie getting set up for being held hostage last year. The
writers love it when Sterling shows up and Nate has a good counter. So
I'm sure we'll see Sterling again. It's been a real pleasure working
with Mark and he brings a lot to the show.
Are there any
upcoming back story ops for other members of the team since we've
already had several for Nate? Where we learn more about before they got
on the team?
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. What the writers have done is they've really set season
three up and 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.
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?
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. 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 become this kind of dysfunctional
family… 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.
Since we started doing Leverage I've done four or five movies
when we were on breaks. 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. It's six months out of the year and it's a wonderful six months.
I really enjoy working on Leverage.
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?
Well yes. I mean
working with Elisabetta was great. 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. 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. Nate
makes a deal, it's kind of blackmailed in a way in to accepting the deal
to go after someone. She's the one who presents the plan. They have
these 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. One of the great things is her accent. 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.
She really adds this amazing kind of dangerous spy in from the cold
element to the show.
The show has a lot
of followers on line, how does that make you guys feel?
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. I've never experienced
anything like that. It's quite amazing. Christian Kane said that there
was a lot of that on Angel that he did. We all occasionally
check in on that and share some of the things that we've read. It's
great. Some of us are on Twitter. Well actually all except Gina
Bellman. We're trying to convince her too. But we make videos from the
set and an interesting time where you know you're able to put out there
directly. 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 @TimHutton. I
post things quite often from the set.
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?
I think that Nate
is absolutely obsessed with finding out her real name. Not just her
real name, but who she is in general. 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. 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. 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
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
come out a few months ago,
The Ghost Writer – which is a terrific film by the way. What was
that like to work on?
Writer was amazing to work on. We filmed it in Berlin in the
Northern part of Germany, the Baltic Sea. It was a great script and
working with [Roman] Polanski was incredible. 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. It
was just a really interesting experience working on that movie.
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.
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.
You talked earlier
about Nate and Sophie. I'm wondering how the rest of the team handles
Sophie being back?
Oh the rest of the
team is thrilled to have Sophie back. 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. 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.
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?
Well yes. In
season three we're going to deal a little bit with the Maggie
character. I don’t know how or when just yet as Kari Matchett – who
played Maggie – is on another show right and 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. That's a relationship that to me is as interesting and
has just as many possibilities as the Nate/Sophie relationship. I'm
hoping that Kari becomes available to do the show and that the writers
are inspired to deal with the Maggie/Nate relationship.
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT
TIMOTHY HUTTON HAD TO SAY TO US IN 2012!
Features Return to the features page