Timothy Hutton plays Nate Ford on TNT’s hit show “Leverage”. The new season returns Sunday, July 15th, at 8 PM, Eastern Time on TNT. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Timothy about the new season and what we can expect.
Mike Smith: What to expect this season? What’s different?
Timothy Hutton: Well, first of all, what we can expect from this new season is one of the biggest things is that the Leverage team has officially moved to Portland where we film the show. So they’ve left Boston, and what it’s allowed the writers to do is use all these amazing locations around Portland and just outside the city for storylines. There are some amazing vineyards. And we’re doing a show right now having to do with a winery and some bad things that are going on there, and the Leverage team infiltrating kind of the local wine industry and trying to correct that. So that’s one big thing about season five. And another thing is I think that the team have really come a lot closer together. And for Nate, with the way that his father died in the finale last year, I think it’s kind of made him someone who isn’t connected to his past and, instead, more interested in his future and his present way of going about life. And it’s changed him I think quite a bit.
MS: What you love about playing Nate?
TH: That’s something. I think that he is a guy with a lot of burden by events that happened in his past which anyone would be burned by and troubled by. But the way the writers have gone about the character, the fact that he spent almost all his time helping other people I think, and trying to correct situations that people have been ripped off or wronged in some way, I think that he’s a pretty good person. And then now going into this fifth year, you’ll see a lot more of Nate figuring out what can happen to him in the future versus what has happened to him in the past.
MS: Are you surprised by the success of this show now going five seasons strong?
TH: Well, I have to say, once I started seeing the shows put together and reading the scripts and everything and then we did the first year and saw that the ratings were strong and all that, that people were watching it, it just started to feel good and started to kind of make sense because we all were, we were having a great time making the shows and having the people who are having – you know, that translated to people having a great time watching them. The writers kept coming up with and still do these really intricate plots and cons and character storylines. So as time has gone on, on the one hand, I think, wow, it’s been five years, and when we’re done with this season, it will have been 77 1-hour episodes – 77 different 1-hour episodes of Leverage. It’s pretty hard to believe, but here we are and we’re still having a great time making them and I hope to do many more seasons.
MS: Can you talk at all about any of the great guest stars you’re going to have this season?
TH: Yes. This season, we have some really terrific guest stars. In the premier, we have Cary Elwes and then, right after that, in the next show, we have Treat Williams. We’ve got Neil Hopkins, Steve Valentine, Marshall Teague, Danielle Turchini. We’ve got Ronny Cox and Fred Ward in one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done, which is called the “D.B. Cooper Job”. And that’s where the team goes back in time to try to solve the disappearance of the hijacker D.B. Cooper. And that one is a terrific show. We have Matthew Lillard. And we have Mark Sheppard coming back. And then we’ve got Adam Baldwin, Monty Markham and Willa Ford. So, yes, we’ve got some really good guest stars and some more surprises that I’m not allowed to mention.
MS: What do we expect to see from Nate and Sophie this season?
TH: Well, with Nate and Sophie, I think what you’ll see this season is, instead of there being as it was in the past, a conflict between the two of them whether or not they’re going to work it out as a couple, I think that what you’ll see from the beginning is that they really are, they really have come together as a couple, as working partners. And they’re comfortable with one another and their trust of one another, most importantly has come to a point where they’re able to have, finally, a much healthier relationship. Now, having said, it is Nate and Sophie, so I don’t know how. They’re both very dysfunctional kind of complicated people, so, we will see that things can’t ever get too comfortable with them because of the nature of who they re.
MS: You’ve directed television episodes in the past. Is there any desire or any plans for you to do – go behind the camera on Levarage this season?
TH: Well, I don’t think that’s something that I would do. First of all, we’ve got a group of really terrific directors, I mean, starting with Dean Devlin and then Jonathan Frakes and John Rogers and Marc Roskin and a group of others. It’s a very well-organized show. I enjoy working with all of the directors. We have some new ones this year. And playing the role of Nate can be pretty time consuming and a lot of dialogue and whatnot. And I think it really isn’t anything that I thought that I want to do. I mean, if they came to me and asked me to do one, if we ended up doing another season and there was a show where it made sense, I think it would be fun to direct one of the Leverage episodes. But, right now, it hasn’t been anything that I really wanted to do. I have quite a full plate to play Nate.