Comic-Con 2010 Leverage Press Room: Conning the Con
August 12, 2010 by Ayang
Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton (Nathan Ford, The Mastermind) and Beth Riesgraf (Parker, The Thief) agree that what keeps things fresh after several years of doing the show are the scripts and the characters they play. They especially enjoy portraying the characters within characters. Riesgraf says, “As an actor it’s so fun because it keeps your chops up. You don’t get used to the same thing each episode.” It is like doing a movie in every episode, Hutton adds, because of all the different characters they get to play.
The actors, however, disagree when it comes to their favorite episodes and heists. Hutton lists the pilot, “The Bank Shot Job,” as well as “The Snow Job,” as some of the ones he enjoyed the most. While he admits that certain episodes may have worked better in some ways than others, “all of them have just been so much fun to do, every scene.” Riesgraf likes when Parker is “pair[ed] up with people, when they go in as different characters and pull cons that way.” Her favorite is “ ‘The Inside Job’ where [Parker] got to hustle on her own though that building. When we get split up sometimes it’s interesting for the viewer to see everybody operating and you see why they need to be a team.”
Wil Wheaton (Colin “Chaos” Mason), the unofficial King of Comic-Con, returns later this season like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas in “The Ho Ho Ho Job.” He addresses his earlier career when he “always played sweet, vulnerable guys you were rooting for, but playing sweet and vulnerable is exhausting and it is without reward.” He is enthusiastic about his recent turns as bad guys in shows like Numb3rs, The Big Bang Theory, The Guild, and, of course, Leverage. “I kind of have a really great career right now where I get to play wonderfully crafted villains on a wide variety of shows. It’s almost like being employed full time without the grind that is typically associated with being employed full time. I still have time to write and I still have time for my family. And I have these wonderful extended families on the set I get to visit in Vancouver and Hollywood…I’m just incredibly grateful for what I have right now.” Actors want to be other people and “to exist in situations that you would not normally get to exist in,” he explains. “It’s never not fun to be That Guy. If that’s who I’m going to be, the guy you love to hate, bring that on.”
Chris Downey (executive producer/writer) maintains that they did not try to model Leverage after Oceans 11, but did note that it is tonally similar. Previous heist shows “were really dark and highly serialized and just pitch black in tone. When Oceans 11 came out, people realized heist movies could be fun. It should be like teenagers pulling pranks. Ultimately, the show is like an elaborate phony phone call.” They try to make the show fun by using things like flashbacks, but cannot always do them for financial reasons.
Christian Kane (Eliot Spencer, The Hitter) and Aldis Hodge (Alec Hardison, The Hacker) echo the words of their co-stars in praising the show’s movie every week format and the characters within characters. “We get to put on different hats and masks as an actor. In that role, we play other actors and that’s the funnest thing in the world,” Kane raves. Hodge says, “It’s like candy. You open up your imagination. You can explore as many roles as possible. You have more tricks in your arsenal to do whatever else comes at you, you know? It’s nothing but gaining knowledge. And I have a voracious appetite for knowledge, especially when it comes to my craft.”
Both Kane and Hodge are in favor of a romance between Hodge’s Hardison and Riesgraf’s Parker. Kane promises that good things are on the way and shoots down the idea of Eliot and Parker becoming involved. “That would never happen because Eliot’s kind of trashy and Parker’s a good girl. Parker and Hardison, they gotta be, that’s just the thing. Hardison’s got a big heart.” Hodge, who is quick to point out that Hardison is a bad boy who steals things for a living, is looking forward to seeing where Hardison and Parker’s relationship goes and promises that the audience will not be cheated out of it. “It’s just not gonna happen right now. ‘Cause then what’s left? Kids? No,” he scoffs.
The writers of Leverage are known to incorporate the actors’ real life skills and traits into the characters, which is appreciated by the people who portray them. For instance, both Kane’s and Hodge’s musical skills were featured in recent episodes, as well as Kane’s love of cooking. Hodge’s paintings can also be spotted in scenes this season. Their real life personalities are also on display, according to the actors. Like his character, Eliot, “I wasn’t a very nice guy. When it comes to arguing with people, I don’t really talk a lot. I hit people…” Kane joked. Like producer John Rogers, Hodge is an ex-stand-up comic. He began when he was 11 and continued performing for about 7 or 8 years. He believes that once Rogers became familiar with his “big mouth and sarcasm,” as well as his improv skills, he allowed him “to take [his] character where [he] felt he needed to go with adding the humor and that personality.” Kane says, “It’s just the greatest thing in the world that we’re doing right now. The writers no longer have to develop our characters. They can’t tell us sh*t about our characters. We know ‘em better than they do, so now they get to write. They get to write their story and trust us with it.”
If you could be a superheroe, who would you be?
Riesgraf would like to be Spider-Man with wings and favors heroes like Iron Man and Wonder Woman. Hutton on the other hand would like to be the Invisible Man, although he acknowledges that he is not really a superhero.
Favorite characters within characters?
Hodge’s favorites are Iceman and the vet with PTSD and an eye problem from “The Three Days of the Hunter Job.” Kane, who hates Iceman, likes playing the IT guy, who was his tribute to Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China, one of his favorite movies.
A man of many talents, Hodge is headed to Switzerland to work on his watch company. He is also writing an independent film. Kane will be going on radio tour for 3 months after the season wraps. The video for his band’s single, “The House Rules,” features Hodge and was directed by Hutton.
Leverage airs Sundays at 9/8c on TNT
Images courtesy of Ayang and Poptimal.com
Order now: “ConCon: An Official Leverage Event DVD”
Featuring the stars of TNT and Electric Entertainment’s hit one hour drama, LEVERAGE, this star studded DVD set compiles 2 discs of footage from panels, parties and more at the first ever LEVERAGE Convention, the CON-Con! In addition to the FIVE stars of the show, TIMOTHY HUTTON, GINA BELLMAN, CHRISTIAN KANE, BETH RIESGRAF and ALDIS HODGE, fans will also find panel coverage from some of the most exciting guest stars, MARK SHEPPARD, RICK OVERTON and GERALD DOWNEY, as well as series creators and Executive Producers JOHN ROGERS, CHRIS DOWNEY and DEAN DEVLIN. For those who experienced the CON-Con 2010, revisit all of the behind the scenes access into one of TV’s hottest shows. If you weren’t able to attend, see, for the first time ever on DVD, how to steal a convention with the cast, crew and most importantly, the fans of LEVERAGE!
Want to pre-order? (from LeverageFans.com) CLICK HERE!
Click below to go to the updated galleries
Leverage > Behind the Scenes Behind the scenes Pictures from the finale!
Here are the others:
Wil Wheaton and Chris Downey – http://www.movieweb.com/tv/TVuvxxxz7cncxA/VIiK74bnM09Ali
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Events: Comic Con 2010
Leverage: Behind the Scenes
Leverage: Behind the Scenes taken by Beth Riesgraf
Leverage: Gone Fishing Screen Caps
SPOTLIGHT ON … SUPERNATURAL CONVENTION
The “Salute to ‘Supernatural’ Convention” gives fans of the TV show a place to come together this weekend.
THE SHOW: “Supernatural” follows two demon-hunting brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), as they struggle with the paranormal. More than mystical activity, “Supernatural” focuses on connections between characters.
“It’s about the relationship of the characters and how they look out for each other,” says Gary Berman, co-founder of Creation Entertainment. “We’ve been running conventions for 40 years, and ‘Supernatural’ is one of those shows that really captured the passion of its audience.”
THE FANS: “Supernatural” attracts “a good core solid group of fans,” says Berman. “The audience is very loyal to the show.”
THE CONVENTION: Super-fans compete in costume contests, test their trivia knowledge and can bid in auctions for collectibles. There will also be some sneak peeks of new sci-fi television shows and motion pictures.
ON THE BILL: On Friday: Richard Speight Jr. (Trickster) and Alona Tal (Jo Harvelle). On Saturday: Misha Collins (Castiel), Travis Wester (Harry Spangler) and Aldis Hodge (Jake Talley). On Sunday: Collins, Rob Benedict (Chuck Shurley), Samantha Smith (Mary Winchester) and Katherine Boecher (Lillith).
ANYTHING SPOOKY PLANNED? “It gets pretty weird at the costume contest, that’s a little supernatural,” laughs Berman.
UNCONVENTIONAL WEEKEND: “It’s a break from the reality of your normal workweek,” says Berman, who began as a convention attendee and science fiction fan. “These memories don’t go away, and hopefully we’ve created a lot of nice memories for a lot of nice people.”
MUSICAL INTERLUDE: Steve Carlson performs 9 p.m. Saturday. Carlson, who has recorded in the past with Ackles, “has developed a nice following among the ‘Supernatural’ fans,” says Berman. Separate tickets required.
DETAILS: Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hilton Parsippany Hotel, 1 Hilton Court, Parsippany. Friday $20, Saturday and Sunday $30; Steve Carlson concert $20, children 12 and under $15. 818-409-0960 or creationent.com.
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And a special album for a very special guest: Edwin Hodge!
Leverage Season 3 Ep 1 The Jailhouse Job (Edwin Hodge)
From Asylum 5’s website:
Introducing our 5th Supernatural Convention
We are pleased to announce that we are holding our 5th Supernatural Convention under the name ASYLUM. It takes place on the weekend of 29th – 31st October 2010 and we are returning to the fantastic Hilton Metropole Hotel adjacent to the NEC Complex in Birmingham.
ALDIS HODGE CONFIRMS FOR A5
We are pleased to welcome our fifth guest for Asylum. Aldis Hodge played Jake Talley in the second season of the TV series. Jake is one of the ‘Special Children’ visited by the Yellow Eyed Demon when he was a child. He has super human strength and is telepathic. Aldis has also been appearing as a main cast member in the popular TV series Leverage as Alec Hardison since 2008. Aldis joins already announced guests Misha Collins, Julie McNiven, Richard Speight, Jr and Fredric Lehne for Asylum 5.