As readers of this website can attest to, I’m only slightly obsessed with EVERWOOD. So before we get into V, I first have to ask you about your experience on the show.
Scott Wolf: I consider myself really lucky to have been able to have been a part of some really great stories and some really great casts but that one was really special, some of my greatest memories are of being part of the cast of EVERWOOD. As you probably know I was not part of the original cast and in a way I was sort of joining their Christmas dinner. But they were just really incredibly welcoming and the writers gave me some really fun stuff to do. I don’t have a typical bad guy face so anytime I’m cast as a good guy who has some baggage and some issues to work out it was fun. Plus, it was so nice to be a part of telling really compelling stories that years later people still stop you and say how much they loved. It really means something to me and is one of my favorite aspects about what I get to do.
Had the show not been unceremoniously cancelled by the CW (yup, still bitter) would viewers have been treated to the return of Dr. Jake Hartman?
While there was nothing ever really definitive at the time, I felt ready to potentially move onto other opportunities. I had only actually signed on to do one season of the show but was having so much fun and saw so much potential for the character that I think everybody felt it would be good to extend my stay to two seasons. And at two seasons, while they weren’t killing Jake — and there was always potential he would show back up in town — it felt like the story had come to a place where it made sense for Jake to move on.
After a two year hiatus, what brought you back to regular series television?
Throughout the last ten years or so since I finished PARTY OF FIVE I feel like I’ve been trying to balance my work life and my personal life. I seem to be lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to kind of step back into things and find opportunities to be a part of telling stories that really excite me. And this year, where I was excited about the idea of getting back on a series, I was lucky. It was a good year, and I think most people that work in television will tell you there was a lot of great material around and a lot of good ideas but there was nothing that grabbed me until I couldn’t quite put it down like the script for V. After reading the pilot I put it down, called the folks I worked with and was like, ‘Please, please, please, get me in a room with these people.’
Were you a fan of the original series?
I had an awareness of the original, but I did not really come to this series knowing anything about it. Our V has everything I love in a script: Incredible characters and great drama, it’s a thrilled wrapped in science fiction clothing.
In the season premiere, the majority of your scenes are with the V’s leader Anna (Morena Baccarin). How long until your character Chad Decker finds himself interacting with the rest of the cast?
The long answer is that I think the temptation in a show like this especially, when you have a large ensemble cast is to sort of mash everybody up as quickly as you can. And while it’s intriguing — this idea of seeing all these characters that we’re getting to know cross paths — I think the writers are being really smart. Making sure the stories are organic to the larger story we’re telling and ensuring that it doesn’t ever feel contrived. I’ve worked on other things where writers fell into that temptation at the expense of the greater story. In this case, if an alien ship showed up tomorrow morning people would still be having to live their lives. You just don’t jump out of your life into somebody else’s, even if it’s the biggest thing to ever happen to the world. Chad is still a news anchor and still going to be doing his job. But as we move forward, the short answer is yes. My character, thus far in his own work is obviously in contact with Anna, the leader of the Visitors and will continue to get opportunities through her, advance his career and carry out their messages. But I’m excited about the opportunity for Chad Decker to interview Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell), Ryan (Morris Chestnut) and Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) and I know that there are plans to move the story into that direction.
V premieres on ABC Tuesday November 3 at 8PM (CTV in Canada)