Good News:: After the unceremonious cancelation of the critically acclaimed gem that was LIFE UNEXPECTED, Kristoffer Polaha will be back in your living rooms starting tomorrow night at 9PM on the CW’s RINGER (Fridays at 10PM on GlobalTV in Canada). Bad News: Polaha’s latest character of Henry, one that the actor himself characterizes as a “cheating louse” couldn’t be more of a polar opposite from the loveable Nate “Baze” Bazile fans fell in love with on LUX. But hey, don’t take our word for it, see for yourself what Polaha had to say about his exciting new role on RINGER after the jump.
Being an enormous fan of LIFE UNEXPECTED we first have to ask you about the show’s untimely demise.
Kristoffer Polaha: You know what, it was disappointing to let go of that. That world that we lived in and what happened to those characters and as actors, the family we created was intense and it all started from Liz [Creator and executive producer Liz Tigelaar]. She’s such an amazing showrunner and sort of the fountain head of all that love that came out. Yes, it’s a job and everyone is going to have those moment where you’re like what’s going on. But how she handled it and how she kept making the show a community and so collaborative, I think it emboldened all of us to do the best work that we could. I know for Shiri [Appleby] she was doing some dynamic stuff, I know it gave Kerr [Smith] a chance to develop another strong character different from Jack on DAWSON’S CREEK and for me to play Baze was just like a dream. Honestly, if I could have done that for 5 years I would have. Unfortunately, we were a 10th of a [ratings] share shy of a good time.
That said, you seemed to have landed on your feet with RINGER, the centerpiece of the CW’s Fall schedule.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is a huge TV star and I didn’t know how huge until I signed up to do RINGER and saw the intense amount of worldwide attention. It was completely overwhelming. There was never a question of whether the show was going to get picked up or not. Immediately it was like, Sarah’s doing a show, it’s going to go, just because people are curious.
Does airing on the CW versus where the show was originally developed [CBS] change anything?
I consider RINGER a grown up show on a network that’s growing up. Not that the CW was immature at all because it services a very particular type of entertainment and viewer, but I think it’s turning up all that stuff. Taking all the grown up elements of GOSSIP GIRL, taking all the suspenseful and thrilling elements from SUPERNATURAL and amping them up into a very grown up situation. Plus, unlike what may have happened on CBS, being on the CW we’re going to have a lot better chance to keep an audience coming and sustain their interest because they’ve basically rolled out the red carpet for the show in terms of how much they’re spending on promotion, how much they’re spending on the episodes.
What can you tell us about your character, who, having seen the pilot, is pretty much the polar opposite of LIFE UNEXPECTED’s Baze.
Here’s the thing. When I read first read the script I made a decision. I played Baze, that’s done, I can’t keep playing Baze because I’ll be in the bathroom in front of the mirror rewriting episodes myself! So as an actor, I want to stretch my wings and play this guy. The thing with Henry though is that he’s kind of a dirty sh*t! He’s married to this girl named Gemma and honestly there are going to be a lot of people who love Baze — have no idea who Kristoffer Polaha is and don’t really care — but they love Baze and to see the guy that plays Baze be Henry is going to be unsettling. Henry is a cheater and a louse but he really is in love with Siobhan [Sarah Michelle Gellar] so there is going to be an avenue where you see that he’s not a total d*ck. He’s just a dick to his wife which is kind of the worst thing. To me, cheating is so cowardly. If you’re going to get married and you’re not happy anymore, get out of it, don’t cheat and break your family up. Henry has two twin girls, he’s doing a really crappy thing and the only justifiable thing in my mind is that he married the wrong girl and he found the right girl but he’s handling it all wrong.
Will subsequent episodes of RINGER be more procedural in nature, or is this one of those shows that audiences are really going to have to pay attention to?
No you’re going to have to watch! It’s serialized and I think it really gives the viewers credit. There are elements TWIN PEAKS which is a show I was a total geek for growing up and if RINGER is done well and continues to be done well, we will hopefully have a cool run on our hands.
RINGER airs Tuesdays at 9PM on the CW (Fridays at 10PM on Global TV) and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristoffer Polaha, Ioan Gruffudd, and Nestor Carbonell