FOREVER: Billy Baldwin Teases His Guest Spot, and Praises the ABC Drama for Its ‘Creative Opportunities’ | Give Me My Remote

FOREVER: Billy Baldwin Teases His Guest Spot, and Praises the ABC Drama for Its ‘Creative Opportunities’

January 6, 2015 by  

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FOREVER returns with new episodes tonight, and the show has a very special guest star: Billy Baldwin!

The episode — which focuses on the the death of a financial investor (who also was the son of one of Abe’s buddies) — introduced Baldwin to the new ABC drama…and allowed him to tap into a world he was already familiar.

“It was really the part [that drew me in],” Baldwin explained. “Because it’s newly on the air, only the first couple of episodes had aired when I got the offer [to guest star]. I watched a couple of episodes of the show, [and] I didn’t know any of the actors on the show [personally], I hadn’t worked with any of them at all, and it was a real pleasure to work with Ioan [Gruffudd (Henry)] and the whole crowd there. And Alana [De La Garza (Jo)], of course, she was just a real doll to be working with on the set. But it was really the part. I have a lot of friends that I grew up with in New York who work on Wall Street…I know a lot of guys who are similar in behavior to Oliver. And it was [all there] on the page! You could see on the page there were a couple of scenes where I got to tear up the scenery a little bit.”

And while Baldwin acknowledged he didn’t get the chance to do a lot of prep — “the turn-around was really quick,” he pointed out, noting he booked the show on a Monday, and had his first wardrobe fitting two days later, and started filming the day after that — the complexity of the relationship Oliver shared with the victim was instantly appealing.

“It’s a very fatherly, loving, adoring, Svengali-type of relationship by nature,” Baldwin explained. “Oliver is the kind of guy who saw something special in this kid, loves where he came from, probably saw a bit of himself in this kid, because this kid didn’t have everything handed to him, and he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He liked the kid’s moxy, and his directness, so he wanted to create an opportunity for this kid. He had access to a door the kid might not have ever had the opportunity to walk through. And then you get into the reality of working at these firms, and the competition, and how profitable it could be — with egos and politics and corruption, and they’re at odds with one another.”

Baldwin also had a lot of praise for the ABC freshman drama, praising its unique format as an essential risk networks need to embrace.

“I enjoyed the writing of the episode, and I enjoyed the writing of Oliver quite a bit,” he said. “I like the concept of the show. For a set designer and a costumer and a director and the actors and the writers, I think having a show where one episode you’re contemporary, and you’re cutting to Victorian England, and then the next episode, you’re contemporary, and then you’re cutting to the Vietnam-era of America, I just think that opens the door to a whole Pandora’s box of incredibly wonderful, creative opportunities. And if everyone does their jobs right, it’s going to translate to the audience…from the audience’s perspective, it’s hard to come up with something on television now that’s fresh, and unique, and different. That part of the concept, in and of itself, sets it apart from anything else that is on television.”

“I imagine when [FOREVER creator Matt Miller] came up with this, they probably had to talk the executives down from the ledge a little, because that’s kind of brilliant and this is something we should be in the business of doing, and now you have to help me come up with the courage to squeeze the trigger on this, because this is unconventional enough to make me uncomfortable,” he continued. “I love that they’re thinking outside the box and are being daring. That’s what you need to do. If you’re competing with cable and you’re a network, these are the choices you have to make if you want to compete with HBO and DirecTV and Netflix and Amazon, and the real cutting stuff.”

FOREVER airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on ABC.

Related:

FOREVER Midseason Finale Post-Mortem: Matt Miller on the Anonymous Caller Reveal and What’s to Come in 2015
FOREVER: Matt Miller Teases Henry Meeting ‘Adam’
Blair Brown Books PERSON OF INTEREST and FOREVER Guest Spots

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