LEVERAGE's Dean Devlin: 'The Theme of This Season is Consequences' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LEVERAGE’s Dean Devlin: ‘The Theme of This Season is Consequences’

June 24, 2011 by  

LEVERAGE kicks off its fourth season Sunday on TNT and things are going to be a little bit different this year.

Give Me My Remote chatted with LEVERAGE executive producer Dean Devlin, who told us that “emotional level is really turned up this year.” The team will be facing consequences for their relationships, their cons and more.

What else can fans expect this season? Read on…

I have to say, I just watched the season premiere and it’s fantastic.
Dean Devlin:
Aw, thank you so much.  We’re really proud of it.

Obviously you’ve done three seasons of the show, but the premiere feels grand on a scale that we haven’t really seen before.  Did it feel any different while you were shooting it?
It was crazy.  You know, we were up on the top of Mount Hood in the middle of one of the worst blizzards they’ve had in years, and we were all staying in the hotel that was used in the movie THE SHINING –

Oh, God!
[Laughs] And the power kept going out in the middle of the night because of the blizzard, the storm, and then of course on top of everything else, there were avalanche warnings.  [Laughs] It’s not often that you get a call sheet that on the call sheet it says “avalanche warning.” So it was pretty hairy up there in the mountains, but it was a lot of fun.

Given that nature was definitely playing a role in everything, how much did you actually have to make up the sets to create that snowy environment? Or did you guys just point and shoot and the weather did the rest?
[The episode] wasn’t actually supposed to be taking place in a blizzard. It was just supposed to be on a snowy mountain, and when we got up there and it was in blizzard conditions, we said, “Um, OK, let’s rewrite the script!” [Laughs]

Nature has a mind of its own.  What can you tease about the premiere?
Well, you know last season ended with them taking down an entire country. And, as they do, they split up at the end of big jobs like that and this is the first time they’re seeing each other in six months. At the end of the previous season, Nate and Sophie ended up in bed together and they have not yet had the chance to talk about it or deal with that. So that is kind of hanging over the season opener.

Very interesting. Those crazy kids.  Are Nate and Sophie going to be struggling with the fallout from that for the entire season?
Well, this whole season, the theme of this season is consequences.  You know, they’ve been playing for fire now for three seasons going into this year, and you can’t keep playing with fire without getting burnt occasionally.  So whether it’s the people that they’ve conned, whether it’s their interrelationships, there is consequences to what they’ve been doing and so in every aspect of the show, that’s what we’re dealing with this year.

Will the rest of the team be finding out about what went down between them?
Well, let’s just put it this way, over the course of the season, all of their relationships will start to rise to a much higher level.  And everybody’s going to have to deal with the consequences of that.

Hmm. The team has been pushing these two together in a way. The same could be said about Parker and Hardison. But I’d imagine if I was on that team, I’d be looking at these couples (or potential couples) and saying, “OK, if we go down, are they going to pick their romantic partner over the rest of us?  Is this going to jeopardize our well-being?”
Well, this is still at its core, a group of thieves who inherently don’t trust each other. Now they’ve built that trust and that sense of family over the years. But it’s always a tentative thing so this year, everything will get tested.

It seems like when shows get into their third, fourth, fifth year, many shows try to mess around with the formula to keep things fresh. Do you feel any pressure from TNT or anyone else to try to change things up?
DD: Well, not from TNT, but we feel it internally. You know, the one thing we don’t want to do is have a show where it becomes too predicable, where you’re like, “Aw, I know how this is going to go.” So this year, we really go off-book a couple of times. There’s a few episodes that are very, very unusual and we definitely do things that we’ve never done before this year. But aside from those kind of plot devices — which I’m very happy about — I think the thing that’s going to surprise people this year is the level of emotion.  You know, we’ve always been a fun show that had occasional episodes that were emotional and the emotion level is really turned up this season. I think you saw that in the season opener, but it continues all the way through the season.  It’s really quite remarkable. We’ve turned up the heat this year.

I know you guys also get amazing, amazing guest stars on the show. Is there anyone coming up that you can talk about?
Yeah, we have some remarkable ones, that’s right. Other than the ones that have already been kind of been made public, I don’t want to reveal anyone too early, but some of our favorites from previous seasons come back. We’ve had some spectacular people show up this year at the beginning. Danny Glover — word has already gotten out about that. Danny Glover just did a guest spot for this year and knocked it out of the park. And there’s some remarkable people that showed up this year to help out the show.

Are you finding it easier as the show goes on to get people to guest star?
We are. The thing about our show is we may not be the highest rated show on cable, but we have such an intense following.  The people who like our show, love our show.  They don’t tend to kind of watch it casually, they tend to watch it intensely and as we go around asking these people if they’d be willing to guest star, we’re always surprised to hear who our fans are. It turns out often to be people within the industry.

Yeah, your fans are incredibly passionate.
Yeah, it’s really unusual. You don’t really see this kind of intensity among a fanbase outside of, like, genre shows. Like science fiction shows or fantasy shows. So it’s been very surprising to see the relationship the fans have with these characters.

I don’t know how many shows have hosted their own independent convention the way you guys did. You guys held a Con-Con!
When we set it up, we thought if we could get maybe 250-300 people to show up, it would be a big success and we had more than twice that number. So it was really kind of a surprise. We weren’t prepared really for the intensity the fans had towards the show.  It’s great!

Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview with Dean Devlin next week!

LEVERAGE season four debuts Sunday at 9 PM on TNT.

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