UNFORGETTABLE: Dylan Walsh Talks About the Death of Al's Mentor, The Future of Al and Carrie and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

UNFORGETTABLE: Dylan Walsh Talks About the Death of Al’s Mentor, The Future of Al and Carrie and More

October 18, 2011 by  

While there is no doubt UNFORGETTABLE focuses on Carrie and her abilities, tonight’s hour is giving us something a little bit different — the show is shining a light on her partner/former lover Al, who is faced with losing someone who helped shape him into the man he is today.

I talked with UNFORGETTABLE star Dylan Walsh (Al) about his big episode, why he’s digging being on a procedural (with a twist), what drew him to the show and more.

Take a look…

Al has a very big episode this week. What can you tease about the hour?
Dylan Walsh: Well, we break a little bit from the usual procedural show in a big way. This one has something personal going on, which is that someone’s dead and it’s a friend of Al’s, sort of his mentor. The usual procedural runs its course, but it’s amped up because this is the guy who was Al’s mentor. So Al has a personal need to [solve it], obviously. And, by the way, that gets him into a little bit of trouble.

It has more energy to it, it has a lot more emotion to it and it was a lot of fun to shoot it. I think what I really like about this show and what the creators are doing is that they’re trying to find what you can do in a procedural. They’re not content to let it play out they way they have for years, because we think we have to enliven the genre a little bit. So this was probably the most fun episode I’ve had yet.

I know the executive producers were vocal about wanting to be able to reach beyond the procedural genre when they were at TCA this summer. If Al finds out his mentor was dirty, will that have a long-lasting impact on him?
DW: I think so. What’s fun is you imagine he had this disillusionment that hits him and then it ties in with something else from his past, which is his father wasn’t the greatest guy, either. He kind of plays out this unresolved thing where his dad threw this event that happens in the episode with Jim Kelly, his mentor. It takes some twists and some turns in the plot, so where you end up is a little bit of an important journey for Al. Being the boss, the guy who kind of gives the orders and runs the show there at the precinct, it was fun to have him be vulnerable and be wrong and kind of completely blind-sided by finding out that his mentor may have been dirty.

Are these the kind of episodes you hope the show gets to do more often? Obviously, the series is based around Carrie and her abilities, but at the same time, there is a great supporting cast that has yet to be really explored.
DW: We do have a great supporting cast! You know, the thing about getting a show going and getting some momentum with the ratings — which a show on any network has to do, but particularly on a network like CBS or NBC or ABC — the first 13 episodes, you really have to get people relying on what the show is. So oddly enough, those first 13 you can’t do so much with. You’ve got to be careful; you have to lay the groundwork. Then hopefully we can start to investigate more of…Kevin Rankin’s character [Saunders], I think we’re yet to even get a glimpse inside his world or Michael Gaston (Costello). I think all these characters will be explored better once we get further into the season. I think initially they had to really set up Poppy [Montgomery]’s character [Carrie] and I think we’ve done that well. So yeah, of course this was fun and I hope we do more of these. That’s what we thought we were going to do when we started, so it’s nice to fit some of that in.

Speaking of later this season, have you heard anything about the show officially being picked up for the full season?
DW: No, we haven’t. You know, it’s funny, because after all those years on FX — where, of course, they look at ratings as well, but I think cable networks rely less on them — so I’ve done this before, I’ve actually worked with CBS before, so it’s kind of woken me back up about what network television is like, you know? [Laughs] There are so many little humps you have to get over and they’re all ratings generated. We’re doing well and I think we’re going to do fine. I trust that CBS — CBS has marketed it very well and promoted it relentlessly. I think we’re good for this year, but no, I have not heard anything.

Okay, good to know. One of the things I was so pleasantly surprised about with the show was the Carrie and Al relationship. Unlike most shows which thrive on the will-they-won’t-they, there’s no mystery here — they have.
DW: And it’s fun because in a way, because the theme of the show has to do with memory, we’re allowed to go back and do more and more of these scenes from Syracuse from 8 or 10 years before so they can get that romance going on, but it doesn’t betray what is going on in the present. In fact, hopefully, it amps it up a little bit. And I don’t think you can do that on a normal procedural because a normal procedural doesn’t have memory as its hook. I think it’s fun. It’s fun to have both things going on and see how they inform each other. And it’s my favorite part of the show. You said you were drawn in, and I was drawn in while reading the script. What is going to happen with these two?

Well, given that he has another relationship he’s involved with and she does remember literally everything that went wrong, do you think there is any sort of hope for a relationship reigniting between them anytime soon?
DW: Well, yeah, I do. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do. They’re right there, working every day together and I think it’s right there. I love that a lot of it right now is unspoken. But as I said, you get these memories — there’s no denying, it was a big love back in the day. i don’t know because I don’t write it, but I think we’re heading towards something. We’ll see what it is.

Will we be diving more into other aspects of Al’s personal life in the meantime?
DW: Well, you know, for this one, because it tied in with what was going on, it was interesting. It’s easy to say you want to know more about the characters, but unless it’s tied to the themes that are going on in the show, it becomes kind of superficial to what’s going on. What’s clever is how they tie these things in with this particular episode with what was happening.

What I love is this early on, they’re going there. Like the pilot went right there and showed you Al and and Carrie together in the past. Instead of using six seasons to tease you with it, they went right there. We’re jumping in there. In some ways, we’re much faster paced than other procedurals in looking into these personal lives. I don’t know. It’s one of those things [where] you don’t know the shape of a season until you’re there.

Professionally, Carrie’s sister’s case has been haunting them both for a while. Will we be digging deeper into that in what you’ve filmed?
DW: Yeah, I think we’ve been revisiting that now more and more. It’s picking up momentum as we go. Again, I wish I knew where we were going with that, but I always thought that was the other aspect of the show that was interesting — that they do have a longer arc, not just the case by case and week in and week out; something that was going to tie the whole show together with this one case lingering over the years. Yeah, we’ve been dropping clues a little bit in each episode as we go. We’ll see where that takes us.

Is there anything else you hope to do this season that you haven’t had the chance to do yet?
DW: I like what we’re doing, I like the mix. We’ve hit on all these things in this conversation and it’s what I was hoping the show could be, which is more than just a procedural; that we’d have all these things going on: the personal lives and this romance from the past that may be coming back into the present, the longer arc of trying to solve this one murder. That’s what I’m proud of. We’re still trying to find out what we are, but I like that direction. I like that we’re able to do more than what you thought.

UNFORGETTABLE airs Tuesday nights at 10 PM on CBS. Will you be tuning in?

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