The actor talks about playing Captain Lee B. Crane, working with Irwin Allen and his newest film The Reality Trap

David Hedison is ubiquitous. Think of a popular TV show and chances are he has been on it. With a resume that includes The A-Team, Perry Mason, Simon & Simon and Fantasy Island just to name a few, David Hedison is also the only man to have played 007’s friend Felix Leiter twice. In 1973’s Live and Let Die with Roger Moore as the famous agent, and again in 1989 in Licence to Kill with Timothy Dalton playing 007.

MovieWeb sat down to talk with Hedison about the upcoming release of the Irwin Allen created, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Vol. 1. This show follows the adventures of the Seaview, one of the most amazing submarines the world has ever seen. It is the mightiest weapon the U.S. has to fight the Cold War. Led by Admiral Harriman Nelson (Richard Basehart) and Captain Lee B. Crane (David Hedison), we are taken to the furthest depths of the deep sea world. Hedison discussed his role on the show, working with the legendary Irwin Allen and the biggest changes he’s seen over the years in how TV shows are made.

Could you please tell the readers about Captain Lee Crane in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?

David Hedison: Well, there’s not much to say except he was the Commander of the ship and that’s about it. I can’t say much. He’s a very strong, heroic type and Richard Basehart designed the ship, the Seaview, and he and the Admiral worked very well together. There wasn’t much of a character to the guy he’s just your everyday hero.

Someone that just got the job done.

David Hedison: He got the job done. Got the lines, didn’t make too much of a fuss. He made a fuss but then finally learned to quiet down a bit, because nobody would listen to him. I always wanted to put more humor into the show, and make it a little lighter in places. Have much more of a character, little incidences and funny things happening, but Irwin didn’t want that kind of a show. He wanted it grim. Very grim.

I remember playing a scene with Richard once and we played it a bit lightly. It had a little comic touch to it. It was very well done and the director liked it, the crew loved it and that was the end of it. The next day in the commissary Irwin came in and he was giving me hell for playing the scene that way. I said, “Well, it wasn’t just me it was Richard as well.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs