The FX Network is set to premiere its latest series Terriers on Wednesday, September 8 at 10 PM ET and the cable network held yet another Hollywood event to celebrate this new addition to their lineup. The cast and producers of the show held a special screening of the pilot episode at Arclight Hollywood and they hit the red carpet beforehand to discuss the show.
Since you might not know much about the series, due to its bizarre (yet effective) marketing campaign, the show stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James as ex-cop Hank Dolworth and ex-criminal Britt Pollack, two longtime friends who decide to become unlicensed private detectives and, in doing so, become embroiled in an intriguing conspiracy. The cast is rounded out by Kimberly Quinn, who plays Gretchen Dolworth, Hank's ex-wife, Laura Allen as Katie Nichols, Britt's girlfriend, Rockmond Dunbar playing Detective Mark Gustafson, an ex-colleague of Hank's, and Jamie Denbo portraying Maggie Lefferts, Hank's lawyer. The kicker, though (for me, at least) is that the series was created by Ocean's Eleven screenwriter Ted Griffin and also has The Shield creator Shawn Ryan on board as an executive producer and writer, with Craig Brewer directing the pilot. That's one hell of a TV trifecta, folks.
Jamie Denbo said that her character Maggie Lefferts seems to be essentially in charge of keeping Hank and Britt out of trouble, which seems to be steady work:
"My character on Terriers is a no-nonsense lawyer, who deals with a lot of nonsense. She's sort of the one who's in charge of playing it straight, so to say, and juggling the ins and outs of Britt and Hank."
Denbo also said that, while we won't see Maggie's husband this season, her baby will be visible, and had a part in one of her favorite moments this season:
"I'm just going to say two words: breast pump. Yeah, you're welcome America."
She also offered some hilarious suggestions of what she would like to see happen with Maggie Lefferts, if FX were to pick up Terriers for a second season:
"Oh, a gun. Me holding a gun. My baby holding guns. My baby learning some sort of martial arts, I imagine. Me having some sort of martial arts fight with my baby. Definitely Hank and Britt doing martial arts with my baby. Who wouldn't want to see that? I hope FX is listening."
We also spoke with Zack Silva, who plays Gavin on the show, and comes in a few episodes after the pilot. He told us a bit about how we're introduced to the character:
"I'm a vet student with Laura Allen, who plays Michael Raymond-James' lady. I basically come in and I'm interested in her, and that creates a conflict that gets involved in the plotline as the series progresses."
I also asked him what his thoughts were on the unique TV spots for Terriers that have been airing on FX lately:
"They were different, they were, but I liked them though. There was something about them I liked. It's edgy and different and mysterious."
"I was really drawn to the relationship between Hank and Gretchen. They definitely have a strong history that is very hard to deal with. They're complicated, trying to let go but they still have this connection that they can't deny."
Quinn also talked about the abundance of manliness in the show:
"It's a lot of man-love (Laughs). With me and Laura coming in and breaking it up every once in awhile, sometimes I don't think they know what to do with that. It's like a dude show. Everybody loves each other."
"I think it was sometimes kind of hard for some people, coming on for two or three weeks, as opposed to being there every day. It was like me and Michael were the counselors at the summer camp with the crew, but they were fantastic. We have these great directors and the writers. Shawn Ryan has come in here with a big group and this writers room is just so full of talent."
Donal Logue also said that his character Hank wasn't too far off from himself:
"He is very close to me. Mid-40s, a loser some days and a winner other days. He's kind of an existentially free kind of character. He's at a place in his life where he doesn't care anymore and he goes for it. It was a fantastic part and kind of a complicated part."
"It was unbelievable. The thing about television is the question about who's doing it and when it's Shawn Ryan and Craig Brewer, you know you're in good hands. I saw Hustle & Flow, I know what he does. I saw Black Snake Moan and, luckily, Michael is probably in the mix because of Craig, because he kind of discovered Michael for Black Snake Moan. I love Craig. We missed him after that, because he was busy on Footloose and his other film projects but he's awesome. We also had Clark Johnson, we had Adam Arkin and Ted Griffin directed two of the episodes."
"You may. I think there is an attempt to describe it at one point in the second episode, but we don't want to beat anyone over the head with what it is."
"There wasn't a lot of time for that, actually, but, at it's core, it's a show about relationships. Donal and I have had one for awhile and we were able to draw upon that."
Finally, I was able to speak to Shawn Ryan, the man behind the series which restored my faith in television back in 2002, The Shield. Ryan's new small screen venture Terriers is actually shot in San Diego, a city that isn't used too often for film and TV projects. I asked him about deciding on San Diego for Terriers, and how spending time in the area spawned the conspiracy elements of the show:
"Ted Griffin had an idea of what this was and, additionally, we spent a lot of time in Ocean Beach, where we filmed the show. You go down there and it's really this untouched gem of a community that hasn't been spoiled yet. You look at it and you just figure that there has to be all these rich pricks who can't wait to get their hands on this area and completely spoil it. From that idea, I think stemmed the major conspiracy of this first season."
When I asked him if he thought Terriers being shot in San Diego would lead to a filming resurgence in the city... although he doesn't want it to get too crowded in SD:
"Well, hopefully there isn't too much because we have all the stages and locations to ourselves (Laughs). So hopefully people will leave us alone a little bit. The city was really friendly, very film-friendly. I think the show looks very different than it would in L.A. and I believe in filming a show where they belong. I've filmed in L.A. and I loved being in L.A. This show felt like it needed to be filmed in Ocean Beach and I'm really glad we're there."
"I would like to. I think it was important, in the first run, to let the show be what it was. I was reluctant to bring on too many familiar faces from my other shows. I wanted the world to establish itself, but once it's established, there were some really great actors on that show that I would love to work with again."
That wraps it up from my Terriers premiere event in Hollywood. The show debuts on Wednesday, September 8 at 10 PM ET on FX. I know I'll be watching and you should be too. Peace in. Gallagher out!