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Interview with V’s Scott Wolf

March 26th, 2010 by Martin Moakler Social Community Manager

After working two decades in film and television, Scott Wolf will show back up on our TVs on Tuesday, March 30, in the return of the ABC series V. Known for playing characters like the rebellious Bailey on Party of Five, Scott continues his role on V as the unscrupulous television journalist Chad Decker (or as I like to call him when watching the show: What are you doing? You’re playing right into their hands! They’re gonna find us V-licious!) who capitulates his journalistic ethics in order to get the exclusive interview rights with the leader of an alien delegation that has just arrived on Earth. I spoke with Scott recently to find out what it was like breaking into a new genre, where he found the inspiration for Chad and if we should expect some man-alien love in the upcoming episodes. — Martin Moakler, Hulu’s Content Editor

Hulu: After your earlier work on shows like Party of Five and Everwood, how is working on a sci-fi show different than family dramas?
Scott Wolf
: I think I would start by saying what this show has in common with those and why I think I really love being on it is that it’s got a really great story and really good characters and relationships, but most of the other shows I’ve done have had very little “spaceship work.” I think in terms of my day-to-day work, the green screen work, you know, working on a giant stage that’s basically just green walls everywhere and then having the special effects guys paint in the room that you’re sitting in around you, has been pretty cool … something that’s been new to me. This story exists on a level that is beyond anything I’ve taken part in before. Obviously a story about aliens landing on earth is gigantic and limitless in terms of what we can do visually, so it’s been really great. I’m really loving it. It feels like the imagination that goes into making a story is really the fun of it and in a show like this where it’s a genre show, it feels like there’s really no limit to where the imagination can take us.

Tell us little bit about your character Chad Decker?
When we meet Chad, he’s obviously had some success. He’s on television as a news anchor but he’s feeling looked over. He’s feeling like he’s not in the center of things and he really believes he deserves to be. You’ve got a guy who’s looking for an opportunity to break out and when the Visitors arrive and the spaceships descend upon the Earth, obviously it’s the biggest worldwide story ever and the opportunity of a lifetime, potentially, for a news journalist and so he finds his way into having this encounter with the leader of the aliens and in that first chapter of the show, we watch him basically capitalize on their arrival, and while most of the world is trying to figure out Are they good or are they evil? Are they who they say they are or Do they want to hurt us? he’s just sort of moving his way through this whole event and trying to advance his own career and see how much he can get out of it, and only once we jump back into our story now do we see a guy who is beginning to sense that there’s too much at stake to not start paying attention to whether or not these aliens are actually here to hurt us.

Is there a newscaster on whom you based your performance?
He’s kind of a mish mash of a bunch of different people. I’d say there’s a bunch of Anderson Cooper in there just because I’m a fan of Anderson Cooper’s journalism. Not only do I think he’s great at what he does, there’s something very approachable and you can really connect to him. And I think Chad is somebody who thrives on people feeling like they can trust him. He’s not an old-fashioned newsman, but kind of a new model news guy who feels like your buddy delivering the news. Ultimately, I feel like what’s fun in our story is we’re tackling the idea of what it means to place so much faith in the hands of our media and the members of our media who we entrust with information and our lives, in a sense, and our story takes a look at what would happen if all that faith was placed in the hands of someone who might not deserve it. At this point we don’t know. We don’t know whether Chad is ultimately going to lose out to his worse side or rise to the occasion in the end.

What has been one of your favorite moments on set so far?
There have been some scenes recently between Chad and Anna [Morena Baccarin] and I think one of the most interesting things for me when we began this story was this relationship between Chad and Anna and it’s one of the closer relationships we see between a Visitor and a human. You’ve got the leader of the Visitors … this alien population, and this news journalist, a guy who is basically carrying their message for them, and they’re dancing. They’re sort of seducing each other. They’re trying to get what they need from each other. There’s a personal aspect to it that’s hard to define. They seem to have some sort of chemistry. They see something in each other that makes sense to them, but they’re each wrestling for control. Ultimately, I think she holds most of the cards, but I think Chad holds a couple, and I think he plays them pretty well. So, as we go along here, the stakes of that relationship keep rising. Every time the relationship grows more important and more dangerous, Chad seems to find a way to keep himself in it and to prove that she needs him as much as he needs her. But there are some scenes where they get really, really close to each other. Physically, the intensity of their exchanges increases. Morena Baccarin and I have had the chance to play some scenes that are really sort of hot. There’s a lot of heat in them, and that doesn’t mean necessarily just sexual. There’s always so much going on between the two of us and there’s also so much going on underneath the surface that we’re not telling each other. It’s just as much fun as I’ve ever had as an actor.

Seeing as all of us at Hulu may or may not be aliens, as a professional courtesy, could you tell me any tricks you may have for identifying any potential undercover aliens in real life?
[He laughs.] Yeah, I should have probably asked you before we started this interview what side you were on. For starters, I think the most fun thing about this show is the central questions of Who is a Visitor? and Who can you trust? and What side are you on? So far, I, as Chad Decker, have spent so little time worrying about who’s a visitor and who isn’t, that I’ve just been moving through this thing thinking, How can I move myself ahead? So only recently have I started thinking about how to tell who is a Visitor and who isn’t and … Man! I don’t have anything really good yet. I think, frankly, that’s probably the thing I know the least about, and if I did know, I probably wouldn’t tell you. I think it’s what makes the show so fun. As we move through this story now, the people you thought you knew who they were and what they are are going to surprise you.

Well, thanks a lot, Scott. We look forward to the return of the show on Tuesday!
Thank you so much!

Catch the first four episodes of V before the series returns on March 30.

Last comment: Apr 15th 2011 1 Comment