Move over Mel Gibson, there’s a new Riggs in town.
TV LINE – Fox’s upcoming Lethal Weapon series, based on the ’80s movie franchise of the same name, stars Clayne Crawford (Rectify) as Martin Riggs and Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) as Roger Murtaugh. The drama, which follows an unconventional cop with a death wish (Riggs) after he is partnered with a high-strung, traditional detective and family man (Murtaugh), is set to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8/7c.
Crawford recently talked to TVLine about what fans can expect from the new show (and what The Avengers might have to do with it), crazy stunts and more.
HIS NAME IS NO | Alabama native Crawford says he initially turned down the role many times, namely because it was a remake that didn’t “leave time for a lot of fishing and horseback riding.” But after he read the script… “It starts with Matt Miller (Forever). He wrote a great script… I started reading this thing and I’m like, ‘F—k, how do I say no?’ [Riggs is] broken. I love playing broken people, but he’s also a badass, and I really like being a badass,” he explains. The idea of bringing something fresh to the character also sparked his interest. “I thought there was a real challenge, like there is when you do theater, playing these roles that we’ve seen people play a 100 times and bringing something new to it,” he says. “This obviously is not [King] Lear, but I was like ‘What can I do differently with Riggs, that Mel Gibson didn’t do?’”
A NEW BROMANCE TO ROOT FOR | Crawford and Wayans’ very watchable chemistry means “there’s going to be a lot of shenanigans,” Crawford says. “I think the beauty is, Damon and I really like one other and the banter’s easy, because he’s a f—king pro.” While trouble-making pair is going to find themselves in a lot of sticky situations throughout the season, there will not be a lack of laughs. “I think the whole goal is to bring comedy, drama and action, [like] The Avengers. I just need a cape,” Crawford jokes.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR | In the series premiere, we learn Riggs has a late wife, but will the eccentric cop find love again during the course of the series? “I think at some point they’re going to try to incorporate some kind of love interest… And it would be crazy if it was Jordana [Brewster],” he teased about his character’s relationship with Dr. Maureen “Mo” Cahill, played by the Dallas/Fast and the Furious actress.
STUNTS, STUNTS, STUNTS | Car chases, shootouts and explosions, oh my! If the first episode, which features stunts like Riggs jumping from one speeding car to another, is any indication, Lethal Weapon will be full of action and Crawford is up for the challenge. “Warner Bros. would not allow me to make the jump [off of the car onto the ground]… but everything else, 100 percent me,” he says. —Reporting by Kimberly Roots
DIGITAL SPY – “If you don’t like extraordinary television, it’s not for you.”
Digital Spy put the question to lead actor Aden Young: if someone hasn’t watched Rectify before, why should they tune in now?
His answer may surprise you – but it’ll certainly leave you itching to binge the entire series!
Clayne Crawford – soon to be seen playing Riggs in Fox’s Lethal Weapon TV series – also recalls the first time he read the pilot script for Rectify in DS’s exclusive clip.
The award-winning Rectify tells the story of Daniel Holden (Young) – imprisoned as a teenager for the rape and murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend, Hanna.
After spending 19 years on death row, new DNA evidence vacates his original trial and Daniel must adjust to life back on the outside.
THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS -Fans of Sundance TV’s simmering Southern Gothic saga Rectify will be champing at the bit to see what happens in the upcoming fourth season. For the time being however they’ll no doubt console themselves with the home entertainment release of Season 3. The show stars Aden Young as the wrongly-convicted Daniel Holden, whose return to his home community pricks the web of family secrets which form the core of this highly-acclaimed drama.
One of its most memorable characters is Daniel’s tortured step brother Teddy, played by Clayne Crawford. Crawford has earned plaudits for his portrayal of the complex clan member and if you don’t know his name, you may well do by the time the year is out: he’s also been cast as the new Martin Riggs in Fox’s small screen reimagining of Lethal Weapon.
We got on the phone with Crawford for a frank conversation about working in an intense environment and his thoughts on taking over from Mel Gibson…
For the benefit of people who might be thinking of jumping aboard, how would you sum up the premise and the journey your character Teddy’s been on so far?
Goodness! The show is an in-depth exploration of family, and certainly a family that is captured in time, in that moment when Daniel comes back into the picture. I think it places a dark cloud over this family. We observe these people trying to navigate one another, with Daniel and the situation and the town. I think that lends itself to great drama and suspense.
As far as Teddy goes, you know… poor Teddy! He’s just a mess isn’t he? So vulnerable, so insecure, so self aware, so concerned with others’ perceptions of him. Exhausting to play, but extremely rewarding at the same time. I love Teddy, I feel for him. I just want to give him a hug.
What’s been the most difficult aspect of that character to play over the past three years?
Look, Teddy is everything we don’t wanna be. Right? We as human beings spend our entire lives either trying to correct or trying to hide things. And Teddy is just a fucking open wound at all times, clinging onto the edge of a cliff which is his reality, and just trying to hold onto everything that he loves because at the end of the day he’s a little boy that never had enough love. He lost his mother at a young age, his father was never really a part of his life. His father now meets this new woman who has other children, his step sister hates him, he has a step brother who is in prison who he doesn’t know and doesn’t understand. And then as soon as he’s started to find his way this new Mom has a new child, the new baby is a distraction and Teddy again is left in the cold. I think he’s desperately looking for love and companionship and just to have something because he’s never had anything.
He desperately tries to do everything that he feels is right… even in the first season, bringing Daniel the pornography magazine. That was an olive branch! That was Teddy’s way of saying “Hey, welcome to the family, I want us to get along.” And it’s always taken the wrong way. So I see Teddy as someone who’s extremely broken, and used his perfect hair and his perfect clothes and his big red truck and all these things as a distraction from who he is, which is a sad little boy.
Season 4 of “Rectify” will mark the end of the show’s run on SundanceTV, and Clayne Crawford hopes that his character will go out with a bang.
“Teddy has had such a rough go at it, you know?” Crawford told TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell. “I would like there to be something redeeming for Teddy. Maybe for him to kill Tawney, and then him end up in prison. Why not, you know? It would be exciting!”
The actor, a nominee for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at Sunday’s Critics Choice Awards, was recently cast in David E. Kelly’s new drama “Trial” for Amazon opposite Billy Bob Thornton and William Hurt.
The actor spoke with us about Teddy and Tawney’s future, Daniel’s guilt (or innocence), and why filming in Georgia is so important.
When you watch a series like Rectify, you become amazed that there simply isn’t anything like it on television right now. You can count off the procedurals that deal with unsolved murders or the family dramas that keep us coming back week after week, but it’s a truly rare occurrence to watch a series that takes so much time to develop the people we’ve come to care about over the course of however many seasons. When Rectify premiered in 2013, it was lauded for its deliberately slow and beautiful pacing; two seasons later, it continues to earn raves from fans and critics alike for its patience in exploring the repercussions of Daniel Holden’s release from prison and the effects on the Holden family and small town.
While it has been fascinating to see the continued evolution of everyone involved, I’ve found one of the most interesting transformations to watch has been that of Teddy, played by Clayne Crawford. Teddy started out the series as a seemingly content, Frat-boy-esque, presence amongst the Holden clan. He had the steady job, the sweet wife, and was generally at peace with his place in the world. With the release of his step-brother Daniel from prison, we’ve seen Teddy’s life get completely fractured. And regardless of Teddy’s original demeanor, Crawford’s amazing performance has turned a once unlikeable character into a fully-imagined individual for whom we feel incredible empathy. I spoke to Clayne last week about Teddy’s gradual change in perception, and where he thinks the character goes from here.
First of all, congratulations on the early season four renewal. That’s fantastic news!
Clayne: Thank you.
I’m really loving the new season so far. A lot of people praise the show for its pacing and its attention to character. What drew you to this project originally?
Clayne: Many things. I think it was the detail that Ray has with each individual character. I felt like I had a connection with everyone from the Sheriff all the way to Daniel. I didn’t feel that anyone was written in a typical role. Television kind of follows guidelines of you’re the protagonist , the lead character, the strong character, the sympathetic, the emotional. And I feel like Ray allows everyone to be human in this story. Meaning they wear different hats at different times depending on the situation that they find themselves in. I mean the individuals that they’re communicating with, at that time. I had not read anything like that. And then, of course, I felt that it depicted the south in a way that I’ve never seen before, an honest way.
Did you identify with Teddy as a character right off the bat?
Clayne: I grew up with Teddies, right? I knew Teddies when I was in high school. And I think being an athlete growing up and being in locker rooms with these guys and spending time with these individuals that you realize that they’re jerks, or they’re perceived as jerks, because of their own sadness and their own insecurities. And I feel like American television has depicted these guys as being these just boisterous, confident, with the big hair and kind of good looking guys with their polo shirts on, and we never really see who these guys are. And I felt like I could bring a certain honesty to Teddy that wasn’t necessarily on the page in the first script that I saw. Then after communicating with Ray, I realized that he kind of had the same intentions that I felt that I could bring to it as far as the way he wanted to depict Teddy.
1 Jan 2015
In Their Own Words…..
No one is going to say I am ending 2014 with a whimper, as after two films screened and reviewed, it’s NOT time to relax yet! Another aspect of this year’s adventures in creating this website has been the true honor to interview several professional actors about their most recent projects at the given time. So, for my final “In Their Own Words” entry of 2014, and thanks to the efforts of “Convergence” director Drew Hall, I was able to speak for an hour over the phone from his in-law’s house in Texas with the film’s lead, Clayne Crawford. Another humble, down-to-earth, genuine individual, Clayne spoke at length and in depth about being an actor, some life philosophy, and of course, the film!
One Film Fan: The story so far, how were you first drawn to the acting profession and how did you further learn the art (ie: mentors, influences, schooling)?
Clayne Crawford: I grew up in a family where my uncles were heavily into construction and my father’s an engineer, so by the age of 13 I was working on job sites, brick mason labors, doing all the things that were NOT fun…toting lumber and doing cuts. My Dad slowly started educating me on AutoCAD and having me doing some of the easier things with his work, and I realized that none of that was FUN! So my old man kinda looked at me and said “You know…” He had been drafted by the (Atlanta) Braves and was an exceptional athlete growing up, and he said “Look, I was scared leaving my small world in Alabama, but as a result I’m happy, but I don’t do what I enjoy. So when I go to work, I GO to work and all I want to do is get away from it, and unfortunately work takes up most of your life.” So I think the only real advice, as he was a very quiet man, that he gave me was “You gotta do something you love.” So that kinda played in my mind growing up. I was an athlete as well, but I got into a Speech & Debate class when I was a senior, and I found being in front of people energized me as opposed to put me in a shell, which was very unusual, at least in my High School. Everyone kind of went into a box, but for me I felt the podium was such a platform to be who I really was…for some reason it took AWAY my fears that I normally had around individuals, so it was a wakening. And she (the class teacher) has us do improv. The point of this exercise was you had to understand that if you BELIEVE in what it is you’re debating, you have a better chance to win the debate, regardless of whether your heart is in it, you just have to tell yourself you believe it. And so she taught us this improv and I FLOURISHED…I realized that B.S.-ing was quite easy for me! So she brought in the Theater director and the other guys in the Theater department and they’re like “You gotta do something!” and I’m like “Well, that’s NOT happening! I mean, I’m a baseball player, football player, that’s just NOT gonna happen! But you guys are sweet”. But, it kind of stuck in my mind, and when I was getting ready to graduate, Simone (again, his teacher) being the greatest teacher on the planet, pulled me aside and said “You gotta pack up and go to Los Angeles”. And I was like “You’re CRAZY! I haven’t even been past Gatlinburg! ,” you know what I mean, “Never been to New Orleans! You’re crazy!”
I did go ahead and try to find out about things in Alabama, and I found one of those John Casablanca, pay-to-be-a-model type things, and maybe I could just see what the world’s about. This wonderful lady, Sherry Graves, was kind of running this studio, and after I’d been there a few weeks and trying to go through this thing she goes “This is a place that just takes your money. There’s nothing that’s going to come of this. But there’s something going on with you. You need to go do something with this.” So she was kind of the driving force, along with Simone, saying “Just GO!” And I did! She (Sherry) had a friend who lived out there (California) she’d gone to college with, his name was Bryant Turner. He was a Tampa boy from Florida and he helped me find a place and kinda showed me the ropes a little as it were. So I hit the ground running. I got there when I was 18, this was in ’96, and I started making fake resumes and getting head shots (laughing) and lying my way into every agency that there was in town until finally someone picked me up, and literally it just kinda started happening. I was quite naïve…I booked big movies, studio films like “A Walk To Remember” and “Swimfan” fairly quickly and I NO idea what in the world I was doing. So I backed away from the business and started fresh, doing theater and things that most actors would have done in High School…educating myself on film…my favorite film was “Predator” at the time, right? (laughs) “Predator” or “Robocop”! And look…I got really lucky. I watched a movie titled “Five Easy Pieces” that Bryant had given to me to watch and it had this actor John Ryan. So I am in a restaurant, and this is right after I booked “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer”, still don’t really know what’s going on, and I SEE John Ryan! Here’s this old school guy having biscuits & gravy, and me being this dumb kid from Alabama, I go up to him and say “Man, you’re awesome in “Five Easy Pieces” and I can’t believe you’re sitting here having breakfast! Look at you!” This guy slides his plate away from him, turns and looks at me and says “What’s your name?” I’m like, “Well…my name’s Clayne Crawford. My buddies call me Joey, so Joey Crawford. Nice to meet you!” And he goes “Sit down”. So this guy starts telling me stories, invites me to his home, and he gives me every VHS of every film nominated for an Oscar back to the 50’s. He gave me these boxes and books by Monty Clift and Elia Kazan…and he goes “educate yourself”. We had one of worst rain seasons is Los Angeles history, so I literally locked myself in my tiny apartment, hunkered down and watched every single film, read everything he gave me, and he then passed away soon after. But that was kinda like my education in the business…and I fell in love with it. I took HIS love for the business, a guy who had never had real STARDOM per se, but was a real ACTOR, and that’s what I want to do. He said one thing that’s really stuck with me…”When you get to the top, they stamp you with an expiration date. Just BE an actor and you can do it until you’re 90.” I was like…”Holy crap, that’s awesome…I didn’t think about THAT. I wanted to be famous!” (laughs) So that was a long story, but the roundabout way I got to where I am today, which is that guy whose worked on 50+ projects but nobody knows who I am, and I have a great life as a result, doing what I love, back living in Alabama on a farm with my children. I feel quite blessed to have those people that came into my path to point me in the right directions.
O.F.F.: When preparing for a role, do you always have the same routines/methods to get into a character or does that vary depending ON the role? Additionally, how much research do you tend to do FOR a character?
C.C.: My process, as far as the research, is the same….I’m quite diligent on trying to find as much information as I can find, whether it’s useful or not, whether it’s watching, reading, or just finding individuals. When I read a script, it’s very difficult to see myself in things. I usually see PEOPLE. And I’m fortunate if it’s someone I know or I’ve spent time with, as IN spending time with them, I try to pick up some of their characteristics that I feel would flourish in this world that I’m reading. I’m not a religious guy, but I’m a very spiritual guy. I grew up in the “fire & brimstone” thing, so I kinda went away from that. But I’m quite spiritual, and I guess I have to be considering my path, how the universe has really kinda made decisions for me that I was not smart enough to pick them up. And with my WORK, I go through a lot of times, once I get to set or the build-up before I get there, similar experiences to what the guy is going through or at least things that help parallel me to what this individual I’m playing goes through. So whether I’m doing a military film and my wife’s not able to come see me for four months because things happen and I’m genuinely sad and pulled away from my family as a solider would be. There are certain things that have happened that I’m really blessed with that, again, really help me get INTO who this guy is. And I ask for those things from the universe. So…as far as preparation, I educate myself as much as possible, and then throw it all away, and then just try to live like the individual through the process.
O.F.F.: Do you prefer more physically driven characters or emotionally driven characters and why?
C.C.: I prefer emotionally driven characters simply because it allows me to work through my own personal issues, with my OWN emotions. Again, growing up with a man like my father who was very quiet, I’ve been taught or programmed to keep those things to myself. So I find that those characters are wonderful outlets for me, and it becomes somewhat of a therapy session. And I find it allows me to access these great emotions that I don’t share with anyone on a daily basis quite easily, like the banks get really full and I can just pull deposits from them. So mostly emotional….physical, I mean, I have horses and cattle and I work my butt off all day, so I enjoy sitting down and just crying about that at the table, you know what I mean? (laughs) Much easier for me to get through!