Timothy Hutton never gets tired of being called an Academy Award winner. "I wouldn't say you get tired of it, but you start to wonder, 'why do they keep saying that?'," he says. "Then I think, well they could be saying bingo champion, which would be fine with me too. They could be saying Heisman Trophy winner; that would be cool."
Well, as tempting as any of those prizes may be, it probably wouldn't give the same boost to his new TNT show, which just happens to be called "Leverage."
So will the actor's third foray into TV be a charm? The star of classics such as "Ordinary People," "Taps" and "Kinsey" actually considers this to be a first. "Nero Wolfe" was more like a series of movies, and assuming NBC's short-lived "Kidnapped" had made it, Hutton was only signed on for the first season. "So this is really the first thing of its kind for me," he says. "I thought that the character had a lot of interesting places that he could go."
There are definitely a lot of people, places and things that could pop up -- revenge isn't very limiting, which makes for plenty of story possibilities. Hutton stars as Nate Ford, an insurance investigator that gets screwed over by his own employer. "I liked the starting point of the character," Hutton says. "He's down and out, he lost his son two years before, didn't have a job anymore, his marriage fell apart. He kind of hit rock bottom and he's broke, living out of his car, drinking heavily. You know, there are all kinds of possibilities."
Reviews have compared the show to "House," "Ocean's 11" and Robin Hood. Hutton says he's not big on comparisons, but does see a bit of Paul Newman and Robert Redford's "The Sting" in there. From the episodes we've seen, viewers can always expect to see someone get screwed. Thankfully, it's all in the name of nobility. "Nate's not interested in being particularly social with anyone. He doesn't seem to have any hobbies or things that other people might do for relaxation," Hutton says. "He just wants to go out and go after people that are ripping people off and taking advantage of them."
Reviewers have been creating a buzz around the show. TNT has been talking it up as well. "They really know how to bring an audience to a show," Hutton says. Having an Academy Award winner on the cast doesn't hurt either.
"Leverage" premieres Sunday, December 7 on TNT at 10:00 p.m. (EST). The show also stars Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane and Gina Bellman. -- Rachel Cericola