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LAist Interview: Timothy Hutton

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LAist had the chance to talk to Academy Award-winning actor Timothy Hutton as he was on promotional tour for his new TV series on TNT, "Leverage", which premieres on Sunday, December 7th, at 10:00pm.

"Leverage" is an action-thriller which stars Hutton as the ringleader/organizer of a team of high-tech former criminals who target powerful exploiters of those who are powerless, Robin Hood-style. This marks Hutton's return to TV after NBC's "Kidnapped" was cut short in 2006. Hutton started his career in television over thirty years ago before taking on the Oscar-winning role of Conrad Jerritt in Ordinary People in 1980, embarking on a career that has included many other excellent films such as Taps, The Falcon and the Snowman, and Kinsey.

In 2001, Hutton became executive producer, director of several episodes, and the protagonist of the A&E series "A Nero Wolfe Mystery", becoming a leader in bringing high production-value, original drama to basic cable. "Leverage" brings Hutton back to basic cable in what appears to be a well-produced series for TNT- what is now an expected phenomenon in a trend Hutton helped start almost a decade ago.

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LAist: How has working with TNT on "Leverage" been different from your experience doing the "Nero Wolfe" series on A&E?

Timothy Hutton: "Nero Wolfe" wasn't set up to be a series on A&E, our idea was to do these books by Rex Stout as 2-hour movies because that's what they lent themselves to. We did one and it did really well, so they asked us if we wanted to do more, so we did a few more, and then we discovered some [Rex Stout] books that would work as 1-hour pieces but it was never set up as a series. Each piece was supposed to be a separate work. When I decided to do "Leverage" it was the first "traditional" series for me, I had to agree to be on it for 5-years should the show progress that far and I thought it was a great script was and it was an interesting way to start off with a character who had hit rock bottom and the only way he could pull himself out of it was through the psyche of helping people and going after those who had been ripping off others.

[Interview continues after the jump]