The actor delves deep into his role on the FX series from the set of the season finale.
by Blair Marnell / CraveOnline / Dec 01, 2010
The FX drama “Terriers” has quietly become one of the best shows on television over the last few months, in no small part due to the performance of Donal Logue as Hank Dolworth, a former cop who teamed up with his friend and former crook, Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James) as a pair of unlicensed private detectives in the Ocean Beach district of San Diego.
Despite the fact that most TV viewers have yet to discover the series, the last few episodes of “Terriers” ratcheted up the intensity as the conspiracy to take over Ocean Beach has threatened to destroy Hank and Britt as well as their loved ones.
Prior to the start of the season, CraveOnline caught up with Logue on the set of “Terriers” while the season finale was being filmed. While speaking with us, Logue reflected on his connection with Raymond-James, related his thoughts on the series to date and even shared some spoilers from tonight’s season finale; which airs tonight on FX.
One of the first things that Logue brought was the fact that he and Raymond-James had met on the set of Logue’s previous series, “Life;” which informed their chemistry and partnership on this series.
“We started talking [on the set] and [Michael] was one of those guys that you, over the course of an eight hour day, you feel like a life long friend,” explained Logue. “So he was the first person who auditioned for this show and when I saw him at the audition it was kind of like bad news for the other actors because we already knew each other. He won it in fact but there was a little resistance at first because they had always envisioned Hank a little older and had envisioned Brit a little younger and there was something about us together that carried this weight that was almost too much. We are similar to each other in a similar way but it was his performance that won everything out.”
The friendship between Logue and Raymond-James was so strong that the two of them quickly decided to live together while filming “Terriers” in San Diego.
“We are roommates,” said Logue. “It’s been fantastic. I said ‘look I know this area. I’m going to rent a house and live at the beach. We could spend twice the amount of money staying at a hotel or we could live at the beach. We work [together] and we are in every scene so it’s been really good to do that.’ We really said look, ‘If I’m going to be down here away from my kids then lets just give our selves a hundred percent to this thing so we kind of prepare for the days work at night and in the morning before work.’ It’s been good. It’s been helpful living together. He’s like the easiest person in the world to kind of share space with.”
“I hope that there’s a camaraderie between Michael and myself and there’s an ease between us that reflects onscreen, as much as did in some of those great buddy shows,” added Logue. “And look, at one level or another, I’ve always felt that everything is “One Life To Live.” Whether it’s “One Life To Live” or “The Sopranos,” there’s always an element of soap opera in serial drama and comedy. It’s just the quality of how you deliver that and how much you fight to make those moments real.”
The tone of “Terriers” was not always reflected in the advertising campaign and may have taken some viewers by surprise. However, Logue clearly stood by his show with pride.
“I don’t actually think that what we’ve made at the end of these thirteen episodes is going to be exactly what everybody thought was going to happen to it,” offered Logue. “But I’m really proud of the way it vibrated towards what it became. For instance, Laura Allen who plays Katie. There’s a scene where she discovers that Brit… she knew Brit was a burglar but what she didn’t know was that he met her because he had broken into her pad once and saw her picture on the fridge and was like ‘man this girl is hot.'”
“There’s a couple ways you could go with it,” continued Logue. “But at the end of the scene there’s kind of this funny moment. You think she’s pissed and then she’s like ‘climb back into the window in five minutes.’ And I’m like ‘okay in [the brain?!]’ There can be a laugh about a little bit of burglar rape fantasy thing, but she plays it so dead on that it reveals her id a little bit. And it reveals this off-kilter psychological damage in her that you were previously unaware of; and because she was so powerful in that scene, I think it led to what starts to happen to her character. Because she claimed it.”
Logue also spoke frankly about working with his sister Karina Logue, who played Hank’s schizophrenic sister, Stephanie.
“I think [Karina’s] a genius and actually Shawn [Ryan] had worked with her on ‘Lie to Me’ before I actually worked with Shawn,” related Logue. “So it seemed like a perfect match. And there was some line that Brit was giving me a hard time about these rules that I have when someone is staying with her, like no sharp objects, all these things because she’s a cutter and she’s schizophrenic. And then he makes a joke about her being a gremlin or a goblin and I call him on it. And he started crying. I knew he didn’t want to do it in the first place, because I was talking to one of the writers and was like ‘I actually have family dealing with s*** like this. Imagine coming home to find your sister with 120 cuts on her body. That’s real, that’s blood. You have written that, you set the temperature of the pool. Now don’t force me to swim in it and f***ing pretend that it’s funnyland.'”
“That’s like a real conversation that happens here all the time that both sides are really open to,” continued Logue. “And that’s the hardest thing with me. That’s why I think our tone is actually fantastic. Because as long as the temperature is right, you can go anywhere you want. Just as long as it doesn’t feel like we’re suspending the drama in progress for Bruce Willis to say a cool oneliner while twenty men are firing at his head. I think we fought pretty hard to make something unique and interesting.”
An offhand revelation from Stephanie actually played a major role in unraveling the Ocean Beach conspiracy on the series, as Logue explained:
“We come across this stuff and it kind of goes down this road where ‘ooh… it’s got toxic chemicals there’ and then my sister Stephanie, who is schizophrenic but also a graduate of MIT. She looks at these documents that we come across and she’s like ‘this is bulls***. Because these compounds can’t exist in this nature on Earth. Someone’s trying to make it look there’s cancer in the ground but it’s not true.’ Then we’re like ‘why would people be planting carcinogens to intentionally shut down their own resort?’
And then we discover these other things. That these guys are basically trying to get up all the land in Ocean Beach – which is an actual community here – to build a new airport. Because San Diego has a one runway airport. It’s the worst municipal airport in America. And it’s always been a bone of contention. They want to move it to by Miramar Naval air base but they had problems with the military. And so this would be because it’s not a high dollar part of town [and] that this would be the kind of place to do it. They’re trying to clear all of this out and we stumbled upon that.”
As Logue briefly excused himself to return to filming, we witnessed Hank put into the back of a police car in handcuffs as he was driven away from the station. Once again, consider this your SPOILER WARNING for tonight’s episode.
“I’ve been falsely accused of this big brutal murder,” explained Logue. “Now, I’m being sent off in this car to my certain death, but what I don’t know is that [Hank’s ex-partner] Gustafson’s arranged it to be like… they’re basically going to let me go. And then they’re going to deal with the problems as Britt and I are planning to go to escape to Mexico or something. And what happened was that Katie cheated on him and is pregnant. She doesn’t know if it’s [Britt’s] or her veterinary professor’s kid. And what was awesome about that was that kind of arc started with her little date rape fantasy. You start to realize that this girl had some f***ed up s*** going on, you know like people do.”
“That’s what I like,” continued Logue. “You know, people have heavy stuff and I love it when people share stuff. Everybody’s got their thing. Like they say in AA, you’re as sick as your secrets. Everybody carries some kind of weight with them and when people aren’t afraid to play some of that stuff… I’ve always felt that the most beautiful thing about ‘The Sopranos’ wasn’t tough guys shooting each other. But it was like a tough guy is gonna shoot another tough guy because he made a joke about the other man’s overweight wife who he loves to death and it’s beautiful and it’s real. And he goes home and goes downstairs and she’s hiding M&Ms in the laundry room. If you’ve ever come across an OA meeting, that stuff is as f***ing real as heroin. All of these issues are real and they play in people’s lives.”
“We enjoy the ride so much,” added Logue. “Hopefully it has that effect on people watching us go through that ride.”