We've been big fans of Leverage since its debut, with its double-cross-tastic tales of a team of thieves and con artists fleecing the rich and crooked to help the poor and disenfranchised. The entire cast is brilliant and hysterical, but Timothy Hutton is the show's center as Nate Ford, the tortured, alcoholic ex-insurance investigator who leads the team. After re-watching Season One, which just came out on DVD, we got the chance to talk to Hutton one-on-one about the upcoming season, which debuts Wednesday night. Keep one hand on your wallet and read what he has to say about the state of Nate Ford's mind and the state of the crew's affairs.
TWoP: So what's Nate been up to during the hiatus?
Timothy Hutton: One thing he hasn't been doing is, he hasn't been doing as much drinking. And he's moved back to Boston and he got a nice loft above a bar, purposely, to have the temptation right there and be able to resist it -- or try to, anyway. So that's kind of what he's been up to, he's been wanting to get back into the flow of things, get his life back and reflect on things that have happened and move on from what was kind of an extraordinary year for him. So that's where we find him at the beginning of Season 2.
Obviously that doesn't stick?
Hutton: He's pulled in a couple of different directions, and finds that what he discovered with this team and what it is they do for people is something he can't resist at times, as much as he tries.
Is there going to be a tension there?
Hutton: There will be a tension. The others want to keep going with what they've been doing, and he wants no part of it. The first show back, which premieres on July 15, is all about that. They come together in an interesting way, and he has to deal with whether or not he's gonna proceed. And the rest of the shows -- we're airing seven, then having a break, then airing the remaining eight -- the rest of the shows deal with that, and this season is all about Nate coming to terms with what it is he's doing and why he enjoys it so much and what he's been through in the past. The lines aren't quite as blurred for him, in terms of what it is he's involved with.
Is Nate's drinking still a big part of the season, or does he face his demon and move on?
Hutton: You know, there are a couple of moments where he's certainly challenged by it, but we're not dealing with scenes where he's struggling with whether or not he wants to hit the bottle or not. Instead, the writers come up with interesting replacement for Nate. He needs something, so what it is to replace the drinking is what's going to be interesting for the second year.