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The Telefile
24 to Life: In the Name of the Father

"No Zen for Daddy," is how Detective Charlie Crews summed up his feelings for his estranged father way back in the pilot episode of Life. Crews has had plenty of antagonists, both personal and professional, to deal with since then, leaving his parental issues simmering on the narrative back burner. But ever since the bare details about an upcoming episode featuring Charles Crews Sr. were leaked online, fans of the show have been wondering: who's going to play the dad, and what'll happen when they finally meet for the first time since Charlie's release from prison?

To find out, we went straight to Charlie himself, actor Damian Lewis. And much to our surprise (and perhaps NBC's publicists as well), he was happy to address both questions during a media conference call held today.

Filling the role of the senior Crews will be the familiar face of Geoff Pierson, perhaps best remembered as Senator (later President) John Keeler on the third and fourth seasons of 24. More recently, he's been seen as Captain Matthews on Dexter. "A great actor," Lewis said. "We filmed [the episode] just a couple of days ago. We had a lot of fun."

Just don't expect that light-hearted behind-the-scenes vibe to translate on-screen. This apparently won't be anyone's idea of a typical father-and-son reunion. "It's pretty dramatic when his arrives. Actually, it's nearly disastrous," Lewis added. "Charlie holds his dad responsible for not allowing his mother to come to visit him when he was in prison 12 years ago. His dad had, I think, disowned him to a large extent. So there's a lot of animosity there, and when they see each other, it's unintentionally aggressive and hostile with almost catastrophic repercussions."

"He's getting married, of course, to this hot, smoking young girl, Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, and Ted [Adam Arkin] is busy falling in love with her while she's about to get married to my dad. So, you know, business as usual at the Crews residence: just anarchy and chaos."

Personally, we've been waiting for this particular storyline to finally bubble to the surface -- heck, anything that gives Hendricks more screen-time is fine by us -- and Pierson is definitely inspired casting. Besides a slight physical resemblance to Lewis, he's one of those actors that brings a certain depth and gravitas to every role he plays. (Well, maybe not Unhappily Ever After.)

What do other Life fans think? Was he the best choice? Post your comments below.

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