On the new CBS legal drama Reckless, set in Charleston, South Carolina, divorced father or two, Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet), is the new City Attorney thanks to his influential former father-in-law (Gregory Harrison). When a disgraced cop (Georgina Haig) hires Yankee litigator Jamie Sawyer (Anna Wood), Jamie and Roy find themselves sparring in and out of the courtroom, as dark secrets threaten to tarnish the reputation of the town and its residents.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Cam Gigandet talked about how he came to this show, his working relationship with Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the pilot, finding a balance between film and TV roles, why this series can appeal to everyone, the fun character dynamics, and how much this cast has loved working with each other. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
CAM GIGANDET: When I read the script, I could see the potential of where things could go, and it was something new and unique to me, in my career, so I was immediately drawn to it. So, I met with everyone at CBS and the creators and Catherine [Hardwicke], the director of the pilot, and got a feel for how much they wanted to explore and how much they wanted to push the envelope, and give us the freedom to explore ourselves and jump into the deep end of the pool. When I put it together, with all of these things, I just knew that I couldn’t really say no. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, and I’m glad I didn’t. But it was nerve-wracking to accept any show because you don’t know where it’s going and you could be on there for 10 years. We were just all so grateful that, after shooting this first season, we were as excited about it at the end, as we were at the beginning.
Was this show as much fun to make as it looks?
GIGANDET: This was a fun show, but there were also challenges throughout the whole shoot. We never felt stuck. We always felt like we were creating something new and telling new aspects of this story. Things didn’t feel stale, or anything. I was worried that that might happen ‘cause I can get bored with any show, when it goes on too long. But since there were so many avenues to explore, it just always felt new. We would read the scripts, and it became exciting for us to find out what happens next because there are so many things going on. It was entertainment for us, too. As much as it was work, we got attached to the actual story, which you want.
What’s it like, as an actor, to have a relationship with someone like Catherine Hardwicke, that you can build over the course of a career?
GIGANDET: It doesn’t get any better than that, to have a short-hand, and to trust and not have any insecurities coming up because your self-confidence can get a little squirrely with anyone new. You don’t know if someone has just hired you because you’re ninth on the list. With Catherine, there’s honesty there. We know that when we’re working together, we want to work together. No one is forcing us to do so. There’s just an ease about that. You can create and explore and push the limits together, which is amazing. She’s a cheerleader, as much as she is a director. Her excitement is infectious. Even when there are times where I feel down, she’s the first one to keep it going, which is great.
Had your working relationship changed, or is she still the same director she was, the first time you worked together?
GIGANDET: No, she’s grown as a director and her tastes have changed. She’s just gotten more experience, like anyone would. What’s great is that our work has been spaced out enough that we’re both growing. Whenever we come back and work together, on one hand, we have this short-hand and this comfortable easability, but we’re also finding these new things out about each other, that we’ve learned throughout the years. You can bring that together, and it’s a collaborative art form where we can both learn something from the other. That’s what you want from the relationship with a director like that.
You’ve played good guys and bad guys, in film and on TV. Do you find yourself being drawn more to one over the other, or do you like having that balance?
GIGANDET: I like having that balance, right now, in my life. But, it’s never been a plan to have this or that. It’s just where I am in my life, at that time, and where my path is going to go. In the past, I would try to control so much, but that’s just too stressful, and gives me too much anxiety and worry. Just letting it go and knowing that, if you have this opportunity, or you want to turn down this opportunity, that’s the path that you’re supposed to take, and you just take it as it comes. I’ve tried to do that. Why not do as much as you can, and learn as much as you can about each process?
There are a lot of cop shows and a lot of lawyer shows, but this is a blend of the two. There’s also the case-of-the-week mixed with a serialized story. What would you tell people who are wondering if this show would appeal to them?
GIGANDET: I think it can appeal to everyone, whether you like legal dramas or cop shows. The core of it is still a legal show. But then, you have these elements which makes it a legal show that’s never been done before. Hopefully, we’re creating something new and pushing the envelope, just for the sake of exploring new territory. Some things might work and some things might not, but at least we’re going for it. We all have faith that something is going to happen that’s hopefully positive.
There’s a fun relationship and interesting dynamic between your character and his ex-father in law. What can you say about how that evolves?
GIGANDET: That is a relationship that evolves a lot. There’s so much growth and change in our relationship, throughout the first season, that made it one of the more exciting relationships. Week to week, they find out something about each other that changes the dynamic between the two. It’s fascinating to see them in such close quarters while all the while, he’s my ex-father in law and boss. Their personal lives are so intertwined with their work, which is not healthy, but they do it and try to figure it out. There are some moments that are funny and ironic and silly, but things can go south pretty quick. They have a fun relationship that can get squirrely. In the first episode of Season 2, I don’t know where they’ll stand. There are so many things happening that will affect them both so much. It will be exciting.
And it’s probably never good to try to pursue an attraction with someone on the opposite side in court.
GIGANDET: Yeah, it’s not good. But people have been in similar situations, so in a way, there’s a relatability that, when you beak it down, everyone can understand.
How has this ensemble cast been to work with?
GIGANDET: We all loved each other so much, from day one, and we would play games together. There was just an immediate relationship. When there’s such an ease, it just allows you more freedom when you’re actually working together. There’s a trust there, so we could try new things and experiment because there was such an instant connection with everyone. That stuff is so rare that when you have it, you want to take advantage of the opportunity to really create and have a trusted partner.
Reckless airs on Sunday nights on CBS.