Dennis Quaid on ‘Fortitude’ and How ‘Breaking Bad’ Made Him a Binge Watcher

     April 14, 2017

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In Season 2 of Fortitude, the remote arctic town is attempting to recover from the parasites that tore their peaceful community apart. But as nature grows ever more dangerous, the chaos quickly returns when the mainland cuts off funding and supplies just as Fortitude experiences another mysterious and shocking death.

During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Dennis Quaid (who has joined the series in the second season) talked about what drew him to the series, the appeal of television, becoming a binge-watcher, why he wanted to play fisherman Michael Lennox, working with Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones), getting out on a boat in the Arctic Ocean for research, the challenge of getting to the remote set, and looking forward to returning for Season 3. He also talked about what he looks for in a project, that he’d love to do another Western, and that he’d like to make a movie about rodeo.

Collider: How did you come to be a part of Fortitude for Season 2? Had you been aware of the show, in its first season?

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Image via Amazon

DENNIS QUAID: I was not aware of the show, in its first season. It was on Sky Atlantic, and it was mainly in the UK, and then Pivot took it up, but I wasn’t aware of it. I was in Montreal last August and I got a call from Simon [Donald], the creator/writer, walked me through the character and story. Then, they sent me the first season and I watched it, and it was a no-brainer for me. I definitely wanted to do it.

What was the appeal of this show, for you?

QUAID: Coming in for the second season, with the show being established and everybody else knowing their characters, was appealing to me. I already knew them and was involved with them already, as a viewer, so coming into the show was an easy fit.

With The Art of More for Crackle and now Fortitude for Amazon, you’ve done a couple of streaming TV series now. When did you realize that doing a streaming series was a viable option for you?

QUAID: Just watching on television, really. I turned into a binge-watcher, like everyone else, and realized that the writers had gone to television. I found that the stories I liked to watch were being told on television. What’s going on, on TV right now, is like what was going on in the movies in the ‘70s. It feels like the inmates have taken over the asylum.

What was the first show that drew you in, as a binge-watcher?

QUAID: Breaking Bad is what turned me into a binge-watcher. I didn’t come to the show until the third season, so there was a lot there. There were 30 episodes, so I basically laid in bed for two weeks and watched them.

What was it about Michael Lennox that made you want to play this character?

QUAID: He’s an American ex-patriot. He’s a fisherman there, in the Arctic Ocean, which I got to go out on, on many occasions, and it’s absolutely beautiful. But his story is a story of true love, for him and his wife, who is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He’s on a quest to save her life. His wife of decades is the love of his life. Nothing deters him from that single-minded path that he’s on. That was very appealing to me.

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Image via Amazon

What was it like to have someone like Michelle Fairley to explore that dynamic with?

QUAID: She’s such a great actress that it was like not having to do anything except react to her. Those are the best actors. It’s just so effortless to do that.

Did you do any research to help you understand who this guy would be and what life would be like for him?


Television