Keegan Deane is that one friend we all have who just can’t get his act together. He’s the lovable screw-up; he’s the star of Fox’s “Rake.”
Portrayed by Greg Kinnear, Deane owes nearly $60,000 to his bookie, has been crashing at his best friend’s house for four months, and is in love with a prostitute who views their relationship as a business transaction. He’s a narcissist in denial, but he’s also a brilliant defense attorney who is incredibly charming (even if he’s not very good at getting paid for his work).
“I don’t think he has a great self-awareness of [his problems],” Kinnear says of his character. “It comes in fits and starts. There are moments where he has a little bit of reflection about where he’s at on the map, but certainly, you know, out of the gate, very little.”
Deane’s ego — and his utter lack of interest in adhering to normal societal standards — drew Kinnear to the series, which is based on an Australian show of the same name. “I was intrigued immediately when I saw the mess of that guy,” he says. “That kind of absolute lack of need for approval is a hugely attractive thing, especially if you’re an actor. Getting to play that and getting to pursue a guy who’s not necessarily interested in what you think was a really cool element for me.”
Which is a good thing, because Deane’s clients in upcoming episodes include a serial killer and a cannibal — not your typical underdog stories. And yet, “Rake” finds a way to make the audience root for the antihero. Kinnear chalks it up to the show’s fine-tuned ability to weave comedy into dramatic storylines.
“It’s tricky to try and find that comedic/drama balance,” Kinnear says. “But the Australian show succeeds very, very much in that. It really struck a nice chord between the drama and the comedy, which is what appealed to me. It’s certainly what I was most intrigued by, in terms of getting on board with this.”
“Rake” premieres Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. on Fox.