Shawn Hatosy spent five seasons trying really, really hard to be a good cop on “Southland,” so now that he has the chance to go a bit darker as a more crooked officer of the law on the new series “Reckless,” he’s making sure to enjoy it. The series’ debut season revolves around his character, Det. Terry McCandless, being sued for sexual harassment after an incident that takes place in the first episode.
Just how quickly Hatosy had to switch from one character to the other may surprise some viewers: “He was in a shot in the last episode of ‘Soutland’ until 10 at night, got on the plane, came to the set of ‘Reckless’ in Charleston, did not go to sleep or anything, went to his trailer and put on his suit,” series creator Dana Stevens says. “That’s a big turnaround.” Here, Hatosy lets us in on how that’s working out for him.
He’s been doing a lot of research into playing a bad guy: “All my research I did on villains — and I did a lot — what I learned is that bad guys start behaving nefariously because in some way love screwed them over,” he says. “Off the top of my head, Darth Vader — here is a decent guy who ultimately went to the dark side because Natalie Portman hurt him. Now Wylie Coyote, this was a coyote with good intention and the Road Runner comes along and he’s addicted to the chase, something he can’t obtain, and that made him be impossible to be around. Bill O’Reilly — here is a guy that’s so in love with himself and the sound of his own voice that he’s become the personification of evil.”
He expects real-life cops to stop treating him so nicely: “I played a cop on a show where he’s a beloved character in Los Angeles,” Hatosy explains about his “Southland” legacy. “One day I was standing on the side of La Brea and Wilshire on my skateboard, and I looked over and there was a police officer in a car who looked at me and he said, ‘Sammy’ — which was the name of the character I played — ‘Cops don’t ride skateboards.’ The difference with that and this show is after they watch ‘Reckless,’ I have a feeling that same cop would probably look at me and throw me in handcuffs and maybe spit on me.”
“Reckless” has something for everyone: “The show satisfies viewers that are interested in a case-of-the-week narrative, but our genetic makeup is the complex, romantic relationship that occurs in and out of the courtroom, with kind of a love triangle,” Hatosy says. “And then also the egregiously titillating union between my character, Detective McCandless, and Lee Anne Marcus (Georgina Haig), which occurs whenever and wherever they feel like getting naked and having sex.”
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter @nedrick