August 9, 2008
Source: Ain't it Cool News
Because NBC cancelled “Journeyman” after only 13 episodes, viewers never learned who or what was sending startled newspaperman Dan Vasser back and forth through time on his mysterious missions, or why.
This was a problem. Kevin Falls, who came up in the TV business writing for “Sports Night” and “The West Wing,” was new to science fiction when he created “Journeyman,” but the time-travel drama quickly attracted rabid fans aplenty.
When the episodes stopped airing, many wanted very much to know the secrets of “Journeyman,” and what future episodes would have held for Vasser.
Back in late December, Falls answered via e-mail all of AICN’s questions on the matter. But because there was a writers strike at the time, and no one was yet certain if “Journeymen” creators would be permitted to produce episodes beyond the 13 NBC had already aired, we were asked not to reveal the secrets of Falls’ “Journeyman” playbook until he was certain the small-screen adventures of Dan Vasser had come to an end.
That time, sadly, has come.
Who or what was sending Dan on his sudden missions into the past? Was it God? Nature?
KEVIN FALLS: Let’s just say it was too specific and grand to be science or government.
Would we ever learn?
We would have led you to the water's edge and let you figure it out. The later conflict of the show was going to lie with those people who were trying to find the cadre of travelers. Would they try to manipulate them for their own self interests? [Recurring FBI agent] Richard Garrity was coming back for sure.
We also were aiming for a series ending where the key people Dan helped through the course of the season would figure in a Rube Goldberg-inspired climax. Not quite on the level of save-the-world like “Heroes,” but something with some scope.
Did Livia [Dan’s ex-fiancée, who turned out to be a time-traveler herself, from 1948] stay so long in her future and romance Dan because The Powers That Be meant for her to act as his mentor?
Initially. And her mission was to get Katie and Dan together. At first we were going to do it because we wanted [Dan’s son] Zack to have some traveling power (to the immediate future) but felt that was too genetic like in [the novel] “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” We really ran away from anything derivative. Anything that harkened back to other TV shows was coincidental.
Does Livia's story mirror that of Evan [the time-traveling mental patient at the center of the final episode]? Did she decide to pull out of Dan's life [by faking her own plane-crash death] to facilitate a mysterious greater good?
We kept going 'round and 'round about that. We felt that Livia was keeping some secret from Dan that was huge and tragic.
Why could Livia only go forward from her native era? At some point (when Livia dies maybe?), would Dan suddenly start moving into the future as well?
We just thought it would be cool to give them each a specific and separate gift and we liked the tragi-romantic notion of them cursed to never live in their respective presents.
Would Dan have met the elderly 2008 Livia in the first season?
Yes. Absolutely. She was alive. Many of the fans projected that and they were right.
Did we ever learn what did Livia did for a living in 1948?
We were going to have her in law school and her husband being threatened by that. And maybe the husband would try to take advantage of her gift.
Did Livia use future technology to further her finances?
I think we know what happens when you do stuff like that. There's blowback, like in Episode Nine. They can only make money to help them survive in their travels.
So she didn’t "invent" the radar range or the UNIVAC or The Clapper?
That was Evan. He was smart that way. One scene that kept getting cut out of the pilot and episode 9 was Dan needing cash in the past and gambling on some well-know bowl game. But it got cut for time and I still regret it.
Were Dan and Evan born during the same comet pass in 1972?
People shouldn't get too locked into the comet thing. That was just one theory.
Are The Powers That Be necessarily a force for good?
I think the end game was for the good. We wanted to explore some darker themes early on, but our ratings dictated otherwise. I wanted Dan to have to shepherd a hit man through his life to kill someone. It would really fuck Dan up, but there'd be a bigger reason for it. Sort of like life (not the TV show) we would have done it [late in the first season].
Was it not irresponsible of the The Powers That Be to snatch Dan away while his car in was in drive?
What Dan came to learn is that he better adjust his life to fit the TPTB and not the other way around. And he did.
Non-Vassers never seem to see the time-travelers vanishing or appearing unless they're supposed to. Can one assume this is somehow by The Powers That Be's design? Are they that omniscient?
You know, the idea of the white light was more to help with transitions. But the idea was that the believers got to see it. We used a little more than I wanted later, to be honest. But the strike limited my input toward the end. In fact, I'm blown away by the response the last two shows got. We had to rush them before the strike. I did my rewrites on both the weekend before we walked. I was lucky Tracy McMillen, Aeden Babish and Matt McGuinness did such a good job on the first drafts of their episodes. But we could have used a couple more coats of paint. But thank God I had my co-EP Alex Graves minding the store.
Would a future storyline deal with Dan erasing the government's knowledge of his ability?
Did Dan himself tell a young [Livermore Labs tachyon expert Elliot] Langley about his ability decades ago, around the time that photo of Langley posing with a preteen Vasser was taken?
No. But I think Langley was on to Dan at a very young age.
The season finale would have brought together some if not all of the characters Dan saved -- to do what?
Well, it was going to be a plague, but then “Heroes” did that. When we were told “Heroes” was doing it, they suggested we change ours. No way we were going to win that one. We would have come up with something, but remember, I could read the tea leaves in mid-October. I decided then, let's think in terms of 13 [episodes].
What else was ahead for Dan, Katie, Livia, Jack and Jack's hot girlfriend? How many of the [never-shot] final nine episode storylines had you worked out before the strike?
Katie and Dan were going to split up for a while. [Dan’s brother] Jack and Dan were going to live together and then Dan and Katie would get back together. Livia was going to die in episode 20. Dan was going to save her in 21. And in 22, Dan would come back to his house in the present like he did in the pilot and someone else would be living there. Katie and Zack would be gone and this time Dan would have no idea how to get his family back.
And then we'd start season two. I'm getting depressed thinking about it. This staff was so fucking smart. We would have just gotten better. You know, I'm not bitter toward NBC as much as I am the mainstream critics who collectively dismissed us without giving us a second look. I think when we went out we were doing some of the best TV out there. And I’m so grateful that the on-line community embraced this show, actually got the show and ended up being the wind in our sails for the second half of the season.
I spot zero prior sci-fi in your filmography. Have you always quietly harbored an interest in the genre or was it more that NBC herded you toward it in the wake of its success with "Heroes"?
You're right about that. Nothing in my resume, nor did I watch any sci-fi. But not because I turned my nose up at it. Quite the opposite. I didn't think I was smart enough to understand it. My brothers were big sci-fi fans and I always sort of envied them for it. (My brother Mat is one of the founders of Sideshow Collectibles.) I was a big sports nut as a kid and was sort of the outsider. But I have a deep respect for the genre and think shows like “Battlestar” filled the void left by shows like “The West Wing” as it applies to social commentary. And the same rules apply to sci-fi as they do to more traditional dramas -- rich characters and compelling stories.
So putting you into sci-fi was NBC’s idea?
No, my agent Marc Korman suggested time travel after he heard that ABC was looking for a show in that genre. I pitched “Journeyman” to ABC (the best pitch I've ever given) and they passed. NBC was the last place we went. If they would have passed, I would have been on “Shark” another year.
I found the genre so liberating and challenging. We got to use time travel as a prism to comment on marriage and infidelity, sibling jealousy, lust, etc. I like to try different things. I don't know if I'd do another sci-fi show, but I wouldn't close the door on it either. I like to mix things up. I liked “Studio 60” a lot, but maybe [series mastermind Aaron Sorkin] should have done his unique take on a cop show or something different. By the way, he’s not done with TV, yet, and we’ll be the better for it.
Since our e-mail chat with Falls in late December, NBC announced a “Journeyman”-free autumn schedule and the trade papers announced Falls was at work instead on a Fox pilot based on the long-running Argentinean TV series “Lalola,” about a womanizer who finds himself trapped in the body of a woman. Falls and I resumed our virtual conversation a few days ago:
Have you seen Blake Edwards’ “Switch”?
How is “Lalola” different?
Well, the set-up is the same -- womanizing man turns into woman, has to deal -- but this pilot is based on the Argentine format called “Lalola,” so there's a “bible” we'd loosely follow. Frankly, the show isn't as simple as it sounds. I've read some “Journeyman” fans dismissing it. But a lot of folks dismissed “Journeyman” early on because they thought it was a rip-off of “Quantum Leap” and the show became so much more. This will be funny, hopefully smart, provocative and turn on its head the relationships between men and women. Dana Calvo, a “Journeyman” alum, has been my window into the gender.
Playing the readers' advocate here: Still kinda sounds like "Switch."
Yes, there's no getting around it, LaLola does sound like “Switch.” And the challenge will be squeezing out 100 episodes, but the Argentine version managed to make 150. However, if we get past the pilot we'll have our work cut-out, no question.
I do know this: We'll be pushing boundaries and getting into some situations that haven't been seen on television before. I thought I had a fresh take on the time travel genre and we were just getting to lift-off speed when the plug got pulled. By the way, I'd put our 13 shows up against all the returning second year shows and dare anyone to say we shouldn't be among them. Anyway, our show won't be what anyone expects beyond the pilot, I guarantee that. And it should be funny.
You’re working on other things as well?
I've got two other projects at Sony. One I didn't write, but it's a great script with a star who has never done TV before. I'm attached as the showrunner if it goes forward. In fact, everyone wanted the [Sony project’s] star for “Journeyman” last year. I'm not going to get into it until we go out to the nets, but I'll give you a scoop if it sells -- and it will.
The other is a spec I wrote during the strike and it's another angle on a sci-fi subject that the nets have been trying to crack for years -- cloning. Although, as with “Journeyman,” my way in is more personal and intimate. This one I'm keeping under wraps because there are other cloning projects out there. But I think you're going to see less sci-fi developed this year. That's why I haven't gone out with it yet.
Falls says that at the moment there are no plans for a “Journeyman” DVD or Blu-ray set
Kevin McKidd and Journeyman nominated for 2008 Saturn Awards
Saturn Award winners will be announced on June 24. A complete list of the TV nominations follows.
Best Network Television Series
Supernatural Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series
Matt Dallas, Kyle XY
Matthew Fox, Lost
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Edward James Olmos, Battlestar Galactica
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kevin McKidd, Journeyman
Anna Friel, Pushing Daisies
Lena Headey, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ghost Whisperer
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Best Supporting Actor
Michael Emerson, Lost
Greg Grunberg, Heroes
Josh Holloway, Lost
Erik King, Dexter
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Masi Oka, Heroes
Best Supporting Actress
Jaime Alexander, Kyle XY
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
Summer Glau, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
Jaime Murray, Dexter
Hayden Panettiere, Heroes
Best Presentation on Television
Battlestar Galactica: Razor
The Company: Fallen
Masters of Science Fiction
Shrek the Halls
Best International Series
Life On Mars
Best Television Series on DVD
Eureka (Season One)
Heroes (Season One)
Hustle (Complete Seasons Two and Three)
Lost (The Complete Third Season)
MI-5 (Volumes Four and Five)
Planet Earth (The Complete BBC Series)
"An Interview with Kevin McKidd."
By Rachel Thomas
If you had the opportunity go back in time to prevent a terrible accident or alter an event that could change the course of your life, would you? What if you were forced into time travel -- would you embrace it or fight it tooth and nail? NBC's Journeyman, one of this fall's most intriguing new dramas, poses that very question. The series centers around Dan Vassar, a journalist and family man who is unwittingly forced into traveling back in time. Each week, the show sets the bar higher as Dan fights to keep his marriage from falling apart, his brother at bay and his past from catching up to him as he tries to figure out why this is happening to him. To complicate matters, his dead fiancé (or so he thought) is also a time traveler who tends to show up during his journeys.
I had to fortunate opportunity to speak with Kevin McKidd, who is easily one of the nicest actors in the business, about the series, where it's headed and what his plans are for the future.
Q: How did the role of Dan Vassar come to you?
Kevin: "I had done a show on HBO and was looking at my options and what I was going to do next. I didn't even know what a pilot season was, I had never been involved in a pilot season before, so I came over, met quite a few people and read a lot of scripts. Journeyman was the one script I really loved. It was a risky choice, but I am always attracted by taking a chance. I met Kevin Falls for coffee one day. He is such a talented and gifted man, a beautiful man to be around. That was the thing that really sealed it for me. If I was going to be in bed with a group of people for a long time with a TV show, I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather be in business with."
Q: Did you do anything special to prepare for the role?
Kevin: "A lot of the writing staff are actually journalists with journalistic backgrounds, so they talked about what that entails -- making deadlines and that sort of thing. Dan Vassar has to juggle that as well as traveling in the past, so I wanted to have a good handle of what that is about and the pressure these people are under all the time. It's a time sensitive job, which is ironic for time travel."
Q: What can you tell us about upcoming episodes?
Kevin: "The episode that just aired I'm really proud of, where Dan fights himself. There are some amazing revelations that come out. Elliott Langley starts to play a much bigger role in the mystery of why this is happening. Livia starts to reveal where she's living and what her world is, which is a big revelation. We've got two episodes that are dark, as dark as we've gotten. Dan realizes he has to save a child from an abductor. He is eventually caught, but because it happens in the past, Dan actually goes off mission and he tries to save the children.
Because he didn't do what the mission wanted him to do, he basically creates his own mission and he pays for that. When the guy gets out of prison, it gets very nasty and Dan gets shot and almost dies. He has a chance to go back and meet this guy, the abductor, as a child and you get that theoretical question of if you met Hitler as a child, would you kill him? It goes to a very dark place. In the next scripts after that, a lot comes out about how many time travelers there are in the world, the genesis of them and what is causing it comes out by the time we get to episode 12."
Q: Livia's time travel is a bit confusing to me, how is she traveling if she's dead?
Kevin: "She's not dead. When the plane went down, she traveled at that exact moment and went to the place that she now resides, which is a different time than Dan's time. The thing about Livia is that she can only travel forward and Dan can only travel back."
Q: Has the writers' strike affected filming?
Kevin: "It's a really tough situation to be in. Every writer on the show is proud of the show and wants it to live and breathe. They have to respect the wishes of their union. We're one of the lucky ones because Kevin Falls (the creator) has such a functioning writing room and such a talented group of people that managed to get enough scripts out for the full thirteen episode order done."
Q: It's strange to hear you speak in your Scottish accent, is it hard to learn the American dialect?
Kevin: "I enjoy it! Ever since I was a kid, I've been obsessed with mimicking other people's dialect. I used to copy the American accents from the TV and movies, so its been a big hobby of mine for a long, long time and I get a big kick out of it. I've never played a Scottish character, except for this one movie with Patrick Dempsey coming out called Made of Honor. It felt really weird, I felt naked without doing an accent."
Q: Any projects in the works?
Kevin: "Yeah, I've got a few, but I'm very superstitious and don't like to yap on about it until it's actually signed. I'd like to do a musical in a couple years time, it all depends on Journeyman. I want to get back and do some theater, I haven't been on a stage in 7 years."
Q: Anything to say to the fans?
Kevin: "I would like the fans to know how much we appreciate their feedback and support. Keep watching and tell your friends to watch. Hopefully we’ll be on the air for years to come!"
"TV Close-Up: Kevin McKidd."
November 9, 2007
By Eirik Knutzen
Source Bend Weekly News-Oregon USA
Last chilly, soggy spring, Kevin McKidd received an urgent phone call from an agent in his London agency's TV department to report that there was a strong buzz about his work in Hollywood. Los Angeles producers who had tuned into his work as the conflicted, merciless centurion Lucius Vorenus in the BBC/HBO series Rome liked his work and obvious assets, including shapely legs when wearing the leather miniskirt of a legionnaire.
In fact, it was wearing a kilt as Lord Danley (Mary, Queen of Scots) in BBC's Gunpowder, Treason and Plot while shooting in Romania that led directly to the Rome job through American producers scouting locations near Bucharest, Romania. Between jobs as usual, the lean, mean and blond lad of 34 hopped the next plane to Hollywood in time for the annual pilot season.
"I was just prospecting, looking at several other pilots, too," McKidd explained. "But my gut feeling was to go with Journeyman. The script had been e-mailed to me and I read it off the computer screen. It was different and kind of weird, not at all the usual cop, lawyer or medical show. And then I met with the creators/producers of the show. (Kevin Falls and Alex Graves, former producers of The West Wing). Beyond talented, they happen to be very nice gentlemen." Journeyman is set in San Francisco and shot at the 20th Century Fox studios on L.A.'s Westside. McKidd portrays Dan Vasser, a Bay Area journalist who suddenly starts travelling backward in his own life through time. Often gone without explanation for hours - sometimes days - he is often in trouble with his editors and wife Katie.
His life becomes complicated when Dan discovers his deceased fiancee (Moon Bloodgood) also is rattling around in his time travels - especially since he is deeply in love with his current spouse (Gretchen Egolf) and son (Charles Henry Wyson). Jack - Dan's dull, humourless cop brother who once dated Katie - doesn't really care if his sibling is dead or alive.
Very much a family man from Elgin in Scotland's Highlands, McKidd made sure his wife Jane, son Joseph, 7, and daughter, Iona, 5, were imbedded in Los Angeles before he shot a frame of film on Journeyman.
"We made a decision long ago that I couldn't spend months away from the family because the kids are way too young.
"It has been a big adjustment for us all because we are used to quiet country living in Bedfordshire near London, which has kept us safe and sane - as it was when we all moved to Italy for Rome," he said. "The kids are now in school in the (San Fernando) Valley and seem to enjoy it. I guess the biggest adjustment is not using public transportation and walking everywhere. I see why people here go to gyms."
The son of a corporate secretary and a semi-retired water inspector in Elgin was so awe-struck by Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982 at the local cinema at the age of 11 that he joined a nearby acting company called the Moray Youth Theatre. His first job was that of the lead actor's understudy in Oliver!
"My career was pretty much set right there, but don't ask me why - I just knew it was for me," McKidd recalled, laughing at the folly of it all. "I did quite a few musical productions with the group, then enrolled at the University of Edinburgh as an engineering major - to appease my parents. Looking back, I should have studied English literature."
Eventually tired of physics and applied mathematics, he dropped out to join the Edinburgh University Theatre company. "When I got the main part in a serious production, another light bulb went off in my head. I could do straight drama as well as children's musicals. I immediately signed up for Edinburgh's small Queen Margaret Drama College - then called my parents." He was surprised to find that his parent's weren't particularly surprised by the wayward son's decision - after all, they had another son with a "proper" job close to home. A couple of years later, McKidd made his professional acting debut in The Rain Dog Theatre company's production of "The Silver Darlings," which led to a tour of Scotland's major cities and a theatrical agent in London. A major turning point was portraying the gentle, ill-fated Tommy in the Scottish feature film "Trainspotting" in 1996, a big cult hit internationally.
"I was paid real money and, at 21, blew it all very quickly," he chuckled. "I had quite a few growing pains. In London, after four years of working quite regularly as an actor, I still had to occasionally work at a building site or a pub to make ends meet."
Despite good work in smaller film and television roles, McKidd's career kept sputtering until another low-budget ($800,000) cult movie titled "Sixteen Years of Alcohol" drew raves on the film festival circuit in 2003 - including Toronto.
"After a slow start," he mused, "I was finally able to take control of my work."
"All Roads Lead to L.A." November 3, 2007
By Tony Hopkins
Source: The Scotsman
SOME ACTORS PUT THEIR GOOD fortune down to their training; some to a chance meeting with an agent or manager. Kevin McKidd, an accomplished actor who has embodied characters as varied as desperate skinheads and Roman centurions, has settled on a more prosaic explanation.
"I think it's because I've got a face like a baked potato," he says.
Whether McKidd's self-professed resemblance to the popular starch had much to do with his winning the lead role in NBC's new big-budget time-travel drama, Journeyman, is unlikely. Compared to Quantum Leap, Journeyman casts him as an everyman, a romantic; a married San Francisco-based news reporter who inexplicably and uncontrollably finds himself skipping back through time, where he busies himself saving lives and canoodling with a long-lost lover.
It's a role that demands more brain than brawn, which for McKidd was a huge part of the appeal. However, it was the actor's physically intense role as Lucius Vorenus on Rome that first alerted NBC's great and good to his talents. "Our casting director popped in a tape of Rome and I was blown away," says Journeyman creator Kevin Falls, a veteran of The West Wing. "We ended up getting what I think is a movie star and I just think he's special. He's so deep and works on so many different levels: he's romantic and tough. We're lucky - everyone was after him for their show." According to Falls, McKidd, 34, was the producers' one and only choice for the role. When the modest McKidd hears this, he typically brushes it off. "I don't know - maybe they were just being polite."
The words "polite" and "producer" are rarely used in the same sentence, and no-one in American television is resting the fate of millions of dollars of investment in one man because they're feeling courteous. McKidd is their man primarily because Rome was a notable hit in the US, and NBC wants a piece of his rising star.
On LA's Warner Bros lot, on a set squashed hopefully between the sets of TV successes Bones and Shark, McKidd is adjusting to the punishing work schedule of a one-hour US TV drama. We're in the dining room of his fictional San Francisco home, a base he's already spending far more time in than his real, new Los Angeles one.
"The schedule of shooting here is really something else," he says. "It's funny, I'd watched Hugh Laurie on telly saying, 'Oh, they work us so hard,' but it didn't quite sink in. I was like, 'Ah, stop whinging'. But he's right and they really do: you do 16-hour days regularly, sometimes six days a week." Not that he's complaining: McKidd couldn't be happier to have made the leap, quantum or otherwise. He knew he had to capitalise on Rome before his heat cooled down. So, when his agent suggested he do the dreaded LA pilot-season - a twice-yearly thespian job search where most of the upcoming season's potential new shows are cast and piloted - he decided it was now or never.
"I realised that when heat happens like that, that fast, it can go away equally as fast. It was quite an intense period, that two weeks I was here - there were literally people fighting over me."
Of all the projects sent his way, Journeyman was the only one he says he "really loved" - it felt fresh and he liked the fact that it couldn't easily be defined. And he was impressed with the writing. The fact that he instantly gelled with the producers was a bonus.
"I'm a big sci-fi fan and have been since I was a kid," he says. "I loved the original Twilight Zone, I loved Star Trek, and when I read Journeyman the reference points that spun up were Jacob's Ladder, Donnie Darko and sci-fi films with that aspect. It pointed towards films that woke me up as a teenager, that were set in the real world but were skewered and shifted and made to seem strange and different." Despite all that, he still wasn't certain he was ready to commit to life on America's west coast. "There was a lot of soul searching," he says. "You just talk about it and go, 'Are we game for this as a family?' And my wife and I looked at each other and went, 'Yeah.' We're both still young, and my wife's a really cool woman who's up for stuff. She isn't entrenched in some cosy lifestyle. So we just said, 'What the hell, give it a shot and see what happens.' "
What happened was: he shot his pilot, his pilot was picked up, and before he could say 'Where's my visa?' he was arranging to get his furniture shipped. At the risk of his Scottish mates accusing him of going all LA, he rented a house in the Hollywood Hills - "I'm a pasty Scottish man so I couldn't live by the beach, I need the shadows of the trees to hide behind" - and is happily settling into his new lifestyle.
"There's this whole British thing that you hate to admit that you actually like it out here," he says, "but actually it's quite nice. The weather's nice and people aren't miserable when they're getting their petrol at the petrol station. I love Britain so much and I miss Scotland, but sometimes it can drive you nuts."
Like many ambitious actors, this isn't McKidd's first stab at cracking America. After his first flush of success with the iconic Trainspotting, as well as roles in Mike Leigh's Topsy Turvy and the Kate Winslet vehicle Hideous Kinky, he came to the land of opportunity under less glamorous circumstances. "I was crashing on a mate's couch and I came to this very lot for a general meeting," he remembers, looking at the elaborate set built around him. "I was terrified and really quaking in my boots and didn't know where to put myself. I had a terrible meeting because I was really tongue-tied with these executives, but I remember coming onto this lot and going, 'Wow, look at this. This is the Warner Brothers lot - there's no way I'm going to muster up the courage to work here.' So that's kind of weird - I'm still pinching myself every day I drive through the lot and the security guys go 'Hi'."
If he's lucky, McKidd and the uniformed keepers-of-the-gate will be on first-name terms for some time to come. Should the show be a success, he's in for a five-year commitment; if it's not, who knows? Yet even if the show turns out to be another Lost or Heroes or House, he's not planning on turning his back on the country that helped him build his name.
"I'd like to do more Scottish films," he says. "Gillies MacKinnon just contacted me with a shoestring budget project set in the Highlands, an interesting character piece, which I think is really good. My plan has never been to end up in Los Angeles and in Hollywood: I think that's short-sighted. I do miss filming in Scotland and England because it's just so ... I'm really missing Scotland a lot; I'm quite homesick at the moment. So the thought of going to Scotland would be quite nice."
First, though, there's the small business of getting a US show off the ground. Women with clipboards and headsets are waiting in the wings to escort him back to the office set of the fictional newspaper for whom his character is a reporter, rich with detail and vast in scale. For a moment standing there he looks small and frail, a tiny cog in a giant wheel trying to achieve the near impossible.
"You know, I actually miss the weather," he says on his way to the set, the sun beating down impossibly hard. "Last weekend it was bucketing down here and I took the kids to Disneyland. A year ago we went to Disney in Paris and it was bucketing down there, and I sold the kids on going to California and Disneyland on it never raining. But you know, I felt quite at home."
"Kevin McKidd Moving to LA to Make Sci-fi Show."
November 2, 2007
by: Rick Fulton
Source: Daily Record
Exclusive: Kevin Mckidd's Us Success As Ancient Soldier Has Opened The Door To A New Life In Tinsel Town Exciting New American Sci-Fi Series Features Scots Star
KEVIN McKidd is going to give his new pals in America a taste of home by "force feeding them haggis".
The Elgin-born star has moved to Los Angeles with his young family for the next five years to star in new American sci-fi television show Journeyman.
And while at first he wasn't sure about uprooting his family, he's now settling into Tinsel Town life. But he still misses home and is planning something special in January.
He said: "On Burns Night I'm going to cook for everyone on Journeyman and force feed them haggis."
While he may have played a junkie in Trainspotting, a thug in Small Faces and a hard-bitten soldier in Rome, in real life Kevin is a family man and reveals he asked his wife Jane and two young kids Joseph and Iona about the move from Britain to LA.
He said: "That was a big factor in the decision. There was a lot of soul searching. You talk about it and say 'Are we game for this as a family?' and we just went 'Yeah we are'.
"The kids are still young and my wife's a really cool woman who is adventurous, so we decided to give it a shot.
"I was still undecided as to whether I wanted to commit to the whole five-year thing, but then I thought this may not come around again."
Kevin became a name to watch after playing legionnaire Lucius Vorenus in the BBC2 sword and sandals epic, Rome.
Before that he made a good living taking various acting jobs, but wasn't in the same league as his other Trainspotting-turned-blockbuster star friends Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald and Ewen Bremner.
But Journeyman, which will be shown on Sky One next week, has changed all that.
Created by the team behind The West Wing, Kevin plays San Francisco newspaper reporter Dan Vasser, a former gambling addict, who is suddenly given the ability to travel through time and alter peoples lives.
He attempts to rectify his own past mistakes and finds himself reunited with his former fiancee, who disappeared in a plane crash.
The show started in the US last week and 10 million viewers tuned in, helping Kevin join other Brit actors who have made asplash on American TV.
Along with fellow Scots Ashley Jensen from Ugly Betty, Dougray Scott in Desperate Housewives, the Brits in the Lost series, and Hugh Laurie in House, British actors are showing America that there's lots of talent over here to use.
As he becomes a television star in the US, Kevin and his family are also getting used to the LA lifestyle.
He laughed: "There's this whole British thing where you hate to admit that you actually quite like it out here, but actually it's quite nice.
"The weather's nice and people aren't miserable when you're getting your petrol. I love Britain and I miss Scotland, but sometimes it can drive you nuts. This place can drive you nuts too because everybody is so nice."
However, Kevin admits there are also downsides to living in Hollywood.
"We had our first earthquake recently," he said. "There's not been a tremor in six years and there was one the week after we arrived in the middle of the night.
"The TV cabinet in the bedroom looked like it was walking towards us.
"The kids slept through it - they were fine."
THE son of a plumber and a secretary at a lemonade factory, Kevin was brought up on a housing estate in Elgin, Moray.
He decided to become an actor after seeing Steven Spielberg 's sci-fi classic ET and joined the Moray Youth Theatre before going on to study drama at Queen Margaret College after one term of trying engineering at Edinburgh University in 1992.
He made his big film screen debut as the vicious gangleader Malky Johnson in Small Faces in 1996. That year he also won his first TV role as Father Deegan in Father Ted.
But it was Trainspotting that took his career to another level. In the film of the Britpop era, Kevin played the gentle junkie Tommy who contracts AIDS.
Famously, Kevin wasn't in the iconic poster with the other stars because he was on holiday in Tunisia at the time of the shoot.
Maybe that's why, as the UK went mad for Ewan, Bobby, Kelly and Ewen, Kevin was still working in a pub, as a bicycle courier, and on abuilding site to make ends meet.
But Kevin has worked hard keeping his name known in television shows like Looking After Jo Jo, North Square and Gunpowder, Treason & Plot and films Topsy-Turvy, Dog Soldiers, The Acid House and 16 Years of Alcohol.
Winning the main part in Rome in 2005 opened the door to America and Journeyman will give him the level of fame he deserves.
But Kevin admits he wasn't interested in taking up new projects after Rome stopped filming.
He said: "I'd just finished Rome, it was Christmas and I didn't want to do much. But an agent said 'Look I really think you should come over. A lot of people have been phoning up asking about you'.
"So I went to the US and one of the things I read was Journeyman and I really loved it."
Kevin also admits he hadn't realised how big Rome was in America.
He added: "It was looked down upon a bit in Britain but it was huge over here. I don't think any of us really appreciated the kind of effect it had."
The Scot also admits that his character Dan Vasser is far more like him than Lucius in Rome, but he reckons he gets parts for hard, aggressive men because of his face.
He laughed: "I've got a face like a baked potato. It's gnarly. That kind of translates well on camera.
"I'm not a particularly aggressive or intense person really, but I'm attracted to those characters, probably because they're much braver than I am.
"Dan Vasser in this show is more like mebecause he's just a guy who finds himself in these extraordinary circumstances."
While Kevin had an English accent in Rome, he has put on an American accent for Journeyman, spending considerable time with a dialect coach to get rid of his natural Doric accent.
But Kevin admits he's just finished a film with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan called Made of Honor, which will be the first time in a decade he's used his own voice.
In the film he plays a Scotsman who owns half the whisky distilleries in Scotland and it made him miss filming at home.
He said: "I'm quite homesick at the moment, so the thought of going to Scotland would be quite nice right now."
A decade after Trainspotting Kevin has arrived and while people still associate him with the film, it seems at last that not everyone revers him for it.
He said: "It's funny because it was so long ago now and you think it's going to die off.
"It was such a cultural phenomenon at the time, but maybe it's now in the past."
Ray, Amber. "Well-Traveled 'Journeyman'." Metro International (2007): Updated 22 October 2007. http://www.metrobostonnews.com/
Well-traveled ‘Journeyman’ Kevin McKidd morphs from ancient Roman to modern time traveler.
INTERVIEW. Kevin McKidd was once just another quality, sporadically employed actor/journeyman. A native of the Scottish Highlands, he spent the majority of the last 12 years toiling in British independent film. Now, of course, McKidd is enjoying TV star status, effortlessly moving from the high drama of HBO’s "Rome" to NBC’s new time-traveling series, which affords him boldface status as, ironically enough, the "Journeyman."
"Rome" was an artistic television feat. When it ended, were you left wondering how you could top that experience and what you would do next?
It was a disappointment [when the series ended]. I didn’t realize how big "Rome" was in the States, and then suddenly my agent said, "Look, these pilot people are really going nuts for you. They want to meet you; they wanted to meet you yesterday." I didn’t really want to do TV again, but when I read "Journeyman," I just fell in love with the concept and the fact that it’s not a standard TV show — it’s not "ER," and it’s not "CSI."
What struck you most about the premise of "Journeyman"?
It’s a pretty complicated situation for this guy, Dan Vasser. He loves his wife and he loves his kid and he wants to do the right thing by them, but his real love, his first love, was Livia. She died, or so he thought, in a plane crash. Through the sudden events that are happening to him — he begins [time] traveling — he finds out Livia didn’t die; she is also traveling, and she’s been watching over him for years. They start to work together, so it’s a tough bind for him. He feels something for her and she loves him, but he has his responsibilities.
Is there any particular time period you’d like to see Dan travel to?
I’d like him to go to the early ’70s and the moment of his conception. I think that would be kind of interesting.
Wouldn’t that give the guy a complex?
I think it would be so poignant, so Oedipal. Fascinating.
Music plays a major role in helping viewers realize Dan has taken a time leap. Is that one of the most vital connections we have to different decades?
I didn’t realize the music and the fashion were going to be so important on the series. It acts as a nostalgia trip for the audience, and I think it’s really one of the more poignant elements in the show. It’s a reminder of what life was like pre-9/11, how simpler life seemed then. Maybe I’m looking through rose-tinted glasses, but the world seems like a dark place right now. I think people need a way to step back into the decade when "Friends" was the biggest show, when everything was all sort of lovely and fluffy and the world seemed really nice.
"Saving 'Journeyman' - Can It Hang On?"
October 22, 2007
By: Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV senior writer
Source: Buddy TV
Those who have stuck with the character rich science fiction of Journeyman know that the show is a rare commodity, despite its slipping ratings. Its paradoxical place in the television universe as an expertly crafted character piece nuanced by the clichés of time travel pulp science fiction make Journeyman as far from a ‘niche' show as one could possibly get. Journeyman is, in fact, more for those expecting multiple layers of pomp and circumstance seasoned with a touch of the bizarre. None the less, the show does have a chance, and with the peek into the mythological aspects of its story last week, and the fortuitous order of three more scripts from NBC, the layout of the coming weeks could either make or break Dan Vassar's chance at securing a back nine.
One issue that plagues Journeyman is the prejudice that it experienced as it was awaiting release. The central device of the story, a character who travels in time to right wrongs, was laid bare for a nit picky swarm of science fiction fans to brand as banal and over done, without ever coming to know the differences that existed between the story of Vassar (Kevin McKidd) and his more familiar contemporaries.
Journeyman's writing staff would be well advised to learn a few tricks from their lead-in, Heroes. Heroes broke the serial sci-fi formula by taking a popular complaint of the sole serialized success at the time, Lost, and providing an outlet of satisfaction for those critics. In Heroes' case, it was the lack of answers to smaller mysteries. Heroes, for some time, became adept at solving short term, but highly intriguing bits of character and circumstantial conundrums.
Perhaps Journeyman's key for survival in the NBC board room lay in the ability for the show to ‘game change' in such a way that the story ceases to be the repetitive device driven drama that we know it will be from week to week. Something that has been hinted at by Lost's producers year after year, but never truly accomplished.
Right now, the constant chatter that Journeyman is just another time travel show ala Quantum Leap and Sliders is eroding the interest amongst the unindoctrinated. Show them that the show is, in fact, nothing of the sort, and bravery of such a ‘game changer' could echo loud enough for a new crop of viewers, and the NBC board room, to take notice.
Q and A with Kevin McKidd
October 01, 2007
By: Dan Fleschner
Categories: Live from Studio 1AThis morning, Kevin McKidd, the star of "Journeyman" on NBC and the former star of the critically-acclaimed series "Rome" on HBO, stopped by to chat with Meredith. After the segment, I sat down with McKidd, a Scotsman, to talk about time travel, American football and haggis.
For full disclosure, I'm a huge "Rome" fan. And at the end of the interview, he mentioned that there are talks about creating a "Rome" movie. When McKidd asked executive producer Bruno Heller if he would be in it, since his character is dead, Heller told him, "Oh, you're not dead."
Here's the rest of our conversation:
Q: Before we get into "Journeyman" and "Rome"... I saw you were at the Giants/Eagles game last night at the Meadowlands. As a Scotsman watching American football, did you have any idea what you were looking at? Go to any Scottish Claymores games in your youth?
Kevin McKidd: You know, it's funny. In the late-'80s, there was a big push to make American football big in Scotland. The Super Bowl was on TV, but it didn't really catch on. When I was a kid, though, I became a big Miami Dolphins fan. I don't really know why -- I just liked the logo, I guess. I didn't really know what was going on -- I was like 10.
Q: I'm not a sci-fi guy, but I watched the first episode of "Journeyman" and enjoyed it. What is it about this show that will keep me coming back?
KM: The thing I love about it is that it's not like anything I've read for TV before. People have tried to compare it to other time travel shows, like "Quantum Leap," but it's not like "Quantum Leap." It really can't be pigeonholed.The center of it is romantic. My character, Dan Vasser, is trapped between these two worlds, dealing with the emotional struggle of seeing his presumably dead fiancee and also being a devoted and loving husband and father.I think that's part of the magic that will engage people. In the first episode, you see his transition of going from an average guy to a guy with this strange power. As we go through the season, it becomes more of an adventure story and less of a sci-fi story.In that first episode, you see that he gets it, that he's here for a reason. But it's hard to reconcile that with his regular life, that he still has to figure out how to deal with his wife and his son.I think people are going to be really excited about the adventure and romantic side of it...the ticking clock aspect...and not get bogged down too much in the sci-fi part.
Q: Speaking of the romantic side of it...it's so emotional and almost gut-wrenching to see Dan in scenes in the past with his ex-fiancee. Obviously, none of us can relate to having the chance to talk to a loved one who has died. So how do you get into the mindset to play those scenes?
KM: Right, that's one thing I've never experienced -- nobody has. I guess I've just gotten into the magic of the "what if?" and used that as a point of reference. I guess it's just the classic Stanislavski theory, to just step into the moment.
Q: A lot has been made about your accent. You played English in "Rome" and now you're playing American in "Journeyman." Are you dying for the chance to play a Scotsman?
KM: Well, I've actually just completed a film with Patrick Dempsey called Made of Honor. It's coming out around Easter 2008. It's a romantic comedy, and I play a Scotsman who owns half the whiskey distilleries in Scotland. Michelle Monaghan plays the female lead, and I get jilted.This is the first time in about 10 years that I've gotten to work with my regular voice. I actually love working with accents. I don't know, something about it unlocks something in me. It makes me concentrate on getting into character a little more, helps me find a focus.With this movie, it was a little hard to be myself because I'm so used to using accents.
Q: Going from a character like Vorenus on "Rome" -- a Roman warrior, hot head and brooding tough guy... to Dan on "Journeyman" -- a confused, average American -- what is the toughest challenge?
KM:One thing I'm starting to realize is that audiences and critics expect you to deliver the same thing when you play different characters. But to me, playing different people is the whole point of being an actor. I love the challenge of playing different characters.I could have made Dan a hot head like Vorenus, but I'd get bored. I loved the character of Vorenus, but by the end of the show, I was a little worn out. He had such a hard, single-minded line of vision. Dan's a guy with problems. He's not the perfect American. He's had a gambling problem in the past, and one of the interesting things that happens is that Dan has to go back and be himself at the tables. So the older Dan, who has gone through rehab, has to go back and play poker again.He's a brave guy. He steps up to the plate. If that were me, I would probably just curl up in the fetal position. But he's got to come to terms with this mission, with this affliction, really. He can't drive a car, can't be left with his son, so this affliction curtails his life, forcing him to change his existence. One of my complaints with American TV characters is that they all have a particular schtick, a hook. This guy has no schtick. He's living a normal life until this thing changes him. He's got all kinds things happening to him that he has to come to terms with -- later in the season, he's going to have to kill a man. So that's really exciting for me.
Q: Any chance that Dan will go back in time to keep Niobe, Vorenus's wife, from falling off that ledge?
KM: It's funny, for now, we've decided that Dan will only go back to earlier points in his own life. But hopefully, if we have some success and can expand things, we can go back to Rome and work on the sound stage there. I would love that.But during that second season of "Rome," they wanted to give Vorenus a love interest after Niobe had died, and [executive producer] Bruno [Heller] and I really dug in our heels against it. They wanted Vorenus to end up with Niobe's sister, [Lyde]. But he will take his grief to the grave.
Q: What is the most quintessentially Scottish thing about you?
KM: I love whiskey and haggis. I can't get enough of either.
Q: Now that you're living in Los Angeles, have you gotten to eat any haggis?
KM: Not yet, but there's a place in Santa Monica that has it. On Burns Night, which is in January, when we honor the Scottish poet Robert Burns by drinking whiskey, eating haggis and reciting Burns poems, I'm going to cook for everyone on "Journeyman" and force feed them haggis.
Q: Last thing -- a trivia question. Do you know who utters the first words on the first episode of "Journeyman"?
KM: <pauses> I do, right?
Q: Nope, it's actually Matt Lauer. The first shot pans across Dan's bedroom, and the TV is on, and there are Matt and Meredith welcoming the viewers to the latest edition of TODAY. Matt is talking.
KM: You know, you're right!
Journeyman Kevin McKidd Takes on Time Travel
October 1, 2007
By: Fred Toppel
Source: NY Post
Time travel sounds like fun. Go back and invest in Macintosh, hang out with Socrates or kill Hitler. As long as you don’t stop your parents from meeting, everything should be okay. But did you ever think how you’d explain where you’ve been?
That is the dilemma facing Dan Vassar on NBC's new show Journeyman. He travels back in time to help people in moments of need, but goes missing for days in the present. Though he proves his phenomenon to his wife, his family and coworkers may be a bigger problem than time paradoxes.
Kevin McKidd plays Vassar. The veteran of HBO’s Rome makes the leap to network TV with an American accent to boot. There won’t be any swearing or nudity on NBC, but all the dilemmas of past and present should keep the actor plenty occupied.
Hollywood.com: Are you a time travel buff?
Kevin McKidd: I loved Sliding Doors. It's more movies like Jacob's Ladder that I respond to, ones that are about imagination, and give you kind of strange perceptions of what’s real and what isn't. It's less about time travel. I'm just really attracted to stories that you sit as an audience and you question, like Donnie Darko and Jacob's Ladder and movies like that. That's what I like about this show. I think it sets up a dialogue and a debate with an audience that's fun.
HW: Were you looking for another series right away?
KM: I wasn't really looking actively but there was so much heat on Rome this season, it seemed almost like I'd be stupid to look a gift horse in the mouth because there was a lot of interest in me to play a lead in a show. I'm an actor and I like to work. So in a way, I'd be biting off my nose to spite my face if I walked away from that. This is the first pilot season I've ever been involved in.
HW: Rome had such an intense character. Is this lighter?
KM: Yeah, there's going to be more fun in this. That's another reason I was attracted to it. They were keen to get me in some cop drama, stuff like that, again playing that badass, furrowed brow kind of character. I kind of want to break out of that box a little bit and try and expand the tonalities of what I can bring to the table. I love Vorenus. That character I think was so beautifully written by Bruno Heller but there were times I was like, "Gee, I wish this guy would just lighten up just a little bit."
HW: There’s the present Dan traveling back and past Dan just existing back then. Do you ever get confused reading the scripts?
KM: Oh yeah, I've got to go to [creator] Kevin [Falls] all the time and go, "Can you just explain it?" And then when he does, it makes perfect sense. That's the tough acting problem: you have to wear different hats and be young Dan and be traveling Dan and be Dan incognito. It's not a standard procedural show where the plot goes in one direction and that's it. It gives me a lot more interest as an actor. You sometimes see actors kind of switching off when they're in long running TV shows. I don't think that's going to happen with this show.
HW: How far back will he go?
KM: The only rule that Kevin Falls has told me is that he can only travel back in his own lifetime. He can travel back to the moment of his own birth and witness that but that's as far back as he can go.
HW: But no future?
KM: Well, we don't know that yet. There's a question mark over that. I think you should ask Kevin Falls that!
HW: How do you like the wardrobe of different eras?
KM: Oh man, let me tell you, those pants you guys wore in the '90s, you know the ones that were like high waisted up to your belly button, that never got to Britain. And I understand why because they're so unflattering. They're horrible. It's funny, some of the clothes I'm put in, I feel like I'm Joey on Friends. I keep singing the Friends theme tune whenever I put some of that gear on. It's hilarious!
HW: Is he ever going to go back and buy stock to set himself up for life?
KM: There's going to be a lot of irreverence in the show in that the fact that this guy is traveling back to the '90s with his own knowledge of what happens in the future. There are a lot of fun aspects that he can get into. And also, he needs mobile phones. He starts to build up a coping mechanism. He has to have cell phones and cell charges for each time period that he's going to so that he can communicate. Get credit cards, get the currency. He starts to have almost like a bat cave, which is the place he keeps all his stuff for different year periods.
HW: But he doesn’t know where he’s going. How will he know which phone to bring?
KM: Exactly! He has to always have something with him. He has, not a utility belt, but a utility jacket I think. HW: You lived in England so you had to move to Hollywood for this show. Did your whole family come with you?
KM: Yeah, they braved over too. My kids are young so it's like a big adventure to them. And the sun, it hasn't stopped raining for six weeks in England. Half of England's flooded so it's like this is awesome for them.
HW: What do you want to do in L.A. now that you're here?
KM: I'm not going to have much spare time to be honest but I really want to see things. I've only ever been to L.A., San Francisco and New York. I want to go and see some more of the countryside because I've never had the time to really explore America. I want to go skiing up to Mammoth. I want to see the deserts. I want to see Joshua Tree. I want to tour around and see the place because the west coast is amazing. There are beautiful things to see. I want to go to the Redwoods. I think we're shooting an episode in the Redwoods. So I'm excited to see parts of America.
HW: How will you follow your favorite futbol teams here in the states?
KM: Well, there's a couple of ex-pat pubs that open up at 4 a.m. You basically have to stay up all night, so I may go down there before I start filming because that’s when they play. I think there's one in Century City so it's pretty close to the studio. A friend of mine said he'd take me there.
HW: Your kids moved over with you so you’re obviously a family man. What is the best thing about fatherhood?
KM: Gee, everything's good about being a dad. The bad thing is when I have to travel away. That's why I'm taking them here. Just seeing those kids wake up every morning is the best thing.
HW: Do you see any signs of the acting bug in them?
KM: My daughter I think, yeah. My son's like yeah, whatever. He was on set of [my upcoming movie] Maid of Honor in the big wedding scene, the big final scene last week. He put a kilt on and came and got paid for it. He was like yeah, whatever. But my daughter was in a little ball gown and I'm a bit worried. I can see the light on.
Has Journeyman Kevin McKidd's Time Finally Come?
September 24, 2007
by Ileane Rudolph
Source: TV Guide
It'll be time to buckle up for the time-traveling adventures of Journeyman when it premieres tonight at 10 pm/ET on NBC. Here the show's star, Kevin McKidd, talks about playing dour, wearing a kilt and how he almost ended up in the whiskey business.
TV Guide: Who is your Journeyman character, Dan Vasser, and what's he doing traveling back in time?
Kevin McKidd: Dan is trying to be a good guy despite his checkered past — he was a gambling addict. But for some yet-to-be-discovered reason, he starts to travel back to different periods in his life. There's a mystery in each episode where he also has to help change the path of another person's life. So there's this ongoing emotional drama because he's torn between the past and the present.
TV Guide: The past includes his presumed-dead fiancée, Livia (Moon Bloodgood), while the present offers his dedicated wife, Katie (Gretchen Egolf), and son, Zack (Charles Henry Wyson). So is it cheating if you sleep with your ex in another time dimension?
McKidd: I think it is! But he can always blame his time traveling! Dan is caught between what he should do and what he wants to do. That's why I like him. He's flawed. He's committed to his wife, but Livia is his first love. Whatever the force is that's doing this to Dan, it obviously wants him to reconnect with Livia. It's very intense and complicated.
TV Guide: Does that mean Dan will smile even less than your terminally dour character Vorenus in Rome? McKidd: No! I deeply loved Vorenus, but there were times when I was like, "God, I wish he could just lighten up for a half second."
TV Guide: How did doing a high-profile HBO series like Rome affect your career?
McKidd: We spent so much time working in Italy that we didn't realize how popular Rome was. It absolutely led to this role. I'd done a lot of independent films before, but nobody knew who the hell I was.
TV Guide: How was it working for months in a skirt?
McKidd: [Laughs] When you're working in the Italian summer, it's quite nice. It's sort of like wearing a Scottish kilt. You have your own personal air-conditioner.
TV Guide: Speaking of kilts... despite your English accent in Rome and your American one in Journeyman, you are actually from Scotland. In fact, you're from the same town as Alexander Graham Bell, right?
McKidd: Yes — I'm from a beautiful town called Elgin, near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. There's a lot of farming and fishing and hundreds of whiskey distilleries in the area.
TV Guide: How did you escape life as a whiskey maker?
McKidd: I did work in a distillery for a while, which I loved, but at the age of 8 when I did my first school play, my future was pretty much sealed. Eventually I applied to drama school in Edinburgh and never looked back. I had to change my regional dialect if I wanted to work, though. It's beautiful but difficult to decipher. Now I speak with a more general Scottish accent.
TV Guide: Where are you based now?
McKidd: My wife and two kids and I were living just north of London, but we decided to spend at least a year in Los Angeles. We've rented a house and we're putting the kids in school here.
TV Guide: So what's the difference between British and American acting jobs?
McKidd: The hours are much longer here. But the professionalism of everyone is awe-inspiring.
TV Guide: There are so many British and Australian actors on TV these days. You think they'll be turning Hollywood's football bars into soccer-fan hangouts?
McKidd: There's not going to be enough room for us all if they don't!
Kevin McKidd is "Journeyman"
September 23, 2007
by: Lynn Barker, a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.
Source: Teen Hollywood
You can just picture this tall, buff, cute, Scottish guy in a kilt... or a toga. Kevin McKidd was in the mini-series "Rome" and the movies Trainspotting and Hannibal Rising. Blond, blue-eyed Kevin went to college to study Engineering at the University of Edinburgh but got involved in the school's drama theater and switched to acting. This Fall, starting Sept. 24th on NBC, you can watch this cutie as a San Francisco reporter suddenly traveling through time in the new romantic mystery series "Journeyman". We cornered the "Journeyman" star at a press party in Beverly Hills recently to ask about the show. Kevin's Scottish brogue is really hot. All dapper in a suit, the actor was flanked by a cute kid...
TeenTelevision: Oh, is he yours?
Kevin: No. This is my onscreen son Charlie (Charles Henry Wyson). He's the best actor on the planet [the cute kid beams. We say 'hi'. Kid moves on to the food area].TeenTelevision: Are you a fan of time travel films or stories? Like maybe Back to the Future?
Kevin: I loved Back to the Future but, when I read this script, the thing I connected more with were things like Donnie Darko and Jacob's Ladder. It was more like those movies that set up a real debate in the audience. When you finish watching Donnie Darko, you sit down with your friends and go 'my take on that is this'. 'No, no no'. And the same with Jacob's Ladder that great Tim Robbins movie. It's about alternate states of reality and all that kind of stuff. I guess those are the movies that sprung to mind when I read the script.
TeenTelevision: Are you hoping "Journeyman" will spark that same kind of controversy and questioning?
Kevin: I hope so. I think that's the point of good television. It creates a debate, a watercooler mentality where people will stand around the next day and it becomes event television. I think event television doesn't happen as much these days. That's why I loved doing that show "Rome". It was a real event. Each episode, something really new and different happened. That's why I didn't want to go back. If I was going to do another TV show, which I was dubious about doing, I didn't want to do a tv show that was just another tv show. Even though "Journeyman"'s a risk, I think because it's out of the box; not your standard tv show that's got a formula that's definitely going to work, but I think it's better in life to take risks and try things out.
TeenTelevision: How is your character going to balance the two women in his life? He's running around with his ex (through time) and his wife.
Kevin: That's a really tough one. I think that's where the big drama is. The crux of this whole show in a way. That's a great tension I think for the audience to look at but I think he'll make the right choice in the end but who knows [big grin].
TeenTelevision: Are you going to always travel into the past?
Kevin: I think it's always in the past but it's always within his own lifetime. He can't travel further back than the date of his birth and he can't travel any further forward, I don't think but they may change their minds on that.
TeenTelevision: Hey, Masi Oka, the time traveler from 'Heroes' is here tonight. Kevin: Really. Hey, we can have a little chat.
TeenTelevision: If you could travel back into your own life and change something would you? Maybe beat up a high school bully?
Kevin: Oh, I didn't get into fights. I was a good kid. Probably I'd change some of the fashion that I wore. Something I thought was fashion at the time. Some of the hairdos I had I regret deeply [laughs]. But I've been pretty blessed in my life. I don't feel as though I've taken many wrong turns so I guess 'no' is the answer to that question.
TeenTelevision: So, how did a kid with bad hair and bad clothes get into acting?
Kevin: [laughs]. Well I was useless at sports and I realized I could get up on a stage and make people laugh. That was it. As soon as I knew I could do that, I was on board.TeenTelevision: I don't think I've seen you do comedy.
Kevin: It started with a comedy role in a play when I was seven. I played a king in a play, a king who couldn't stop sneezing and I sent an edict around the kingdom saying whoever stops me sneezing, I'd give them a million gold pieces. I was pretty good at it. I was a very shy, tongue-tied kid. I could barely speak in public and look at me now, geez. I found having this way to express yourself that didn't require your own words but you could interpret somebody else's, was a revelation to me and helped me get over myself angood to diversify so I never saw it as an insult.
TeenTelevision: What is the key to doing an "American" accent?
Kevin: The key is hard work, perseverance and learning the rules. There's a set of rules to an American dialect. If you don't learn each one of them and have them ingrained in you so you know what to look at; what vowel and consonant sound to use at the right moment, then you'll get it wrong and the American audience will hear it. You have to do your homework.
TeenTelevision: Is it hard not to do an impression of American actors you've heard? You have a delightful accent but weren't you told to change it or you wouldn't get work? [He doesn't have an accent in the show].
Kevin: I respect actors that stick to their own thing and never really change their persona. A lot of people think that's what a 'movie star' is. But, for me, I've always loved transformations. Acting and trying to change yourself, disguise yourself and become somebody else so I never saw it as an insult. A lot of Scottish actors are quite political about it. They always say, 'I will always be a Scottish actor and just play Scottish characters because I feel that that's a political choice' but I think that's short-sighted and it's.... That's the thing is to make it so it doesn't sound like an impersonation. Make it sound like your own voice but with an American accent. That's the key to doing it naturally and believably. I hope I've done that. Some actors just stay in the accent all the time but I can't do that. It's too much like hard work. I feel like I can jump in and out.
TeenTelevision: Have you done any research on being a reporter?
Kevin: I knew some reporters in Scotland so I kind of know how high-pressured your job is. I take my hat off to you. It's really tough [we love this guy!]. So I talked to them about it. I think, once we get filming I'm going to try to get down to a newsroom and see what's going on as news is changing.
TeenTelevision: You probably had more freedom on HBO [for "Rome"]. Is working on a network show more restricting?
Kevin: I think some people say that because you can swear on a certain channel, that makes that channel cooler. I think that's really short-sighted. I think you can make interesting, engaging and challenging drama without having to resort to excessive nudity or swearing or all that stuff. You can still peel the onion in a network situation and make an outstanding show.
TeenTelevision: So I guess there won't be a third season of "Rome"?
Kevin: We fought and fought to try and get a third season but the numbers just didn't add up. It was such an expensive show. I'm so glad I did that show. I'm so proud of it but I think it burned a little too brightly and was never meant to last beyond a few seasons. It was a special show. But they are talking about a one-off movie to say goodbye to it. We just all have this feeling that it's not done yet. We have one more story to tell. So, I hope that that happens.
McKidd and Falls on NBC's "Journeyman"
13 September 2007.
September 13, 2007
Original Source link appears to be defunct
ComingSoon.net jumped at the chance to interview both of these men [writer-creator Kevin Falls and star Kevin McKidd] in a conference call to learn more about the men and the series. It was easy to tell the men apart because Kevin McKidd was born in Scotland and has an accent that is quite recognizable.
Q: I see that some intense personal relationships play a big role in the show. Can you talk about the importance of Dan and everybody in his life?
Kevin Falls: Yeah, it's not a triangle. It's a rectangle. And certainly Dan has to balance not only his beautiful wife in the present, but he has this fiancée who died at the apex of their relationship. So, he is straddling these two women that he loves in a very epic manner. If that isn't an ingredient for a Soap I don't know what is. Couple that with the fact that the Jack character, played by Reed Diamond, was also at one point dating Katie, Dan's wife.
Q: I guess that gives you (Kevin McKidd) a lot more to play with than in just a sci-fi aspect?
Kevin McKidd: That's why I think the audience will connect with the show if we have done our job well. The sci-fi audience should connect with the show because of the intrigue with great plots and twists and the devises that we can use with the time travel element. The thing that tones it down and gives it a sense of reality is the interpersonal relationships between these quite complex and very human and flawed people. That's what attracted me to the project and hopefully that is what will attract the audience.
Q: Do you think that will bring in more women to watch the show?
McKidd: I think so. I've seen how the show is going to be marketed and NBC is doing a beautiful job. You are going to see some magazine spreads in the next couple of weeks. They are really going to hit the triangle hard between Moon (Bloodgood), Gretchen (Egolf) and Kevin. We're not going to shy away from it. I think that is what gives it a specialty apart from a lot of the time travel shows that have been done in the past.
Q: Some of the scenes in "Journeyman" appear to be physically demanding. What was one of the hardest physical things you had to do in "Rome?"
McKidd: On "Rome" there were so many hard days, but probably the hardest sequence we shot was in episode ten of season one with a big gladiator fight. That was physically very hard, but you get to play out these boyhood fantasies of being a gladiator.
Falls: To add a perspective, we are doing this conference call in my office at Fox Studios. Kevin is wearing a tuxedo. That's for the scene we are doing to today.
McKidd: It really is night and day from "Rome" to this show, but it can be pretty physically demanding.
Falls: It's getting to be physically demanding, and Kevin, of course, has strength there. The scene we are shooting today is very romantic and Kevin, when we had our first meeting he told me something that surprised me. I loved what he did in "Rome," and he said, "I confess, I'm a romantic. I love the romance." When you see episode three, which we are shooting now, and he is wearing the tux, it is really beautiful and fun and tense, all at the same time, and Kevin delivers in every way.
Q: This is for both of you. If you could, like in the show, would you want to be able to travel within your lifetime and go back and see how things could have been different or changed?
McKidd: I think I am intrigued with the small things, but hopefully I haven't taken too many wrong turns. I think about the show and people that are maybe taking the wrong path need to be nudged back onto the correct path in their lives. I am a very lucky person playing this part with a great team for NBC, so hopefully that kind of points to that I haven't made too many mistakes.
Falls: We'll find out (he says jokingly).
McKidd: I don't think I would want to be burdened with this affliction that poor Dan Vasser has had, no.
Q: What about you Kevin (Falls)?
Falls: I wouldn't change anything, but I think I would love to go back and observe some of my early years, but then, I could probably just go back and watch the movie "Superbad" and that would pretty much be my life.
Q: This is for Kevin Falls. What was the genesis of this for you? And then, for both of you, how did Kevin McKidd get involved? Was it a long process or were you reaching out specifically to him, or what?
Falls: For the genesis, here in June I go and have lunch with my agent and he said, "What are you going to develop this year? What have you got?" I said, "Nothing." And he said, "Well, why don't you do something different, like a different genre?" I go, "Like what?" He says, "ABC's been looking to do a time travel show." So, I thought if I could do it in a very grounded way I would love to do it. I came up with the pitch for "Journeyman" and went into ABC and they promptly passed. Then I went to NBC, and to their credit, they got the show from the very beginning and held me to its original vision. How Kevin got involved was interesting in that I had watched the first couple episodes of "Rome," and I'm telling this for the first time. I didn't watch it much after that. Then, we were cast contingent way back when, and we had to get an actor. The usual list of suspects, some very fine actors, came across the board. Robert Ulrich, our casting director, popped in this tape of "Rome" where Kevin, you watch the woman fall off the balcony after you thought she was the mother of your child. The executive producer and I were so blown away and all we wanted was Kevin. We called NBC and NBC said we love Kevin McKidd. He's fantastic, but I don't know if we see him in this. They really did like him. Everyone in town wanted him for his talent. They just didn't necessarily see him in this. We went back and we looked at other actors. Alex and I said, "You know what; we're going to call Kevin Riley personally one more time." We call him up and said, "This guy's the bomb and we think he is great." At the same time, Kevin was looking at Kevin McKidd's picture on IMDb and he was all gladiatored up. He says, "You know what? I think this guy is the real deal." He calls back and said, "Let's do it." It was one of those things that happen in your career. We knew he was good. I'm not just saying that because he is sitting in this room. We just didn't know that he was great. The first day, he tumbles off a plane and has to shoot an ultimate scene in the pilot. Alex Graves turns to me and says, "My God, we've got ourselves a movie star." I don't know Kevin if you are just passing through. I don't know what is going to happen with "Journeyman" but I know that Kevin is going to go on and do great things.
Q: It's uncanny how believable Reed (Diamond) and Kevin are as brothers, visually and physically.
McKidd: It's funny how on the first day of prep that we instantly hit if off. He's such a great guy. He really is. He looks more like my brother than my brother.
Q: This is for Kevin McKidd. Rumors are starting that there is a possibility that you may get to play Thor. Is this true and how interested would you be in taking on that role?
McKidd: It is semi true. I didn't know about it either until I heard the rumors. I called my agent and the last I heard was I think they want to go with somebody much younger, a nineteen or twenty year old for that role. Although they may be switching their sights, the other main male character in that movie I think I am in consideration for. It certainly is by no means in the bag. To be honest until I read a script I don't really know so this is all still information coming out. It could be fun, but it depends on what is on the page. It all starts and finishes with the script.
Q: Do you watch any other time travel shows to get inspiration, like "Quantum Leap?"
Falls: I swear to God, I have never seen "Quantum Leap." I know there are some similarities but I only hope we can be as successful as they were, but I never saw it.
McKidd: I actually watched "Quantum Leap" a lot when I was younger. It was huge in the U.K. "Quantum Leap" really isn't a time travel show in the sense that each episode the lead character transforms completely in the eyes of whoever is around him. I remember there was one time he played an African-American boxer. That was really the thrust of the show as opposed to any kind of traveling back and forth in time. The more I think about it is an easy pitch to kind of latch on to "Quantum Leap," but if you look at the format "Quantum Leap" wasn't a time travel show it was a transformation show. It was about a lead character who became a different character or person, which this show isn't like that at all.
Q: Can you tell us what the complications are like to go back and forth between the two different loves from different years? Are there any repercussions because of that?
Falls: Yeah, that is the heart of the show. What separates it from other shows that have done this is that he does love both women. He really loves his wife and his son and doesn't want to change it. He loves Livia because she was taken from him not like a divorce, or he got dumped, or he dumped her. Their relationship ended at the apex of it. They were going to get married. So, how could you not still have some feelings if you run into this person again? That is the real complication of the series. We talked to executives who work on the show and people who have seen the pilot. We find people who are identifying with the changes week to week. The actresses are so strong and Moon is wonderful and they have great chemistry in that pilot, but when you watch Gretchen in episode one, she is great in the pilot too, but you see this is really more her episode. That was the hardest thing to do to cast these two people because if that teeter-totter tips any way the show can fall apart. I'm happy to say that after five episodes it is a toss up.
Kevin McKidd Travels through Time in NBC series "Journeyman"
By Luaine Lee MCT News Service
September 12, 2007
Source: The Morning Call
Scottish actor Kevin McKidd is no stranger to time travel. He was 8 years old when he thrust himself into the future at first sight of the film, ''E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.''
McKidd remembers, ''I went to see that movie with my dad, and it just hit me with such an emotional level, that movie as a kid … I think that was a big light bulb moment in my head. I didn't know I'm from the wrong side of the tracks as far as that goes and nobody from Elgin has been an actor … that was the beginning, all I thought then was, 'I want to be that kid who made friends with an alien.' That was the beginning of the journey, and I never strayed from that.''
McKidd visited the '30s for ''Delovely,'' fought in the Crusades in ''Kingdom of Heaven'' and served as the powerful Roman solider, Vorenus, in HBO's ''Rome.''
So it's not surprising to find McKidd starring as a San Francisco reporter who finds himself transported to alternate times in NBC's new ''Journeyman,'' premiering Sept. 24. In fact, McKidd says he relates to ''Journeyman'' and how decisions can send tremors through the future.
He was newly married and could not find an acting job. ''I was working at this building site and the boss said, 'I could train you up and you could get this skilled job doing this thing called diamond cutting.' In buildings, which are made of huge slabs of concrete, you have these diamond cutting machines, which drill huge holes in the concrete through all the utility pipes and wires and stuff. He said, 'If you stick in with me for six months you'll be a fully trained diamond cutter, making $40,000 a year guaranteed.'
''I went home and was lying in bed that night. It was a real fork in the road. I was going to go and take the apprenticeship and my agent phoned -- she hadn't phoned me in a month. And she said, 'You have an audition tomorrow morning.' … I thought, 'I've got to choose now.'''
He chose the audition and, though he didn't get the role, he never veered again.
McKidd was in Romania, trussed up in Elizabethan finery, playing Mary Queen of Scots' lover when he first heard producers were scouting the area for making ''Rome.'' They'd not even begun casting, but a friend of his put together a short reel of McKidd's Elizabethan performance and he approached the producers about a role in the miniseries.
The rest, as time travelers say, is history. ''As soon as 'Rome' finished -- because the show did really well -- there was a lot of what they call 'heat' on me to do pilots,'' says McKidd, seated in a booth in a hotel bar here.
''I was supposed to do something in Europe, a biopic on Dylan Thomas. It didn't happen. I said, 'I'm busy doing this stuff, thank you very much.''' Producers insisted he read some of the pilots. ''They were all good scripts but they were sort of generic cop dramas … I said, 'I can't see myself doing this especially after something like ''Rome.''' When I read 'Journeyman,' I really liked it. I thought it was different and interesting and really imaginative and cleverly written. That's all you can go by. If you go to the writing, hopefully you won't lose your integrity because you're doing it for the right reasons.''
McKidd's dad was a plumber, his mom a secretary at a hotel. Both his grandfather and great grandfather were farmers. Without really realizing it, his grandfather on his mother's side inspired him to act.
''He was called Geordie. He was a farmer and loved to drink whisky and wore a cloth cap and was a hero. He had hands like shovels and could tell amazing stories. We used to go to the local pub in Elgin and listen to his songs. He knew all these northeast ballads and would sing these to the whole pub when he'd had a few whiskies. And you could hear a pin drop in these pubs. He had this magnetism. One moment he'd have the whole place laughing their heads off by some little anecdote he could breathe life into, and the next he'd tell some story about hardships -- they had really hard lives, these guys.
''He told one story where it was so cold, he had to milk the cows at four in the morning, and his boots were frozen to the ground. Because there was no heat in the house he had to put his feet into his boots and wait until his feet thawed his boots so he could go to work. He'd have people crying. When he passed away I think that's when I really became a man, I think. I knew I had to carry on for him because he was a brilliant actor.''
The father of a son, 7 and a daughter, 5, McKidd fell for his wife, Jane, at first sight. ''I met her at a Christmas party. I was doing a show with Diana Rigg in the West End and Toby Stephens. I didn't even want to go because they were all snooty English, posh actors. I didn't like them very much. I liked Toby and Diana, but it was too West-Endy for me. I went and met this girl there who I'd seen earlier. She worked in the box office at the theater across the road. I met this girl, and got to talk to her. I had one Coca-Cola … It sounds so corny -- my wife would kill me if she knew I told you -- but I knew right then I was going to marry her. I literally walked on air back to my car. I remember it was a cold, crisp winter's night in King's Cross. Two weeks later I asked her to marry me. She didn't hesitate.''
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
Journeyman's McKidd Looks Ahead
SciFi.com 08/29/07 Ian Spelling
Kevin McKidd, who stars as Dan Vasser on NBC's upcoming time-travel series Journeyman, told SCI FI Wire that he knows a great deal about his character but doesn't yet know everything about what's actually happening to him.
McKidd (HBO's Rome) plays Vasser, a San Francisco newspaper reporter who inexplicably and involuntarily finds himself tossed back through time and into different periods of his life. In the present, Vasser has a wife (Gretchen Egolf) and young son, and in the past he reconnects with his apparently dead former fiancee (Moon Bloodgood), all the while helping people in need as part of a mission he may or may not be on.
"I'm not in the dark in the sense that I kind of know what we're gunning for, but I think [executive producer] Kevin Falls would decapitate me if I told you what that is," McKidd said in an interview. "There is a big, interesting theme that, at the end of season one, in the 22nd episode, the egg is going to be cracked on why, exactly, this is happening and what is going on. But it's going to unveil a much bigger reason, a much more almost weblike reason, that this phenomenon has suddenly started to take place, [in] a more global sense."
McKidd, a Scottish actor whose credits include Dog Soldiers and the recent film The Last Legion, said that he's been invited to sit in on sessions in Journeyman's writing room, but has so far chosen not to take Falls up on the invitation. He prefers, "just purely as an actor," not to be privy to all that, he said.
"It's better for me to be experiential through the whole thing," McKidd said. "If I start to know too much about my [character's] journey, then I think that can affect the acting, and you can become too knowing. ... I think it's better to be a clean slate in that respect." Journeyman premieres Sept. 24 and will air Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (NBC is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.)
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