CBS’ sci-fi thriller Salvation returns tonight at 9 PM EST with a special double episode. Tonight’s episodes are titled “Seeing Red” and “From Russia, With Love.”
Ahead of tonight’s shows, CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke with Ian Anthony Dale who plays Harris Edwards about taking on this role, working with his castmates and what his character has gone through in this action packed first season.
MW- Good morning Ian, how are you doing?!
IAD- I’m good Matt! How are you?
MW- Doing just fine! So I’m always interested in the back stories behind how an actor gets involved with a show. What attracted you to Salvation and beyond that what was it about playing Harris Edwards that excited you?
IAD- Well when Salvation first came across my desk and i red it, i was struck by how many different genres seemed to be packed into this one story. It’s got a little bit of a sci-fi element, it’s a geo-political thriller and you’ve got a love story all wrapped into one. I had never worked with Liz Kruger or Craig Shapiro before but I had heard really great things about them before so the combination of a really exciting, well written script and knowing where the project was coming from, that was pretty much all it took to sell me to come on board. I’ve been working in the CBS family for quite some time on Hawaii Five-O and I figured why not stay within a family I’ve very comfortable with.
With Harris Edwards, I’m always drawn to characters that have an occupational obligation that doesn’t always align with their moral and ethical responsibilities. When you have a character like that it’s ideally designed to be ripe with conflict and conflicted characters are some of the most enjoyable characters you can play. After having an initial conversation with Liz and Craig I just found out where they planned to go with this character and how they planned to develop him and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made coming on board this show because it’s truly been one of the most rewarding experiences creatively and then on top of that getting to work with Jennifer Finnigan, Santiago Cabrera, Charlie Rowe, all the way down – the entire cast and crew this has been one of the most harmonious, collaborative groups I’ve ever worked with and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience that’s for sure.
MW- I think that chemistry you talked about with the cast really comes through when you watch the show and adds a lot to the experience. Can you talk a little more about working with Jennifer and Santiago, Charlie and the rest of the cast?
IAD- Absolutely, a little story about Jennifer – we’ve known each other for about 15 or 16 years now, we used to party together back in our younger days in Los Angeles [laughs]. We had lost touch for several years and when I found out that she was in the cast it was another incentive for me to come on board. I think that history we have and that chemistry that we had already established – that benefited us when we were on screen. I think maybe the first day of filming the pilot having to play intimate scenes and playing these characters who have such a deep and rich love for each other. That definitely benefited the two of us and throughout the course of the season it was great to re-establish that connection. I’m so fond of her, she’s such an incredible person and an incredible actor and she definitely elevated my work throughout the season.
What was also unique about working with Santiago and Jen in particular was my wife was pregnant during season, Jen was pregnant during season, Santiago had a one year old son, we’re all about the same age and the most unique of circumstances in terms of what we were all experiencing in our lives and how we were able to bond over that. Then Charlie was sort of our adorable, adopted little brother [laughs]. It’s impossible not to fall in love with that guy and he adds such a youthful exuberance to our show and this sort of wonderment that I think the audience can easily lose themselves in and go on the journey with him. So yea, I’m glad that you are picking up on the chemistry of the cast because it’s clearly a big reason why the experience for me is so rich.
MW- And another aspect that comes through in the show is the attention to detail that goes into every episode. The show obviously has a science-heavy back drop and there is a lot of real science being discussed to explain what is going on. What’s has been it like working on a show rooted in so much actual scientific data?
IAD- The subject matter is pretty epic. We’re dealing with an asteroid coming to hit Earth, we’re dealing with the geo-political fallout of an event of that nature and there’s always going to be a certain amount of suspension of disbelief when you’re dealing with subject matter like this so it’s critically important for the writers to try to get the science as accurate as possible so we could make the show feel as grounded as possible because the more grounded it feels the more likely the audience is to engage and to have it feel relatable. That was important. I’m just so happy I’m not the one who has to say all the science jargon [laughs]. I’ll leave that up to Santiago and Charlie because if I had to do that everyday like they did I don’t know if we’d be watching the same show that’s for sure.
MW- Now we’re at a point in the season where, conflict is really starting to boil over. You talked about the internal conflict for Harris as he walks the line between his obligations and his morals, but there are also plenty of external conflicts between characters. It seems like all trust has faded away and no one is really sure where everyone else’s allegiances lie.
IAD- Yea, trust is a huge part of the central story of our show. Who can you trust? Is there anybody you can trust?I think at this point in the season, we’re about to air episode seven and eight this evening, and by the end of tonight’s double header I think things are going to become clear that there is no one left in Harris’ inner circle that he trusts anymore. The love triangle between him and Grace and Darius has become as complicated as ever and certain choices are made in episode seven and eight that would appear to sever the bond between Grace and Harris forever. But you never know the pendulum may swing back in favor of Harris and Grace towards the end of the season but we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.
MW- Awesome, I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds later tonight. Last question before you go, I’ve actually spoken to Santiago and Jennifer about the show as well and now that it’s your turn, can you describe Salvation in three words?
IAD- Three words?
MW- Three words!
IAD- Yes, I can. Humanity, hope and love.
MW- Great stuff! Congratulations on the show and enjoy the rest of your day!
IAD- Thanks Matt, I appreciate that. Pleasure talking to you.
MW- You too, take care!
Salvation returns tonight with a double episode starting at 9 PM EST, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.