I’m a firm believer that if I can get double the fun, I absolutely should. And since I’m a woman of my word, that’s what happened today, as I had the chance to talk with both the uber bright, funny and lively (and let’s not forget ridiculously handsome… sorry, that had to be said) Marc Blucas and the equally super charming football superstar Terrell Owens about the upcoming season finale of my new favorite show, USA Network’s “Necessary Roughness”. I know, it’s too much luck all at once. Though to be fair, Madame La Chance definitely owes me some more. But I can see your jealous faces and yes, I understand I deserve it. (Excuse me, my phone just rang. “Hello? Oh hi Madame La Chance. What, you’re saying you arranged for me to marry Henry Cavill next week? Well I guess we can call it even then.” THIS is how much Lady Luck owes me.)
Now, while I recover from batting eyelashes and swooning over how fantastically smart and funny Marc Blucas was and how charming Terrell Owens also was, let me sum up the basics for those who are not in the know. 1)There are going to be QUITE A FEW SPOILERS AHEAD. If you don’t want to be spoiled, DO NOT READ! (and you will miss out on Marc Blucas’s wit and on Terrell Owens’s determination to become a good actor, be warned). I’m also going to reference what happened in Wednesday’s episode, so if you haven’t watched yet and don’t want to know, go do those extra 200 pull-ups that will make you have a twelve-pack like Terrell Owens’s . Yes I said 12-pack. See below (as if I’d ever miss the chance to showcase a super fit, handsome athlete in one of my stories. Not to mention he is a majorly nice man).
More importantly, 2) if you have never watched “Necessary Roughness”, get on it now. I’m not one to recommend TV shows easily unless I really think they’re worth it, so here goes. This show may well be the first one I am so hopelessly in love with after Alias. Not that it has anything, and I mean literally anything, in common with Alias in terms of style or topic. It’s a completely different type of show and a far less dark and far less “dramatic” show than Alias. It’s your typical USA Network product (charm, wit, never over dramatic but always with great story developing) but with a bit more of an edge to it. Basically the sports-based cousin of the other new great show USA Network introduced this summer, “Suits”.
“Necessary Roughness” has the two things that matter the most in common with Alias: great writing and a fabulous cast. And I’ll give you that Blucas does remind me of my TV husband Michael Vartan when he plays Matthew Donnally on the show [Matt is the athletic trainer for the Hawks football team], so that clearly draws me in. Plus I just cannot resist the [singlepic id=30480 w=320 h=240 float=left]very talented Mehcad Brooks (who plays the Hawks football star Terrence “TK” King on the show) and that smile of his. What, I never said I didn’t like handsome men.
So, without further delay, let’s see what Marc Blucas and Terrell Owens had to say about the upcoming sure-to-thrill-us finale of Necessary Roughness and about Matthew Donnally and All-Pro Safety/Cornerback Kevin “The Mine-field” Minnifield (Owens’s character in the finale, who is TK’s lifelong rival). Warning: some serious swooning will follow.
Previously on Necessary Roughness: Marc Blucas’s character Matt (or Matty D, as TK calls him) swept us all off our feet and then some when he went to Dr. Dani’s (the Necessary Roughness lead character and therapist for the Hawks, played by the superb Callie Thorne) house on the day of her first wedding anniversary as an ex-wife, and after cheering both her and her mother up over dinner, he told Dani good night, only to immediately make a detour, knock on the door, plant a wet one on Dr. D’s luscious lips and then whisper in her ear “I know what I want. You let me know if you’re in.” Cue irresistible little smile and him walking away. Then we all downed drinks to recover. Then we put our TiVos to good use. I must have re-watched that scene 20 times. It was bloody perfect. I know, I know, you wonder why these men never knock on your doors. They never knock on mine either so don’t complain, we’re all on the same boat.
Anyway, Matt laid down the law for Dr. D and he did so with such determination and sexiness to it, no sane woman would ever be able to say no. But, this being TV, we will have to wait for next week’s finale to see what conclusion Dani comes to. And meantime, there will be some major quantity of football drama to deal with, as the Hawks are in the playoffs and TK finds himself facing “the Mine-field”. That’ll be enough for TK to have a meltdown, and Matt and Dani to join forces to once again save TK from himself.
Alessandra: “There is an interesting parallel in the relationship between Matt and TK and the relationship between Matt and Dani. It seems like whenever Matt and Dani are closer, Matt and TK also manage to have a closer relationship. It happened throughout the season, it happened last episode, and it’s going to happen in the finale too, as it seems Matt and Dani once again join forces to “save” TK from himself. Can you tell us a bit (without spoiling too much of course, we know you can’t) about the parallel between the two relationships and how that has events unfold in the finale?
Marc Blucas: “Good question. I’m going to cover it in general first and then get specific. What I like so much about Matt and playing a trainer is that there are two aspects to his character that I can work with. He’s part of those who manage the team so he’s got to deal with that side of it BUT he’s the trainer so that deals with the most specific sports part of it – and it so often happens that the trainer ends up having good friends amongst the players. I played both sides, so Matt is part of some of the decisions at the administrative level and he gets to call the shots and then there’s this whole other aspect that involves the athletes more specifically, and in real life the trainers spend SO MUCH time listening to athletes and talking with them, so you could always get a chance to form a friendship with a player. And that is what happened between Matt and TK. It was a natural friendship between Matt and TK. Matt and Dani often have to join forces in order to help him. In the finale they will have to do that once again because as we go into the playoff game, he finds himself faced with his worst enemy. I think that we always have that person in our head and it always messes with you and someone reacts well and someone doesn’t. Matt and Dani in the finale have to do what they can to keep TK going.”
So beware, a plate full of drama will hit our beloved TK again in the finale. And his two saviors Matt and Dani will once again work through it. Except, they will have their own personal decisions to make as well, after that scene on Dani’s doorstep that just about made me melt like butter on my warm toast. And, things may turn out to be very interesting for the two of them…
Marc Blucas: “I really try to play Matt as a straightforward type, and we all get to a point in life where we know exactly what we want and we know exactly what makes us happy. Matt is definitely at that point. He’s done playing games, both professionally and personally. And that’s exactly what happened with Matt and Dani. At the end of the day Matt and Dani only had a one night but Matt sees the potential there to develop something more and he wants to see what that will be, so he laid it out clearly for her.”
“I think the timing for Matt to tell Dani what he did last episode was right. I respect the fact that he has it very clear, “these are the things I want” and there is “this can be done and this can wait and this is not negotiable”. He’s been through that stage of being on the road, going to hotels with the guys, having fun with the groupies (or lobby hos as I now call them, it’s my new favorite expression!) [he laughs], he’s done that already, and he’s met someone that has [singlepic id=30481 w=320 h=240 float=right]created a spark in him that he wants to explore. That’s as far as we can go because in the end so far they’ve only had one night. I like that he has the courage to say (to her) “I have an opportunity and I want to give it a shot and jump full in, so if you’re ready to jump in the water, then let’s give it a shot”. I always say, if you’re not happy with where you wake up and where you go to bed then the rest of the day is going to get a lot more complicated. I am a big believer in “it always starts at home.” So I really like that Matt is trying to create that because he’s missing the home part in his life.”
“I don’t think Matt wants to be an athletic trainer for all his life, he wants to go to the front office and be the one calling the shots, he wants to be part of putting a team together. He doesn’t want to be stuck where he is all his life. Unlike other characters, Matt you don’t know much about, we’ve only seen little tidbits of where he wants to go so that’s going to be an interesting part to develop. He’s got both the professional side and the personal side going on. You have to have that duality. We all bring our home to work and we all bring our work to home so I’m excited to see where the writers are taking this.”
Well stick me with a fork, I’m done. Marc Blucas and the character he plays combined make up the perfect man. Can I order one to take away? Make that two, you never know. Ahem.
So, if things keep going in the direction of building a stable relationship between Matt and Dani, chances are he’ll finally meet both of “the chicklets”, of course. The chicklets being Dani’s teenage son and daughter, per TK’s own definition (hilarious as usual, but it works way better when Mehcad Brooks says it). Here is what Mr. Blucas had to say about Matt meeting Ray J (played by Patrick Johnson) and Lindsay (played by Hannah Marks). He has already met, and made quite an impression on, Dani’s mother, played by Concetta Tomei. Allow me to say, Mama Santino is possibly one of the most hilarious characters I’ve ever seen. She never fails to crack me up, even when I want to strangle her!
Marc Blucas: “It’s funny because we literally NEVER even meet on set! We’ve made that a joke. After we wrapped as we were hugging and celebrating we were saying “It was so nice working with you, congrats on YOUR show, because we’re not on the same show!” We NEVER have scenes together. So when I finally got to film at Dani’s house and meet her mother, it was literally the FIRST time I met Concetta.
Matt is a very fun, easy going type so I look forward to seeing what happens once he gets to meet the kids and be more of a presence in their life. The interest and fun would be exploring Matt being more of a disciplinarian figure toward the kids, because of him being so easy going and fun usually. It will be interesting and fun to explore all those natural emotions that come up when you introduce a new person in a home life. It’s gonna have to be a rollercoaster ride, because always happy relationships don’t make for good TV, so there will have to be that third side of the triangle, after they have been happy for a while, whether it is jealousy, tension or a conflict. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how the writers develop that for next season.”
Oh it’s gonna be very interesting for you and me both, Marc, you and me both! Speaking of, there is no official announcement from USA Network yet, but it’s pretty clear the show will be getting a second season, thanks to its excellent ratings this season. Get on it, USA Network executives, pretty please? I want to know if I am going to die a slow, painful death by having to wait a full year before Necessary Roughness is back or whether (like I think is most likely, and it better be if you have my life at heart, you hear me USA Network execs?) it will be back when Royal Pains and White Collar also resume, at the beginning of next year. Don’t think I’ll let it go, USA Network execs. I love you so much and all because you produce some of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever watched, but I won’t be happy if I’m not given an official announcement about “Necessary Roughness” ASAP! Especially since you’ve done so with all the other shows already. Put me out of this misery, please!
And now let me get back to the delicious Marc Blucas and his character. And promise, Terrell Owens is coming up, too!
Alessandra: “Matt has become the real “balance” center of the show. The theory is it’s Dani BUT truth is, while Dani can certainly help people with the bigger behavioral problems, Matt is the person who always has his feet firmly on the ground and he has the guts to give honest advice and tell people the truth when they ask him. He’s the one who most often can make some sense out of situations. Was it your idea to make him sound like the most “everyday people, common sense” character of them all?”
Marc Blucas: “It was a little bit of both. I have conversations with creators about it and about where I’d take the character on one side, and on the other I do get cast being the voice of reason often. If you ask my wife she says: “I don’t know why you’re cast as that!” [he laughs. So do I, his wife clearly knows better than casting directors? Ha!]
“I told the creators from the start I would really like to see his [Matt] character as someone who is very blunt, direct, honest and he’s done with games and all that goes with them both in his personal life and in his professional life. So it was a great opportunity to play the character exactly like that.”
“Dani is gonna go through a lot of obstacles and she’s gonna have her rollercoaster and TK is a human tornado, he’s always in trouble. So there has to be something in between there, a bridge between those two worlds so to speak, so it makes sense that Matt is that guy. It also gives Matt a fun place to go, if we’re so lucky as to get more seasons and as to have the opportunity to go on telling this story, you see a character that’s seemingly very put together and it’s fun for both the actor and the audience to see where he’ll go when faced with situations.”
And when asked what made him pick this role and come back to TV, Mr. Blucas explained how he liked the idea of playing someone he could relate to instead of making the choice of playing someone who’s the opposite of who he is, always the favorite challenge for an actor. And he then summed it up hilariously as follows:
Marc Blucas: “Hey, in the world of actors I’m a phenomenal fucking athlete! It has been a nice thing for me to come out and have them write for something that was for me, about the first part of my life and first passion that I had.”
Speaking of phenomenal athletes, here comes the one and only Terrell Owens. And get ready, because he’s VERY serious about his acting career, and Marc Blucas promises he’s got a talent that people couldn’t see coming.
Terrell Owens: “I’ve done a lot of cameos here and there and as of lately I’ve done a lot of acting. I did a comedy last year that’s hopefully gonna be hitting the theaters this fall, I did an episode of “Single Ladies”, I also did an episode of “Good Christian Belles” that’s gonna air in the fall. I’ve known Marc Blucas for a while and I’m thankful to USA and everybody that brought me on board to play and participate in “Necessary Roughness”.
[singlepic id=30482 w=320 h=240 float=left]I sat down with directors and executive producers and I didn’t really know what the character was gonna be like until I started reading through the script. And once I started reading through it, I started to understand his mental attitude and what he would be like. Everything is so new for me that I’m always sitting around, trying to take everything in, listen to directions and I really want to be serious about acting. When you have people like Marc and Mehcad and everyone that’s involved in “Necessary Roughness” it makes the environment that much better and it makes it so much easier doing your job. I’m trying to grasp everything that I can watching these guys act and perfect their craft. And at some point, I will be done with football, and I want to go on with acting, so USA Network gave me a big opportunity, so I thank them so much and I hope they will take me seriously going down the road.”
Alessandra: “I’ll start this by saying I’m a sports journalist and I’m European, so my experience is with professional sports here in Europe mainly, but there are many similarities in the various sports once you’re dealing with their professional level. I think Necessary Roughness does a great job at portraying athletes and their lives. Do you think this show, contrary to what many may believe because it’s TV, helps take down stereotypes about sports instead of furthering them?”
Terrell Owens: “I think it does, I think a character like TK really humanizes the person and the football player at the same time. These things go on throughout the course of a season and in people’s lives, and they never really get exposed to fans. I like where they take the show, if these things aren’t shown then people can’t have an idea what the everyday life of athletes actually is.
These are the types of things that players go through on a day-to-day basis that the fans normally don’t have a chance to see. I think that’s what’s so refreshing about the show. I can’t be more pleased with being a part of something that has been so great.
I like it, especially TK’s character, because I can empathize with some of the things he’s going through, and I know many players who have been through similar things. Football is all they have, and they eat, drink and breathe football… and that’s where TK is. I tried developing my character and the mindset of the character on the other side of TK for the finale.”
And as far as what happens to Kevin “the Mine-field” Minnifield in the season finale of “Necessary Roughness”, here’s what Terrell Owens himself had to say:
“I’ve been where TK is at so I can definitely understand what he’s going through in the finale, but I’ve seen the “Mine-field” type too, so while he’s the opposite of someone that I would play, it wasn’t too hard for me to try and get into this. I just tried to listen to the director and see where they wanted me to take the character. At the same time I tried to make the best of it.
You can’t stop me. You really can’t stop me on your best day! That’s the kind of mindset that I brought to the show [in terms of how the game was played and how “Mine-field” was behaving]. The attitude of Mine-field is that of making TK think this. You ain’t gonna do nothing today! I’m your worst nightmare! In the finale you’ll get to see me off the field too and in order not to give too much away you’ll have to tune in to watch.”
And hear this from Marc Blucas, about Terrell Owens’s acting skills:
Marc Blucas: “Some things can be taught. What you can’t teach is comedic timing and Terrell had some moments [while he was filming] when we were looking off camera and we really laughed out loud! So I think when you see it he’s gonna make you raise an eyebrow, because you won’t expect it from him.”
Well, I, for one, would never miss it! Sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a ride, and I’m always in when there’s a good story to watch unfold! And just when we thought we had heard the best that was to come, Marc Blucas cracked us all up with what was his favorite moment when they were filming the finale:
Marc Blucas: “This was our last episode and for us to be winding up the season, it feels like school is over and you’re ready for summer. And it’s nice when you have a curveball thrown at you, it’s exciting to have real athletes come and join our show that has athletics as a basis. As an athlete, for me to start my day in the Georgia Dome playing catch with Terrell Owens before I do my acting, well that’s a good day for me! [He laughs, and general hilarity ensues]. That’s the part that got me most excited.”
Well, the part that got me most excited was talking with these two super nice gentlemen today, but that doesn’t change the fact I will be glued to the TV screen next Wednesday to watch the “Necessary Roughness” season finale. And trust me, you all better do that, too. What’s not to like here? And don’t make me use Matt’s line to Dani in the pilot when she said she wasn’t interested in football! “Tight men’s asses in spandex?!” “THAT part’s tolerable!”. As is having your pinched nerve fixed by Matt, huh? Damn, I think that just happened to me, too. Oh lookie, the Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming to fix mine! Hey, we can’t all have Marc Blucas or Terrell Owens now, can we? That’ll do for me. Plus I love the soundtrack of the musical version.
And thus endeth this super long and super entertaining chat with the utterly charming Marc Blucas and Terrell Owens. Once again, do not forget to tune in for the “Necessary Roughness” season finale on Wednesday, September 14 at 10 p.m. on USA Network!
Thanks for the read lovelies, see ya next time!