There are times when interviews are not quite the same as others. I had to make a serious effort convincing myself I wasn’t about to talk to number 6 before speaking with the delightfully smart and funny Scott Porter. Because you know, once a ‘Friday Night Lights’ addict, always a ‘Friday Night Lights’ addict. Particularly in the case of yours truly, who was a “Texas Forever” major fan (non-FNL viewers, forgive me and ignore. And you missed out big time.)
I may have been leaning more toward Taylor Kitsch’s character Tim Riggins (yeah well, TV boyfriend gotta be TV boyfriend. So sue me!) but I truly loved Mr. Porter’s Jason Street as well, and I never found FNL to be the same without the strong relationship between Jason, Tim and Minka Kelly’s Lyla. And the hotness that came with it. Ahem.
So, once I shrugged off all that FNL brain-washing (never happening, but let’s pretend) and realized I was instead going to talk with the ‘Hart of Dixie’ Bluebell golden boy George Tucker, I mean Scott Porter, I had the pleasure to get quite the scoop from the man himself on what’s coming up for George, and George and Rachel Bilson’s adorable doctor Zoe Hart, and all the rest of the characters we love on the CW’s hit show, created by Leila Gerstein and produced by Gossip Girl’s creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz.
The usual warning comes at this point: SPOILERS AHEAD! If you don’t want to know about all the hanky-panky going down in Bluebell, between George, Zoe (the beautifully hilarious Rachel Bilson), Wade (Wilson Bethel), Lavon (Cress Williams) and well, any other romantic interests that may show up, stop reading at once! You’ll miss out on what the way to happiness for George (and Zoe?) is paved with and general friendship awesomeness and upcoming events in Bluebell, of course.
Alessandra: “First off, let me say I was a major fan of Friday Night Lights, so I’ve seen your work and I am a big fan! [And thank you for giving me one of the shows I loved the most in my TV viewing life. I didn’t say this out loud because fangirling isn’t the way to conduct an interview, but still.] So after Jason Street, George Tucker is the second TV character in a row you play that is basically impossible not to root for. Would you explain to me how it is possible that twice in a row you’re not getting the girl? I mean, seriously! This has got to change. Tell me it changes, for George? Maybe around, I don’t know, Christmas? Or New Year’s Eve? He’s such a good boy, doesn’t Santa have presents for him? Like Zoe in a sock? Is that gonna happen anytime soon?”
Scott Porter: “[Laughs] George is going to find a girl but it’s not gonna be Zoe for quite some time, George is coming to grips with the fact that the “ideal match” may not be the “real-life match”. He finds someone that he’s truly happy with, that he would never have thought he would end up with. She’s very spontaneous and she brings out sides of George that he loves. And that’s what George needs right now. At the end of a 15-year-relationship with a woman, something was off and broken and he was trying to fix it, and he just didn’t know it wasn’t something that he could fix. And now he finds himself happy with someone else. With George and Zoe there’s such a high expectation on what their relationship should be at this point, that I think it’s right for both of them to wait and fix things first, before that happens, I think that’s what’s right for both characters right now.”
Now about this “new girl” George finds happiness with. (May it be short-lived. What, I want to see George with lots of girls while he gets ready for Zoe.) I can tell you she may or may not have something to do with… Wade. Just for a change. And you didn’t hear it from me. I trust y’all can keep secrets.
Alessandra: “George, while being true to himself, really seems like a different person when he’s around Zoe, and for sure a guy that’s not all that similar to the one who was engaged to Lemon (Jaime King). It’s him, and yet it’s not him. How did you manage to deliver these ‘two characters in one’ ? Was it something you specifically worked on, maybe via your different interaction with Jaime King and Rachel Bilson acting-wise, or was it something you and the producers decided before it happened?”
Scott Porter: “It’s just something that — I kinda made a choice. Jamie and I — it was a difficult position. We decided to buckle down and have characters in a relationship and we tried to make people fall in love with their perfect relationship. And I think it worked. I think some people really harbored strong positive emotions for Lemon and George being together.
I think that there’s something about Zoe that doesn’t allow George to put on a game face when he’s with her, which instead is what he had to do with Lemon. They knew there was gonna be gossip, that the town was gonna talk and had expectations, so they always had to put on a game face. When he’s with Zoe, it’s stripped down and it’s all so real.”
And I personally couldn’t agree more. There is something that ‘hits home’ in the relationship between George and Zoe, that makes me love it and yearn for it, and I know it’s not gonna happen for quite some time, but I’m ok with it. The dynamic of the show is such and the personal relationships in it are so well-constructed, that meantime I do have fun watching Zoe and Wade, and George and Lavon and other girls, navigating through their crazy Bluebell lives. But let’s hear what else Mr. Porter had to say on the matter.
Scott Porter: “I’ve heard — I don’t read message boards or anything, but a lot of people find me on Twitter and make their feelings known and tell me that “all that Zoe and George have in common is New York” and I strongly disagree. They’re two young, professional, successful, ambitious people who have very broken family relationships, and that’s a huge difference between Lemon and George as opposed to Zoe and George. The big difference there is that Lemon stayed in Bluebell because of her family while George ran from his… and Zoe did that, too! That’s a major thing they have in common. I think they connect more than some people want to see, but I also completely respect the kind of relationship that Zoe and Wade have, it’s real and it’s fun and I think that’s what makes the show so great [the juxtaposition of the two relationships and the subsequent triangle situation].”
Once again, I have to give it to Street — I mean Tucker — I mean Mr. Porter! His playing a lawyer fits right into the perfect argument he made. A quick personal thought here: I don’t understand why anyone would bother the actor who plays the dude they don’t want to see with the leading lady, to deliver comments that put down the potential couple he is a part of. Wouldn’t it be nicer to instead send positive comments to the dude you want to see the leading lady with, and leave the other fella alone, if you have nothing nice to say? Alas, that’s the double-edged sword of the internet world: people think they can say anything to anyone. Particularly when what they have to say isn’t something nice. But I digress.
I do think Zoe and George are a great pair, with a solid amount of very important elements in common. Which is why we’re not going to see them together in the short-term. Because what fun is it, if there isn’t some drama? (And some shirtless Wilson Bethel? What, you thought about it, too.) Just as long as we don’t end up with George in a wheelchair and Wade in prison after he’s professed love to Lyla… I mean Zoe, in a tearful goodbye. Yes, I’m still not over it, you evil ‘Friday Night Lights’ producers. That stuff TV-scarred me for life.
And, thinking about how Jason Street handled the whole “we sorta kinda are having an affair, oh wait we didn’t tell you, you just saw us hug from the window” news from Tim and Lyla, decking Riggins straight from his wheelchair, I couldn’t help but wonder whether George sooner or later would be less kind in his behavior with Wade, where Zoe is concerned.
Alessandra: “Do you think that all these feelings George has been harboring, and I don’t mean just for Zoe, but for Wade and the entire situation, too, will come to the surface and make George I don’t want to say blow up – that wouldn’t be George’s style – but give Wade a piece of his mind? And I say this in the best sense of the term, because that fight between you two at the beginning of the season when Lemon was over at Zoe’s and everyone thought she had kidnapped her was quite hilarious!”
Scott Porter: “I think we addressed that at the beginning of the season. George shows up at Wade’s place and says: “I put my hat in the ring and may the best man win, so don’t expect me to go away because I have real feelings for her.” So he clarified things with Wade. And I think his conflict really isn’t with Wade, it’s with Zoe.
Zoe is asking him to do a lot of things that he’s not happy to do, so his conflict is with her. I think we’ve seen it at the end of the Halloween episode, with that scene between them, when he asked her what exactly it was that she wanted from him. George says “Now you’re saying I have to go be SERIOUS with somebody?”, and she says “yes, because I am” and at that moment, George — that was a wake-up call for him. And later on in the season you’ll see George kind of just come to grips with it. He’s going to make it clear to Zoe, “Don’t come to me expecting me to drop everything just to be with you now” and I think that’s a huge step for George, him being less selfless and a little bit more selfish, it’s giving him a bit more of a backbone and it’s gonna be great for him.”
Indeed a great moment for Mr. Tucker, whenever that happens. It’s about damn time he started thinking a bit more of himself. Plus let’s face it, angry George is sexy. Just like singing George is sexy. We just need more of George being himself and thinking about himself, period. Yeah well, I’m the one who’s selfish and greedy, I like watching good-looking men on TV do their thing! But back to George and Wade and Zoe.
Scott Porter: “George knows that Wade is capable of so much more than just being a bartender at the Rammer Jammer but that’s a frustration that’s between the two of them. (nothing to do with Zoe) George and Wade have too much history behind them to let this get in the way.”
Damn, I was really hoping for another fun ‘let’s roll in the mud and hit each other’ fight between George and Wade. Oh well.
Alessandra: “Speaking of, another relationship I very much enjoy on the show is the one between Lavon and George. And they really overcame a major hurdle, because Lavon had an affair with Lemon, and yet they managed to get through that, after some initial tension, and still maintain the friendship they had before intact. Are we going to see more of George and Lavon’s interaction as the season progresses?”
Scott Porter: “I think that, George, Lavon and Brick (Tim Matheson), they realize that, like it or not, they kind of are pillars in this community, and they need to support each other and make it work, or it could get really troubling. You gotta be able to move past something like what happened with Lemon, and that’s part of George’s strength. He had feelings for another woman and Lemon had an affair with another man, [and because] that’s part of his maturity, he just decided “I’m not going to place blame on anyone”, and that’s going to be explored a little bit more as we go on in the season. Lavon/George don’t interact all that much, I think there’s a maturity to their friendship that makes their scenes great, but in the first half of the season, they kind of are in their separate orbits. We may see more of them in the second half of the season, though.”
No George and Lavon scenes for me? They’re the best! I have been spoiled by that George/Lavon/Brick great scene where we found out that Brick does have, after all, a soft spot for the golden boy, and I loved that scene so much, with Lavon making George and Brick come to terms with their angry feelings! Cruel, I say, to deprive me of more goodness like this! Yeah, yeah, I’ll live. There’s still George romance, and Wade romancing Zoe, and Lavon romancing… wait I can’t say that yet. Either way, ‘Hart of Dixie’ never fails to make me laugh wholeheartedly at least once a week, and that’s a big bonus already. Can’t have everything in life. After all I didn’t manage to go to the right Whole Foods parking lot in LA and find my TV husband Michael Vartan to make him my actual husband. His wife beat me to it. So I’m used to compromise.
Thanking Mr. Porter for his insightful thoughts on ‘Hart of Dixie’, I hope I’ll cross paths with him again soon, maybe after the Christmas break, to see where George Tucker is at and what we can expect from the second part of the ‘Hart of Dixie’ season? Till next time, lovelies!
Meantime, don’t forget to tune in for a new episode of ‘Hart of Dixie’ on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 8/7c on the CW!