So you thought you could just peacefully go on hating Marshall Pittman (played by the smart and lively Evan Handler) on ‘Necessary Roughness’ because you know, you love all the other characters so much that you kind of think “that’s what Pittman is for”. Wrong. And no, I am not drunk (though, after what my national soccer team just put me through, I should be). I just know things you don’t, but you will be made privy to all the juicy details in the following paragraphs. What can I say, I’m a good sharer.
Which, as usual, translates into: WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD! If you don’t want to be spoiled about season 2 of USA Network’s fabulous drama ‘Necessary Roughness’, leave us and this batch of fresh out of the freezer scoop (given the season and heat waves, I’d avoid oven mentions) right now. I beg your pardon? You haven’t watched Necessary Roughness yet? Get on it! You’re missing out, BIG time. Not only on Evan Handler, but on (hotness alert!) Mehcad Brooks, Marc Blucas and Scott Cohen. And the wonderful Callie Thorne as leading lady. ‘nuff said.
As we caught up with the bubbly Mr. Handler today, he revealed quite a few twists in the personality of eccentric media mogul Marshall Pittman that are to come up on the show, including a “vulnerability and sensitivity” to his character — besides the obvious bravado that we’ve already seen — that most wouldn’t think was coming.
While we’ve had it on good intel for a while that Pittman would “break down” emotionally at some point (courtesy of *cough* wifey dearest *cough*), we now have it from Mr. Handler’s own words that the hard shell Pittman has will crack down and then some, when divorce proceedings with Gabrielle take center stage.
But first things first. Let’s hear from Mr. Handler himself how he shaped up the Pittman character and what we are to expect for his character in future episodes.
Alessandra: “In s1 there was a lot of talk about Marshall Pittman and his somewhat “sinister” presence was a very prominent trait of the show, despite him never making an actual appearance. How was it for you as an actor to get in the shoes of a character that had such a big buildup in the first season and what were the defining factors in how you decided to play the character in the end? Just your own grasp of what the character was, based on season two scripts, or did you watch the first season to have an idea what was expected of him?”
Evan Handler: “That’s daunting when a character is built up with so much advance, and you jump in and there’s been so much talk about the character already. It’s really daunting, as on any TV show you’re shooting one episode and subsequent episodes have not necessarily been written. So what you do in one episode might even not really match with what they write one or two episodes later. I take my cue from the written word. I watched season one to have an idea [about the character and what was expected of him], we had some talk about what they were going to do with the character and I took it from there. You make your choice [on how to play the character] and then if that’s contradicted later… then you hope the audience takes it as a complexity.”
And it seems like we’ll have more than one side of Pittman to deal with in episodes to come, from crazy management of the team to (!) vulnerable, emotionally-breaking-down Pittman.
Evan Handler: “We are going to see a vulnerability, a sensitivity to him in upcoming episodes, besides the bravado. I like to think that it’s clear there’s some possible method behind the madness. There’s a vulnerability that’s revealed along the way. For Necessary Roughness to continue as its fans know and love it, I don’t think Marshall Pittman can destroy the team. There is a modulation to his character, or at least a better understanding of frantic contradictions that will come into play.”
Of course sneaky little me wouldn’t waste such a chance to ask about the specific scene that involves Gabrielle Pittman (played by the beautiful Liz Vassey) and is the root of a major emotional moment for Marshall. But in fear of giving too much away, I kept it vague, only to have Mr. Handler make it less difficult by mentioning it all himself (thank you, Mr. Handler, by the way. You were a very lively, pleasant interviewee).
Alessandra: “I know there is quite an emotional and big scene coming up for Marshall. Could you tell us how we get to that moment and whether and how Nico (Scott Cohen) and Marshall come to terms with the obvious tension there is between them, that’s been caused by Gabrielle?”
Evan Handler: “I think the biggest emotional moment for him comes in the divorce proceedings with Gabrielle.”
Alessandra: “Yes, exactly, I didn’t want to say it, but since you did…”
Evan Handler: “That’s ok, I don’t think that’s giving too much away. (Side note: this is when my spoiler junkie eyes get all heart-shaped for Mr. Handler). So yeah, that’s the moment when he shows his vulnerability… the most emotional scene for Marshall comes with divorce proceedings with Gabrielle. With Nico, it’s not like they shot each other […] so in the end, they’re gonna come to terms with their issues.”
And since yours truly loves you all, I’m also going to tell you that Marshall and Nico coming to terms with their issues includes a healthy dose of payback for Nico the mysterious…before all is said and done. It’s.going.down! Pittman won’t say “Now we’re even” all that easily, that’s for sure. As far as the very emotional scene with Gabrielle… expect the unexpected, because it’s going to be a pivotal moment for the seemingly coriaceous Mr. Pittman. And for the show as a whole, of course.
Speaking, of, Mr. Handler reiterated something we had already heard from the gorgeous, fabulous, super witty (yes all those are well-deserved qualifiers) Marc Blucas. Necessary Roughness as a show and as a set is indeed a great place to be.
Evan Handler: “Sometimes you go on sets and things are difficult. But “Necessary Roughness” is a very familial and friendly show. It’s a group of very happy people and a group of executive producers and network that seem to be taking very good care of each other. It was a great relief for me.”
Last but not least, yours truly also had very juicy and recent information on a certain twist that includes Marshall coming up in the second half of the season, but it seems like I was so in advance knowing it that not even Mr. Handler himself was aware of it, so I’ll leave you with his funny comment, and add nothing else (FOR NOW).
Evan Handler: “I think you may know more than I do! I know nothing, I think they may have used my picture and cut and pasted it in!”
Alessandra: “Never mind, I wasn’t sure you were going to appear because I had this as early information, and I know the moment causes a chain of consequences that involves all other characters, and TK (the talented and handsome Mehcad Brooks) in particular. But this happened in season one already, Pittman can wreak havoc without even being on screen. I think it’s safe to say he is a major player on the show and has a huge impact on the stories, maybe more in season two than he did in season one?”
Evan Handler : “Well, he is the owner of the team after all!”
No kidding. And he’s one of those owner characters that remind me of real-life people I’ve dealt with in the sports world (I am a sports journalist first and foremost, after all). People who make you think “why do I feel like I’m walking on egg shells every time I speak with this person?!” Which is a testament to how true-to-life ‘Necessary Roughness’ is when it creates characters from the sports world, be it football players (like TK and his team mates), or coaches (like my beloved Matty D.), or team owners.
And that’s all we have to share with you… for now. Because, hear hear, we’re going to be back on Thursday, with none other than Smash from Friday Night Lights, Mr. Gaius Charles himself! My inner FNL fangirl is shaking pom-poms already. Smash, I mean Mr. Charles, will in fact soon appear on ‘Necessary Roughness” as Damon Razor, a new player for the Hawks. Who may or may not butt heads with and who may or may not then become friends with our favorite crazy football star, Terrence “TK” King.
Meantime, don’t forget to check out the newest episode of ‘Necessary Roughness’ this Wednesday at 10 p.m. on USA Network!