Damian Lewis And Sarah Shahi Talk Life

Damian Lewis Life Photo

Chit Chat Gal: It’s kind of refreshing on a TV show to see the non-cliché of coworkers not having sex with each other. Do you think your characters just aren’t each other’s type or do you think that because they’re dealing with so many personal things that just hasn’t come up?

Sarah Shahi: Wow. I think any time you get your two lead characters together, there’s really no room to go from there. So hopefully it’s something that, if it happens, will be drawn out for an incredibly long time and be maybe tantalizing.

Chit Chat Gal: Do you think that your character realizes that Crews has been set up all along? Or do you think she really is kind of still in the middle, not sure whose side to take?

Sarah Shahi: Well I think for Reese, you know, she got into a heap of trouble before everything began. And so I think for her, the more distant she can remain from trouble, the better off she feels. The stuff with her father, I think maybe she has some awareness of what’s going on. But for the most part, she chooses not to get involved with it maybe for her own safety.

Were you surprised by that development when you started the series? Did you know how intimately your character’s father was going to be involved in the whole thing?

Sarah Shahi: I didn’t know. I didn’t have an idea. I knew that, you know, ultimately Reese does have a choice to make but I wasn’t really sure what that choice would be. Every week as the scripts came out, more information was being divulged to us and we were just as excited as maybe the audience members sitting at home watching it for the first time. So I didn’t have any clue when we started, and it’s been quite nice. And I hope, if anything, that shit hits the fan even more.

I wonder if you could talk — both of you — a little bit more about the whole conspiracy storyline in your show? Any hints you can give us about how much will be resolved when and also what’s going on with the ex-wife?

Sarah Shahi: 
I’m not Rachel, I’ll tell you that.

Damian Lewis:
You’re not who?

Sarah Shahi: I’m not Rachel.

Damian Lewis: Okay, who is Rachel? I heard someone thought it was Dani Reese. Maybe it will be…

Sarah Shahi:  A few people have told me – they’ve come up to me and they’ve said you’re Rachel aren’t you? And I said no, I’m not Rachel. So there’s your first clue.

Damian Lewis:  It’s a spooky thing. You know, a lot of the conspiracy story is explored in the upcoming two episodes. And I think what’s becoming apparent about the conspiracy is that it’s a multi-layered onion and we will need to keep peeling away that onion in order to get to the powerhouse – the people driving the conspiracy at the center of the story.

By the end of Episode 11, we make a big, big discovery and it’s very exciting. But it will only take us on to a new level, I think, after that.

And can I ask how much about the conspiracy both of you were told, at what point? I mean, do you already know all the answers?

Damian Lewis: I don’t. I don’t think Sarah does. She’s terrible at keeping a secret, so she definitely would have told me. I – you know, the writers themselves don’t know too far in advance. They have general outlines. But, you know, they’re putting in the detail weekly and so we’re not too far behind the writers.

I don’t know what Sarah feels. I don’t want to know everything up front. I’m enjoying discovering it. It’s like reading a novel. I’m enjoying discovering…

Sarah Shahi:  Yeah, it’s more fun to play like that and then it also feels more – I mean, for me also it’s just not my technique to try to know everything and then play the discovery once I’m there. It’s like I really do not want to know.

What is the life goal as you understand it of Reese and Crews, respectively? Obviously Crews wants to solve the conspiracy and pursue his end path and eat fruit. But beyond that, what does he want out of his life and what does Reese want out of her life?

Damian Lewis: I think Crews has had to recalibrate a little bit. I think he’s been recalibrated by his experience in prison. But I think before he went there he was a regular Joe.

He probably – he was at the Academy. I think it was always his fantasy to be a cop in the LAPD, maybe become a Detective, and maybe a Lieutenant and a Captain, and have his house in the Valley and his two kids, and his dog, and and collect his pension. I think that he had a nice life mapped out for him, you know, the kind of life that people want. And, you know, that was – a bomb was put underneath that idea when he was falsely accused and sent to prison.

So now I think he’s just trying to achieve some stillness, some peace and just trying to be happy, trying to stay in the moment. And a little bit like, you know, a little bit like people, you know, following the steps after addiction, the 12 steps and being on the program. It’s a question of just day-to-day for him.

And the small pieces of happiness that he can get, I think he savors, and he savors them like a piece of fruit – much more than the average person who might have become complacent or smug about their life.

He’s living every moment intensely.

Sarah Shahi: I think Dani – one of the things with her, she definitely has some maturing to do. I feel like that process is just beginning and her being partnered with Charlie is a good thing because I think in the end she will learn some things from him.

But I think for right now especially, I think she’s also one who just kind of wants to be in the moment. You know, in regards to her drug addiction and her alcohol path, I think that’s something that still haunts her and she still struggles with.

She doesn’t have a very good relationship with her father. I think she’s distant from her family. And, you know, at this point in time I think her primary concern is to stay sober, to do a great job and, you know, and to just be Charlie’s partner and be a great partner for that matter.

As for tomorrow I don’t know what she feels. But I think her primary goal is to be confident in her sobriety and be a great cop, and maybe one day she would like to make amends with her family.

Can you tell us how they told you that you’d been picked up?

Sarah Shahi: I was at an appointment and I came back in my car. I checked my voice mail and our Executive Producers, Rand and Far, had left a message where they were both screaming at the top of their lungs… …saying, unfortunately we’ve received some bad news. You’re going to have to continue working with us. And it was wonderful and I called them. And it was great. It was lovely.

I think the fruit industry must be very proud of you Damian. Even in last night’s episode you were pushing oranges on witnesses. I’m wondering, do you eat a lot of fruit and do you have to eat a lot more now that you’re doing this show?

Damian Lewis: I’m a fruit pusher. You can find me downtown LA just dealing fruit on a corner, you know. I eat a lot of fruit. Do you know what? I eat a lot of fruit in the summer, I just do. So it’s a happy coincidence that Rand wrote this quirky character eating a lot of fruit. In fact, I was coming back from catering one day with a big bowl of fruit and some guy stopped me and went, are you insane? Don’t you eat enough fruit as it is?

Just – I do like – I like to eat fruit when it’s hot. So – and it’s kind of always hot in LA, so I guess I’ll be all right, even through Jan, Feb and March, I guess I’ll be okay.