Hut­ton con for all money in Lever­age

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

TI­MOTHY Hut­ton has starred in two tele­vi­sion shows that were quirky in de­sign, a favourite with crit­ics— and lasted less than a year.

It was A Nero Wolfe Mys­tery in 2001 and five years later he re­turned to tele­vi­sion for the short-lived Kid­napped.

The ac­tor, who won an Os­car at the age of 20 for the 1980 film Or­di­nary Peo­ple, is try­ing his luck a third time as the leader of a gang of savvy con artists in US drama Lever­age.

Bor­row­ing heav­ily from the BBC’s Hus­tle, the Lever­age team ded­i­cate their prodi­gious tal­ents to evening the score with so­ci­ety’s low­pro­file bad guys.

Among them is the nig­gardly in­sur­ance com­pany Hut­ton’s char­ac­ter, Nate Ford, used to work for be­fore they de­nied his dy­ing son’s in­sur­ance claims.

‘‘I read the script and just thought this would be re­ally kind of a great jour­ney to go down,’’ Hut­ton, 48, says. ‘‘I like the whole set-up of it. I like the char­ac­ter. I like all the dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions we’re go­ing to find our­selves in. It was just a very ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity, I felt, to be ex­cited again to go to work each day.’’

The ac­tor is mar­ried to French il­lus­tra­tor and de­signer Aurore Gis­card d’Es­taing. They have a son Milo, 8, and dur­ing the school year they live in Paris. The rest of the year they stay mostly at their coun­try home in New York. Hut­ton also has a son, Noah, with ac­tor De­bra Winger.

‘‘The hard­est part is carv­ing out time for your­self to just be with your fam­ily,’’ he says. ‘‘There are cer­tain things I won’t miss, no mat­ter what.’’

Though his fa­ther was an ac­tor, Hut­ton orig­i­nally had no plans to fol­low in his foot­steps.

‘‘Act­ing wasn’t any­thing I was at all in­ter­ested in do­ing,’’ he says. ‘‘I was kind of shy. I was in­ter­ested in build­ing, be­ing an ar­chi­tect maybe. Get­ting up and speak­ing, be­ing in front of peo­ple? No, not at all.’’

That at­ti­tude per­sisted up to the time Robert Red­ford was looking for a en­gag­ing young man for Or­di­nary Peo­ple and Hut­ton au­di­tioned.

‘‘I thought, ‘They’ll find some­one good at this’,’’ Hut­ton says. ‘‘I must look like the draw­ing on the cover of Ju­dith Guest’s book. That’s the only rea­son they keep call­ing me back. And then I got the part.’’

Third TV try:

Ti­mothy Hut­ton.

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