Straight From Hol­ly­wood

JD Richter might be rac­ing against time to try save the hu­man race, but ac­tor Jeffrey Dean Mor­gan al­ready has his next TV role lined up.

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Jeffrey Dean Mor­gan has had some iconic TV roles: from 2006 to 2009 as the tragic Denny in Grey’s Anatomy (2005- cur­rent), to Dean and Sam’s (Jensen Ack­les and Jared Padalecki) dad John Winch­ester in sci-fi se­ries Supernatural (2005- cur­rent) from 2005 to 2007, and most re­cently as Joe DiMag­gio, Mar­i­lyn Monroe’s ex in The Se­cret Life Of Mar­i­lyn Monroe (2015) minis­eries. But right now, he’s play­ing de­ter­mined cop JD Richter in Ex­tant (2014- cur­rent), who teams up with as­tro­naut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) to save the world from aliens. What’s it like work­ing with Halle Berry? When you’re work­ing long days, you want some­body you can have fun with – and 99% of our scenes are to­gether. We found great chem­istry and had fun with as much of it as we could. We spend a lot of time laugh­ing. My char­ac­ter comes in and it’s a dif­fer­ent show than last year [2014]. It’s a re­boot. Last year it was much more “sci­encey”. More outer space. When I took the show, I asked to see their best four episodes and was told, ‘Don’t bother. It’s go­ing to be a new show’. My char­ac­ter adds an edge. He’s the guy who can help the au­di­ence fig­ure out what’s go­ing on in the show. Hope­fully my char­ac­ter can ex­plain and dirty up the show a lit­tle. I have a ten­dency to dirty up any show I do [Laughs]. How would you re­act if a good-look­ing woman came up to you and said there are aliens out there? Prob­a­bly like my char­ac­ter re­acts. He thinks that Molly should be in a looney bin [Laughs]. It takes a bit of con­vinc­ing and JD isn’t go­ing to be­lieve any­thing un­til he can see it with his own eyes. He doesn’t buy the idea of aliens ini­tially.

Go­ran Višn­jic played Molly’s hus­band John in sea­son 1 but died in the first episode of sea­son 2. Do you feel you’ve taken over his role? It was Go­ran’s story with Halle and for what­ever rea­son, it didn’t pan out for the pro­duc­ers. My first day of work­ing was the day they killed him off. We nod­ded at each other and shook each other’s hand. It was a lit­tle awk­ward, a pass­ing of the torch. He moved to another se­ries im­me­di­ately, so I think it prob­a­bly worked out for all par­ties. I think it’s rare that a show com­pletely rein­vents it­self. Some parts are car­ried over… Molly’s still an as­tro­naut…

What would it take to get you into space? Money. I’d love to do that. Richard Bran­son is try­ing to put this flight to­gether. Some­thing like that would be cool as heck. But I’m wait­ing ’til they work out the kinks [Laughs]. Let’s talk about The Good Wife (2009cur­rent). You just landed a big role in the

next sea­son… I had a con­ver­sa­tion with the Kings [Robert and Michelle, the show’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers]. They were hol­i­day­ing in Italy and I was shoot­ing the Ex­tant fi­nale. I didn’t get phone re­cep­tion in the house I was rent­ing in LA, so I drove down the hill to a Star­bucks and I was pac­ing be­hind it, talk­ing to Robert on the phone while he pitched me the char­ac­ter. They said they wrote it with me in mind. It was another show I’d never watched. Now I’ve watched maybe a few episodes from sea­sons 1, 2 and 3 to get an idea and it’s a very good show. I know Ju­lianna [Mar­gulies, Good Wife’s Alicia]. She has a house near me in Up­state New York and I’ve known her for years. I’m play­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tor in her new law firm. There could be a po­ten­tial love in­ter­est…

Is it just one sea­son? Right now it’s one. I sat on the of­fer for two or three weeks, but I’ve not seen a script.

Jeffrey with his lead co-star Halle Berry (as Molly Woods).

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