Dis for dan­ger

ETHAN SUPLEE comes out fight­ing in psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller Chance

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IN THE WORLD of TV tough guys, they don’t come any tougher than Chance’s Dar­ius ‘D’ Pringle.

The mar­tial arts spe­cial­ist with a side­line in phi­los­o­phy thinks noth­ing of tak­ing out three as­sailants sin­gle-hand­edly while im­part­ing pearls of wis­dom.

All of which makes him a use­ful side­kick for San Fran­cisco-based neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist Dr El­don Chance (Hugh Lau­rie) as he gets sucked into the dan­ger­ous and dark world of his men­tally un­sta­ble pa­tients.

‘I think of D as a war­rior monk,’ says Ethan Suplee, who plays the role. ‘he’s a less jolly ver­sion of Friar Tuck. He’s smart and philo­soph­i­cal and he’ll kick your ass.’

In the first se­ries, Chance got too close to his femme fa­tale pa­tient, played by Gretchen Mol, with deadly con­se­quences. Now, as the sec­ond se­ries opens, the psy­chi­a­trist is try­ing to es­tab­lish whether tech mil­lion­aire Ryan Win­ter (Parks and Recre­ation’s

Paul Sch­nei­der) is a se­rial killer.


Once again, Chance needs the help of his pal D, whose day job is work­ing for street­wise an­tiques dealer Carl Al­lan (The Wire’s Clarke Peters). A skilled car­pen­ter and black­smith, D is equally at home with the tools of his trade as he is with weapons, many of which are im­pro­vised.

‘There is a won­der­ful scene in the new se­ries where the script just said, “d takes out five guys with a dish towel and pen­cils,”’ laughs Suplee. ‘And me and the stunt guys

‘i think of d as a less jolly ver­sion of Friar Tuck. He’s smart and philo­soph­i­cal and he’ll kick your ass’


were like, “Okay, let’s fig­ure out how to do this.”’

Although the New York-born ac­tor had a back­ground in jiu-jitsu and Thai box­ing, he had to learn a whole new range of skills for his role in Chance.

‘Dis very ad­vanced in a Filipino mar­tial arts dis­ci­pline called Kali, specif­i­cally Kali with edged weapons and im­pro­vised weapons,’ ex­plains Suplee. ‘So there was quite a bit of train­ing in a sub­set of mar­tial arts that was com­pletely for­eign to me.’


Dur­ing the last se­ries, Chance dis­cov­ered D had been pro­foundly af­fected by a child­hood tragedy, while the events that fol­lowed had left him psy­cho­log­i­cally scarred.

‘We def­i­nitely go even more heav­ily into D’s back­ground this sea­son,’ re­veals Suplee, per­haps best-known as Earl’s slow-wit­ted brother Randy in My Name Is Earl.

Chance and D are an ef­fec­tive dou­ble act and their warm on-screen re­la­tion­ship is repli­cated by the ac­tors off-screen.

‘Hugh is fan­tas­tic,’ says Suplee. ‘He is so smart and so gen­er­ous as an ac­tor and so en­cour­ag­ing while at the same time self-dep­re­cat­ing. He is re­ally fab­u­lous to work with.’



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