The Oscar winner for Ordinary People and former star of TV’s Leverage returns tonight for season three of the critically acclaimed ABC anthology series American Crime. Hutton, 56, plays Nicholas Coates, the owner of a North Carolina furniture company who is dealing with immigration, human trafficking and his own crumbling marriage.
What are the issues for season three? It’s about a group of people in this community in North Carolina that are going through different, complex circumstances in their lives. But there is one common thread—the idea of domestic servitude and domestic abuse. How timely is this season? I would say very, with what’s going on in our country right now. There are plenty of examples of very difficult situations for people who come into this country looking for a job.
Describe your character. He is married to Clair [Lili Taylor]. They were running the furniture company together and she leaves [the business] to spend time with their son. She brings in a French-speaking nanny from Haiti. Their story starts the day the nanny arrives.
You won an Oscar at age 20 for Ordinary People. How did that feel? I was so proud to be a part of that film and work with those people [Robert Redford, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland and Judd Hirsch]. It was an amazing experience.
Your dad was actor Jim Hutton [TV’s Ellery Queen]. Did you grow up wanting to act?
I certainly was not always going to be an actor. When I was a teenager, I loved to play basketball and baseball. I was never good enough to have a career; that’s how I spent my days.