Ac­tor touts cast’s chem­istry in re­booted ‘Char­lie’s An­gels’

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE - JAY BOBBIN

“Once upon a time, there were three lit­tle girls ... ”

The “lit­tle girls” part may not sit as well now, but the new “Char­lie’s An­gels” quickly prove them­selves quite ca­pa­ble in fight­ing crime.

The ex­pect­edly glam­orous, Mi­ami-set ABC up­date of the fe­male-de­tec­tive se­ries pre­mieres Thurs­day, Sept. 22, with Minka Kelly (“Fri­day Night Lights”), Rachael Tay­lor and An­nie Ilonzeh (“Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal”) as the trio work­ing for heard-but-not-seen Char­lie (whose voice was to have been Robert Wag­ner’s, but hadn’t been re­cast at this writ­ing).

Only two of the women are sleuthing part­ners as the show be­gins, with a tragedy leav­ing an open­ing for which street racer Eve (Kelly) be­comes a prime can­di­date dur­ing the re­sult­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion by thief Abby (Tay­lor) and ex-cop Kate (Ilonzeh).

Bosley, the go-be­tween first played by fa­therly David Doyle, gets younger and sleeker in the per­sona of co-star Ra­mon Ro­driguez; Isa­iah Mustafa, the hunky Old Spice pitch­man, will re­cur as a po­lice de­tec­tive from Kate’s past.

“Cer­tainly, it’s high-oc­tane and it’s ex­cit­ing,” says Aus­tralian ac­tress-model Tay­lor (“Trans­form­ers”), “but I think there is a gen­uine chem­istry and a gen­uine warmth be­tween us, and you can’t re­ally fake that. I think we’re part of some­thing re­ally spe­cial, be­cause we like each other.”

Drew Bar­ry­more, who pro­duced and starred in two “Char­lie’s An­gels” fea­ture films, is in­volved in mak­ing the new se­ries, as is tele­vi­sion vet­eran Leonard Gold­berg, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of the orig­i­nal show along with the late Aaron Spell­ing.

He de­cided on the cast­ing of orig­i­nal “An­gels” Kate Jack­son, Jaclyn Smith and the then-named Far­rah Fawcett-Ma­jors in the mid-1970s, and he ad­mits to hav­ing luck as well as ex­per­tise.

“There’s some­thing called ‘star­dust,’ and you ei­ther have it or you don’t,” rea­sons Gold­berg, whose cred­its also in­clude CBS’ “Blue Bloods” now.

“We looked for a very long time at a lot of peo­ple for this show. When we se­lected Rachael and An­nie and Minka, it was the qual­i­ties they had in­di­vid­u­ally but also how they all go to­gether with Ra­mon. It’s some­thing that ei­ther works or it doesn’t, and I think we’re very, very lucky.”

The re­cent girl­friend of New York Yan­kees star Derek Jeter, Kelly be­lieves her se­ries train­ing on NBC and DirecTV’s widely ac­claimed “Fri­day Night Lights” helped pre­pare her for her new role, which in­volves a lot that the other one didn’t.

“It taught me every­thing,” Kelly re­calls of the high-school foot­ball drama. “I was so green when I started that; I had no idea what I was do­ing, I was in way over my head, and I re­ally hit the jack­pot with that show. At that level I was at, you’re au­di­tion­ing for every­thing, and you’ll take any job you’re hired for.

“I don’t think any of us had any idea how golden that was,” Kelly adds. “That gave me the con­fi­dence to be here to­day and do ‘Char­lie’s An­gels.’ I’m a dare­devil and an adren­a­line junkie, so I pinch my­self ev­ery time they tell me some­thing like, ‘To­day, you’re go­ing to learn how to scuba-dive’ or ‘To­day, you’re go­ing to learn how to Salsa-dance.’ I mean, some­one’s pay­ing me to learn these things!”

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