Actor touts cast’s chemistry in rebooted ‘Charlie’s Angels’
“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!”