Kelli Giddish, Cole Hauser and Jennifer Johnson Talk About NBC’s CHASE

Chase (NBC) Interview

The Fall TV season really gets underway this week and NBC starts off tomorrow, September 20, with a bang as it premieres its new drama, CHASE at 10:00pm. About a group of US Marshals led by a cowboy boot wearing deputy named Annie Frost (played by Kelli Giddish), Chase centers on the pursuit of a criminal and their capture. Also starring Cole Hauser as Annie’s second in command, the show was created by Jennifer Johnson. You can read all of our Chase coverage here.

This week Daemon’s TV got a chance to catch up with Kelli, Cole and Jennifer as they discussed the relationship of the characters on the show, Annie as a “female Jack Bauer” and the adrenalin rush of chasing the bad guys.

Jennifer Johnson on having a woman as the team leader.

Jennifer said that in her head, the lead character was always going to be a woman. When she first started writing, the character of Annie immediately came to mind – a woman who has a dark side, but keeps it deep inside. Jennifer then remarked that she can no longer think of the character as belonging to her. She said that Kelli has filled the role so well, she now thinks of Annie as Kelli’s character.

Kelli Giddish on Annie as a “female Jack Bauer”

When told of the comparison, Kelli said she hadn’t heard it before. She thinks Annie has a great kick-butt attitude and some of that comes from the fact that she has a father who is a criminal, but she still ended up on the right side of the law.

Cole Hauser on his character, Jimmy.

Cole said he always wanted to play this kid of throw-back, tough guy character, but was quick to point out that Jimmy is not just your typical redneck. He’s a very intelligent and proud man as well.

Jennifer and Kelli on what attracts people to this type of show.

Jennifer said that Chase is all about the visceral feeling that comes from a chase – not only chasing someone but also being chased. The show gets back to basics – the good guys vs. the bad guys. Kelli spoke up and remarked that when she shows up on set, her adrenalin gets pumping.

Cole on doing their own stunts.

Doing as many of their own stunts as possible, Cole said that part of what makes the show great is the fact that you will see him and Kelli actually doing much of the action on screen. Remarking that he and Kelli are athletes, he felt that they were both in their prime and whether it’s driving a car or hanging off of a building, it feels special to them to be able to do that for their audience.

Kelli and Cole on being leads in other shows and how that prepped them for Chase.

Kelli said that being a lead on another show helped her to know how to use her energy wisely. Cole remarked that though he was a lead previously, every project is different and his character in Chase is a completely different beast. He was very happy this time to be working alongside a female lead as he’d always been cast with male actors before and wanted something different.

Kelli, Cole and Jennifer on the relationships between the characters.

Jennifer said she thinks of the main characters as a family and all other relationships (including romance), will always have to be worked around that. She thinks of Jimmy as the big brother of the group, while sometimes Annie has to become a mother to everyone. Kelli remarked that she thought it was great that Annie and Jimmy were written so well. They are professional and she likes that there’s no need to add romance between their characters, though she did enjoy playing what happens when a romantic relationship does come into Annie’s life in an upcoming episode. Cole said he thought that Jimmy was a guy who felt he needs to protect Annie as they’ve been together as a team for so long. They both love their jobs and respect each other.

Kelli and Jennifer on the real US Marshals.

Researching her role, Kelli spent a week with the Marshals and one thing she discovered right away was how much they loathe paperwork. They prefer the pursuit and she was surprised to find out things she didn’t know, like that they are in charge of protecting our judges. After spending time with them, she came back with an admiration for their dogged determination and commitment to their jobs. Kelli said that she wanted to do a show about chasing criminals and that’s when she found out that the Marshals are always the ones called in to deal with fugitives. The more she researched, the more interesting information she found about them. They are not a bureaucracy and are allowed to make their own decisions in a pinch. When in the field, a Marshal doesn’t have to check in with a boss and Kelli was especially surprised to find out that they are still allowed to deputize regular citizens and form up real-life posses in order to catch their quarry.

Cole on the most challenging aspect of playing Jimmy.

Referring to the brutal Texas summers, Cole joked that the most challenging aspect of playing his character was the heat and that all of them lost weight while shooting. Then he sobered and said that the truth was that he looks forward to going to work everyday, it was a pleasure working on the show and he loves the challenge.

Jennifer on how Chase is different from other crime shows.

Jennifer admitted to us that she recently had a family member subjected to a crime and after that experience, she wanted to write a show that focused on catching a criminal. While other crime dramas are interested in evidence, finger prints and DNA, in Chase there is none of that. Within the first scene or two, you will already know who committed the crime and after that it’s about getting into the criminal’s head in order to track them down.

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