Exclusive Interview: Perception’s Eric McCormack Talks About The Challenges Of Playing Dr. Daniel Pierce

Perception Season Finale

Perception‘s lead character, Dr. Daniel Pierce, is one of the most intriguing characters on television, and Eric McCormack is just the actor to bring him to life on the screen.

TV Equals was able to talk with McCormack about his character and what fans can expect from the last part of the season finale which airs tonight on TNT.

What can fans expect from Part Two of the season finale?

Eric McCormack:  They’re going to get an answer to a question a lot of them have been asking, and they’re going to have to see Pierce face his lowest moment for sure. Certainly in the series but possibly in his life. I think he’s been relatively successful in keeping the demons at bay for a lot of years, but we’re definitely going to see him at his lowest.

The series has been doing very well and it’s been signed on for another season. What do you think has made the series so popular with fans?

Eric McCormack: Well, I love the story. I think people love this kind of show. People love a mystery. But I love the center of it; a character that’s a little bit unique, something fresh. And I think people have stuck with him and that he’s not just a series of ticks and mannerisms. There truly is a brilliant man there and a disturbed man there and an arrogant man. A man who’s risking everything he’s got by not taking his meds. He’s an aggravating character. You want to shake him and say, “What’s the matter with you?” But because he dares to be off his meds, that’s the angle of the show. It’s why he hallucinates. It’s an arrogant belief in himself to the point where we see a character that I don’t think we’ve seen on TV before.

How did you get in character, seeing how Daniel could be a difficult character to play?

Eric McCormack: We all have paranoia. We all have a lot of fears that we’re successful at conquering, but they’re always there. I think to sort of tap into what a paranoid schizophrenic has to deal with, which is losing the ability to talk themselves out of it, to fully give into those fears, that’s the hardest part and…it’s about finding that empathy.

What do you think is the most rewarding thing about playing Daniel?

Eric McCormack: There’s a certain freedom. If I was just strictly the leading man in a mystery, I’d be very restricted by the way I could behave. There’s something very freeing to be the guy who could be one of several guys. He might his empatheic moment. He might find his bravado, or he might absotely shrivel up and be emotionally…and physically ill-equipped. It takes the machismo out of it, I think, out of what a lot of these hour-long dramas have, and it allows me to become a little less vain and more of the character.

Is there any message you’d like to give to the fans for the season finale or what might be coming in the future?

Eric McCormack: We’re just getting into the future, so I’m not sure about that, but I just want to say that because folks are tweeting, I’m really aware of what people are thinking, which is so great…I’m grateful that people have stuck with the character and to the people who seem to have mental illness in their family and have said “You’ve represented this well,” I appreciate that a lot. You want to do right by that community.

If you could guest star in any show, which show would it be?

Eric McCormack: Get Smart. It was my favorite shows as a kid. No competition.