Tate Donovan Discusses 'Damages'
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
After three years as Jimmy Cooper on the once-lauded O.C., Tate Donovan seems to have found another memorable role on FX’s Damages. Donovan recently figured in a story arc that revolved around his character, lawyer Tom Shayes. The actor spoke at length with TV Guide about his Damages role, the series, his legendary co-star Glenn Close and what may be in store for them in the future.
Tate Donovan is currently reveling in his role as the right hand man of Glenn Close’s character on the critically acclaimed new legal drama, Damages. For one, he welcomes the praise and recognition from a more adult and discerning audience than what he was accustomed to during his stint on The O.C.
“When I was on The O.C., I heard only from, like, kids – ‘Oh my god, you're Jimmy Cooper! I love that show!’ - so it's really nice to hear from very intelligent adults who are like, ‘I find your show fascinating,‘” Donovan told TV Guide.
As Patty Hewes’ (Glenn Close) second in command, Shayes is often reminded of his place on the corporate ladder. Hewes hasn’t exactly been timid about reminding him who’s boss and just how far up the rung he can expect to climb. Donovan offered profound insight on how his onscreen alter ego perceives his position at the Hewes & Associates legal firm.
“I think it's a really unique and interesting character because he's never going to be number one and that's an interesting place for a man to be,” Donovan remarked. “We're all sort of used to ‘the great woman behind the man,’ the supportive woman who takes care of the star politician or athlete. When we first sat down to talk about the role, I said, ‘This may sound a bit weird to you guys, but it seems to me that Tom is sort of like Patty's wife,’ and there's a certain amount of power in that. Tom is the type of person who is much happier facilitating and being behind the scenes…That's very difficult for a male ego to accept, and though his friend pumped him up, it's big of Tom to realize that and accept that about himself and find power in that. Rather than be like, ‘I've got to be number one,’ it's sort of like, ‘Patty Hewes is a genius lawyer and she's going to be better than me at a lot of things, so I'm going to be second chair to Patty - and that's not a bad thing.’"
Because of their characters’ close professional relationship on Damages, Donovan finds himself in the enviable position of having an equally close working relationship with the one-of-a-kind Glenn Close.
"You have no idea,” Donovan revealed. “She's so much more giggly and fun to work with than anyone imagines.”
Finally, when asked whether Damages has been picked up for another season, Donovan expressed some optimism despite his concern that their series is more popular with the mature audience.
“I hope so... It's certainly getting critical praise,” Donovan claimed. “An older audience is really drawn to this, and television networks love to have that 18-25 demographic, and I don't think we're doing too great with that group. We're skewing a little old and that's worrisome for us. But what I'm proud and happy about is they're not kowtowing, like, ‘We've got to get those young kids in there.’"
-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Guide
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