We enjoyed NBC’s new duality drama Do No Harm, but we have to admit after we reviewed the pilot, we had to wonder just how much we may have been reading into things that the show never intended for us to. After all, at TCA, executive producer David Schulner said he hoped audiences would just “sit back and enjoy the ride.” So we caught up with series star Steven Pasquale to get some of our burning questions answered to better know how to anticipate the series.
LA TV Insider Examiner: Jason and Ian are certainly polar opposites, but they are ultimately two personalities in the same man, and they do have some of each others’ memories. They bleed over enough to keep a gray area. How do you define each guy?
Steven Pasquale: Jason is very much that earnest, honest, do-gooding, passionate guy. When the stakes get high, he’s willing to do what he has to, but he wouldn’t ordinarily do anything harmful to anyone. Ian’s aggressive. We’re getting to know him sort of layer by layer. He’s got tons of layers, but they all come from a manipulative place and a sociopathic place and an unhealthy place. But that being said he’s got as many colors as anybody. He’s capable of a lot of things.
Will Jason ever consider the possibility that if he doesn’t completely repress Ian—and vice versa—maybe he wouldn’t be such an extreme and they could actually co-exist?
S.P.: Where the pilot picks up is Ian Price waking up and being furious with being kept away for so many years, but he’s also made so many bad decisions it only makes sense Jason would go that far. Can they peacefully exist? Maybe at some point. That’s an interesting point, and it’s something we may or may not discover. Right now, Jason feels the only way he can live a successful life is without Ian in it in any capacity.
What do the other characters think when Ian starts popping up, essentially masquerading as Jason, in their lives? Do any of them question what’s going on or outright confront Jason?
S.P.: The behavior is so erratic that everyone is increasingly starting to wonder what is going on with him, but it would be a big leap to assume the actuality of Jason’s case. Does it get answered [for the characters around Jason]? Not in season one.
Jason’s assistant Josh (Samm Levine) is so willing to just do whatever Jason asks, no questions asked. How long can that go on before Josh just looks like he’s in denial for not poking around?
S.P.: Josh realizes what a gifted surgeon Dr. Cole is, and I think that’s what he’s, more or less, saying with his level of devotion. He knows how much he helps people, so he will do everything in his life to make it easier so he can continue to do the stuff he does.
Jason’s relationship with Lena (Alana de la Garza) becomes so contentious after she encounters Ian, of course without knowing who Ian is. Can their relationship—even their initially friendly, professional one—be saved?
S.P.: The only thing he thinks he can do is rid himself of Ian and that would allow him to have love in his life. If Ian was no longer around, she would forgive and forget.
How successful is Jason at controlling Ian, even if not keeping him completely at bay?
S.P.: Everything will just come to a head by the end of the season. At first, it seems do-able for Jason. He doesn’t want to do it, but he feels like he can take care of it while he also works on a new drug regimen. By the middle of the season, it escalates, and by the end, he can no longer keep cleaning up Ian’s messes.
How many stunts should we expect to see you do, then?
S.P.: It’s actually rare that we explore too-much action, but when we do, we swing for the fences. Ian often finds himself in life-threatening situations, and he just kind of has to think his way out of them.
Aside from his ex-wife, are we meeting anyone else that knows both Jason and Ian—either family or old friends?
S.P.: We will meet some of Jason’s family at some point, and we’ll meet an important character later in the season which helps explain the entire situation. He (James Cromwell) was kind of a guide for Jason and his situation, but he didn’t always guide him well.
Do No Harm airs on NBC on Thursday nights at 10 p.m.
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