- SCI-FI Magazine
Angel's Producer and Costar Shed Light on the Exciting New Series"
article can be found at DarkAngelTV.com)
Joining with Logan (a former journalist who's using his personal fortune and
high-tech know-how to uncover truths about society in
untraceable broadcasts throughout the city) has given Max a new direction and
purpose--even though at the mid-year point of season 1, she's still very much
the reluctant heroine not used to working with others after years of fending for
herself. "It's interesting to see how the relationships evolve between
characters. It's not something that you can just will on the page,"
Fortunately for Dark Angel, the series was always envisioned
to have Max as the lead, tangoing in heart and mind with wheelchair-bound Logan.
"The design of the characters was such that yes, I wanted a kind of complex
of emotions between these two people. But with the show, this was never really
conceived as a relationship show specifically, or a romance. We've all worked on
those shows where you have a leading man and a leading lady and the connection
between them, but then good luck if that works. But in our show it seems to be
working wonderfully," Eglee says, knowing all too well from his
Moonlighting days the elusive dance that gets played out on a screen between two
characters. "I remember when Michael [Weatherly] came in to audition, and
it was just so clear, just the way that Jessica would determine the sparks
between the two of them as actors: it was just so very real. What was
interesting about this show was putting a real impediment--both the physical and
emotional one--between the two of them, to try and keep some sort of stasis in
that relationship--keep things from completing."
When he first read the script for Dark Angel, Weatherly never
envisioned himself as the male lead. When his agent told him which role he was
up for, his first response was, "But I'm not Logan," he laughs.
"I saw it in a much grander scale, as a $100-million movie script. So from
the very get-go, it's been a fantasy ride. And the show's a lot of fun to
There's a lot of work, though, too, but Weatherly is up front
about who wears the pants in that department: "I just sit around and type
at the computer," he says with a self-deprecating laugh.
And perhaps compared with Jessica Alba's martial arts-styled
action antics, Logan Cale's contribution to the show's action series status is
tame, at best. But his character's techie know-how has proven invaluable for
bailing Max out of the most improbable situations. An accident in the pilot
episode may have been confined him to a wheelchair--for now--but Logan's real
asset is his underground knowledge base, the crux of which are his mysterious
Eyes Only broadcasts that tell the truth about what's going on in the New World
Still, Weatherly adds, speaking on his cell phone while
traveling to a location shoot, "It's amazing to me that we get the show
done, because it's huge. And it's not on a back lot--we're shooting up in
Vancouver, and we're really putting in 140-, 150-plus hours a show. That's
something, and I think it shows. Every department is really keyed in and
involved and wants to make it as true as it can be. Because in a way it's an odd
20 years in the future, so how much do you Sci-Fi it up? How much of a statement
do you want to make about different set designs and wardrobe and lighting? It's
kind of subtle, because I don't think that you necessarily realize that you're
watching a show that takes place in the future all the time. It plays kind of
current. But at the same time, you have the freedom of that specific Sci-Fi
element, [which] gives you a little wiggle room."
That wiggle room also means that the show isn't confined to
any specific, prescribed formula. "Every week we're making a completely
different kind of show. We don't sit there and just make a repeat of last week's
episode, which a show like this could become," he observes candidly.
"Every week, Logan could give Max the mission, and she could go off and
come back in a Charlie's Angels kind of thing. But it's really not like that at
Even though the structure of the episodes might be different
each week, the characters themselves don't suddenly sprout new personalities.
"It's always consistent, character-wise, " he says. "So it's not
like every week we come in and it's like, 'Who's Logan this week.'
"The real challenge," Weatherly adds laughing,
"is trying to keep a straight face while I give the exposition. I
occasionally have these long sequences of telling the backstory on the bad guy
or something like that. That's not the easiest stuff in the world to do."
Logan isn't a one-note character, though--and Weatherly is
enjoying the opportunity to explore his character, in spite of his crack-of-dawn
set calls. "It's a lot of fun. When we first started doing these episodes,
the interesting game that was going on between Logan and Max is that she is
someone who is searching to find out who she is. She's a cat burglar at night so
she can make this money to pay a private investigator to find out who is behind
her [existence]. But she's not interested at all in the world in which she
actually lives; she's only interested in the world which has long since
disappeared behind her. And Logan is only interested in the world that exists
around him, and fighting that system. But you know next to nothing about Logan's
personal mythology. He has almost no interest in who he is; he only has an
interest in the society, and trying to effect some kind of positive change on
that society." Weatherly pauses. "So the two of them have this sort of
positive and negative charge; and obviously, those opposites attract, in some
Chemistry between the two actors on screen isn't something
that can be forced: It's either there, or it isn't. However, in the case of Alba
and Weatherly, it quickly became clear that the only problem would be preventing
the actors' chemistry from spontaneously combusting. "Whether it's written
for it or not--and sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't--Jessica and I always
have a lot of fun with the scenes when they unfold," Weatherly says with a
chuckle. "In every scene, you're always trying to play not just what's on
the page, but you're also trying to make it interesting and expand it and push
outside of it as much as possible. And I think the show is built for that. It's
always fun. She's not too hard on the eyes, either."
While it's easy to draw broad assumptions, though, Weatherly
is quick to dispel such thoughts. "One of the criticisms of the show that
I'm aware of," he notes, "is that there are these post modern,
archetypal characters like the empowered Powder Puff Babe and the Brainiac in
the wheelchair, and I'd like to think that the show is a little more than just
these over-simplified cartoon characters."
The burgeoning deeper friendship between Logan and Max also
means the personal stakes are getting higher. "They each hold a secret of
the other, and as they expand that into a deeper understanding with each other,
it's fun. But it can get a little dangerous--they're both pretty willful
characters, and neither one of them seems to be suffering from a deficit of
And the emotional bond between these two characters is going
to come more into focus as the second half of the season rolls out. "The
more that he develops this friendship and relationship with her, the more he
cares about the outcome of each situation, and it gets more and more complicated
for both of them," says Weatherly.
Working with Alba is a treat--but there's more to it than
just having "the best view in North America," jokes Weatherly, whose
character is usually found in his wheelchair looking up at Alba. "When the
buzzer goes off and the red light starts blinking, you have to be ready--she's
not someone who will forgive you too easily if you're sloppy or lazy or not
getting your lines or not hitting your mark," he says. "And when the
shot is finished, she usually goes for some kind of a sucker-punch."
No matter how you slice it, working on Dark Angel is unlike
any of Weatherly's past experiences, which include roles in The Last Days of
Disco, The Specials, Gun Shy, and the TV series Jesse. "This is completely
different. I've done plenty of pilots: I've been a lawyer, a doctor, a boat
captain, [and] a construction worker. But underground pirate cyber-journalist in
the year 2020 with the genetically engineered super babe as your friend, that's
the job. That's the one you want. I'd trade the rest in."