Coming Full Circle: Adam Harrington Talks New Fall TV
A disturbed stalker, a shrewd FBI agent and the best – but possibly not the brightest – political candidate ever, are just some of the roles fans of The Secret Circle’s Adam Harrington can look forward to watching him take on this Fall.
I caught up with the ever busy Circle alum this week to talk about CSI’s dark and disturbed Ronald Basderic, Parks and Recreation’s Congressman Murray and The Mob Doctor’s Agent York, who Adam reveals will be back to ‘Kick butt and take names’ this season.
“I’m not involved in anyone’s sex education!” he points out when I ask him to spill the beans on Parks and Recreation’s fourth episode, which currently carries the working title Sex Education. The episode airs October 18th on NBC and sees Adam, no stranger to comedy, taking on the role of the not overly bright Congressman Murray.
“I play a congressman who is running for re-election in Ohio and April (Aubrey Plaza) and Ben (Adam Scott) are helping me with my campaign. Murray is described as the best political candidate ever, but of course in the world of Parks and Rec. there’s going to be a twist on that. I might not be the smartest congressman in the world,” he hints.
“In the Parks and Rec. world politicians are never really quite what they seem, and of course their job isn’t necessarily going to be easy,” he laughs. “I love the show. I think it’s great. It’s one of those shows I love to watch during a bad news week. I’ve really enjoyed watching it over the seasons. It’s a lot of fun to go to work on something where you’re familiar with the world and you know who the characters are.”
On the subject of a familiar world, Adam is also returning to the CSI franchise, having previously guested in season finales of CSI New York and CSI Miami.
This time, he appears in episode 2, airing October 10th, as Ronald Basderic, who Adam describes as a stalker who has fallen in love with a woman who works at a local diner the CSI’s like to frequent.
The episode is entitled ‘Code Blue Plate Special’ and sees the CSI’s turning up at their favorite diner only to discover a gruesome crime scene with eight dead victims and a lot of questions.
“I’m a very, very disturbed person,” Adam says of Basderic. “The episode explores whether or not I was responsible for the eight deaths. It’s hard to say playing a character so dark is a lot of fun, but it was! The cast were wonderful and generous. I really had a great time considering I was in not such a great place. Basderic is very, very smart, and very very good at eluding the police. He manages to always just stay on the right side of the law – barely.”
Will this darker and more disturbing material come as a shock to Secret Circle fans?
“Well I’m definitely not a sympathetic drunken witch,” he laughs. “Although I still am madly in love with somebody. It’s just the way I go about it is a lot different.”
I make the comment that CSI, now entering it’s thirteenth season, has had an incredibly successful run.
“That’s a long run,” he agrees. “That’s a lot of holding things up to the light!”
“And dusting for fingerprints,” I add.
“And walking through rooms with that blue light,” he says. “And seeing your worst horror in a hotel room. What I’ve learned from that show is when you go to your hotel room just take that bed cover off! Take it off before it gets up and walks off by itself.”
I comment that there is a large guest cast for this particular episode.
“There are a lot of bodies in that diner,” he replies. “It was a very ambitious episode. I think it’s going to be fantastic. I was really stoked to be a part of it.”
Meanwhile Adam is returning to film more episodes of FOX’s new medical drama The Mob Doctor, having guested in the pilot episode which aired on Monday September 17th and repeats tonight Friday September 21st at 9 pm. I spoke to Mob Doctor creator Josh Berman recently who described Adam’s character, FBI Agent York, as “a real breakout character” he wanted to see recurring throughout the season ahead.
“As the series progresses, we realize that Agent York is basically there to kick butt and take names,” Adam says of his character. “His involvement in going after the Mob is a lot deeper and closer to Grace than anyone realizes. The twist will be how close to Grace he is, and who he may or may not be working with. He’s a great character. He’s very shrewd. He knows this world. He knows what he’s doing. I love that. I love what they’ve shown in the pilot. I’m dying to see what happens in it. It’s exciting to have that element stir the pot as well.”
Commenting on the fact that will be appearing in three different shows across three different Networks this Fall, Adam remains philosophical. “As we all do, we work our butts off to get lucky, and I got very lucky. I’m very happy. I’ve been very lucky and it’s just been a great run, and I’m really excited about all three projects and looking forward to them coming out and looking forward to people enjoying them.”
The last time I interviewed Adam was during the The Secret Circle’s first season, and it’s hard not to mention Ethan and the groundswell of support for the show following its cancellation.
“TSC fans have been unbelievable in their support,” he says. “I feel so bad that the show ran its course. But it did touch a lot of people and hopefully those people can continue to see all of the cast continue to entertain.
“As an actor it’s really not often that you are able to be involved in something at a level that people really respond strongly to. That’s not a common thing and I don’t take that lightly. I feel very fortunate and grateful to all the people that have reached out and who liked what I did. It’s nice to have those things in an actor’s life. A lot of times you can work on stuff that comes and goes and doesn’t really affect people that much. It’s a really nice thing when you do something that people respond positively to. It’s an amazing thing to be able to add to someone’s day instead of taking away from it.”
I suggest that Ethan was almost universally liked despite some of the crazy things he did.
“He was certainly a lot different to Roy Earle,” he says, speaking of his jaded and misogynistic character from Team Bondi and Rockstar’s LA Noire. “Everyone loved to hate him. I I still get the occasional message over Twitter from someone who I guess has just come across the game for the first time, or who is playing it again, and they’ll send me a message of ‘I hate you! You did a great job!’
I tell Adam about Tumblr blogs dedicated to Roy and LA Noire.
“I look at that and I’m so flattered. I believe I did my job. He was a very polarizing character. We had to make him interesting. We gave him that fantastic suit. And the response that always comes back is “F. You Roy Earle. You did a great job!’ I love the fact that people get so much enjoyment out of hating him.
“But with Ethan, it really meant a lot that people liked him, because on paper he’s not so good. He’s a struggling father. He’s struggling with addiction and haunted by the past. I think a lot of people have people in their lives like that, or can relate to people who are really trying their best, however they succeed at it. He really did care for his son. He really did have good intentions. He maybe just wasn’t the best person to put a crystal in the hands of.”
I confess it was one of my favorite episodes and he laughs.
“He’s not so good with power,” he insists. “Had the series continued I don’t know how responsible Ethan with power would be. Especially in that world where there really can’t be a happy resolution, and considering how much he was struggling with the normal every day stuff.
“It was a ton of fun meeting all of the TSC guys and getting to see them already go on to do fantastic things. I had lived in Vancouver for a long time. That was the last place I had lived before moving to the States. And it was the first time I went back for work. And apologies for the horrible pun, but it was a nice full circle to shoot the show there. Actually, the name of the restaurant – The Boathouse – was the name of the last place I ever worked before I went into acting full time. And the location they shot the restaurant at was a location I used to go Scuba diving from. When I got to set I thought, wow, I really have come full circle!”
Catch Adam Harrington guesting on The Mob Doctor Mondays on FOX, in CSI’s ‘Blue Plate Special’ airing Wednesday October 10th and on NBC’s Parks and Recreation on October 18th. You can also send him some love over Twitter @AdamJHarrington.