Spies. Exotic locations. Cold war politics and double agents. It may sound like the ingredients for the latest James Bond movie, but it also accurately describes ABC’s ambitious new drama, Missing. Starring Ashley Judd, Sean Bean, Cliff Curtis, Adriano Giannini and Nick Eversman, Missing, which premiers Thursday, March 15, at 8:00 p.m., ET on ABC, tells the story of former CIA agent Rebecca Winstone (Judd) and her determined pursuit of the men who abducted her teenage son while studying abroad in Rome.
Aided by reluctant Interpol operative Giancarlo Rossi (Adriano Giannini, Ocean’s 12, Swept Away) and hunted by CIA agent Dax Miller (Cliff Curtis, Training Day, Columbiana) Rebecca must piece together a series of clues that bring her to another city each week, and one step closer to finding her son, Michael (Nick Eversman.) Rebecca’s efforts will lead her to old friends and older enemies and to the past she tired so desperately to leave behind.
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with three of the cast’s leading men – Cliff Curtis, Adriano Giannini and Nick Eversman – and delve a little deeper into the show and its characters with a panel of journalists in ABC studios in Burbank.
Rebecca seems at times trapped between two men with very different agendas in the form of CIA Agent Dax Miller, and Giancarlo Rossi, an old friend, who also happens to work for Interpol. Both men, in different ways, attempt to dissuade Rebecca from going it alone in pursuing her son’s captors.
I ask Cliff Curtis to tell me a little more about Dax Miller, the smart talking and seemingly heartless agent sent to track down and retrieve Rebecca before her investigation causes an international incident.
Curtis is quick to pass off any martial arts training as an aid to his role on the show.
“All the training in Martial Arts is great,” he jokes, “but if you have slippery shoes on a hard marble floor, it’s not going to help you! We started our shoot in Dubrovnik in Croatia. The whole city is made of marble which has been polished down over the centuries. I think I won the award for falling over the most times.
“Running around in my suit and with my shiny shoes on in this polished city – there’s this big sequence in episode 4 – I wrecked a couple of suits.”
I remind him of a particular scene from the pilot episode in which Rebecca surmises (with some disdain) that Dax’s unfeeling attitude clearly indicates he has no family of his own. Track forward an episode and the audience sees that Rebecca was mistaken. Will Dax’s continued involvement in Rebecca’s single-minded search for her son cause him to reevaluate his own relationship with his estranged family?
“That’s a very good question,” he says. “And yes, that’s exactly what’s going on. The big strong theme throughout the whole show is family. Family and the sacrifices we make in our work and our careers, and what we value in life – what we think is important. And so Dax has to reevaluate the choices he’s made,” he says.
“Rebecca gave up her career as a CIA agent to have a family. Dax didn’t. Dax gave up his family to have a career as a CIA agent. So he’s conflicted. We’re going to follow that line throughout the series.”
And what of Giancarlo, the one man who seems to know and understand Rebecca best of all, despite their agreement never to see each other again?
“Basically Giancarlo is trying to help her,” Adriano Giannini tells me. “She needs help in Europe and she needs someone like Giancarlo – an Interpol guy who can do that. But he’s helping her basically because he loves her. He’s going to do a lot of things that go against what Interpol want, in trying to help her. But he’s always going to want something back from her,” he adds with a laugh.
Nick Eversman, who plays Rebecca’s son Michael explains that he sees a lot of himself in the character of Michael. “I have a very close-knit family and telling the story of a family that has torn their hearts to stay together through the worst case scenarios – I was just jumping for joy when I heard that I got [the role].”
With two CIA agent parents, can audiences expect Michael to display some ‘chip off the old block’ smarts?
“The bottom line for Michael is he doesn’t know his parents are ex-CIA,” Nick explains. “That being said – without giving anything away – Michael was taught some things when he was younger that he didn’t necessarily realize why he was being taught these things or what they could be used for. We’re talking a little bit more than general boy scout stuff. He’s definitely not from a normal family. He can take care of himself to a certain extent.”
Missing premiers Thursday, March 15, at 8:00 p.m., ET on ABC.