Greg In Hollywood chats with Jesse Bradford about his new NBC legal series “Outlaw” with Jimmy Smits
NBC’s new legal drama Outlaw has been widely panned but no one is pinning the blame on actor Jesse Bradford who plays an Ivy League-educated upstart working in a law firm alongside a former Supreme Court justice played by Jimmy Smits who shocks everyone by quitting the court to be a crusading lawyer.
It’s Jesse’s first regular TV role since he appeared on the fifth season of The West Wing as a White House intern. He’s better known for his roles in such films as Speedway Junkie, Bring it On, Swimfan, Heights, Happy Endings and Flags of Our Fathers.
During the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour, I asked Jesse about working with Smits on Outlaw and he said:
“”It’s been fantastic. He is a smooth, smooth character in the best way. He’s just excellent.”
And what about Jesse’s character on the show?
“Eddie, he’s this smart, smart guy. He gets flustered by the fact that he thinks his life is on a certain track. He’s got this cushy job as a clerk for a Supreme Court justice and the world gets pulled out from under him so he’s flustered right there from the start. He’s been left out, nobody consulted with Eddie about this, Eddie’s whose future has been derailed, and I think Eddie kind of benefits from having his world shook up. He’s book smart, not street smart.”
“I think politics in America are particularly polarized right now and I love the idea of a hero in a political legal show where you don’t know which side of the aisle he’s going to be standing issue to issue,” he added. “I think we need more of that freedom to go back and forth. I feel like that window is closing somehow, people don’t allow for that.”
How is it playing a conservative?
“You deliver the lines the way you’re supposed to. But that being said, it’s not really where I come from so it’s interesting. You want to have the opportunity to do things where it’s not just you rolling out of bed being yourself. So to get to play this guy and stand behind these convictions that I might not normally have is interesting. My goal is to make him make sense and be likeable even if he’s taking a stance that the average LA liberal wouldn’t agree with – which I wouldn’t agree with!”
Outlaw airs tonight on NBC at 10 p.m.