“Human Target” star Chi McBride isn’t one for making false promises. “People always, in interviews before the next season premieres, they tell you, ‘This one’s going to be bigger and better!’ and then it ain’t s***,” he said when Zap2it visited the show on location in Vancouer. He promises that the “Human Target” premiere won’t disappoint.
“You’re going to get an idea in the first 10 minutes of the first act that this is the amping up, a stakes-raising, game-changing kind of trajectory into the show,” he says. He’s not kidding. Wednesday’s season premiere – airing at 8 p.m. EST on FOX – opens with Chance (Mark Valley) and Guerrero (Jackie Earl Haley) wasting no time in rescuing Winston from last season’s kidnapping cliffhanger.
“After that episode I called because I’d heard that Fox was actually reaching out to Sinbad to replace me,” McBride jokes. “But he’s got a lot of college gigs and he couldn’t get out of it, so thankfully, I’m going to come back.”
This season, two new characters join the gang… and they’re women. Isla (Indira Varma) and Ames (Janet Montgomery) are introduced in the first episode. Series star Valley says that the feminine influence on the show’s previously all-male cast will make all the difference.
“It feels like a bigger show,” he tells us. “There’s more directions that we can go because we have more characters. The stories seem to be attached a little more to the characters, as opposed to an interesting plot line.”
McBride agrees. “‘Lost’ was a big favorite show of mine,” he muses. “Me and my lady would sit around and watch it, and in the third episode, Jack saw his father on the beach, and we both sort of looked at each other and said, ‘They’re all f***in’ dead.’ But we kept watching, because who gives a s***? I cared about the characters. The characters were so well-drawn and well-written. Any character-driven show has the opportunity to be successful.”
There are other benefits to having new characters, as well. “There’s more people on set, you know? I don’t have to look at Chi and Jackie all day, so it’s a little more interesting,” Valley jokes.
Varma’s character, Ilsa, is a wealthy benefactor whose husband’s death leads her to the team. Though the team is grateful for her generous bank account, they’re not all thrilled with her input. “She’s kind of stubborn and difficult as well, because she wants to be in the middle of everything,” says McBride. “Nobody just gives you their money and then doesn’t stick their nose in every orifice of your situation.”
“She moves in some more sophisticated circles than Chance and Winston and Guerrero are used to moving in,” Valley adds. “We’ll see later on what happens in terms of love interests and things like that, but right now it’s kinda fun. I say with Indira it’s sort of like a Diane on ‘Cheers.'”
Ames is a master thief who may or may not be reformed. She gives Guerrero quite a run for his money, Haley tells us. “There are little pieces of her that are like a Chance Mini-Me, there’s pieces of her that’s a Guerrero Mini-Me,” he says. “She’s young, and she’s green, but yet very talented. So again, it’s kind of neat seeing how the three guys are different with her, what they see in her.”
She may relate to Chance and Guerrero, but she’s got some history with Winston. “She was a delinquent and clearly has some daddy issues and problems with authority and what have you,” McBride says. “She’s a pretty loose cannon, but everyone in the whole situation is, so what are you going to do? She’s just another element to give us that sort of feel that the show is like a hand grenade with the pin pulled out.”
Valley tells us that while the character stories grow deeper, the stunts and action sequences are only getting more and more high-octane. “The cool thing about them is they come out a little bit unexpected,” he says. “It’s not like you’re fighting on train tracks and [you’re thinking] ‘Oh, when’s the train coming?’ They’re a little bit more of a surprise this year, and they’re more specific.”
Speaking of specifics, Valley tells us that one stunt he didn’t want to do involved jumping out of a four-story building. “It made me nervous just thinking about somebody else doing it, to be honest,” he laughs, before gesturing behind him to the chilly Vancouver Harbor. “The water’s cold out there, too. We did end up in the water, in wetsuits, Indira and I.”
Though the cast and showrunners are incredibly confident in this season, they do have a contingency plan in case the ratings aren’t stellar. “We’re gonna start to air our episodes during the commercial breaks of ‘Glee,’” Haley says.
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