Last month, Season 2 of the Starz political drama “Boss,” from Lionsgate Television, came out on DVD. But new fans who power through the 10 episodes will discover that, for terminally ill Chicago Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer), there is no tomorrow — in TV terms, that is.
axed the critically acclaimed but low-rated show after two seasons
(which ended last October), leaving Kane’s story of power and corruption
unfinished. Also left hanging was the future of Illinois state
treasurer Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner), who had survived a sex scandal to be elected governor (albeit one in Kane’s pocket).
Now back home in New York City — the series shot in Toronto — Hephner says he’s heard from many “Boss” fans.
people who are just getting into it,” he tells Zap2it, “without the knowledge
that it had been canceled. They’ll run through Season 1, come up to Season 2 and then they’re like, ‘What? You’re done? Horses**t.’
in New York City, and people stop me every single day. They’re like,
‘That’s not OK. It’s not OK.’ There were a lot of people who loved that
show. They got it. They’re really into it.”
Asked if there’s any
chance that “Boss” could continue its story on Starz or another outlet
— including Netflix, etc. — Hephner says, “In this day and age, you
can’t rule anything out. I know that Lionsgate is smart enough that if
somebody came to them and said, ‘Hey, let’s finish this thing off. Let’s
wrap it up,’ I know they could deliver something that would wrap this
thing up beautifully.
“Never say never. Everybody would want to do it. It ended way too soon.”
On Season 1 of “Boss,” Zajac carried on a torrid affair with Kane’s aide, Kitty O’Neil (Kathleen Robertson),
and also had a dalliance with another politician’s wife, caught on
camera. This meant that Hephner spent much of that season in various
states of undress.
Zajac mostly kept his clothes on in season
two, which disappointed fans who expected more of the same (especially
considering the rampant nudity on other Starz shows, such as the
recently ended gladiator drama “Spartacus”).
“I was surprised,”
says Hephner, a long-married father of three. “They must have been tired
of seeing me from Season 1. I’m like, ‘Just ask me to work out a
little bit.’ I’d have done it. We’d get it all figured out.
not really active on Twitter, but when I am, I get people who tweet me
pictures of me naked. I find that to be so weird, I, probably, in the
last month, a dozen times, had somebody tweet me a picture of my butt.
do you want me to say? They’re like, ‘Hey, what was this like?’ ‘Now
it’s twice as awkward, now that you’ve tweeted me a picture of my
Some critics accused “Boss” of being too cynical about
politics. Kane even resorted to soliciting murder to clear the way for
Zajac to be elected. But despite Zajac’s extramarital hijinks, there’s
every reason to think he could have survived it anyway.
After all, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was recently elected to Congress — beating the sister of Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”
Also, disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner is
contemplating a run for mayor of New York City despite tweeting
pictures of his private parts and loudly and publicly denying it until
he made an equally public admission of guilt and dishonesty.
where ‘Boss’ was so great,” says Hephner. “We would tap into things
that people really did. What Zajac puts himself through and still goes
out and tries to be a civil servant, as if nothing happened — that, I
find fascinating, because this is what people really do.”
those who wonder, if “Boss” were to come back for a third season,
Hephner says, “Yes, I’m pretty sure there would be more naked Zajac.”
course, as a Roman Catholic husband and father, that would just add to
the eventual difficult conversation Hephner plans to have with his
“You go into a scene,” he says, “and you’re about to be
doing these things that you’re specifically going to tell your kids not
to do, to avoid to be careful with, and you’re going to portray this
rambunctious, wild person, and there’s actual video proof of you doing
“As a parent, you’re going to deny all the stuff you did
anyway, in hopes they won’t do it, right? Actually, they’re going to be
able to go download it. It’s going to be a very delicate thing.”
Hephner would head back to the gym for future episodes of “Boss,” he’s
not sure anything else would justify going to those lengths again as an
“There were parts of it,” he says, “that don’t jibe with
who I am, and they did make me uncomfortable. It’s easy to joke and be
playful with it … I don’t know if I’d ever find a character like Zajac
again, and at a time in my life again, when it all makes sense.
feel like I’ve pushed that envelope as much as I’m going to, and I
can’t foresee … obviously you never say never, but I can’t foresee
where it would make sense again.”