Between “Quantum Leap,” “Chuck” and “Men of a Certain Age,” Scott Bakula is something of a TV legend. It’s always a pleasure when he turns up in a new series, but the last place we expected him to show up was in “Looking,” HBO’s new series about gay life in San Francisco.
That said, when his character, Lynn, arrives, it’s a something of an unexpected treat. In fact, it’s one the show wants to protect fiercely, Bakula tells Zap2it.
“They [the producers] don’t me to talk about when I show up or who I show up with …They’re gonna let it be a surprise,” Bakula says, speaking on the red carpet at the “Looking” premiere on Wednesday (Jan. 15). “But yes, the first scene was a first in a lot of ways — for me.”
When Bakula agreed to the role, he did so before that surprising first scene was even written. In fact, his signing on was mostly a leap of faith. “I met with [creator/executive producer] Andrew [Haigh]. They were interested in me for the project, but the scripts at the time, my character wasn’t in it, so I didn’t really have anything to look at,” Bakula tells us. “So I just sat and had a breakfast with him. We talked for an hour and a half, two hours.
“We talked about what he wanted the show to be. We talked about what he wanted this character to be,” he continues. “That was very revealing to me, and he said, ‘If you can get a look at ‘Weekend,’ the movie I made, that’s gonna be a little bit of the tone.’ So I got that, loved that and kind of just took a fly on it and said let’s see what happens. It’s worked out great … It’s a great project to be a part of. I wholeheartedly support every aspect of that. I feel very lucky to be here.”
The series, shot on location in San Francisco, may not seem as though it has much in common with “Nash Bridges,” Don Johnson‘s ’90s procedural set in the Bay Area, but Bakula reveals the two are more connected behind the scenes than one would think.
“That was the last kind of big show that shot up there, so we had a lot of that crew,” he shares. “So they were just … really really supportive, really connected. And you know, crews are made up of all kinds of people, and a lot of old-timers. But these guys were like, ‘Oh gosh, this show is really good. Those guys seem like really nice guys. I hope this goes and you guys keep shooting up here.'”
We hope so, too.
“Looking” premieres on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO.