When “Life Unexpected” creator Liz Tigelaar spoke to Zap2it in April, she told us that Kerr Smith helped her develop his character, Ryan, into a more dynamic role than she’d originally intended. We chatted with Smith at The CW’s Upfront Presentation in New York to see if Ryan lived up to his expectations.
“The show, initially, was more about the three of them,” Kerr says, referring to Cate (Shiri Appleby), Lux (Brittany Robertson), and Baze (Kristoffer Polaha). “This time last year, I was like, ‘Look, I really want to be a part of this show, what can we do?'”
The “Life Unexpected” cast and crew are in celebration mode. Despite being one of the shows Zap2it readers most wanted to see return, “LUX’s” spot on the CW’s 2010-2011 lineup was uncertain until this week, when the announcement was finally made that they’d see a Season 2. “It was Tuesday morning, and I actually had my phone off, because I just didn’t want to deal with the whole morning,” Smith tells us. “And I turned it on around noon, and lo and behold, there were like 20 messages, so it had to be good.”
Ryan has always been the stable, trustworthy man in Cate’s life, whereas Baze has been unpredictable. Looking ahead to Season 2, Smith wants to see Ryan cause a little trouble of his own. “I don’t like to play characters that are so clean cut,” he says. “I like to get into the dirt, because everybody’s got dirt on them. So I’d like to get into Ryan’s backstory a little bit.”
We also spoke with Smith’s co-stars, Kristoffer Polaha and Austin Basis, about their hopes for the future of “Life Unexpected.”
“My hope for [Austin’s] character is that he finally gets off the Cate wagon and finds himself a healthy girlfriend,” Polaha says.
“And my hope for [Kris’s] character is that he focuses on his business and maybe uses that as a distraction, but as a successful distraction, after the obvious letdown of the season finale,” Basis adds. “And doesn’t drink too much! I have a feeling that he might be drinking.”
As for Lux, Smith looks forward to further developing the relationship between her and Ryan. “I really wanted to try and establish kind of a father figure relationship with Lux and Ryan,” he says. “The scenes that we’ve really had together have been great. Brittany and I love doing them. They’re always very heartfelt, giving each other advice. Sometimes she gives me life advice, which I think is awesome.”
“I think she’ll flourish,” Polaha says. “I think she’s going to have a feeling of ‘Did my parents adopt a lemon?’ and she’s going to really want to show that she’s smart and good and all that stuff, which will sort of lead to chaos and comedy and great times.”
Basis, who plays Lux’s friend and teacher Math, says, “There’s something to her really experiencing her childhood for the first time, and kind of re-entering it and being awkward and letting that happen, and living out moment that she’s never experienced because she’s been so guarded.”
As for the big love triangle, Ryan has his girl for now, but how long will that last? “You tell me!” Kerr laughs. “I’m not sure. I don’t know. She’s crazy.”
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