'IN PLAIN SIGHT' starring Mary McCormack returns for season three on its new night, Wednesday, March 31 at 10/9c with guest star Donnie Wahlberg.
'IN PLAIN SIGHT' also stars Frederick Weller, Nichole Hiltz and Paul Ben-Victor. Returning guest-stars for season three include Lesley Ann Warren, Cristian de la Fuente and Joshua Malina. Other season three guest stars will be Emmy winner Allison Janney (ďThe West Wing,Ē ďJunoĒ); Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winner Rita Moreno (ďCane,Ē ďThe GuardianĒ), Steven Weber (ďWings,Ē ďStudio 60Ē), Tess Harper (ďNo Country for Old Men,Ē ďBreaking BadĒ), Josh Cooke (ďCommitted,Ē ďFour KingsĒ), and Donnie Wahlberg ('Sixth Sense').
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Donnie Wahlberg ('In Plain Sight') about this new season, and first wondered what it was like working on a TV series again? "Itís different as a guest as opposed to being a star of a series. A guest star is a whole different responsibility. Itís much different than being a regular. You come in and itís a lot of unfamiliar faces and you want to try to fit in as best you can, but also you want to stay there without making waves."
"But at the same time you want to come in and be hopefully the best you can be and bring something new to the table. Iíve been a regular before and I know that it becomes not a grind. That series that Iíve been a regular in, I was very committed and very dedicated, but it was always fun when a new actor came along and brought something to the table."
"All that said, I felt incredibly welcomed. I also knew that there was a really a new spirit going on on the show. That everybody was really looking to raise the bar for season three with John McNamara coming in. I felt like I was playing with a team that was really trying to great. So everyone was very encouraging and very welcoming of me."
Was there instant chemistry when you began working with the cast. I know sometimes it takes a little bit of time to develop, but did you find the rapport was instant?"It was pretty instant. I think when we did a table read a few days before and I got to sit next to Mary McCormick and she was very gracious and stuff. But I felt, again, very safe. Iím not a big fan of table reads or sitting around a table and reading a script. Iíd rather do it on set and do it for real. I generally hate table reads, in fact, but it was a great atmosphere and everybody really seemed excited I was there."
"The regulars on the show were just very welcoming. I think part of it is maybe is the New Mexico charm that everyone has down there. But at the same time, I think thereís a real great spirit on that show and it starts at the top with Mary and Fred and theyíve very, very gracious."
We all know you started out in the music industry, so how did you move into acting from there?"Actually, in high school I was one of the cofounders of New Kids on the Block my freshman year in high school. But I also started studying theatre in high school my freshman year as well. So throughout high school, I was actually doing both. I would do a concert maybe at a night club or wherever we could get a gig as New Kids on the weekends. But during week days, I was doing plays and writing plays and starring in plays all the time."
"When New Kids became really successful, I got a lot of offers to do parts in movies and TV shows, but I was really busy, so I pretty much turned everything down. But I always knew it was something that I would eventually put some energy into. It just so happened that when New Kids finished riding that wave, that first wave of success, the offers werenít coming anymore. So I had to go out and hit the pavement like most actors and start from the ground up, which I think is one of the greatest things that happened to me. I think maybe taking movie roles and stuff when I was getting them offered to me because I was in a musical group, I think that could have been damaging to me."
"I think having to go out and start, I donít want to say as a has-been, but sort of in a band that wasnít really popular anymore and wasnít selling records anymore, I think it forced me to really dig in and do what most actors do, which is to hit the street and go to audition after audition after audition and keep trying to break through until someone gives me a shot. I think that Ron Howard was the first person Öthat gave me a shot. Once I got a taste, I just wanted to keep doing it and doing it and doing it. I fell in love with the craft and thatís how I did it."
In keeping with the theme of the show, which is witness protection, how do you think it would be to really give up your identity and become someone else in order to remain safe? What would you miss and what wouldnít you miss?"Iíve thought about it before, actually, just in time when fame and success gets a little challenging. Thereís been moments when it was what would it be like. Iíve been lucky enough to travel to many, many places. And thereís times when Iíve been in some really obscure towns working and I thought about what it would be like to set up shop here and just kind of disappear and just be like anyone else. I guess because Iíve been in the spotlight so often in my life, itís sounded really appealing to me. But I think Iíd probably eventually get pretty stir crazy. Iím sure Iíd miss all the things that that I take for granted."
"I think in my experience in life speaking to people or knowing people whoíve lived on the run or lived with a false identity, itís really one of the hardest things to do. A lot of fugitives eventually who are living on the run usually turn themselves in because they canít the pressure of living a false life and hiding anymore. Itís a lot of stress; itís a lot of pressure. Itís a pretty big weight to carry around."
"I donít know if you meant specifically in a witness protection situation or just living in a different life of hiding out somewhere. But I think it would be fun for a while, but I think eventually Iíd miss probably everything, simple things like going to the supermarket and saying hello to my neighbor and not wondering if theyíre going to recognize me or not. That would be a lot of pressure, I think."
Finally, your character on In Plain Sight is a bad boy with a big heart and in New Kids, you were considered the bad boy. So is it more fun to play a shady character and why?"I donít know. I think I enjoy playing all types of difference characters. I think the challenge with this particular character was to do something different with the character that was somewhat similar to things Iíve done in the past. I played a lot of cops. Heís obviously not a cop, but itís tricky because in playing this guy, I didnít want to do things that Iíd done before, mannerisms or certain behaviors or actions or even the way that I spoke."
"But at the same time, I didnít want to be too selfish because the character is written, the way heís written for a reason. My insecurities or whatever, I didnít want to bring those to the table and try and to overdo something in order to satisfy myself and say I made this character different than anything Iíve ever done and itís very unique. I wanted to accomplish that, but at the same time, I couldnít do it in a way that was selfish and not in the best interest of the show."
"John McNamara is an amazing writer. He wanted me for a lot of specific reasons. Those sort of things that he saw in my past work, itís a responsibility for me to bring those things to the table and then add something to that. So Iíve played ballroom dancers. Iíve play psychotics. Iíve played cops. Iíve play silly cops and serious cops. Iíve played so many different roles, but I just try to take each role based on the material. And if I like the material, then Iím attracted to it. If Iím attracted to it, then Iím going to give all my energy to it."
"And if I give all my energy to something, it usually if nothing else, then I know that Iíve been committed and gave all I could. And I usually feel very satisfied at the end when Iím in that predicament. If I donít like the material, I just generally pass, no matter what it is. If itís a studio movie or a big opportunity, if I canít pile into something in the character, I usually donít do it."