The Telefile
Scott Wolf is Hooked on <i>V</i> (His New Show, Not the Vampire Drug)

The relaunch of the alien invasion drama V on ABC has brought together an exciting group of our favorite TV actors: Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell as a Homeland Security agent, Firefly's Alan Tudyk as her partner, his former co-star Morena Baccarin as head alien Anna and Smallville's Laura Vandervoort as an alien tour guide. But one of the most familiar faces on the show is undoubtedly Scott Wolf, who played Bailey for six seasons on Party of Five, and has more recently appeared on Everwood and The Nine. On V, Wolf plays Chad Decker, a TV reporter who is allowed to interview the aliens as long as he paints them in a positive light. We sat down for a one-on-one with Wolf (making no promises, mind you) to talk about his character's moral flexibility, the reality of alien invasions and why he's ready for this show to fail miserably.

TWoP: Were you a fan of the original V TV series?
Scott Wolf:
You know, I remember the original V -- I remember arguing with my parents to be able to stay up to watch it. But it has been long enough that it really wasn't fresh in my mind when I sat down and read this script for the first time, so I really came at it like it was a brand-new story, and in many ways it is. The bones of it are the same, it's obviously still a show about aliens descending upon the Earth one day, but it's very much a story about today and our world and what it looks like right now, what it feels like to be living in the world right now and as realistic an examination of what it would look like if alien spaceships arrived tomorrow morning as I can imagine.

What was it about the role that interested you the most? Was Chad even the first role you looked at?
It's rare that there are multiple characters that you grab onto, but they were just written so clearly, and they were all so compelling in their own way that there were a couple of different characters -- a few, really -- that I was excited about the idea of. But when I found out that they were most interested in me for Chad, I was thrilled. Playing complicated characters, characters who are hard to pin down and have some sort of human ambiguity in there, is always fun. It's fun to play a character who the audience isn't sure about; in this case, I'm playing a guy who's not even quite certain about himself. He's a person who has incredible ambition and also an incredible sense of journalistic integrity in his own way, so there's this internal wrestling match where, ultimately, one of those things is gonna win out. And I don't know that even Chad Decker knows which of those things will win.

You're a pretty funny guy -- will there be some lighter moments in the show, or does it mostly have a fairly dark tone?
Well, I appreciate you saying that. Because Chad Decker survives on his charm and his ability to lure people in and connect, it's a window into some lighter moments that the show takes advantage of. Because, obviously, aliens arriving on Earth is an epic, earth-shattering event, and the writers have been pretty smart to find bits of humor and levity wherever they can. So Chad offers the ability to warm things up a bit, because the way he is successful at being a news personality is that he's warm, he's charming, and through that there's some -- especially with his relationship with Anna -- there's this kind of cat-and-mouse game brewing between them, so they've been finding some nice humorous bits in there. You know, it's a drama and it's a thriller, but like our lives, there's always a time to crack a smile or laugh, and I think our writers are being smart about finding those moments.

Were you disappointed when The Nine was canceled prematurely?
I was. You know, I'm a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it's a really good one. [Laughs.] And as I sit here today, working on something that I'm so excited about and so proud of, it all sort of makes sense in its own way. But at the time, yeah, I was incredibly disappointed. I felt really excited to be a part of telling that story, and we had a great cast, and when we made that pilot there was just an incredible excitement around it. There was an intensity to that story and something really compelling about it. Yeah, we were hoping to get a lot more time out of that than we did. But it was a good example, in that you can work your butt off making something and be really proud of it, but at the end of the day, an audience is the final word. It's the same thing as I sit here today -- I'm so excited, because I really feel like people are gonna love this thing, but that's my opinion, and the audience will speak soon, and we hope they have good things to say.

V premieres tonight at 8/7C on ABC.




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