Jack Bristow may live after all. Victor Garber is back on TV with Justice, playing the head of a defense team, Ron Trott. Still ruthless and manipulative, Garber finds one significant difference between Bristow and Trott.
Victor Garber on Justice
“Well, a spy will kill you,” Garber said. “A lawyer will only try to kill you. Here’s my thing about an actor is that everybody believes they’re doing the right thing. So even when they’re torturing and killing people, Jack Bristow thought he was doing it either to protect his daughter or for the right reason. Ron Trott is a manipulative, self serving lawyer but he feels like he’s doing it for the right reasons: for the law, for the client and also to gain notoriety for his firm. So it’s a different kind of motivation but it’s still the same and sometimes the results are they’re unethical. You would objectively say, ‘That’s not very nice,’ but from his perspective, and that’s the way I have to approach it as an actor that I’m doing the right thing. Otherwise it would be very hard to play.”
Trott and his team expertly manipulate the legal system and the media to defend their clients. It’s been a learning experience for Garber. “I had no idea about shadow juries, I had no idea about mock jury trials. I didn’t know any of that so that was new to me and also what’s admissible, what isn’t admissible. I find it all just incredibly complicated and bizarre. This character, he knows all of these things so it’s kind of fun to be informed and to find out. It’s sort of somewhat alarming but if I’m ever accused of murder, I would like Ron Trott to defend me because he’s ruthless but like he says in the pilot, if you’ve got the right lawyer, we have the best legal system in the world, but that’s a big if. A lot of people can’t afford it. This is an expensive team.”
Ultimately, Trott does not care if his clients are guilty or innocent. He believes in the job. “It should bother you. It’s absolutely right [to feel that way] but again, it’s coming from a place of that’s the way he thinks. That’s the way he believes. That’s how he lives his life. There are people like that. We all know them and we actually want them to represent us if it comes down to it.”
Justice will compete against another new lawyer show starting this season, Shark starring James Woods. “Oh, I’d kill him,” Garber joked. “I’d destroy him. No, you know what? I watch those promos and I think, ‘Well, that’s my character.’ But I’m a great admirer of him. I think there’s room for lots of people on television and what am I going to do? It looks like a good show, he looks great on it. He’s a big movie star and he’s a great actor. I don't know how many types of people that want to watch like that, but we’ll see. We’ll just have to see. I don't know how it’s all going to play out. You never do.”
For Garber fans, Ron Trott may bring back fond memories of his other great lawyer character. “The guy I played in Legally Blonde who’s a lawyer, he was unethical although I don't think Ron’s necessarily unethical. I think he’s just manipulative.”
Justice begins August 30 at 9 PM on FOX.
Stay tuned for updates.