Don’t call me too clever. Probably every article about a cast member from The Nine makes some pun about nine questions. But I got in a solid nine with Tim Daly, who plays officer Nick Cavanaugh on the show. Here are his thoughts on some issues of interest for the ongoing series:
Tim Daly Answers The Nine
1: Even though it’s an ensemble, is there any sense that you’re the lead or leader?
Tim Daly: Well, no. I think that it’s always going to be an ensemble show. I mean, because my character is a cop, he’s sort of by definition going to have a leadership role when we’re in the bank because he’s the only character that has training with dealing with criminals or a situation like this at all. But I don’t really think about that.
2: With all the publicity the show’s gotten, is there any danger of setting too high expectations or over hyping it?
TD: I’m usually very cautious about these things and normally I would say yes, but when I saw the pilot, it exceeded my expectations. I think it’s achieved something that’s essential and yet really difficult which is that it really makes you want to see what happens next.”
3: How did it exceed your own expectations?
TD: I watched it as someone who is intimate with the script and knew the actors and knew the characters, and it was even more compelling and the characters were better and the acting was superb. Not my acting particularly but the other actors are so good on the show.
4: Once you’re out of the bank, which characters do you interact most with?
TD: There’s sort of an implied ongoing sexual tension between me and Kim Raver, and that’s been explored some. I interact with John Billingsley quite a bit. But I don't know. That hasn’t really become clear to me yet who I interact with the most.
5: What are your big questions as a fan of the show?
TD: I guess my biggest question is something that I’ve been asked a lot and that I asked when I signed on to do the show, which is how are you going to keep the show alive when your flashing back to only 52 hours that take place in the bank? So far it’s a question that’s been answered every week. They’re strongly invested in having these characters be really compelling and getting an audience involved in the lives of these people so that as time goes on, what happened in the bank becomes less and less important.
6: Were you ever concerned the concept would be stronger than the characters?
TD: No, because when I read the script, I thought the characters were one of the most powerful things in the script. What they did really expertly and seamlessly was to give you a window into the characters’ lives and who they were without it having that sort of ‘This is the pilot’ stench on it.
7: You play a cop. Did you do any cop research?
TD: I think it’s somewhat less important than the character and also, frankly, I was hired on a Friday and shooting on Monday, so it was very fast and furious.
8: Do you like it that way?
TD: Preparation is always good but on the other hand I think there are times when just going on instinct is very helpful because it keeps you in the present moment. Obviously I don’t want to do anything that would be glaringly un-cop-like, but this is an artistic pursuit. It’s not a documentary about policemen so I have to have a little artistic license. It doesn’t have to be exactly the way a policeman would do everything in real life.
9: With all your TV experience, do you have any sense of what makes a show work and not?
TD: I really don’t. A lot of it has to do with the collective conscience and what people are ready for, what is piquing people’s curiosity and imagination at any peculiar point in history. That’s really hard to predict. So I don’t know what makes a show stick. I know that ABC has shown a tremendous amount of belief in The Nine and they’re really supporting it and making sure that people know about it and that doesn’t hurt, I’ll tell you that. That’s really helpful.