Hey Grey's Anatomy fans, do you miss Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny Duquette)? Oh, who are we kidding: Of course you do!
Jeffrey won all of our hearts with his role on Grey's, and then promptly disappeared from the small screen into the world of film. Fortunately, he's making a triumphant return to TV as the star of Starz's new period drama, Magic City, which is about the hotel business in Miami in a very turbulent time period: The late '50s/early '60s.
Wetpaint Entertainment had a chance to talk to Jeffrey about his new role as Ike Evans, a hotel owner and family man who finds himself entangled in a web of difficult and shady business situations, and he opened up about why Magic City is such a phenomenal opportunity for him.
"We're not doing a 23-, 26-episode season," Jeffrey explained when asked about the difference between working on Magic City and his previous big TV roles on Grey's and Supernatural. "We have in the first year 8 episodes and next year we're gonna do 10, which allows us more time. We are less rushed than most of what we see on television, which kind of allows us to be much more cinematic. I never felt when I was doing the show that I was doing a television show."
The fact that Magic City feels more like film than TV is what drew Jeffrey to the project — which he originally thought was a mini-series — in the first place. "I was very leery of giving in to a television show," he explained, later saying "[Magic City] is not TV," adding, "My biggest fear of doing television is getting bored with the character, and I don't have that feeling doing Magic City. I don't think I'm ever going to get bored playing Ike."
Of course, he was quick to clarify that he was grateful for the roles that originally brought him to so many fans' attention: "Not that my experiences on Grey's and Supernatural weren't great. They were. They gave me a career, they put me in the opportunity to do, to be, Ike Evans in Magic City."
Along with enjoying Magic City's slower pace and cinematic look, Jeffrey laughed that, "It's been great," to play a central character who isn't about to get killed off. "It's kind of liberating as an actor to know you're not going to die in two episodes."
He explained that he's really gotten to dig in to the character of Ike, "as opposed to trying to cram a whole character, a whole story into an hour and a half, two hours, which is what I've been doing [in films] since I did Grey's and Supernatural. And even on those shows...I was never a regular. Doing [Magic City] felt like I was going away and doing a film, and the beauty of it is I get to continue...this journey that Ike is on."
So, what can you expect from Ike? Lots and lots of layers, as befits any ambitious cable drama. On the surface, Ike is full of "laid-back charm," but inside he's not so relaxed.
"What I think you see behind closed doors...is a guy who's making hard decisions that people's lives depend on, including his own," Jeffrey explained. "This sort of air that he gives out of everything being okay — and he does, he gives that to everyone. His wife, his shady business partner. Everybody. He has to. But then behind closed doors you see the cracks. You see the burden he's carrying."
Still not convinced to give Magic City a try? Well, we'll also remind you that Jeffrey gets butt naked for the part. Hooray for cable!
Magic City premieres this Friday, April 6 at 10 p.,. ET/PT on Starz.
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