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On the Set: 'The Unusuals'

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 8th 2009 6:00AM
The Unusuals Amber TamblynABC is about to reveal one of its biggest secret weapons -- the premiere of the new cop drama series 'The Unusuals,' airing tonight at 10PM.

The show stars Amber Tamblyn as Casey Shraeger, a young detective who enters the NYPD Homicide unit with her fair share of mystery. There, she's joined by fellow TV vets like Adam Goldberg, 'Oz''s Terry Kinney, 'Lost''s Harold Perrineau and others -- all of whom carry their own intriguing back stories.

AOL TV recently visited the set of 'The Unusuals' to dig up dirt on the show. So what unusual things did we discover? Read through our gallery to find out what to expect from the show, why Perrineau's character is so paranoid and uncover Amber Tamblyn's true identity (or maybe not).


On the Set: The Unusuals

    ABC is about to reveal one of its biggest secret weapons -- the premiere of the new cop drama series 'The Unusuals,' airing tonight at 10PM.

    The show stars Amber Tamblyn as Casey Shraeger, a young detective who enters the NYPD Homicide unit with her fair share of mystery. There, she's joined by fellow TV vets like Adam Goldberg, 'Oz''s Terry Kinney, 'Lost''s Harold Perrineau and others -- all of whom carry their own intriguing back stories.

    AOL TV recently visited the set of 'The Unusuals' to dig up dirt on the show. So what unusual things did we discover? Read through our gallery to find out what to expect from the show, why Perrineau's character is so paranoid and uncover Amber Tamblyn's true identity (or maybe not). -- By Andy Scott



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    Training Day

    In order to prep for their roles, Amber Tamblyn and Jeremy Renner (Det. Jason Walsh) visited a New York precinct, where they experienced a few unusual moments of their own. "We looked at some pretty intense photographs of the deceased," Tamblyn said. "That was a pretty intense thing, when you kind of are actually looking at a real dead body ... I remember we were kind of all getting into our tough attitudes of cops ... and then went to that precinct and were like 'Oh, God. I feel queasy [laughs].'"



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    Family Ties

    In the pilot, we're introduced to Casey's mother, played by Tony winner Joanna Gleason. According to Tamblyn, Casey's family is one of the biggest things she's trying to keep under wraps. "She doesn't want people to know that her family's very rich because she's this cop on the Lower East Side and she wants to be taken seriously as that. But whether she likes it or not, by default it sort of comes out in different ways, and people start coming from her past and you start really realizing what her life was like prior to becoming a cop." Running from your family -- sounds pretty usual to us.



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    One of the Guys

    Tamblyn is one of only two main female characters on the show (the other is played by Monique Gabriela Curnen). So what's it like working with such a male-dominated cast? "It's great! I love it. It's fun because they all have the mouths that I have, so I finally don't feel weird about it [laughs]. But it's fun, you know, it's just a fun environment, and I love working with dudes." We're sure the dudes don't mind, either.



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    The Secret's Out

    The characters on 'The Unusuals' are all concealing something. But does Tambyn hold any real-life secrets of her own? "I'm really Amanda Bynes," she quipped.



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    Friends in High Places

    Kai Lennox refers to his character, Det. Eddie Alvarez, as a bit of a maverick. Coincidentally, after peeking around his desk, we discovered a framed photograph of Eddie posing with another famous maverick: former Presidential candidate John McCain. Lennox explains: "Eddie Alvarez is kind of a face man. He likes to think of himself as the kind of person that should be the best foot forward for the precinct, so he finds any opportunity he can to slip himself into a photo-op. It just so happens that one of his biggest fans is McCain, and he found himself there. He did the same thing with [Michael] Bloomberg."



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    The Winning Look

    With 'Life on Mars' and now 'The Unusuals,' the 'stache is making a big comeback on ABC. However, Lennox insists his 'stache was a total fluke. "I had a beard at the time [of my audition], and I just shaved it off and went in with a 'stache. When I got there, of course, everybody that was there to read for it was really clean cut and really handsome, and I had this 'stache, and I was like 'Oh, God. I'm such an idiot. Why am I sabotaging [this]?' And it ended up being the thing that Noah [Hawley] said when he first called me. He was like, 'By the way: Don't touch the stache.'" Mustachioed men of the world, unite.



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    Damage Control

    'The Unusuals' films at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, New York, which is also home to the Emmy-winning series 'Damages.' That puts 'The Unusuals' in good company.



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    Proof of Life

    Harold Perrineau plays the extremely paranoid Det. Leo Banks, who is seen always wearing a bulletproof vest -- even during our interview. But will we ever see him take it off? "I certainly hope so [laughs] ... Leo Banks is 42. His grandfather, his father and his uncle all died at 42, so he's very worried about it. And so that's why [he wears] the bulletproof vest, the flame-retardant clothes ... and the whole she-bang. I don't know if after this year he'll be less paranoid ... But we'll see. He may take it off."



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    His Muse

    Perrineau films many of his scenes with co-star Adam Goldberg, who so far has turned out to be quite the inspiration. "The cool thing is that Adam Goldberg is Leo Banks," Perrineau joked. "So whenever I need to figure something out I just look at him because he's got a little bit of paranoia going on, and he's a little bit of a germaphobe, and I love all of that. And so whenever I'm confused, I just kind of look around ... "So, that's what Adam would do! I'll do that! [laughs]"



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