Powered by i.TV
December 19, 2014

Tate Donovan Talks Life On And Off 'Damages'

by Bryan Reesman, posted Jan 21st 2010 4:30PM
As Tom Shayes on 'Damages,' Tate Donovan has had it a bit rough. He's been fired and rehired twice by Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), and Ellen (Rose Byrne) had the FBI arrest him while he was on the way to seeing his son be born. You'd think he might get a break in the third season, but no.

"It gets worse," he confessed to AOL TV, in New York City Tuesday night to promote the brand new 'Damages' season 2 DVD release and season 3 premiere.As Tom Shayes on 'Damages,' Tate Donovan has had it a bit rough. He's been fired and rehired twice by Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), and Ellen (Rose Byrne) had the FBI arrest him while he was on the way to seeing his son be born. You'd think he might get a break in the third season, but no. "It gets worse," he confessed to AOL TV, in New York City Tuesday night to promote the brand new 'Damages' season 2 DVD release and season 3 premiere.

"It's a great season for my character," Donovan declared. "What they've given me is spectacular. The welfare of Tom's family gets threatened, so he decides to leave his supportive role to Patty Hewes, and he gets into some pretty dangerous waters."

And now that Martin Short and Lily Tomlin have joined the cast, plus with Ted Danson returning, he has some comic competition to keep him on his toes. But no pressure. "I feel pressure not to burst into laughter," Donovan said of life on the set. "I'm like an audience. When you're around Martin or Ted or Lily, you just shut up. It's funny because [during] the first year I went to the producers and said, 'You know, I would really like to bring some humor and lightness to the show.' And they were like, 'No, don't do that.'"

There are still plenty of dramatic challenges ahead. Given the show's time-jumping narrative, and the usual season premiere end-of-storyline revelation, Donovan knows where he's going but not always how his character will get there. "It's kind of liberating to not know where you're going," he said. "The other day I shot a scene, and I was giving some information to somebody. Then I read the next script and found out that all that information was wrong and that I was lying. I didn't tip the hat that I was lying. It sort of makes you a better actor. They give you a lot of subtext by not telling you where you're going."

And he has loved every minute of it. "It's one of the best jobs I've ever had," Donovan said. "I love this cast. I get to direct. It's been a great role, and the writers and producers are so much fun."

On top of his work on 'Damages,' Donovan recently shot two independent films that will hopefully see the light of day soon. He stars in 'Neal Cassady,' which is about the well known Beat poet and peer of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. He also has the lead in 'Under The Beltway,' "which is about lobbyists in Washington, D.C."

Did his work on 'Damages' inform his experience on 'Beltway'? "It kind of helped," Donovan said. "You have to learn how to act like you're smart. That's basically what I'm trying to do here."

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

Follow Us

From Our Partners