Actor: Marc Blucas
TV Series: USA Network’s Necessary Roughness
TV Character: Matt Donnelly
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: He was, most famously, Riley on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; he’s done guest star spots on Lie to Me, House and Castle; he was the original David Clarke on ABC’s Revenge, but was already committed to Necessary Roughness. That’s when James Tupper replaced him as Amanda/Emily’s doomed dad.
Warning Spoilers for Season 2 Discussed
After what feels like forever, Necessary Roughness is finally back on USA Network for another season of work and family dysfunction, psychological trauma, football fierceness, and most importantly, Dr. Dani drama. What’s sure to cause some of that drama in this second season has to be the good doctor’s relationship with Matt. These two are adorable and their reunion at the end of last year was sweet. But, there’s no way they’re going to escape this season without experiencing some sort of disturbance, right? In the premiere, Dani and Matt (Datt? Mani?) are keeping their relationship quiet from her kids. Yeah, like that’s going to go well.
We recently took part in a press call featuring Necessary Roughness star, Marc Blucas, who plays Matt Donnelly. This season, Matty D will be navigating his new relationship, he’ll be helping his girlfriend deal with TK’s extensive issues, and he’s also going to have a lot to deal with as far as the state of the New York Hawks organization. There’s big time chaos brewing behind the scenes of this football team and it’s not going to be pretty. What we learned about the second season:
Season 2 is going to be a fantastic one for his character.
MARC: Matt last year was kind of just a boyfriend, you know. Like we really had to spend the (year) learning about Dr. Dani and TK who is kind of our perpetual case of the week. He’s the case of the season. And really getting to know those two and the world we were in and establishing, you know, kind of what the show’s about. And now this year we’re getting an opportunity to not only further their storylines, but to learn more about Nico and about Matt and see some of their relationship and look at more from their point of view which has been really great because it’s given Scott [Cohen, Nico] and I a lot more to do this year.
Dr. Dani and Matt’s relationship won’t always be smooth sailing.
MARC: There has to be some turbulence there and so we have to address that and we get around a few things, but the things that ultimately become the primary sticking point — which I’m not going to give away — but it was just so beautifully written. And the thing that mattered most to Callie [Thorne, Dani] and I that if this relationship ends, we just want it to be respectfully and for it to be mature — it’s like if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out — but you’re great and I’m great and good luck. Like it’s okay, that they can maybe find a friendship.
It’s been a really nice arc with this relationship. I think there’s some unique things that we don’t see and haven’t seen a lot on television with it. And it’s been a nice push and pull of working great and there’s some tensions and they work through it and it works. So here’s some tensions that they haven’t quite resolved just yet and it’s going to cause a problem.
The owner of the New York Hawks will have a presence this year and Marshall Pittman’s [played by Evan Handler] personal troubles will affect the team.
MARC: It affects him dramatically as it does the coach and Dani and Nico, everybody involved because we all answer to the same boss and it’s him. And I think the writers did a really interesting thing with the character (pulling) erratically from what’s gone on in pro sports the past several years where the league, you know, the NBA owned the New Orleans Hornets for a period of time until recently. The Dodgers with the huge blow up divorce and who gets control of a team and so much being in flux and what happens to their salary players if there’s no money left.
They’ve really pulled from what really happens in sports to help bring that [Marshall Pittman] character to life and really throw a monkey wrench into the rest of our lives because of the ripple effect when your boss and company starts to be a little unstable.
Guest stars like Friday Night Lights‘ Gaius Charles are going to help make this season rock.
MARC: Yes, [Gaius Charles] is doing a handful of episodes. He’s got a great energy. A great actor. The storylines they’re coming up with and the talent they’re able to get to do this show has been remarkable. Every week we’re like oh so-and-so’s doing it. Wow that’s great. And we’re having a fun time.
You’ve heard this a million times and I know it’s going to sound like a stock answer but we genuinely like each other and get along. Me, Scott, Callie, and Mehcad [Brooks, TK] like we have fun with each other, we respect each other’s talent and space and creativity, but we really have found a nice rhythm and dynamic with all of us and I think that that to me is chemistry. I don’t know how else you define it other than saying, hey, these people are friends and friendship translates on screen.
And we found a nice rhythm and dynamic and, at the same time, to have every week-and-a-half, we got a shot of new acting blood and life with cool storylines and cool talented people, it’s so much fun it makes that very long hour-long TV episodic schedule and season go that much faster and be more enjoyable.
Necessary Roughness is a show everyone can love.
MARC: My grandma loves it and my best friend who plays basketball in the NBA loves it. I think that the show finds that right balance where it’s just dramatic enough, it’s funny enough, it appeals to so many different audiences because even though it’s told from a female point of view you’re in a masculine world. And, yet there’s nothing about it that gets stale and tired because the guest of the week, and the case of the week, and the issues of the week are so varied and so different and funny and smart and well handled, I just think that it’s nice in a show that’s not set in…it’s not cops, doctors, and lawyers. We’re outside of that world and I think that’s interesting on television as well.
Necessary Roughness debuts its second season tonight on USA Network at 10/9c.
Answers edited for continuity and space.