Danny Glover talks new "red thread" action/drama
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
FOX's clever new series "Touch" makes its regular season debut tonight following "American Idol." The show previewed Jan. 25 to a sizeable audience of almost 12 million, and a warm reception from critics.
Kiefer Sutherland's post-"24" return to television centers on Martin Bohm, a former journalist whose wife died on 9/11. Martin finds himself unable to connect with his 11-year-old son, Jake (David Mazouz), who doesn't speak -- or particularly enjoy human interaction.
In the preview, Jake, mysteriously and marvelously, uses the interconnectivity of numbers to reach out to his frustrated father. The episode, meanwhile, showed how seemingly unrelated and unimportant events (such as the loss of a cell phone) can create a ripple effect on the entire world (a la the Chinese fable called "The Red Thread").
Martin learns of his son's gift after speaking with Arthur Teller (Danny Glover). The retired professor tells Martin of other instances in which children like Jake decipher hidden patterns to unlock secret connections and even predict future happenings.
"I think we get certainly a sense of him and some of what we've learned and understand about the world with Arthur Teller; it's a world in which it's quite different from the world that the other characters are associated with," Glover said. "He brings us into this world where numbers matter in a different way; that the sequence of numbers, the world that he is in contact with, one he himself understands, or has a glimpse of in his own relationships, his own context (is different). Now he comes to a world that facilitates us finding answers to what is happening with this young boy, in which his world is solving problems and find the interconnection. I think when you think about professor Teller, it's always about the interconnection between people and between certain things."
The role of Arthur Teller represents the first full-time small screen job for Glover, who starred in the "Lethal Weapon" movies and "Predator 2."
The actor and noted humanitarian said television offers opportunities not found in today's movie-making industry.
"It seems as if I believe that some of the (better) writing and some of the storytelling is on screen in television, whether it be on cable or network television," he said.
"The other aspect of it is that fewer of the feature films that we get associated with are being made," Glover added. "That's another reality. Wherever an actor finds work, and work that sustains him -- both as an artist and as someone who needs to be gainfully employed -- that's what you do. There's no mistake about it. There's no mystery about that."
Like Sutherland, Glover is impressed with newcomer Mazouz -- particularly in that Jake has no speaking parts (though the actor narrates).
"Oh, wow, certainly the boy, he does so much work in silence," Glover said. "Really, the beautiful thing about acting is that it is -- silence is a vital part of acting; it's the essential part of acting. Certainly, I mean, the people who get the chance to look at the outtakes or the dailies in the series ... that provides an understanding of the kind of visual language that's necessary in approaching this story and this character from this story.
"When it comes to David, of course, the visual language is essential, because he has no words. He has no words at all, so I think that (the cast and crew have) been encouraging, wonderful and supportive. That's been the case with those people who come on that were part of the cast, beyond just Kiefer."
"Touch" airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on FOX. Follow the show online at http://www.fox.com/touch/.