Kate Walsh, David Boreanaz, and Julian McMahon on the Intricacies of Eating and Talking Through Neil LaBute's 'Full Circle'
Julian McMahon and David Boreanaz in "Full Circle"
David Boreanaz may never eat another chicken wing again, but the "Bones" star feels the savory sacrifice would be worth the opportunity to be a part of award-winning screenwriter-playwright Neil LaBute's television debut "Full Circle." The DirecTV series is a 10-episode "La Ronde"-style exploration of the complexity of human interaction and 11 intertwined lives that all takes place in a fictional L.A. restaurant called Ellipsis.
"I would never go back to that restaurant. I had to throw down so many cold chicken wings and the wait staff was rude and slow, but something of this magnitude by a writer like Neil on subject matter he just attacks is a dream job," Boreanaz told Yahoo TV at a junket for the show held at, of course, a restaurant. In the series, Boreanaz plays a brash comedian whose homophobic jokes and subsequent Twitter war ignite a scandal. Fortunately for the actor, the junket's spread at the posh French bistro Little Door contained no Buffalo-sauced poultry parts. "[Neal's] a great force creatively and has a unique, strong, passionate voice. I'm just glad to be working during a time when writers of his caliber want to do TV, " he added.
LaBute's resumé ("In the Company Of Men," "The Shape of Things," "Possession") and reputation were the common draws for the actors who participated in the press day, including Julian McMahon ("Nip/Tuck"), Tom Felton (the "Harry Potter" franchise), Keke Palmer ("True Jackson, VP"), Ally Sheedy ("The Breakfast Club"), and Noah Silver ("The Borgias"). The series also stars Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights"), Billy Campbell ("The Killing"), Devon Gearhart ("Changeling"), and Cheyenne Jackson ("30 Rock"). Kate Walsh explained, "They had me at 'Neil La...' I was like, 'Please tell me it ends in "Bute," because I'm in.' He and his social commentary are genius. Neil not only exposes characters and all of their facets, including their dirty underbelly — he slow-roasts them on a spit."
Each installment focuses on an over-a-meal conversation (and very little action) between two related characters, with one of the actors carrying his or her story line over to the next episode, until the explosive finale reunites a handful of them. For example, Felton has had an affair with Kelly, who is married to McMahon, who is the frat brother and attorney of Boreanaz and might be Felton's father. "These characters are all connected and twisted, and even when it seems like a light and simple moment, it usually isn't," Palmer said. Walsh added, "Viewers should pay very close attention to everything that happens in every episode, because it is pretty dense and the clues are there. Some of the characters are more connected than you think, and it all leads to a nuts finale."
Meet Tim (Felton), Bridgette (Kelly), Stanley (McMahon), Jace (Boreanaz), and Chan'dra (Palmer):
Even as seasoned TV actors, they all also shared a postcommitment panic attack. Most of them got scripts a couple of weeks before production, didn't meet their scene partners until a few days before filming, and had only one day (at most two) to shoot each installment. "I say very confidently I was excited when I was offered the part, and then immediately terrified as I didn't know Minka [Kelly], I'm not formally trained, and had never done anything remotely close to this in terms of exchanging dialogue on this level," admitted Felton, whose role bookends the series, and who practiced with Kelly via Skype. "I was born and raised with the green screen behind me and dragons and broomsticks, which do quite a lot of work for you. This offered nothing to hide behind. It's just two people staring at each other and talking for a half hour. And they aren't talking about the weather. These are intense, exhausting, emotional conversations that brought stuff up in you. In the middle of a take, out of nowhere, I burst into tears. I couldn't help myself. It was like acting boot camp."