Hope your air conditioners are working, because things are about to get very, very hot on ABC.
The network's sizzling version of popular British soap "Mistresses" debuts this week with stars Alyssa Milano, "Lost's" Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes, and Jes Macallan steaming up the screen.
Seducing Milano's married lawyer Savannah is "Grey's Anatomy" and "Off the Map" star Jason George. When fertility problems affect Savannah's marriage, she turns to hunky colleague Dominic (George) for a shoulder (and much more) to lean on.
George chatted with Yahoo! TV about the sexy series, how he preps for shirtless scenes, and whether he'll show up on "Grey's Anatomy" next season.
Were you a fan of the original British series?
I have never seen the U.K. series. I was on the fence myself, when I got the job, if I wanted to or not. … [It was] probably better not to, even if I wanted to make the same choices in that series. I didn't want to second-guess myself, because you feel like you're duplicating someone else's performance. Our show definitely pulls key elements from the original British series, and fans of that show will see the beginnings of the same story, but they'll quickly see that it starts taking turns.
So, your show will diverge from the original?
Eventually. Maybe not in the first episode, but definitely in the next few episodes they'll see things diverge a little bit in interesting ways. American television tends to move faster than European or U.K. television. So, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by moving through story elements instead of some elements getting dragged out. That leaves room for making turns, and some things will make significant turns from the U.K. series.
Your character, Dominic, is 'the other man.' Was it a challenge not to make him a total cad and somewhat likable?
What was fun about it for me — especially when we got to the scene where Dominic and Savannah actually collide and clothes start flying in different directions — is that he's genuinely her friend. He flirts with her ridiculously all the time, but that's because he knows she'll never do anything — until she does. You know that he genuinely cares about her, at least as friends.
Obviously, she's an attractive woman; it's Alyssa Milano, for crying out loud. But she kisses him. You saw that he wasn't expecting that.
Milano on the unsexy side of "Mistresses":
How will their relationship develop through the season?
It's a really interesting triangle. She's right in that moment where she's got to decide what she wants it to be. … Alyssa's got this moment where she has sex with a man who's not her husband, and she's looking at the consequences of Yunjin Kim's character, who's been a mistress. … And she's looking at her other friend, played by Rochelle Aytes, who's dealing with the consequences of her husband having had a mistress. She's looking at her sister, who doesn't mind being a kept woman. … [Savannah] is able to see the results of infidelity from a bunch of different sides and is figuring out what she wants to do.
It's sex, but I think for him, it suddenly opens a door and is it just sex? That's a big question mark for Dominic. He's her friend so he wants what's best for her, but what's interesting is you begin to see over the course of time, he begins to think, "Maybe the best thing for you is me." It's not just a purely sexual thing.
He's a ridiculous flirt and he can be a player, but there's a lot more substance there. You get a sense of that in the pilot, but you get to see more as the series unfolds.
It looks like you'll have a lot of shirtless scenes! Do you work out a lot?
I'm that weird guy; I hate being told what to do. So, there's a part of me that wants to not work out and just drink as much beer as possible and get the biggest gut! But the reality is, I actually really enjoy working out and staying in shape. I run regularly and I'll hit the gym, so I always stay in decent shape. And I tell folks, give me two weeks' warning before you get me naked, and I'll give you something that won't embarrass either of us.
How was it working with Alyssa?
Ah, I can't stand that woman. (Laughs) She's all beautiful and smart. Who needs all that niceness? No, she's really pretty fantastic. She's a professional. She's been doing this for a minute. … When you meet somebody who's at her level of success and been around and been a television staple as long as she has, you don't know what you're going to get. You don't know if you're going to get a walking ego coming at you. Fortunately, she's the exact opposite. … She makes it very easy.
Does this mean we won't be seeing you on "Grey's Anatomy" anymore?
I don't think so at all. I was shooting both at one point this past season. I would love to keep that going. I just want to work with the best people I can get my hands on. I got my hands on Shonda Rhimes a few years ago, and she's been gracious enough to let me hang out. And then I got a hold of Rina Mimoun [the showrunner] and K.J. Steinberg [the writer] … and Bob Sertner. He pulled the U.K. version over in the first place. They all let me hang out, and ABC's letting me do both this past season.
I'm the furniture, and y'all can just rearrange it however you want in the house. Summertime, you want me in the living room, I'll be in the living room. Fall, you want me over here, I'll be over here. I'll do "Grey's" and "Mistresses" as long as they let me!
"Mistresses" premieres Monday, 6/3 at 10 PM on ABC.