'Perception' Cast Previews Season 2: Forget the Meds, Bring on the Crazy!
Last summer's season finale of "Perception" had some fans a little worried that their hallucinating hero was inching a little too close to normal. The particularly scary schizophrenic episode sent Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) back on meds, to the psychiatrist, and to the conclusion that his disorder manifested much earlier than he'd thought and was more than he could manage on his own.
One person who wasn't worried that the stability would last was co-star Rachael Leigh Cook (Kate Moretti). "Eric himself said, 'If [Daniel] is on his meds, we don't really have a show.' I knew that we'd find the crazy sooner or later. And we're back [in the first episode of Season 2]."
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McCormack explained the reasoning behind the short-lived sanity at a recent press day on the Burbank Disney lot where the series shoots. "I heard the greatest quote from Dr. Elyn Saks, the paranoid schizophrenic USC professor who has been my role model for the part, with regards to meds. 'You take away my demons, [but] you take away my angels too.' When Daniel's healthy, there's none of the good stuff that comes with madness, like his joie de vivre or Natalie. A lot of people living with the disorder feel relief, but then they don't feel like them. It's a very real cycle, a roller coaster, not just a television thing to do. He thinks he can almost outsmart it, ride this thing like a bull."
Neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman discusses paranoid schizophrenia:
Of course, that's without Daniel really knowing what Season 2 plans to throw at him. First up is his blossoming relationship with his doctor Caroline Newsome, who was revealed to be the inspiration for his imaginary best friend, Natalie (Kelly Rowan). "If your fantasy could come true, would it be as good as the fantasy? How do you reproduce an angel on Earth when you've already got it right," McCormack said. "It's a really cool thing to explore, especially in the second episode [when] it gets all spoiler alert, and I'm dying to see what the audience thinks. It's certainly not something Kelly knew she was getting into last season."
Rowan is thrilled at the challenge of playing a dual role. "You're two people, but essentially the same person. [Natalie is] a person's idea of what [Caroline] has become. Natalie's in his head, and she's what he wants/needs her to be in a moment. If he needs to be reprimanded, fine. If he needs to be comforted or have a romantic moment, fine. When Caroline, who is uptight and less flexible, steps into the picture, it's funny because she's having a competition with herself. It's a real conflict for her. She knows she shouldn't be having a relationship with a patient and what's really involved with being with a schizophrenic, yet she's turned on by his mind and chose to in spite of herself. There's a lot of different levels, and it's fun."
McCormack discusses Dr. Daniel's relationship with Natalie, one of his hallucinations:
Not so much fun was filming their first make-out moment because both actors were suffering from the flu. "We were both really sick. It was a really sexy day," Rowan said sarcastically, adding that for her, having worked with McCormack on "Lonesome Dove" in the '90s and knowing his wife made the transition to romantic relationship easier. "There was a familiarity that we instantly had from working together that was in my favor."