Digital Spy caught up with former Heroes star Adrian Pasdar, who plays the scheming Alec Rybak, to chat about his career and find out just why we should be watching The Lying Game...
What sort of character is Alec in The Lying Game?
"He's a District Attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona, and he's the man at the centre of many lives. As it unfolds over the course of the story, we find that he has more invested in each individual character than initially you'd think. I wouldn't say he's a puppet-master, but he likes to think of himself that way - pulling strings in the town!
"[He's] very Machiavellian and trying to control this town to the degree where it won't reveal the secrets that he's spent so long and spent so much energy on trying to bury. So there's a lot at stake for him if a few major truths are found out, and what's interesting is, what we've experienced through the blogs and the general patter about the show is that nobody has guessed yet what [the secret] is at the core of the show - which I love!"
How much do you personally know about what Alec is hiding?
"Everything! It's been a very, very fortunate venture between myself and Charles Pratt, the creator of the show. I came in after the first episode and I said, 'I know the nature of these kind of shows is serial and it's soap, and things can change constantly - it's very fluid. But I do want to know the overall game-plan. That's the only way I can get involved in this.'
"He said, 'I wouldn't have it any other way', so we sat down and he laid out for me the entire grid of what's meant to happen. And that's pretty much what hooked me, because it really is compelling and entertaining."
Do you enjoy working on a show that's aimed at younger viewers?
"Yeah. I mean, purely from a business standpoint, it's a good idea - being pragmatic. And also from an entertainment point of view, those are your viewers, so if you can entertain those folks, it keeps your hand in the game and it's a great challenge."
Is it different playing a supporting role, as opposed to a leading part?
"You know what, I understand where you're coming from, but I've never, ever looked at my life that way. What you would call a 'lead', I've always considered a supporting part, and what people would call 'supporting parts', I've considered leads. In a way, I look at it in reverse, because supporting parts - when they're done correctly - are the ones that are progenitors for storylines, to move forward.
"They're not secondary, they actually have elemental investment in the structure through the continuation of a plot-line. So for me, they're all good, and there's that famous old adage, 'There's no small roles, only small actors'."
How do you feel about the success of The Lying Game, given that you originally signed on for just nine episodes?
"Making something a hit - it depends on so many things. All you do is the best you can - you throw the rest to the wind and you hope that it lands in one piece. It has [with this show] in large part due to the fact that the cast and the producers are on such good terms, and work so well together, that there's a very harmonious element to the making of the show.
"I'm not surprised that it's landed well with the audience, because I think [that feeling] resonates throughout the course of watching it. You get the sense that you're in good hands when you're watching the show."
Do you feel like this show has brought you a new audience?
"Yeah, I suppose. I always keep my chin tucked to my best when I walk - I don't experience the everyday world through the eyes of my successes or failures, so it's hard for me to gauge.
"But my eldest child plays soccer in a league in Los Angeles. He's 10 and the kids around him are that age. I'll be on the sidelines every game and I got a lot of (whispers) "Oh my God, that's Alec Rybak!" from the girls around. So that's kind of good for him. He looks at me and says, 'Thanks Dad, I like that girl. She thinks you're cool, so it's put me in good stead with her'!"
You've appeared in many iconic projects - Heroes, Near Dark. Are you relieved to have escaped typecasting?
"Yeah, that's why I got in the game. I didn't have the opportunity to finish college and I was quite sad about that. A few things conspired to make that not a possibility, but the great part about me getting into acting was the chance to go loads of places, make loads of films and have great experiences.
"One of the great experiences I had in life was working with Julie Walters and making a movie in Pinewood [Studios] - it was called Just Like A Woman [released in 1992] and it was one of the best experiences. I got to meet Princess Diana at Leicester Square, where we had a big premiere. It was one of the great experiences in my life.
"I haven't ever been stereotyped or pigeonholed or put into a box. I've been able to experience things all over the world and it's brought me to great places. That's been the best part of this whole experience for me - the places and the people I've met."
As well as acting, you've written and directed a film [2000's Cement] and a musical. Is that something you'd like to do more of?
"I think everybody wants to - they'd be lying if they said they don't in this business. It's so much fun when you have a little bit of insight into how to get it done. I'd like to do more and I will, absolutely.
"I've been too busy acting - I'm just trying to get home to my wife and kids! I haven't had a chance. Obviously, there's always something in the works, but nothing I could point to at the moment."
You're also working on a HBO pilot - is that still in the works?
"Yeah, it's called 40, with Michael Imperioli and Michael Rapaport. It's from Doug Ellin, the creator of Entourage, and it's about guys going through their forties in New York, and the successes and failures they've had in their lives, and how that defines them - that kind of thing.
"I'm just here in New York, looking out at the skyline right now. I've also just finished a film with William Moseley from the Narnia films, called Run - we just wrapped last night at 4 in the morning. It's a great special-effects driven 3D film and it's been really fun.
"There's myself, Eric Roberts, William Moseley, Kelsey Chow - just a great cast. It's a bunch of parkour stuff - so we just finished that and it's been a godsend to be here in New York."
For UK viewers, how would you pitch The Lying Game - why should people tune in?
"I think it's a show that taps into the best and the worst of the human condition - people caught up in their own lives. I think what you can take away from it is that the decisions you make as a young man or woman eventually come back to bite you. And if you haven't done enough groundwork to protect yourself, you're gonna get in trouble!"
The Lying Game continues tonight (Monday, February 6) at 9pm on 5*