Carl Hickman and his team are back for another season of busting criminals beyond borders. William Fichtner speaks exclusively to SMtv
|The cast of Crossing Lines (PICTURE: Sony Pictures Television)|
Crossing Lines is a TV show from the creator of Criminal Minds and it follows the ICC, a special police force operating across Europe. William Fichtner (Prison Break, Entourage) plays International Criminal Court investigator team member Carl Hickman, a former NYPD detective whose career and life were derailed by a serious hand injury. Carl is able to see and “read” things about criminals and crime scenes using exceptional deductive skills and, an almost sixth sense for clues and no border stops him and his team from solving crimes, no matter what lines they have to cross.
In the beginning of the show, Carl is in physical and mental pain, which sees him flee for Europe. Why do you think a man who is so highly respected and decorated would choose that option?
It’s a lot of things. Phillip Genovese, played by Kim Coates, who happens to be my best friend, effectively ended Carl’s career as a top detective in the NYPD. He is a criminal mastermind who has history with Carl and while chasing him, Carl’s hand get’s shot and wounded by Phillip.
He basically took away his life. I mean, he lost his job and he couldn’t perform his duties as a cop. At least not in New York City… So, he lost more than just his job, he lost a sense of identity. Being a cop is everything to him. I would imagine it just destroyed his life. So when the series began, we found Carl living in a trailer park in a carnival in Amsterdam, addicted to morphine. But then he is found by Louis and joins the team.
We see him in a dark place at the beginning of the second season. Why?
Where the show begins this season is where we find Carl at a pretty much low point in his life. He’s after something and putting pieces of his life back together. He’s after someone. What seems like bottom of the bowl for him may be that he’s certainly trying to look up and go after something. It’s a great place to begin, I think. As the first season unfolded, we got to understand why he’s there and some of the issues that brought him to that place – the reasons why he lives his life in that way. And the problem he has is that he’s a bit of a fractured guy.
|William in a scene from Crossing LInes|
The series is a high-impact action drama. What physical regime did you have to go through to get into the head space of Carl and what kind of law-enforcement training did you need to go through?
You know what, I’ve played so many cops and military personnel in my life. I really feel like I’ve got a pretty good understanding on what playing a cop entails including their mentality. It’s now more about who the guy is, the grittiness of the character. The cop part of it, I feel comfortable with because I’ve done it so many times.
I’ve been around so many real police officers. The more time you spend with them the more you’re able to absorb their rhythms. Those simple things such as knowing how to handle a gun – I mean, there are some people who are less experienced with those sort of things on the show. It’s more about how pick up and hold a gun, you know, and not just wave it around. I feel I’m more comfortable with all of that.
You moved permanently to Prague after filming the first season of Crossing Lines. What makes this city capture the dramatic theme of the series?
I’ve gone on location to so many different places. I like doing that! I usually go solo and move back and forth to my house, and do a family visit. But, Crossing Lines is different. Crossing Lines is literally a commitment to go to Prague. Iwasn’t going to do it unless I had my whole family, so, to say that I fell in love with Prague and Czech Republic would be an understatement. I’m actually speaking to you right now from Prague. Plus, my wife and I are just not done with our Prague experience, and mostly for our younger son, who is 12. He goes to the international school. It’s just been a remarkable two years that really changed him and we’re just not willing to stop that right now. So I’m back in beautiful Prague whether I’m doing the show or not.
Prague captures the themes of Crossing Lines, how do you feel the two align?
I’m sure the producers of the show picked Prague for several reasons, however, I wouldn’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. Prague is a beautiful city. It was one of the places that were fairly untouched in World War II, it’s a city that gives you so many looks. But also, it has mystery to it. And you know, a crime drama could always do with a little bit of mystery.
You have played a wide diversity of roles, from Entourage to Prison Break, and you have also been described as one of the most versatile actors of our time. Where do you find the time?
I’m glad that appears that way – that I go back to back with TV series and movie roles, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes I have breaks in-between. But I’ll tell you, I don’t need any breaks. I like to finish a job on Friday and relax on Saturday, rest-up on Sundays, and start something new on Monday.
My wife would say to me, “Why don’t you chill out?” I’ll say to her, “Well honey, I don’t have the chill-out gene in my body.” I like to stay busy, it’s the doing that’s more exciting to me than the final product is. I love to act and I like to be able to prepare for things, and I like to be engaged. So, when something good comes along I always find the time.
|The cast of Crossing Lines (Picture: Sony Pictures Television)|
Outside of work, what do you do in your personal time?
I grew up in New York and now live in California… I like my old and classic muscle car, a 1970 Road Runner that I don’t take out too often, but when I do, I’m like a big kid in a candy shop. I’m a home body! When I’m back in LA I don’t go about the club scenes. I’m close to home, I’ve got two sons. The one plays a lot of baseball: I never miss a game if I can. I like to be involved as much as I can and work around the house. I tell all of my friends, “listen, you all come around and I’ll open you up a nice bottle of red”. But, I like to be home, I get all my buddies to come ’round my way.
What can we expect as the season and drama unfolds?
We get the opportunity to go back and find out more about where Carl came from including people who have played a major part in his life. He finds himself working with someone from his past, Detective Amanda Andrews (Carrie Ann Moss), who he worked with in New York and together they are forced to tackle their mutual enemy. He’s fond of his professional partner and as we discover, a bit more than that.
Catch Crossing Lines on Sony on Mondays, at 8.55pm
Pictures: Sony Pictures Television