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ET Online - June 18, 2010

David James Elliott on Dad's Home and Scoundrels

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David James Elliott Speaking---

Well, you know I hesitate to give away the story.  But there's some---  I'm in jail for a little while, or prison---whatever you want to call it---a little longer than I had anticipated, and---  But that doesn't stymie my verve or my passion for getting things done for my family.  So I'm working my magic from behind the steel door.  Well, I have---you know, if I gave away all my secrets, I might have to kill you.  But, you know, I have ways.  There are ways.  People conduct business from inside prison all the time, okay?  So I'm no stranger to that.  I've got some plans.

I play a guy named Wolfgang West, who's the patriarch of this family that makes their living stealing things. (Audience Question)  "Scoundrels", right.  Lovable rogues.  We're some pretty wacky individuals.  We share a common last name, but we operate as any normal American family would.  We have dinners together.  We love each other.  We look after each other.  We---some of us---you know, the kids go to school.  We just finance everything through crime.  So we just have a skewed view of how to get the job done.  But it's been working, you know, and a little jail time is just part of the process---I mean, it's par for the course.  So I'm not put off by it.

But Virginia Madsen, who plays my wife, Cheryl, is a little put off by it, and decides to take the family in a different direction, much to my chagrin.  And so that's where our conflict begins.  Because we're childhood sweethearts, so physically we're still wild about each other.  Emotionally we still love each other.  But intellectually we're parting ways on, you know, on how we should continue into the future.

Virginia is a great---she's wonderful.  She was wonderful from the day I met her.  I had always been a fan of Virginia Madsen.  So I didn't know when I got the job---they called and offered me the job---and I wondered what that experience was going to be like, you know.  And she was just immediately available and wonderful and easy to work with.  She's a real pro and such a talented actor, that everyday it's a challenge to, you know---you bring your A-game everyday when you work with Virginia, because she does.

You know, it's great---it's great to play another character.  I'm an actor.  So yes, I played a very squared-away nice guy on JAG for a long time, and that's how I'm mostly known, I think.  But, you know, I've played some bad guys.  I haven't played all good guys.  This one is probably the craziest guy I've played to date, and I'm havin' a gas doin' it, you know.  It's just---it's really well written.  It's a well-put-together show, with a great cast---just enormous talent out there.  And we're really--- Everybody gets along great.  There's no problems on the set.  There's a lot of wonderful chemistry.  The show's working well.