New adventure series has international settings and a dose of history
With the title “Blood & Treasure,” it’s a good bet that a new series didn’t make things easy for its stars.
Luckily, both came to it with military training, literally: Matt Barr previously appeared in “Valor” while Sofia Pernas was in “The Brave,” and they’re now teamed in a CBS drama premiering Tuesday, May 21. Barr plays Danny, an FBI-alum antiquities expert who partners with ex-flame and art thief Lexi (Pernas) to chase a terrorist with designs on stolen valuables. The pursuit takes them around the world and, ultimately, to the heart of ancient history.
Though some of CBS’ recent summer shows have had sci-fi overtones (“Salvation,” “Under the Dome”), “Blood & Treasure” – whose executive producers include filmmaker Marc Webb, of “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “(500) Days of Summer” fame — observes an adventure tradition more on the order of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Barr confirms the series has “a lot of that DNA. It’s sort of a modern version of ‘Raiders,’ set in the modern world with modern themes, and revolving around what’s happening in 2019.”
Much of “Blood & Treasure” entails physical action in such locations as Morocco and Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but the easygoing Barr allows that “what I had to work on the hardest” was relaying facts about artifacts from long ago. “The adventure and the comedy and the chemistry with Sofia, I felt like I had a good grasp of that, but you can’t really BS your way out of art history and hundreds of years of information. I wanted to be able to sound like I knew what I was talking about, so I started doing research the second I got the job.”
The phrase “female art thief” might generate thoughts of Catherine Zeta-Jones slinking under laser beams in the movie “Entrapment,” but fellow star Pernas concedes she doesn’t have such moments in “Blood & Treasure” … not yet, anyway. “That was the first thing that came to my mind as well,” the friendly actress says. “The series’ creators took a poll of all of us and said, ‘What do you want or need to see in Season 2 (provided that is ordered)?’ And I said, ‘Lasers! Hello!’ ”
Pernas has been seen on other series including “NCIS” and “Jane the Virgin,” but “Blood & Treasure” marks her first lead role. “You know that you’re ready,” she reflects, “and that this is what you’ve been studying and training for the whole time, but when you get there, it is insane. The hours you keep, the work ethic, the focus – it’s constant. It doesn’t let up, so nothing really prepares you for that. This was taxing, but in the best of ways.”