‘Deputy’ – He’d rather be chasing bad guys
Bill Hollister is a man with a passion for apprehending criminals.
As played by Stephen Dorff (“True Detective,” “Somewhere”) in the Fox drama “Deputy,” premiering Thursday, Jan. 2, he’s an Old West-style lawman who rises to the 21st century position of Los Angeles County sheriff when his predecessor suddenly dies.
The problem is, he’s not the best suited for the job. He’s a maverick clearly more comfortable chasing bad guys than dealing with the bureaucracy and the politics that come with the job and he has little use for those who do not share his top priority – keeping the people of L.A. County safe.
Among those in his orbit at the Sheriff’s Department are deputies Cade Ward (Brian Van Holt, “Cougar Town”), a trusted confidant; Breanna Bishop (Bex Taylor-Klaus, “Arrow”), his driver and head of his security detail, who tells him like it is; and Joseph Harris (Shane Paul McGhie, “What Men Want”), the son of Bill’s fallen partner.
A persistent thorn in his side is Undersheriff Jerry London (Mark Moses, “Mad Men”), a bureaucrat who feels the job should have been his; and Paula Reyes (Yara Martinez, “True Detective”), his wife and ER surgeon with whom Hollister frequently clashes.
“He’s a bit of a throwback,” Dorff says of his character. “He’s an American cowboy, you know, California rancher type who lives in Santa Clarita. He’s a lawman who comes from a family of five generations of lawmen. He’s got a code of honor and is willing to throw himself in the middle of things to protect the people of Los Angeles County and … will use that power to do the right thing, I think, for the people and not be just a bureaucrat or a politician. That’s not who he is. He’s a man of the streets and he likes action and he also loves his family.”
An early sequence in Thursday’s opener sets the tone. After Bill apprehends gang bangers following a car chase that ends with the vehicle tumbling off an overpass, county officials in black SUVs pull up and inform him that the sheriff has died and he’s the new boss. He takes the oath of office and immediately fires one of the bureaucrats.
“Deputy” represents something of a departure for Dorff, who has an extensive movie resume but has never fronted an hourlong TV drama. The role demands long hours and physically challenging scenes including fights, stunt driving and horseback riding, which the 46-year-old actor admits was somewhat of an adjustment.
“I haven’t done it in a while, so you get a lot more sore in places than you’re used to,” he says. “But it’s cool. … I like what he’s about, I like who he is. I like the freedom of the character and the spontaneity of the character and that’s what the most important thing is for me.”