Former “Downton Abbey” star Theo James heads to CBS primetime on Tuesday with the new drama “Golden Boy.”
The series focuses on Theo as Walter William Clark, Jr., who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of the New York City.
In the premiere episode, which kicks off tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS, the story is told in two parts – one, as Walter Clark is interviewed after becoming the commissioner, and two – in his younger years, after a bold move as a beat cop lands him a job as a detective, paired with Chi McBride’s Detective Don Owen.
“Clark is, he’s a go-getter, and especially when he gets in [to the ranks of the detectives], he’s kind of biting and chomping at the bit and then he gets in there and he sees that he’s partnered with Chi’s character who is, in his mind, he’s an old fogey, he’s done. So, he’s frustrated,” Theo told AccessHollywood.com. “And what’s nice is the relationship begins to turn around because Clark realizes – he begins to love the guy and respect the guy and also know that he’s got a lot to learn from him.”
Chi explained that Detective Owen also changes quite quickly too being paired with the ambitious young man.
“When we meet, I’m just trying to make it through the next two years without getting shot,” Chi said. “What Clark does, is he basically shakes [Owen] awake because the guy’s been a coma [metaphorically] for the last 12 years and he kind of wakes him up and makes him turn that corner toward being the cop that he can be, that he could have been before several things that happened in his personal life and his life on the job.”
The two actually met for the first time as actors in an elevator during the show’s pilot stage, but while familiar with Theo’s work in 2012’s “Underworld: Awakening,” Chi admitted he didn’t actually get to see the Brit’s turn as Pamuk in “Downton Abbey” (the Turkish diplomat who sleeps with Lady Mary, only to die that same night in her bed, causing years of scandal) until after they started filming “Golden Boy.”
“I saw ‘Downton Abbey,’ but I didn’t see those until after we started working together,” Chi said. “[Theo played] the most infamous character [on ‘Downton] and I was like, ‘You just did one?’… To hear people talk about it you would think that he’d been in the series since the beginning and that he’s still in it now. That’s the presence and power of an effective character, and put on to the screen by a very talented individual who’s playing him.”
“Golden Boy,” which also stars Kevin Alejandro (“True Blood,” “Southland”) and Holt McCallany (FX’s “Light’s Out”), kicks off tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS.
-- Jolie Lash