“Covert Affairs” returns Tuesday night on USA with its Season 5 premiere and Christopher Gorham said the episode packs a punch.
“It’s not just exciting and adventurous and all of those things that we do so well, but it’s just — like emotionally, it sticks with you and it really starts things off right,” the actor, who plays CIA handler and DPD (Domestic Protection Division) tech ops leader Auggie Anderson, told AccessHollywood.com.
At the end of Season 4, Piper Perabo’s Annie Walker finally took out the traitorous Henry Wilcox. So what’s the next for the characters going forward? Plenty. And in a new interview with Access, Christopher hinted at some of the problems Annie runs into when she tries to return from spending Season 4 dark, and how Auggie will help provide her with the grounding she needs. But first, we had to ask Christopher about his recent turn playing the Wizard of Oz/a flying monkey on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” a gig that reunited him with a former “Covert Affairs” Season 2 guest star, who played sexy stewardess Franka.
AccessHollywood.com: You took a little time before going back to ‘Covert Affairs’ to play a wizard/monkey on ‘Once Upon a Time.’ How much fun was that?
Christopher Gorham: That was a blast. Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] ,who created that show, were writers on ‘Popular,’ my first show, and so we know each other from way back and they called me up and asked me if I wanted to come play with them for a little bit, so I was happy to and went up and had a great time and was able to reconnect with Rebecca Mader, who played a memorable role on ‘Covert Affairs’ a couple of years ago.
Access: And then she got to turn you into a monkey on ‘Once.’
Christopher: That’s right. She got her revenge for Auggie walking away from her.
Access: At the end of last season of ‘Covert Affairs,’ Henry Wilcox was killed. I’m curious about the residual effects of his death and how that’s going to effect the show going forward.
Christopher: What we’re dealing with at the top of the season is — and it’s great because it fits right into kind of Auggie’s experience, but what Annie’s dealing with is coming home from war, essentially, and trying to reset her life and trying to go back to normal and trying to find a way, trying to fit back into her old life and finding that it’s not always easy to start over like that.
Access: How does Auggie feel about having her back in D.C.?
Christopher: He’s very happy to have her back. I think he knows what she’s been through. … She’s the person that he cares most about and they have, I think, an unbreakable connection and so he’s been waiting for her to come back and is relieved, I think, that she has come back. But also, the first scene, they’re reuniting… and the most important thing that Auggie wants to get through to her is that they’re okay, is that he’s still here for her and they’ll figure the rest of it out later.
Access: What do you think drives them to do their jobs? Because there’s a lot of sacrifices they’ve had to make, personally, in order to do what they’re doing.
Christopher: Yeah, very much so. And Auggie’s been doing it longer and Annie’s still, I think, exploring. She’s still on that journey of finding out how she’s gonna fit in and how she’s gonna do what she does most effectively. It’s a big question this season is, does she still fit into this CIA world that she left, you know? And she’s gonna try and work, but it’s very much an unanswered question. Both of these characters have a very real sense of duty. For Auggie, and [it’s] something we haven’t touched on much in the show… but I think he really needs his job. He relies on that job because outside of Langley, he doesn’t get the kind of respect that he gets inside of Langley. … When he goes out grocery shopping or if he goes out for a beer and it’s some place nobody knows him, he gets treated like a cripple.
Access: Judged on his appearance.
Christopher: Exactly. People are constantly asking him if they can help him. They’re constantly coming up and grabbing his arm and trying to help him cross the street and doing all of these things out of the goodness of their hearts, but you know, it’s something that you do to someone who’s helpless and Auggie is anything but that. And then, Langley is the only place where everyone knows how valuable he is, so I think that job is very, very important to him.
Access: We have a new character coming in this season called Ryan McQuaid. What can you tell us about him? From what I’ve seen, he’s very confident.
Christopher: Yeah, he is. He is (laughs). Nic Bishop is coming in to play Ryan McQuaid and he’s, in addition to being roguishly handsome and obnoxiously charming, he’s a fantastic actor, so he’s really bringing life to this part and I think it’s a really nice addition to the show. We don’t know, at the start of the season, what his deal is. We don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy or where things are gonna go, but he is very hands on and he’s very wealthy and he’s very connected. He’s a powerful dude. He runs an enormous private security corporation and I think in many ways, could very easily become a rival or an antagonist if he ends up on the wrong side of the line, but we don’t know at the start of the season where he’s going to land, but he is very confident.
Access: Joan had her baby at the end of the last season, so you guys have a baby on set now.
Access: You’re a dad. That must be adorable having a little baby around.
Christopher: Oh, it makes me so happy. So yeah, Jude Matchett is playing Mackenzie Campbell. So it’s actually Kari’s son, who’s playing her son on the show.
Access: Really? That’s cool.
Christopher: Yep, that’s her real baby. And it’s so great. And, you know, I’m so glad that the writers are being courageous enough to show that kind of home life on the show because, just in the first episode, it grounds things, especially for Joan and Arthur, but for the audience [too]. It really grounds things in a new way. It’s really, really nice. I watched the premiere [last week] and I’m just so proud of the show. It’s not just exciting and adventurous and all of those things that we do so well, but it’s just, like emotionally, it sticks with you and it really starts things off right. There’s a surprise in the middle, like I find myself almost in tears, out of nowhere, and I think the audience is gonna really love those kinds of surprises this season.
“Covert Affairs” returns Tuesday night at 10/9c on USA.
-- Jolie Lash