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'Damages' Campbell Scott: 'Bad is good and good is bad'

February 15, 2010 |  8:30 am
Campbell-scott-damages-FX Last week on "Damages," we saw Joe Tobin, played by Campbell Scott, turn a frightening corner and it sounds like he’ll continue to shock us going forward.

“This is going to be our fourth episode, and as is typical with 'Damages,' things really start heating up at this point,” says executive producer Todd A. Kessler. “And so we really follow-up on Joe and I think there is a big bomb dropped in this fourth episode.”

If last week’s Joe Tobin bombs were any indication of what we’ll learn in tonight’s episode, then we’re in for an incredible fallout.

In the third episode, we learned that the guy who once shakily handed Patty information that could help her track down his father’s hidden cash and lead to Tom's murderer isn’t as innocent and guilt-ridden as he seemed.

Recently, Campbell Scott spoke with the press about why he took the part, the changes in Louis Tobin’s personality and what the future holds for his character.

Warning: Semi-spoilerish!

Is it challenging to be in a show and not know exactly where your character is going to end up?
Yeah, they warned me off the bat. They said, we don’t know. We want your input. We change our minds a lot. We get excited about developing an idea but then watching it change as it goes, which I thought was relatively brave, crazy. And that’s exactly what has happened. And to the point where literally a couple of nights before you get a piece of information about your character that doesn’t throw off what you laid the foundation for, but it was definitely just like when real life throws a curve in the kind of immediate circumstances.

Is it correct to assume Louis Tobin has been a bit sheltered?
No doubt about it. And one of the things that we talked about when I was first talking to the [executive producers] about being in the show was that, because they’re very good about asking what do you want to do, and my only answer repeatedly was I just want to do what I haven’t done before. And one of the ways that I described that to them was I want to play somebody who’s not that - and I have to be careful here. He’s not necessarily sharp. And I often play those kinds of characters, characters that already know the end of their sentence before they start it. And that is not Joe. And that really fascinated me and, in fact, was pretty difficult to act, because usually my kind of default setting is if I don’t know what to do, it’s to be sharp and kind of on top of it and kind of know what I’m doing and what I’m going to say. And that definitely is not the way with Joe.

How do you feel about the changes in Joe Tobin so far and where he’s going?
It would be nice to say that the conflicted man that you watched in the first three, and relatively immature man, continues to kind of learn in a moral and spiritual way, but he doesn’t. The great thing about “Damages,” is that bad is good and good is bad, let’s face it. And that’s a little more accurate for real life even though obviously it’s kind of condensed into a very dramatic show but that’s what I loved about the seasons that I watched even before I hopped on and all that. And when the guys first talked to me about Joe he was going to be, obviously, one of the perfect examples of that in that he starts off as a relatively unknowing and innocent character but because of his relationships and because of his desires, he becomes something else.

Let us know: Are you finding Joe Tobin’s personality shift believable?

Next week: We’ll be talking to Len Cariou who plays Joe’s father, Louis Tobin, the disgraced financier behind this season’s mystery. If you have questions for him, leave a comment below!

– Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)

Related:

'Damages': Sins of the father

'Damages' Tate Donovan: 'Always chemistry when I work with a beautiful female'

All 'Damages' coverage on Show Tracker


Photo: Campbell Scott plays the personality-shifting Joe Tobin in “Damages.” Credit: Timothy White / FX
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