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'Damages': Dominic Chianese, 'Watch out who you hang around with'

March 8, 2010 | 11:09 am
Dominic-Chianese-damages-fx In the last episode of “Damages,” we finally met Stuart Zedeck, and while the viewers instantly saw the gravity of this new character, once again Joe Tobin was clueless as to what this man is capable of and didn’t pick up on the cues even when Zedeck sent pretty clear messages.

As viewers, we understood Zedeck could unlock the key to the mystery of Louis Tobin’s stashed Ponzi scheme money. Yet, Joe continues to show his naiveté when it comes to matters that call for an even hand.

“[Zedeck] is definitely a loyal person -- he’s a friend,” says Dominic Chianese, who you'll remember from "The Sopranos" and now plays Stuart Zedeck. “My father always said, ‘Watch out who you hang around with.’”

After last week's episode, we bounced some questions off executive producer Todd A. Kessler in a press call about the mysterious Mr. Zedeck and the newest twists from last week’s episode:

Warning: Spoliers!

What more can you tell us about Stuart Zedeck, since it’s obvious he’s not just in the business of dry cleaning?
The other thing that we were trying to do with the character of Zedeck is that Louis Tobin, who’s no longer alive, he had to find someone that he could trust that didn't have a high profile. And the character Zedeck is from the neighborhood. He owns some dry cleaning stores and would definitely fly either below or above anyone’s radar. And it was a smart choice. And they’re very smart businessmen. And some of the savviest people aren't the ones making headlines in order help pull off these schemes. And that’s definitely how we see the character of Zedeck.

Can you talk about the messages behind Zedeck’s two gestures toward Joe Tobin: the fur coat and the briefcase of money?
Right. So it’s a very personal thing. But then obviously he doesn't realize that Joe is in a place of true desperation and then ends up coming through with giving him money and also knowing that what Louis had told Zedeck about Joe — that he was always ungrateful and had certain problems — we'll continue to explore that history as the season progresses. So in that first attempt of a gift to basically persuade Joe that he has access to money, it’s further revealing Joe’s character. And that’s something that in this second act of the season we’re going to further explore. And it will lead to many more complications as the third act of the season begins in a couple episodes.

Patty and Tom have come to the conclusion that Louis Tobin hid his money overseas. Are they on the right track?
Well, that’s actually a great question. And one thing that we’re very excited about for next week is that for the first time in the entire series we actually leave the country. And the story develops in the pursuit of the money, and a curveball is thrown which basically further bonds Zedeck and Joe and what will eventually be Winstone [played by Martin Short]. But we’re taking a step in pursuit of the money. Patty and Tom end up leaving the country — actually Tom leaves the country. And they’re kind of — as they close in — as Patty’s side closes in, it bonds the triumvirate of Winstone, Zedeck and Joe. So they have to deal with the imminent problems as opposed to the question of inherent trust. They have to deal with what’s right in front of them. And we’re excited to get out of New York and head down to the Caribbean, as Wallace Shawn’s character advised Patty.

Tom’s theory is that Danielle Marchetti’s daughter, a flight attendant, helped mule the money overseas. Will that be true, and, if so, was that the reason Danielle Marchetti was so important to the case?

These are all excellent questions. I think that what you'll see in this next episode is — in next week’s episode are more pieces of how this puzzle —- and when you talk about potentially Danielle Marchetti’s daughter muling, that’s what we really start to follow in this next episode and how it’s done and who the — you know, it’s a complicated thing to hide this much money. And obviously in the real-life story of Madoff, they haven't, you know, found a lot of it. But what we've — through our research and just, you know, inspired by events from many different sources, there are ways to hide money in different countries. And that’s the threads that Patty and Tom are going to be pulling at. And that will then reveal the importance and the significance of Danielle Marchetti and her daughter, Tessa Marchetti, and how it all connects with Zedeck and with Louis Tobin. And, you know, we are really hoping that the audience is feeling like we’re getting much deeper into this mystery and things are starting to heat up.

Tuesday morning: Check back here for my take on Monday night's episode.

– Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @RealJethro)


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