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TCA Press Tour: Jimmy Smits welcomes his 'Outlaw' side

July 30, 2010 |  4:07 pm


On NBC's new drama "Outlaw," Jimmy Smits plays a conservative Supreme Court justice who steps down from the bench when he realizes that he can help more from the other side of it. He's also a bit of a womanizer and he's got a gambling problem.

In other words, he's no Victor Cifuentes.

And that's what Smits likes most about it.

"I think [executive producer John Eisendrath] has created a fascinating character that's a challenge for an actor and a wonderful meal for an actor and something different than what I've done before," Smits said during a panel session for the show Friday.  "In this kind of instance, I'm going to be able, as an actor, to tackle stuff that's very substantive and play a character that is much more loose and comfortable than I've had a chance to play. So it's a challenge for me to do, and one that I can't wait."

Because of Smits' popularity as an actor and the fact that he is generally deemed as "virtuous and liberal," Eisendrath said the writers will have a lot of leeway into bringing out Cyrus Garza's many character flaws.

"He will play with fire and risk a great deal in order to seek justice," Eisendrath said. "Part of the joy will be to toe the line and lift the barriers. He's not going to stop at the line everyone stops at in his quest for justice. He's going to find a way around the barriers."

The rest of the cast includes Jesse Bradford, Carly Pope, David Ramsey and Ellen Woglom.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey and Ellen Woglom in "Outlaw." Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC