Timothy Hutton on Leverage Season 5: To the Future...

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What can fans expect from Leverage Season 5, which premieres this Sunday night on TNT? Who better to ask than the brains behind Leverage Inc., Mr. Timothy Hutton?

I sat in last week on a conference call with the star and have posted the following excerpts from the enlightening interview, which touched on upcoming guest stars, themes and the most pressing topic of all: Sophie's real name.


What can we expect in Season Five?
The Leverage team has officially moved to Portland where we film the show. So they've left Boston, and what it's allowed the writers to do is use all these amazing locations around Portland and just outside the city for storylines.

Another thing about season five is that the team have really come a lot closer together. And for Nate, with the way that his father died the year [in the Leverage Season 4 finale] I think it's kind of made him someone who isn't connected to his past and, instead, more interested in his future and his present way of going about life. And it's changed him I think quite a bit.

Can you tell us about guest stars you have lined up?
This season, we have some really terrific guest stars. In the premiere, we have Cary Elwes and then, right after that, in the next show, we have Treat Williams. We've got Neil Hopkins, Steve Valentine, Marshall Teague, Danielle Turchini.

We've got Ronny Cox and Fred Ward in one of my favorite episodes we've ever done, which is called the "D.B. Cooper Job". That's where the team goes back in time to try to solve the disappearance of the hijacker D.B. Cooper. We also have Matthew Lillard, and we have Mark Sheppard coming back.

So, we've got some some really good guest stars and some more surprises that I'm not allowed to mention.

What should we expect from Nate and Sophie this season?
Well, with Nate and Sophie, I think what you'll see this season is, instead of there being as it was in the past, a conflict between the two of them on whether or not they're going to work it out as a couple, is that they really have come together as a couple and as working partners. They're comfortable with one another and their trust of one another, most importantly has come to a point where they're able to have, finally, a much healthier relationship. 

Now, having said, it is Nate and Sophie, so I don't know how. They're both very dysfunctional kind of complicated people, so, we will see that things can't ever get too comfortable with them because of the nature of who they are.

Having left the bar behind, what can you tell us about Nate's sobriety?
Well, with this new season, Nate is very, very interested in recovery. And I think he's very interested in being a determined, forward-thinking person and that he's been driven by the past and not really motivated by the present or the future as much as he would have liked to have been. 

So as the fifth season begins, you will see that he's come back from a long trip where he was by himself. The Leverage team reassembles and it's kind of new Nate. He is much more available to others and he's not so internal. He doesn't take to the bottle. Of course, having said that, of course, one of the interesting things about approaching a season that way is that it allows the possibility for a cliff to have the character fall off.

Will Nate tell the others he knows Sophie's real name, and will we learn it?
I think that we all are going to know what her real name is at some point. But the writers enjoy having this be a continuing kind of mystery. And I think that for Nate, he's been asked by Sophie not to reveal what that is.

Sheppard comes back this year in a really interesting episode called "The Frame-Up Job" where Sophie has been framed for the theft of a very valuable painting. And he has a funny comment where he looks at Sophie and he rattles off about 10 different names, 10 different aliases ending with Sophie Devereux.

But there are a couple of names that Nate has never heard of. So, Nate turns to Sophie and says, "How come I didn't know that one?  I thought I knew all of your names." So, there are some nice jokes and situations associated with Sophie's real name versus her fake name and who she really is that get revealed this season.

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Leverage Quotes

Alec: I'm just very good at what I do.
Parker: This is the score! The score!
Alec: Age of the geek, baby.
Eliot: Somebody kiss this man so I don't have to.

Eliot: He tried to kill us.
Parker: More importantly he didn't pay us.
Eliot: How is that more important?
Parker: I take that personally.
Eliot: There's somethin' wrong with you.