Forever Preview: Billy Baldwin Teases Villainous Episode, Chewing Up Scenery

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Ready for a greedy episode of Forever?

The ABC drama is back with new installment tonight and while we definitely find out what happened to Henry in the mid-season finale (when he killed a man thinking it was the mysterious caller) there's also a new case on tap.

And a new guest star.

Billy Baldwin appears on Forever Season 1 Episode 12 as the head of a financial firm where a young phenom ends up dead. Did his Svengali-like character have something to do with the murder... or are there other forces at play?

Baldwin talked to me recently about the role, his knowledge of real life 'Wolves Of Wall Street" and whether he prefers playing villainous roles. Let's see what he had to say...

Billy Baldwin on Forever Season 1 Episode 12

TV Fanatic: How much do you need to know about somebody coming in for a role like this?

Billy Baldwin: In television the turnaround is much quicker. If you’re doing an arc on a show that’s one thing; but if you’re doing cast spots, things move very fast, seriously. I was in New York on other business. I live in Santa Barbara and I got the script for the episode and I knew there were going to shoot this in New York and they asked when would I be coming back. When I said in a couple of weeks, they said, “no, your fitting is on Wednesday and you start shooting on Thursday.”

Having grown up on Long Island, in Massapequa, and attending Binghamton University, I heard that firsthand knowledge and experience with a bunch of high school and college buddies that work in all facets of finance…so quite literally, that stuff that the Boiler Room was made about and The Wolf Of Wall Street, there isn’t one Wolf Of Wall Street, there are a couple hundred of them and a few of them are from Massapequa and a few of them I grew up with from Massapequa so all these characters on Wall Street that have breaking the rules for decades, some of the guys I grew up with.

TVF: Oliver, the character you’re playing in Forever, he has created this family at the work place and them murder takes place. Tell me about this guy we’ll see in the episode.

BB: Oliver definitely has sort of a Svengali influence over his staff and there’s a culture there on  how to win, on how to make money and how to win and how to defeat the competition for sure. A very real, very specific philosophy and culture that’s been created by him at the firm.

TVF: Had you worked with any of the Forever cast before or were they kind of new people for you to work with?

BB: They were all new, all new. Ioan [Gruffudd] and Alana [de la Garza] were just lovely to work with. I didn’t get a chance to see Judd [Hirsch]. He and I were on the set at the same time one day but I was on the set while he was in hair and make-up and when I tried to track him down in hair and make-up when I was leaving, he was going on to the set. So I thought I might see him another day but it turned out our paths never crossed. I met him over the years a few times, I just haven’t seen him in like 10 years.

TVF: Oliver’s house in the episode was really impressive. That wasn’t a set, was it?

BB: That was a home that they rented that is owned by a European art collector. It’s beautiful, it’s different, it’s very eclectic, the design, the décor and, of course, you’ve got that spectacular swimming pool in the house too. 

And then the office we shot at 7 World Trade [in New York City], which was a fantastic location with breathtaking views all around panoramic views of New Jersey and up the Hudson River and all of the uptown sky line and then going east and looked across both the bridges and out to Brooklyn and Queens.

TVF: Since you’ve played so many roles in your career, is it more fun to play a bad guy? 

BB: It is fun to play just, when there are some meat on the bones, fun to play, you know, when you have a juicy part to play where you get to sort of tear up the scenery. On occasion, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad guy, I think if I were to be a regular on a show, even if I were a bad guy, I would want to have to the opportunity on the show to do something that either really fed me [and] made it exciting for me to get out of bed every day.  Fed my creativity and also, if I could at the same time, make some sort of statement and some sort of social commentary that we could make.

I mean, even when my brother [Alec] did 30 Rock, it wasn’t like, it obviously wasn’t serious drama, but they were able to weave very timely topical social commentary into everything that they were doing on that show. It would be good to have it really challenging, satisfying creatively and at the same time you could hold a mirror up to what’s going on in the world around you and be able to very subtlety make comments on stuff that’s happening in the world.

TVF: Are you the sort of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions or do you stay away from that?

BB: I do both. I say I probably shouldn’t do it; I’m never really good at upholding them. I try to do a short list and I kind of look for five things that I’ll shoot for and see if I can honor one, honor two of them. It’s hard, man. Life gets in the way. I mean I’ve got a 14, 13 and 10 year old. My wife is Chynna Phillips [and] she’s out on the road with her band every month. Just like to get them out of bed, to and from school, volleyball, basketball, horseback riding, youth group, dance recitals, it’s like, it never ends.

The smartest thing I can ever recommend is keep it simple and I think one of my resolutions and I think it’s been on my radar for years now and I keep getting better, better at it, but I want to keep focusing on trying to stay more present and more in the moment and not constantly burying myself in all the tasks of setting stuff up or the stuff that’s about to happen in three days or 10 days and all the stuff that is around the corner that needs to be dealt with now to make sure it’s prepped and set up so my kids can enjoy it, my wife can enjoy it, so I can enjoy it.

TVF: I’m going to borrow some of that. Very wise.

BB: I think you have to do it. I think you can be more present then you can simplify and tear down all extraneous bulls**t that you don’t really need to be doing.

Forever Season 1 airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Forever Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

Dad, please. I'm going to report for duty. This is my decision.

Abe

There is a risk any time we venture into the unknown. Any time we are compelled for whatever reason to push away the safet, familiar, family and home.

Henry