LEVERAGE: day two

Today's on-set report actually begins with a moment from yesterday afternoon that was so unexpected, I'm still wrapping my head around it.

I obviously can't go into any details about the plot or characters, so you'll just have to use your imagination to construct what the set looked like. I can tell you that it was awesome, if that helps.

Just about everyone was assembled for this scene, and I lingered near my mark while I waited for everyone else to get their last looks so we could shoot.

Tim Hutton walked over to me and quietly said, "Hey, did you bring any copies of Sunken Treasure with you?"

I felt like I was going to faint. How in the hell does Tim Hutton know about my books?

"How do you know about that book?" I said, totally baffled.

"I just do," he said. "Did you bring any?"

I was so stunned, I couldn't say anything, and I just kind of watched a little beach ball spin around in my head for a few seconds.

"GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, WHEATON!" My brain screamed at me. "ANSWER THE MAN!"

"Uh, yeah, actually, I did bring some copies with me," I said, at once embarrassed and glad that I'd put five of them into my backpack moments before I left for the airport earlier this week.

I don't remember what he said next because I felt completely overwhelmed. (Pop quiz: how many Academy Award-winning actors and stars of one of your favorite shows have asked you about your books? My answer is, "One, as of about 18 hours ago.") I told him that I'd bring him one today, and that it meant a lot to me that he even knew about the book, much less wanted to read it.

I don't know how he knows I write books; maybe Rogers told him, but … it's weird and awesome, and I signed a copy for him this morning, and he may even read it before the end of the weekend.

Today's work was ultra-painless: I was in 1/8 of a page and was in an out of the set like a ninja. We were shooting outside on a beautiful street up near the hills, southwest of downtown, and during one take a very friendly woman somehow got past everyone, didn't realize we were filming, and walked right up to me during a take.

She asked me a question that I can't repeat, because it would be sort of a spoiler. I noticed that nobody called cut, so I just stayed in character, answered her, watched her walk away, and then finished the scene. It wasn't quite "I'm walking here!" but it was still pretty cool.

I don't think we'll be able to use it in the show, because she was a civilian who clearly didn't know that we were filming, but it was exhilarating to just keep on rolling and keep on acting, even though something totally unexpected happened in the middle of the take.

Making television can be grueling, it can be frustrating, and it can be exhausting. I know how very lucky I am to have worked on a couple shows in the last year that haven't been like that, and I'm intensely grateful to be working on another one right now.

I just love everything about this. I love being on the set. I love the creative collaboration. I love working with people who love doing what we do. I love doing work that I'm proud of.

Mostly, though, I love that I even get to do this. This is awesome.

62 thoughts on “LEVERAGE: day two”

  1. I have actually discussed this before. In the beginning there was a little bit of this I have to prove something tone and now (even so Wil still doesn’t give himself enough credit yet he is getting better there) he just doesn’t care as much what people think. He is going to do what he wants, share what he wants and people will either like it or not.
    Now to Wil, I really am not liking being in Canada at the moment. It will be awhile before I can see any of this, which sucks. I am dying for some good entertainment.

  2. Is what Phil said true? Is Jonathan Frakes directing this episode? Now I’m really geeking out. My two favorite episodes from season 1 were The Wedding Job and The Juror #6 Job.

  3. That’s a great observation about tone, Jules. I’m actually asking a little different question – I’m talking about word selection, for example, being different now than it was then (bolder, more distinctive, less direct) and paragraph construction and the lengths of paragraphs…. Maybe it’s an obscure question, but I’m interested in the relationship between confidence and voice (where voice is a specific quality of literary devices that makes everything a writer produces distinctive).
    Dweeby aspiring writer question?

  4. :) I don’t think it’s a dweeby aspiring writer question at all.
    I think that all comes from confidence in yourself and feeling you have less to prove. I know when I have to write something where I am feeling pressured to write it for whatever reason, my true voice does not show through. Where as if I am writing for myself and not so worried about what others think, then the style and voice changes and is reflected in my writing. Now that is for me. I obviously cannot speak for Wil and where his change has come from or any other writer whom you actually get to watch evolve over the years.
    Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with how you approach it from within yourself, what part of your brain and soul (if one believes in a soul) are active at the moment you start the writing process.

  5. You’re still under the illusion that you’re not a famous guy for your writing skills Wil, and well, hate to break it to you like this, but when Timothy freaking Hutton (!!!!!) asks you if you have any copies of one of your books on your person, it’s a pretty safe bet that even famous, Academy Award winning actors probably already know and actually like your work, my friend. I understand the urge to geek out over something like that, but facts are facts, you’ve earned that right, so just go with the flow and be proud of yourself. The story about this random woman who just walked up to you while you were filming was also quite amusing. Never broke character? Professionalism, nice! See, people like you, Wheaton. Accept it and move on like the rest of us have.

  6. Did you get to work with Aldis Hodge in any of your scenes? I love him. Can’t wait to meet him at a “Supernatural” convention up in Vancouver in August!
    Have fun with the show. Hope to see you on tv more often!!!
    XO
    Heather

  7. Oh my gosh I wish that they would leave that in the episode! I bet that was hilarious. Thats good that the whole set looked so normal that someone didnt know it WAS a set. I wonder if she ever figured it out…

  8. The fact of your complete starstruckness in your interaction with Timothy Hutton makes me feel slightly less ridiculous for my blatant fangirling upon encountering you in pioneer courthouse square today… though I think I’ll be facepalming myself for years after actually having the the lack of couth to blurt out, “You were my first childhood crush!” And in front of other people, too. Ow, my pride.

  9. We should all beg them to put that scene into the DVD deleted scenes, if they cut it. That’s *exactly* what deleted scenes are for – awesome stuff that happens that doesn’t exactly fit into the flow. (:

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