Human Target‘s sophomore season is almost over – which made it a perfect time to sit down again with one of my favorite people, series star Mark Valley. Continuing from our chat at the beginning of Season 2, Mark shared his thoughts on how different things have been since the end of Season 1, how Season 2 is finally putting the show in the public eye, and even what he might like to see should the series advance to Season 3.
Before we get started with the questions, I do have good news to share with you. Since we talked last, we’ve officially been able to launch the Human Target Fan Club. So we’re out there pulling for you.
Thank you very much. Congratulations on the launch and everything.
One of the things that comes up in the discussions with some of us is that the show is finally getting the press it deserves this season, but a lot of that press seems to discount the first season. That drives us nuts, because it feels like a slight to season one. Have you read any of the press, and what do you feel about the attention the show’s starting to get?
To be honest with you, I leave a lot of the publicity up to the publicity [people]. I just really want to make a good show and make it as interesting as I can and anything else is kind of above my pay grade. I’m really proud of the first season and it’s a DVD that sits on my shelf and I’m really proud of the second season, too, and I just hope we can continue.
In the best of circumstances, we’ve also had the showrunner from the first season, Jon Steinberg, stay on as an executive producer, so we’ve kept elements of the first season as well. All the experiences we had from shooting and planning and writing and producing are also being kind of brought to bear on the second season and going forward. We’ve been really fortunate to bring some new people in with some new ideas and some different types of skills and abilities, but also profit from the first season.
The number-one thing fans have asked me about is the change in composers. A lot of us really miss Bear McCreary’s work, and we can hear a major difference between that and the work of Tim Jones. I know you’re a fan of his as well, so is the difference as glaring to you as it is to us?
It’s kind of an apples and oranges sort of thing. I do definitely hear a difference in the score, but also we’ve had a show that in all likelihood probably would not have gone on to a second season if there hadn’t been some changes. It’s sort of like watching a movie [that’s] going to be redone by someone else or watching a play that’s going to be redone and revived. I’ve really been fortunate to have been on a second season to be able to see the different interpretation of how the show goes. That having been said, I definitely enjoy Bear McCreary’s work. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.
I can only assume that you have the CD and play your theme music as you’re driving down the freeway or something.
I try to play it whenever I walk into a room. I usually have an entrance theme whenever, with the trumpets playing, so that’s meeting varying degrees of interest. But, yes, I definitely love that music, though.
In front of the camera, Season 1 was so much about getting into Chance’s head and seeing what made him tick; now in Season 2 you seem to be figuring out what makes everyone else around you function. Has that been fun for you to play?
It’s been a little more interesting. I don’t know about you, but 13 hours of introspection can get to be a little heavy. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know these other characters and the other actors playing them as well. Having a role where I’m possibly doing a little more reacting to everything that’s going on as opposed to kind of acting or creating a kind of mystery. I’ve just had a great time. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.
Season 2 also seems a lot more personal. There’s always someone that someone in the cast used to know. For example, in tonight’s episode you have Tony Hale coming back as Harry the bumbling private investigator.
One of the things I really like is [that] Matt Miller really kind of started the second season with the idea that every episode was going to have a personal hook for at least one of the characters. He stuck to that for the entire [season] as well; we don’t really have anonymous guests that we have to kind of try to feel sympathy for. Each case has had a personal link to one of the characters.
The first episode that Tony did, he gets himself into a mess and he comes looking for Chance, and [Guerrero and Winston] have to bail him out. I [was] always curious, how are Chance and Harry friends? What did they experience together? How did they meet each other and if Harry is just somebody who’s always having problems, why are they friends? But in this episode coming up you sort of see Harry’s perceptive ability and ability to kind of put things together. You see that he does sort of stumble onto the truth and some meaningful stuff for Chance. In that respect you say, “Oh, okay, now I see why they know each other.”
That leads me to one of the great joys about Human Target: there are plenty of character moments interspersed with the action and it’s not just a big, dumb, loud setpiece. Is it difficult to switch gears?
I’m really enjoying the combination of the two, because it’s really fun to see what the other actors and characters are sort of bringing into each scene and I’m really kind of relishing working with such a talented cast. But you can only kind of stand around and talk so long before I start feeling real antsy. Every once in a while, I just might start to feel like I should be running or shooting or running away from someone or going after someone at some point. So, it always works out pretty well with this show. There’s quite a nice balance. It kind of jolts me into character. I’m really fortunate in that way there’s so much action.
You’ve done this show for two years now, and you’ve done so much extensive action – so have any of those experiences changed you personally?
I realized the other day as I was hanging off a building that I think at one point in my life I used to be afraid of heights. Maybe it’s just because I’ve developed a good trust in our riggers and our stunt people, but now I don’t have any problem hanging off of things anymore, no matter how high it is and that’s definitely due to the experiences on the show.
Have you had any thought at all as to what you’d like to see if we get into Season 3?
I definitely would like to see the [third] season go. Where it would go, I haven’t even begun to think about that yet. I think Matt has done a great job of kind of establishing who these characters are and where they’re going, so I’m really interested to see what his ideas would be for a third season overall. Now that we do know who these people are and we do know where they’re from, maybe we can move on to other cases that don’t necessarily involve people in a personal way. Maybe the show can find its feet there.
My thanks to Mark Valley for another fabulous interview. Don’t forget that Human Target airs tonight at a late start time of 9 PM ET/PT, following American Idol.