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Noah Wyle: 'Leverage: Redemption' character fits well with original cast

Noah Wyle joins the team in Leverage: Redemption. Photo courtesy of IMDb TV
Noah Wyle joins the team in "Leverage: Redemption." Photo courtesy of IMDb TV

LOS ANGELES, July 9 (UPI) -- Leverage: Redemption star Noah Wyle said his new character complements the classic Leverage cast -- Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge -- who also return for the new series, out Friday.

"He fits very well," Wyle told UPI in a Zoom interview. "He's a guy that's basically looking to throw a grenade on his life and become somebody else entirely."

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Wyle plays Harry Wilson, a New Orleans lawyer who has a crisis of conscience representing a pharmaceutical company. Harry encounters the former Leverage team when they reunite for a mission for old times' sake.

Leverage ran for five seasons from 2008 to 2012. Bellman, Hodge, Riesgraf and Kane played a team of specialists who helped clients gain an advantage over powerful foes.

The original Leverage team was assembled by Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), who is not in Redemption. The 54-year-old Bellman said the Leverage characters have to teach Harry how they work, which gave them a chance to catch up new viewers, too.

"It was a lot of fun having this new character, Harry Wilson, and throwing him into a fight or throwing him into a grift," Bellman said. "It helped us a lot in terms of setting it up again."

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Sophie (Bellman) is a con artist, who devises scams the team can perpetrate on its marks. Hardison (Hodge) is a hacker, Parker (Riesgraf) a thief and Eliot (Kane) a fighter.

Each Leverage mission employs each of their skills. Kane said Harry's legal connections give them new resources.

"He does have super powers in the matter of legal form," Kane said. "We slowly realize he's got a lot of unbelievable qualities and a lot of smarts that we could really use on the team."

Harry also brings the Leverage team a list of clients who have been abusing their power. Wyle said new missions take on human traffickers and corrupt financial traders.

"He was involved with some really bad people, so his value to the group is in his Rolodex," Wyle said.

With Nate out of the picture, Sophie has a new dynamic with Harry. Since the original series ended with Sophie accepting Nate's marriage proposal, she does not immediately see Harry as a new romance.

"It is a business relationship primarily, and then a friendship kind of forms very, very slowly," Bellman said. "I think it's a friendship that they're both quite tentative about."

The 50-year-old Wyle said the business friendship represents a deeper intimacy than a potential romance might. He said that the cons that the Leverage team perpetrate require a trust between members.

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"When you're on a con, you're basically putting your life in somebody else's hands," Wyle said. "That fosters an intimacy and a sense of trust that's almost more profound than any kind of romantic relationship."

Harry is not the only new character in Leverage: Redemption. The team meets Hardison's foster sister, Breanna (Aleyse Shannon), a young hacker who is fluent in updated technology.

"She's excited about her drones," the 25-year-old Shannon said.

The fate of Nate Ford is something Leverage: Redemption doesn't want to spoil for the fans. However, Bellman said the show moves on from him rather quickly.

"The season is really focused on moving forward and not looking back," Bellman said. "The world has changed, and the imbalance of power between the powerful and the powerless is even more extreme."

The 42-year-old Riesgraf said that continuing the series without Nate does impact Sophie.

"We're all very much aware of Sophie's journey emotionally," Riesgraf said. "I would say, certainly, that's something fans are going to pick up on there."

Leverage fans will recognize the old Eliot and Parker, Reisgraf and Kane said. Riesgraf said her wardrobe implies that Parker never stopped robbing, even after the Leverage team disbanded.

"I was able to actually plant some Easter eggs with costumes," Riesgraf said. "In her off time, for fun, she's still out there doing a lot of action-packed things."

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Kane grew back his long Eliot hair. The 47-year-old actor said his fight scenes are tougher now that he's older, but he avoided injury on Leverage: Redemption.

"I didn't go to the hospital this year," Kane said. "I think I've been [to the hospital] every season of Leverage, but this one, I didn't go."

Leverage: Redemption premieres Friday on IMDb TV.

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