Noah Wyle: 'Leverage' character Harry is flawed, but trying to be less so

Beth Riesgraf and Noah Wyle can be seen in Season 2 of "Leverage: Redemption." Photo courtesy of Amazon Freevee
1 of 4 | Beth Riesgraf and Noah Wyle can be seen in Season 2 of "Leverage: Redemption." Photo courtesy of Amazon Freevee

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- ER and The Librarians alum Noah Wyle says Harry, the shady lawyer he plays on Leverage: Redemption, is a flawed man looking to be less flawed.

That appeals to Wyle as an actor, as well as a writer or director on the show, which is about a team of thieves who rob from the rich and the corrupt, and then give to the wronged.


"I liked that Harry was the redemption in Leverage: Redemption, that his change of heart and change of trajectory was instrumental to pulling this crew back together," Wyle told UPI In a recent Zoom interview.

"Not only does it set him on the road to righteousness, but it also opened up inside of him this need to be challenged by danger and excitement and challenged by these really wonderful other people who have entered his life."


New episodes of Redemption Season 2 premiere Wednesday nights on Amazon Freevee. The show is a sequel to Leverage, which initially aired 2008 to 2012 on TNT.

Returning from the original series are Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Reisgraf and occasionally Aldis Hodge.

Wyle joined the cast in Season 1 of Redemption, but also writes and directs episodes.

"I really enjoyed coming back and playing the character a little more confidently -- a little bit less like the new guy in school and a little bit more the guy who can't wait to prove himself to the team," he said.

"It was a nice gradual graduation energy to play," he added. "Now having a season under our belts and the reboot having been firmly established, I felt all of the performers came back a little bit more relaxed and invested to take it higher and farther."

Pleased with what they accomplished in a fun, action-packed first season, the writers were faced with a big blank canvas after the show was green-lit for a second season.

"I got a front row seat to see how hard it is to write a season of television," Wyle said with a laugh. "But we did it and it turned out really really well."


The show's viewers are connecting with the show on a thematic level, Wyle said.

"They like to see the Robin Hood aspect of the little guy who is getting squashed by the big guy get his justice and the big guy get his comeuppance," the actor said. "In these modern times, this is extremely attractive again."

Fans also are drawn to the camaraderie of the team.

"You can have a bunch of different people, who have different personalities, but can still pull together for a common good," Wyle said.

"That is a really attractive message to send out there. It's funny, so sometimes I think the show's popularity has less to do with the topics and more to do with the tone -- the fact that there is not a lot on TV that you can watch with your parents and your kids at the same time."

There's a formula to each 42-minute episode, and writers quickly learn the discipline.

"The adage is a page per minute, so scripts have to stay under 50 pages or they are unshootable," Wyle said.

"They have to have a five-act structure serving a five-character ensemble with one con that works and one con that doesn't work, and there has to be a contemporary story line and an emotional through line. I learned how difficult it is, so when it is achieved, it's pretty impressive."

Wyle said he also was happy to reunite with Kane, his former co-star on The Librarians, for Redemption.

"He's become a real brother and having him on set made it a much more friendly place for me on Day 1," he said.

Hodge only plays a recurring role this season since he is one of the stars of the big-screen blockbuster, Black Adam, and also recently signed on to play Alex Cross in a new police drama for Amazon.

But Wyle promised, "You'll get every frame we can shoot of him."

"We've got [footage] of him going to the airport," he said. "We're like, 'Aldis, just look out the window! Great! We'll use that somewhere. Someone FaceTime, Aldis.' Aldis, to his credit, gave us a lot this year. He didn't have to and it was very difficult to schedule it. ... But he was really gracious."

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