You know how, at the start of a romantic comedy, the two leads bump into each and the seeds of something bigger are planted? Same thing will happen to Roger Murtaugh and his new partner/bromantic interest, Seann William Scott’s Wesley Cole, in Tuesday’s Lethal Weapon season premiere (Fox, 9/8c).
“They have a meet-cute,” series creator Matt Miller tells TVLine. “Cole, who’s working as a uniformed cop in L.A., is in the middle of chasing these bad guys on a rooftop. Meanwhile, Murtaugh has been looking for a car that belonged to somebody that he thinks is vaguely involved in Riggs’ murder.”
Martin Riggs’ untimely end, of course, comes after portrayer Clayne Crawford was fired following angry outbursts on set earlier this year; Crawford has referred to stories about his behind-the-scenes behavior as “blatant f—king lies.”
In May, Scott (American Pie) was brought on to partner with Damon Wayans’ Roger Murtaugh, who — as Miller notes — is having a hard time getting over the loss of his co-worker and friend.
Cole and Murtaugh run into each other as Cole pursues a suspect on the roof of a parking garage, and somehow the car Murtaugh has been tracking “ends up, in Lethal Weapon fashion, flying off the roof ” and landing right near the veteran cop, Miller explains. “And that’s the beginning of the two guys meeting.”
Here’s what we know about Cole: His character’s last name is a shoutout to Rene Russo’s character, Lorna Cole, from Lethal Weapon 4. He’s a former CIA operative who’s come to Los Angeles to settle down and help raise his 12-year-old daughter Maya, the product of a relationship he had years ago in a war zone with a Doctors Without Borders physician named Natalie (played by Psych‘s Maggie Lawson). And he — well, know what? We’ll let him tell it.
TVLINE | Cole and Murtaugh hit it off right away. What do you think Wesley sees in Murtaugh that makes him think he’ll be a good partner?
Sheesh, that’s a serious question. [Laughs] I don’t know if he sees anything in him in the beginning. I think that the character appreciates the kind of man that Murtaugh is and his core values and his code and stuff like that, and his humanity… Coming from being an ex-CIA guy and seeing a lot of ugliness in the world, he comes home and wasn’t expecting to have to partner up with somebody. And he meets this guy who’s a great father and just a really, really good cop. I think that’s probably one of the things that appeals to him. But then again, that’s my serious actor attempt at like trying to sound smart about a character. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Wesley has a 12-year-old daughter named Maya.
It’s amazing — the actress that we have. Maggie Lawson plays my ex-girlfriend, and this actress named Shay [Rudolph], she looks like she could be our kid. It’s perfect casting. She’s so sweet. My stuff with Maggie and Shay are some of my favorite stuff to do, because I have never played a dad. I don’t play very many romantic leads, if you think about a lot of the characters I’ve played.
TVLINE | What’s Wesley and Maya’s relationship like?
He’s inexperienced, which is a lot of fun because I obviously am inexperienced. I only have my yellow lab, and so the two of us, so I don’t know really what’s it like to be a dad. So it’s perfect! My character probably came home like once a year, maybe twice a year to take her to Disneyland… She missed out on so many experiences because her dad was gone. So one of the fun things to play is this guy who is so capable in the most dangerous situations is completely out of his element and trying to understand his daughter and trying to be a capable father, and that’s some of my favorite stuff. In the third episode, you see him really struggling with his daughter.
TVLINE | And how about her mom, Natalie? How do she and Wesley relate these days?
They had a relationship where, under different circumstances, if he had a different kind of job… I think they would’ve been in love and stayed together. But because he was never home, he was just not the kind of guy you would settle down with, and so I think she’s really resistant and hurt because he was never around and never really there as a father. But as we’ve been shooting more episodes, I’ve really loved the chemistry that Maggie and I have, and I get the sense that they might fall in love or something. [Laughs]
Press PLAY on the exclusive video above to watch Cole in action, then hit the comments!