So for him to join IMDb TV’s Leverage: Redemption , which like the Librarian franchise is exec-produced by Dean Devlin, represented a seemingly inevitable “crossing of the streams.”
“Dean Devlin produced The Librarian, it was a lot of the same crew, and Christian [Kane] was in The Librarians with me, so it was really like Dean has had two rock bands for the last 20 years,” Wyle explains. “I played in one, [Leverage star] Gina [Bellman] played in the other, and then we decided to form a supergroup. That’s what it felt like. Like, ‘Oh, I know your songs, and you know a couple of mine,’ and we built a new set list. It felt very familiar.”
Even so, Wyle had some jitters about joining the well-oiled Leverage crew for IMDb TV’s revival series premiering this Friday, July 9 (with the first eight of 16 episodes).
Heading out to the first read-through with the cast, “I was so nervous, I wore two different shoes,” Wyle reveals with a hearty laugh. “I couldn’t figure out which pair to wear, so I put one of each on to see how they looked and then I walked out the front door. I got to the studio and looked down and went, ‘Oh, my God….'”
In Leverage: Redemption, Wyle plays Harry Wilson, the high-powered lawyer/fixer for opioid titan Fletcher Maxwell (Bosch‘s Reed Diamond). When Harry decides he can no longer look the other way as Maxwell acts deplorably and with no regard for those he hurts along the way, his path crosses with that of Sophie Devereaux, Eliot Spencer et al.
“There’s an adage when you start acting school, that you don’t play the bad guy as if he thinks he’s a bad guy,” Wyle shares. “Well, this is a bad guy that really didn’t know he was a bad guy. He was so focused on his own expertise that he didn’t really understand what his skills were emboldening these other people to go on and do, and suddenly he has this epiphany and realizes that his success has been responsible for all these atrocities taking place.”
Or, as Wyle then puts it with the agility of Parker navigating laser trip wires: “Harry is a bad guy that didn’t know he was a bad guy, then realizes he’s a bad guy but wants to be a good guy but doesn’t know how to do it — so he hooks up with a bunch of bad guys to teach him how to be a good guy!”
When the Leverage crew eventually accepts Harry Wilson as a new addition to the reborn mission, what particular set of skills does he bring to the Grifter, the Hitter, The Thief and the Hacker?
“You mean beyond humor and charm?” asks Wyle, winking. “They take him under their wing and he basically receives tutelage from every character. So, Eliot teaches him how to be a bit of a tough guy, Parker teaches him how to be a bit of a thief, Sophie teaches him how to be a bit of a grifter….”
And to hear Bellman tell it while sitting alongside her new co-star, Wyle himself was quite enthralled by the tricks of Sophie’s trade.
“There’s a very funny scene, quite early on, where Sophie takes Harry Wilson out onto a grift and he gets completely over-excited,” Bellman shares. With a nod to Wyle, she adds, “We really relished that scene because I think, in a way, you were a bit excited that you were able to do a grift as well. But Harry was really excited.”