Peter Facinelli Interview on ‘American Odyssey,’ NBC’s New Dramatic Series

Peter Facinelli Interview American Odyssey
Peter Facinelli as Peter Decker in ‘American Odyssey’ (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz / NBC)

NBC’s premiering the dramatic series American Odyssey on April 5, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT and in support of the show’s debut, the network brought series star Peter Facinelli and executive producers Adam Armus and Kay Foster to WonderCon in Anaheim, CA to talk about the show. In addition to taking part in a Q&A with WonderCon attendees, Facinelli and the executive producers/series creators participated in interviews with a few members of the press to discuss in depth what the audience can expect when tuning in to catch American Odyssey on Sunday nights.

Facinelli was itching to do something a little different from Nurse Jackie, which is ending with the seventh season, when American Odyssey came along. “It was kind of perfect timing, actually,” said Facinelli. He went on to explain why he wanted to do something a little darker at this point in his career. “I think that the role actually scared me a little and I tend to want to do things that scare me in a lot of ways. When I got the script I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t played a role like that before so I thought, ‘Can I do this?’ I’m glad I didn’t have to audition because if I had to audition, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it, you know? I tend to work really hard at forming the characters when I get the role, and sometimes you get a piece of paper and you have to go in and prove that you can play this role with very little information and very little time to prepare that character.”

Although he admits he’s not into politics, Facinelli says what drew him in about the story being told in American Odyssey was the conspiracy element. “That was an exciting adventure. When I looked at that it was the ‘thriller’ aspect of a conspiracy thriller is what really hooked me on it. And then I did all the research getting into that world, the stuff that I hadn’t known before. I hadn’t known much about the protesters on Wall Street. I hadn’t known much about that kind of political world. I had to wrap my head around that and then form the character.”

“I connected with him as a family man, so I understood that,” said Facinelli when asked about getting into his character, corporate litigator Peter Decker in American Odyssey. “And then really getting to understand the world that he lived in, so I watched a lot of documentaries on the political climate. I watched the Eliot Spitzer documentary. I took a lot from him because I felt like Eliot Spitzer went up against a lot of giants and didn’t back down. There was a tenaciousness to him as well. So, a lot of documentaries just getting the climate of what the show is dealing with.”

The Plot:

After a team of American soldiers battles jihadists in North Africa, they’re shocked to learn that they’ve stumbled upon and killed Al Qaeda’s top commander. Sgt. Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) — a soldier, mother, wife and the unit’s only female member — discovers computer files that prove that a major U.S. corporation is funding the jihadists. But before she can tell anyone, her team is attacked and killed. The world is told that the unit was wiped out by enemy militants, but the truth is that Odelle survived and is the only witness to her unit’s true assassins: private military contractors Osela (think “Blackwater”).

As Odelle struggles to survive and find her way home, in New York former U.S. Attorney turned corporate litigator Peter Decker (Facinelli) finds himself embroiled in a merger with the same company that funded the jihadists. As Peter begins to connect the corrupt dots of this company’s terrorist involvement, Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson), a political activist and trust fund kid, meets a hacker, Bob Offer (Nate Mooney), who claims to have unearthed a massive military-industrial-complex conspiracy. Bob is right: He’s stumbled onto the same cover-up that Odelle discovered, which will soon become a national headline with lethal implications. The only way they’ll ever save their country, their families and themselves is by joining forces and exposing the people behind it.

Watch the full interview with Peter Facinelli:


-By Fred Topel and Rebecca Murray

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