Wesley Snipes returns to series TV with a starring role in NBC’s upcoming dramatic series The Player. Snipes co-stars with Philip Winchester in what’s being described as a show that’s reminiscent of action series from the ’80s. The action’s wild yet realistic, and during the 2015 San Diego Comic Con Snipes and writer/executive producer John Rogers talked about what viewers can expect when The Player premieres on September 24, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT.
The Player finds Snipes playing the man at the center of a high-stakes game “where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on [Alex’s] ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out.” Winchester plays Alex, a former military operative turned security expert whose personal tragedy leads to his introduction to Mr. Johnson and this bizarre gambling organization. During our roundtable interview, Snipes revealed that it will be a while before the audience gets to learn much about his character or even his character Mr Johnson’s first name. “Very early on you begin to understand that there are multiple sides and multiple dimensions to his character. There’s a lot more going on underneath the surface,” explained Snipes who confessed that not even he’s aware of his character’s backstory.
Even though he wasn’t told how Mr. Johnson became involved in this high-stakes game, Snipes was intrigued by the opportunity of tackling the role. “Well this particular character, Mr. Johnson, because of the nature of his job and having to move through many different communities and people, and also a responsibility of making sure the game was always played – the ‘house’ never closes; the casino was always open – we envisioned that it would give him a lot of opportunity to do disguises. I could do accents, besides just the martial arts which we’re going to add to it as well. That’s a nice set of ingredients for a repertoire actor. And you imagine that we have eight day shoots so I have to be thinking about me performing one character preparing for the next character at the same time. That’s fun,” explained Snipes when asked the appeal of The Player. “It’s like going back to repertory theatre.”
The Player also gives Snipes a chance to get back into action, and he says the action scenes Mr. Johnson is involved in will get more difficult and more and more intricate as the episodes go on. “Our job is to do dynamic action, not just superfluous, scatterbrained type of action,” said Snipes. “I want to do stuff that’s classic and beautiful to watch, dynamic and emotional to experience, and then we’ll leave a legacy.”
But it’s not all about action with Mr. Johnson. The writers are making sure there are multiple layers to all of the characters and have given Snipes’ Mr. Johnson a sense of humor. “You don’t want to just be sitting there watching a stoic guy who’s boring and has some quasi-interesting lines to say,” explained Snipes. “It’s nice to explore the comedic side. And, for me, some of best action always has some comedy in it.”
Snipes also offered a look at what audiences can expect from the relationship between his character and Winchester’s Alex. “It’s going to be a love-hate relationship and a relationship of necessity, at some point. They’ll both realize that they need each other at some point for some very intriguing purposes. Alex might have a whole agenda that we don’t know about, and he may know things about Mr. Johnson that we don’t know about. Maybe,” teased Snipes.
Watch the full interview with Wesley Snipes on The Player:
NBC also brought writer/executive producer John Rogers to Comic Con and we had the opportunity to talk with him about the show’s premise, the action scenes, the tone, and his cast:
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