06/26/2014 11:55 EDT | Updated 06/26/2014 11:59 EDT

Cam Gigandet Talks 'Reckless,' Sexy Charleston, And Playing The Good Guy (For Once)


"Reckless" is unlike any drama on the air right now. It's a crime/legal drama with a sultrier, sexier vibe, partly because of its leads, Anna Wood and Cam Gigandet, who play two attorneys with an intense mutual attraction for one another, and partly because of where it was filmed and takes place: Charleston, South Carolina.

Roy (Gigandet) is a good ol' Southern boy while Jamie (Wood) comes from the south side of Chicago, and their jobs have them constantly butting heads -- which is what makes their relationship such fun to watch. But it's not all about them; pfft, this isn't the "Grey's Anatomy" of legal dramas. The first season of "Reckless" will centre on a sex scandal involving the Charleston PD, which threatens to rip the city apart.

Most of the men on "Reckless" are awful and since Gigandet is so synonymous with villains (hellllo, he killed Marissa Cooper!), it may be a little surprising that he's the series' nicest character. HuffPost TV Canada spoke with Gigandet and he talked about his saturated suits, how fatherhood has changed him and what's it finally like to play a good boy, for once.

HuffPost TV Canada: You're not from the South, are you?

Cam Gigandet: No, I'm from Seattle.

Well, you've got that lazy Southern drawl down. What was harder to master, the accent or all the legal mumbo-jumbo?

Oh, it was probably the legal mumbo-jumbo. With the accent, I could just think lazy thoughts and the Southern tongue would come in. But that lingo, that's not easy. Throughout the entire season, I mean, I felt like I got it. I progressed and got a little better, at least I hope so. It definitely took a lot of time to memorize a lot of those things in the beginning.

What was it like filming in Charleston?

If I had to choose anywhere, that would probably be the place. Aside from the absolute brutal humidity and heat, it was amazing.

When did you film it?

We got there at the end of July (2013).


Yeah. Until December. When it came to the end of October, it started to be kind of perfect. But before that, it was brutal.

And you're almost always wearing suits and ties, blech.

I would have to change suits in the middle of a scene because I'd be sweating through my clothes. By the end of the scene, my suits were a shade darker, they were soaking wet.

I can't imagine "Reckless" taking place anywhere else. [The city] is kind of like another character.

Yeah, it is a whole character in itself. It adds this element that makes our jobs so much easier. Just the fact that we're in it and we're there, it was so hard to not get into that world, that lifestyle, that Southern charm, that Charlestonian vibe.

Is it crazy filming in a college town?

Yeah. [Laughs] Yeah, it was crazy but everyone was amazing. There were some nights where it was more difficult than others to go play pool at a bar but it was all right. We all still had each other. We were glad that we weren't in some nowhere town that wasn't busy. So when we weren't working, we could actually do things together and hang out and have fun.

Tell me about Roy Rayder. You usually play the bad guy, which most actors love to play. But it must be a nice change of pace for you.

It's definitely a nice change of pace. It was kind of the perfect thing. I had never played a lawyer and this lawyer of the south, he's good and smart. It's all these things that I haven't gotten to dive into within my career.

Roy's a good man but he still manages to be fun. He's a lawyer at the top of his game, he's a dad going through a divorce. He's as well-rounded as it gets. Is that what attracted you to the role?

He's the moral centre. He felt so similar to me and relatable to me, just the fact that 1) he is a father and 2) he's just a man's man. He likes beer, he can use a hammer and he knows how to shoot a gun. Those kinds of things about him were just endearing and relatable to me. On top of that he was a lawyer, so it was a no-brainer.

It's been a while since "The O.C." I'm presuming there have been other opportunities on television for you but you've been doing movies. Why "Reckless"?

It was just one of those things, the right time, right place. It never really occurred to me until they came to me. I just couldn't really pass up the opportunity, everything just seemed to click. And when I found out Catherine Hardwicke (who directed him in "Twilight") was directing the pilot, all signs pointed to yes, to doing this and jumping on board. And I'm glad that I did.

In the pilot, Roy is promoted to City Attorney. Will we meet his soon-to-be-ex-wife, or is she considered in the past?

[Warily] Yeah, you'll meet her.

She sounds like a real doozy.

She's an ex-wife so she will still cause me problems. It definitely continues throughout the first season. And it'll always continue because he loves his kids and she's a part of that.

Do we get to see Roy with his daughters?

Yes! Yes, you do. My two daughters on the show are absolutely hilarious. I was watching a blooper reel a little while ago and those kids are just unbelievable. They're absolutely adorable.

Fatherhood is obviously life-changing. How has it impacted your work?

It has in so many ways. One of the most noticeable ways is just how they can so easily access the honesty of what they're feeling in any given moment. They don't shy away from it, there's no guard up, there's no cynicism, there's nothing. If they're hungry, they're hungry, if they want something, they tell us. To have that kind of freedom without any insecurities, without any self-conscious thoughts, to have that kind of freedom to express whatever, is a rare thing to have as an adult. It's something I watch out for.

Does it help with "Reckless" -- not the divorce part, obviously -- but playing a dad?

Of course. The fact that I know what I do for my kids, that's a hard thing to understand when you don't have kids. Not that you couldn't imagine it but I fully know 100 percent what I would do for them. And I know Roy is that guy. He would do exactly what I would do for my kids.

Roy's relationship with his ex is obviously an issue but his relationship with his father-in-law (Gregory Harrison) seems as friendly as can be, considering. Will that continue to be as cordial as it is in the pilot?

I would probably guess not so much. I think there'll always be a relationship but even after the first season, his character still confuses me [Laughs] as much as it confuses Roy. We cannot pinpoint his motives and why he's doing what he's doing. I'm sure he has a huge plan all worked out but Roy cannot figure him out. There's always an intrigue, it's a push-pull relationship.

Roy is one of the few good guys on the show. He and Deputy Chief Knox (Michael Gladis). What is their friendship like and what brings them together?

They grew up together so they're kind of the centre of this town. Even in high school and when they were growing up, it was always just the two of them. They have some past things that bond them and on top of that, they do have their moral goodness and they can always look to each other. They've just been best friends and remained best friends and they can always rely on each other. Not that it always stays good in the season but they'll always be best friends.

Their jobs must put them at odds at times.

Yeah, that's where things can get a little squirrelly, them mixing the two things like that. Yes. [Laughs] That's all I can say.

Your scenes with Anna, they're hot, there's really no other word for it. I'm sure the Charleston heat had something to do with it. But I really like their relationship, the tease, the push/pull. Does that tension drag throughout the season?

Interesting question. The push-pull, it's definitely a roller-coaster ride and they continue to battle it, just by the nature of who they are in their careers and who they are personally. There's always going to be some battle. Their jobs are too dividing so it'll always be an issue. There are so many other things this season that they try to overcome. It's still a push-pull but things happen. Not Roy's fault or Jamie's. Maybe it's no one's. Or maybe nothing happens.

Is the show open-ended?

Yes. Well, there's a serialized storyline that goes throughout the entire season and that gets answered. There are questions to that story that get answered but then new questions open up before the end of the season.

Audiences are more impatient these days. Do you like this short, 13-episodes trend?

Yeah. I like it for shooting. As a job, it's nice to only shoot 13 episodes but when it comes to watching 13 episodes, I always feel like I want to see more. But then I think that's part of it. It's a bittersweet type of relationship.

Well, CBS is definitely onto something, what with "Reckless" and "Under the Dome" and "Extant." "Reckless" seems like the perfect summer show, though maybe that Charleston heat has something to do with it.

Yeah, probably. Hopefully when the season ends, we leave people wanting more and we'll be back when the summer season rolls around once more.

"Reckless" premieres Sunday, June 29 at 9 p.m. ET on Global in Canada and CBS in the U.S.

2014 Summer TV: Top 10 Shows To Watch