MacGyver interview: Lucas Till previews high-stakes, exciting season 4

MacGyverMacGyver season 4 is premiering this Friday on CBS, and we’re already getting a good sense that these upcoming episodes are awesome. They’re going to be everything you loved about the first three seasons and more, as we are going to see more continuous stories, great drama, but also humor, undercover missions, and high stakes. There are 22 episodes coming up that should be the perfect evolution of Angus MacGyver’s journey.

Why are we so confident? Largely, because Lucas Till is! We spoke with him about the new season this week and he was very enthusiastic about the storylines, the mixture of genres, and getting to work with new series regular Henry Ian Cusick as Russ Taylor. Check out our interview with Lucas below.

CarterMatt – Was it weird this year not being able to watch the show play out while filming a lot of episodes? I know you’re deep in now.

Honestly, it was pretty demoralizing (laughs). I was actually able to get some of the episodes ahead of time and watch them — unfinished, but still. I was like ‘wow! These are really good.’ It used to be nice to just watch them as we went along. We haven’t been able to do that this year, but it’s been great since we’ve been able to take more time and finish them in post-production. I really think they’re going to be well-received!

At the time that you started filming last summer, you really thought you were only doing 13 [episodes], right?

Yeah. I thought that this could be my last season with 13. It was weird — I had wrapped my head around doing 22 [at first after the renewal], then wrapped my head around doing 13, and now we’re doing 22 again (laughs). It’s the most fun that I may have had on any job in my entire life now. We’ve really hit a nice groove and it comes through in the work. I liked it before, but it’s even better this year in every way.

Is a part of that just because you’ve got a good rapport with everyone after the past few years?

YES. That’s exactly what it is. We’re finally getting the show to where I imagined it would be in terms of how it looks. We’re perfectly balanced between action, drama, and comedy. We’re funny, but the stakes are high now.

At the end of season 3, Mac lost someone he cared about in Charlie. Is that something that’s still weighing on him?

Oh, you’re going to see a lot of that emotional toll this season. We have this one amazing, funny episode that is right before things get super-serious. We have a really big bad guy this season and we’re a little more serialized, especially with the first thirteen. It’s something that people are going to want to pay attention to over time instead of missing one and not having to worry about it. For the first thirteen, you’re going to want to stick around and see what happens.

Back at the end of season 3, are you meeting with the writers and getting a good sense of what could be coming up or sharing what you’re hoping to see next?

I find out in July when we start shooting. Peter [Lenkov] knows what he is doing and [new co-showrunner] Terry Matalas really knows what he is doing. They throw the ball and I catch it. I just like to positively reinforce what they’re already doing since it’s hard to write a 22-episode season.

I’m so excited for Henry Ian Cusick coming on board — a part of that is the massive Lost fan in me, but I’ve loved a lot of the stuff he’s done. What does he bring to the show this year?

He’s so great, man. He’s immediately become a part of the family and he’s everything you would want from someone coming in to be a series regular. There’s no attitude, all talent, and really fun to be around. The character that he is playing (Russ) is manic. He’s got Pareidolia, where you see patterns in everything. Sometimes, it helps you with the job. Other times, it’s paranoia.

When I found out about him joining the show, I was on a cruise in Alaska and was like ‘why do I know this guy?’. My buddy was a huge Lost fan and he was like ‘dude, you don’t know Desmond?! It’s sacrilege!’. A lot of people loved him. Tristin [Mays] was like ‘oh my God, I get to work with Desmond?’. He’s so good.

The trailer for the start of the season shows almost a Professor MacGyver as he’s teaching. Is there a different energy there?

There’s a little bit different energy! Everything has just become better. There’s more detail, more layers, and more everything without sacrificing anything that people liked about it previously. That’s my takeaway and how I describe it to people.

Is there any real time in here to address Mac’s personal life? I can’t even imagine the idea of having friends or dating outside of the Phoenix with everything that he’s got going on.

It’s something that I can relate to. Doing the show is the exact same amount of hours. There is no time for anything — I get to see my family because I’m in Atlanta, but it’s highly relatable.

We do touch on it — I just don’t know if we’re going to explore an outside life, because there is none (laughs). It’s really funny how art imitates life sometimes.

So are there some familiar faces who will be coming back on the show from the past?

Tate Donovan is definitely coming back — there are some other familiar characters, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

One of my favorite parts of the show is the Bozer – Mac relationship, especially since it was something that existed beyond the Phoenix at first. Will we get to see more of that?

We do a little bit of it — we just shot some of it, actually. We have some important stuff — it’s hard answering questions sometimes because we can’t actually say anything.

You said earlier that you were worried this could be the final season with 13 episodes — now that it’s 22, are you feeling more confident?

Yeah. It’s up to CBS, but they gave us a full order after saying that they were only giving us thirteen. It’s a pretty good sign. That’s what we were — CBS was like ‘no, you’re not getting a full season — just kidding! This was the plan the entire time because we knew you were that good!’ (laughs.) That’s how I’m feeling.

Do you get to do a lot of undercover stuff this season? I’m sure that’s fun as an actor — you kinda get to play a few different characters while also still working with the same people!

This season I’ve gotten to speak Portuguese, I did a big ‘ol chunk of German earlier this year — I was a Russian cop the other day (laughs). It’s so much fun. We get to do so many different things this season.

I know over on Hawaii Five-0 we’ve seen Alex [O’Loughlin] do some directing. Is that something that you’ve been looking at or thinking about?

It’s one of those things where I don’t think I ever would unless it’s two seasons from now. I’d want to be really prepared. The crew really wants me to direct — the camera crew have been like ‘we’ll walk you through the stuff you don’t think you’re confident in.’ Even Ian Cusick was like ‘you’re going to be fine. I did it twice on [The 100].’

It’s something that I’ve thought about, but it’s a lot and when I’m on hiatus, the last thing I’m doing is thinking about work (laughs). You’d have to shoot your episode first so you could prep it right off the bat, and that would require some extra prep time.

Related News Be sure to get more news on what’s coming up!

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