For Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton, the opportunity to live in New York City was one of the biggest selling points of starring in the new NBC thriller "Blindspot."
"I love the fact that it's somewhere to settle for more than a few months," the 38-year-old actor says. "In previous jobs, it's sort of fly in and spend a couple of months there and then fly out, whereas here, the job is to settle into a city for quite some time.
"Due to the success of the show, that's going to be a lot more time," he continues. "To settle in somewhere and explore this awesome city is a great feeling."
The series is built around a mysterious amnesiac woman (played by Jaimie Alexander), found in Times Square, who is covered in tattoos. One of the tats on her back says the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller (played by Stapleton), and her tattoos are clues to a crime for the agency to solve each episode.
amNewYork spoke with Stapleton about the show.
What drew you to the show, and how did you build your character?
What drew me to this show is the script. The script was awesome, written by Martin Gero, who created the show, and it's a great introduction to these FBI agents, and obviously my character isn't just your typical sort of straight-up FBI agent. There's a lot of layers to him, obviously that connection to the first case, finding Jane Doe in Times Square, his name in a tattoo on her back. And it's set in New York, it's shot in New York, so it was kind of a win-win situation for me.
How do you relate to Kurt?
We're both just focused on work, he's very serious at his job and it means a lot to him, and it's sort of the same for me. I like that he can be just so serious and so focused at work and enjoys being part of a team. I guess we both like the teamwork.
The show is built around all these tattoos. Do you have a favorite tattoo?
Yeah, the one on my arm. [laughs]
What is that one?
It was from a film I did years ago, called "Animal Kingdom," and that was down my arm in [the film]. ... It says "animal kingdom," but in Thai.
The show very quickly got an extension for a full season run. What does it feel like to know that there's the security?
It's an awesome feeling, mate. To see the support that NBC and Warner Bros. put into this show, and then the promotion, it was so great, but it was kind of nerve-wracking. It made me excited and nervous, it's sort of a huge commitment on everyone's part when you see yourself going by on buses or in cabs or whatever. We hoped that the show is received just as well, and it was. To hear that people are enjoying it as much as we enjoy making it, it is a great feeling.
Was it hard to learn an American accent?
No, I just learned how to go in and out of speaking American.
Do you find that Americans do a lot of bad Aussie accents? Like Crocodile Dundee?
Probably. Yeah, I do. [laughs] I've heard a couple of Americans try a few words here or there, but I haven't heard anyone able to fully slip into a full Aussie accent yet. That's a good challenge
On TV: "Blindspot" airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC/4.