On Set: 'Necessary Roughness'
10 things to watch out for in Season 2!
By Minh Nguyen
Special to MSN TV
Recently a group of reporters had the opportunity to join the cast of USA's summer hit show, "Necessary Roughness" on set in Atlanta, Ga, as they started shooting Season 2. The show is centered on a divorced mother of two, Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne), who works as a psychotherapist for the fictional New York Hawks football team. While her primary focus is star player Terrence “T.K.” King (Mehcad Brooks), whom she helps through some psychological issues that affect his game, she gains the attention of other famous athletes seeking her expertise as well.
Golden Globe Nominee Callie Thorne, along with Mehcad Brooks, Scott E. Cohen and Executive Producer Kevin Dowling stopped by to answer questions and talk about the show. Season two of “Necessary Roughness” premieres Wednesday, June 6, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.
Here are the top 10 things we’ll be looking forward to Season 2:
1. Guest stars galore!
Guest stars for season 2 include Evan Handler, Terrell Owens, Amy Sedaris and Gaius Charles (“Friday Night Lights”). Handler is Marshall Pitman, the owner of the New York Hawks in at least a five episode arc who is facing a divorce (think Dodgers-like divorce but maybe worse). Charles is a football player and Amy Sedaris is (rumored) to be Dr. Dani Santino’s rival.
2. Terrell Owens will be back
We thought the worst last season but Terrell Owens (who plays T.K.’s rival Maurice Manningfield) actually won us over with his decent acting abilities. This season T.O. and Mehcad Brooks filmed a food fight scene that had the crew laughing so hard that we can't help but be excited to see it. Brooks says of Manningfield and T.K.’s relationship, “It gets ramped up a lot and then what happens is, it sort of gets rectified all, all in the same swoop. So it’s kind of nice, he becomes likable all of a sudden.” We heard nothing but good things on the set about T.O. so we hope to see even more of him.
3. Scott Cohen the actor versus the director
We’ve seen the veteran actor in many TV roles prior to taking over directorial duties on this episode of the show. Previously we've seen Cohen as Det. Harry Denby on “NYPD Blue," Max Medina on “Gilmore Girls” and now as Nico. Cohen was fully immersed in his directorial duties during our visit. He told us, “When you’re an actor you’re always under pressure just about you and your character, and you don’t see the big picture…and reading the script, this script for this episode, knowing that I was going to do this, it kind of allowed me to see everybody and just be aware of everybody’s situation and have a very kind of equal balanced view of it.” We hope, selfishly, that Cohen will always keep his role as the very mysterious, dependent Nico, but we’re looking forward to seeing his director skills as well.
4. They use real athletes
Those football scenes look so real because they use real football players. EP Kevin Dowling said, “We had 180 people try out to be a "Hawk" and you know they’re former pro players. Former college players, some arena players and we really have been very lucky in finding people who act very real.” The show also expands into recruiting real roller derby women for the upcoming season.
5. The cast and crew work tirelessly to make a great show
The cast and crew work tirelessly filming long days sometimes outside in the heat of Atlanta in the summer, but they the pride they have in the show they are creating keeps them going. Last year they were out in the open at a golf course scene in a very humid 105 degrees filming for fourteen hours. Eight people went to a combined medic/hospital area despite a full supply of Gatorade and neck ice packs at their disposal. We know we couldn’t handle being outside in the heat for that amount of time. They are very proud of their work.
6. Dr. Dani is a real character
There is no question that Callie Thorne is an excellent actor, evident by her recent Golden Globe nomination for the role of Dr. Dani Santino, but what we love about watching her onscreen is she makes Dr. Dani so real and relatable. We saw her fixing her own hair and make-up inside the women’s bathroom and being very down to earth when she was doing her scene. Callie described Dr. Dani Santino, “The character is based on a very strong woman… I’ve always said she’s this force to be reckoned with.” We couldn't agree more.
7. Dr. Dani’s client list will expand beyond the football stadium
Dr. Dani’s client list will expand to outside the football stadium to include a roller derby female client, a bull rider, a baseball player and a spelling bee champion. We also heard they were in talks to have a gymnast and ice skating on the show. Whether it is an ice skater or hockey player remains to be seen.
8. Mehcad Brooks is in better shape than season one
We didn’t think this was possible but Mehcad Brooks told us he had been in a car accident last year and couldn’t work out. Brooks said, “I worked out with some pro guys and pro bowlers, some guys who train Olympians and so I, I just took it really seriously.” We’ll be looking forward to those shirtless scenes T.K. has.
9. Did we mention Mehcad Brooks?
Mehcad Brooks looks great without his shirt but what we loved the most about him was he came in on his day off to talk to us. He was nothing but charming as he described his talent for his gift of catching jelly beans, “I can remember being in elementary school, on the playground, with candy that fell out of somebody’s mouth, with sand all over it, I’d dust it off and I’m like (tossing a fake piece of candy in the air and catching it). And the girls loved it.”
10. Dr. Dani’s love life.
No, Dr. Dani and Hawk trainer Matthew Donally (Mark Blucas), like real life, do not ride off into the sunset. Also, EP Kevin Dowling said of Dani and Nico’s relationship “there are surprises to come between the two of them.”
“Necessary Roughness” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.