For seven years on MEDIUM, Allison Dubois, played by Patricia Arquette, has seen and heard dead people, an ability she’s used to help the Phoenix, Arizona district attorney’s office. Her three young daughters all share some version of her gift. The only person in the household who doesn’t have psychic qualities is husband and father Joe Dubois, played by Jake Weber. Joe may at times be bewildered, skeptical or even totally exasperated, but he is unshakably loyal and loving, attributes that have had the character rated in multiple polls as one of the best spouses on TV.
MEDIUM spent five years on NBC, ending on a cliffhanger on both sides of the camera before the series was picked up by CBS for another two seasons, which will come to an end this Friday night. This interview with Weber was conducted when it was not known whether an eighth season might be forthcoming. The actor, whose film career includes starring roles in U-571, WENDIGO and the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, sounds philosophical in any case.
ASSIGNMENT X: Was everyone at MEDIUM on pins and needles about the seventh-season renewal, or did you have a good feeling?
JAKE WEBER: No, every year it’s always been a question mark, and this was no different. I’m happy to be back. It always seems to be a drama – a friend of mine said his favorite soap opera on TV was the renewal of MEDIUM the year before, when we switched networks.
AX: Your character Joe has gone through an awful lot on the work front. He had some very funny, surprising interactions with his increasingly unhinged immediate supervisor.
WEBER: Oh, yeah, Joel Moore [as Keith Bruning]. He’s a very good actor, he does a lot of work, he was in AVATAR. I liked working with him – he’s fun to work with. He’s a funny guy and he likes to improv, which I like to do.
AX: Do they let you know when Joe has a big B storyline arc coming up?
WEBER: It just varies on the storylines that [creator/executive producer] Glenn [Gordon Caron] is coming up with. It’s not like sometimes they want to do more for Joe and sometimes they want to do more for Scanlon – it’s just how things happen in the imaginative process of the writers. I don’t think there’s a real design to it. I think it’s more just random, honestly.
AX: Now, there have been a couple of episodes where Allison has either died or been comatose –
AX: As you know. Do you try to change up Joe’s reactions?
WEBER: Everything that could possibly happen to this woman has happened. I think they do a pretty good job of giving her new afflictions. But certainly, it’s not Joe’s first rodeo [laughs]. He’s been in that arena a couple of times. As I say, I don’t think they sort of repeat themselves as they find new weird things, like one time she can’t hear, then the next time, she can’t see without glasses. It is turning a little bit into a Monty Python sketch, though [laughs]. But they’ve always done a good job of imagining new scenarios for her.
AX: And the young actresses playing the three Dubois daughters are getting taller and taller. Are the twins Madison and Miranda Carabello still sharing the role of youngest girl Marie?
WEBER: Yes. They’re eight years old now. Those kids are great. We’ve grown up together. They were two years old when we started. For as long as they can remember, we’ve been all hanging out, so we’re close. They’re like my little surrogate kids.
AX: Has that been good preparation in any way for being an actual parent?
WEBER: Oh, yeah, I guess they came along before my boy did. Oh, it’s all the same, it’s kids. You play with them, you tickle them, you goof around with them, you tease them and they’re happy.
AX: Have you talked at all to DAWN OF THE DEAD director Zack Snyder since making the film?
WEBER: No, I haven’t seen Zack since the movie that we did together. I see he’s doing well. His movies are great. I’ve been watching his movies. Zack’s a great guy, he’s a very talented guy. And he’s a good man, too. He’s good to the people he works with.
AX: Anybody you’d particularly like to work with, given your druthers?
WEBER: I just saw John C. Reilly. He did such a good job in CYRUS, and I’ve always thought that he’s fun. He likes to improv, I like to improv – I’d love to work with him one day. I think he’s a terrific actor.
AX: Had you made your peace with the idea of cancellation awhile back?
WEBER: You know what? I have a [real-life] family now. It’s lovely to work with these [MEDIUM] people, [but] there’s a whole world out there. I’m really happy to be in this world [of MEDIUM],, but when this is over, I look forward to trying to get something else.
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CLICK HERE for ASSIGNMENT X’s exclusive interview with the MEDIUM girls – Sofia Vassilieva, Maria Lark and Madison & Miranda Carabello
CLICK HERE for ASSIGNMENT X’s review of the MEDIUM Series Finale