LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION is now streaming its first eight episodes (the second part of Season 1 is due later) on both the free IMDB TV streaming service and on Amazon Prime.
LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION is a sequel series to the 2008-2012 LEVERAGE, in which former insurance investigator Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton) brings together a team of other types of criminals – con artist, hacker, thief, hitman – to take down rich bad guys and make recompense to those who have been harmed.
In LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION – like LEVERAGE, created by Chris Downey and John Rogers, and executive-produced by Dean Devlin – Nate passed away a year earlier, but the rest of the gang is back.
Beth Riesgraf plays agile master thief Parker, who wound up romantically involved with expert hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) by the end of the original LEVERAGE. In LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION, the pair are still together, but Alec is so legit these days that he’s got to go overseas to supervise large-scale efforts to help the poor.
To fill the computer needs of the team, Alec brings in his younger foster sister, Breanna Casey, played by Aleyse Shannon. Techno whiz Breanna idolizes Parker, and has respect for fellow original group members, master of disguise Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) and topnotch fighter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane). Like them, Brianna views new ally, lawyer Henry Wilson (Noah Wyle), with a mixture of fondness and skepticism.
Riesgraf also appeared in a recurring role exec producer Devlin’s series THE LIBRARIANS. Other regular and recurring series roles include 68 WHISKEY, CRIMINAL MINDS, COMPLICATIONS, INTRUDERS, and CAPER.
Shannon’s previous work includes starring roles in the remake of BLACK CHRISTMAS and the upcoming BEAUTY, and a recurring character on the reboot of CHARMED.
Riesgraf and Shannon participate in an exclusive Zoom interview to talk about LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION.
ASSIGNMENT X: At the time the original LEVERAGE ended, were you like, “Oh, crap, we want this to continue,” or were you like, “I’m tired of hanging upside-down, give me a break”?
BETH RIESGRAF: We wanted it to keep going! We love this thing [laughs].
AX: Parker continues to do a lot of climbing and hanging upside-down and other physically challenging things, while making it seem completely natural. Have you had to practice getting back into that kind of physicality, or is this something you do recreationally in your spare time?
RIESGRAF: I do sleep like a bat [laughs]. No. I am not shy to say I absolutely have to get back in shape. I do have to practice hanging upside-down, technically, so I don’t burst blood vessels in my face, to be honest. It is a real muscle. I do work out and things like that, but it’s absolutely something that I have to work at getting back in shape for.
AX: And Aleyse Shannon, were you familiar with LEVERAGE before you got involved in LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION?
ALEYSE SHANNON: Ah. I keep saying, it might have been just slightly before my time [laughs]. But it did come together, and Dean showed me on Electric Entertainment’s site all of LEVERAGE, and I gave it a good binge watch. And what a fantastic show. There’s nothing else like it. I was just so in awe of what I was about to do, and the people I was about to work with.
AX: Did you get a chance to sit down with Aldis Hodge and talk about the sibling relationship between your two characters?
SHANNON: Let me tell you something. Aldis Hodge is Bro for real. He is so gracious, and so kind, and he’s been with me every step of the way. I mean, there isn’t an episode that we shot recently that I haven’t been in contact with him, asking him questions about, “What’s the best way,” or “How did you do this before?”, so that I can spin it and put my take on it. So, as much as he is my older foster brother on the show, he is also my older foster brother in real life [laughs].
AX: Did you have to learn how to do anything in order to play Breanna? Did you have to learn how to type faster, or pretend to be different people, the way she does? [laughs] Obviously, as an actress, you pretend to be different people, but with Breanna, you’re sometimes playing the part of someone playing a part …
SHANNON: Yes. Aldis gave me some tips and tricks my first episode. I’ll keep them to myself, but what to type, when you’re typing on a keyboard, and what to look at, and just some angles for my head, and my eyelines, and to really sell it, to look good at it, the way that Hardison nailed it in the original LEVERAGE. So yeah, I got some of the top-secret secrets of Aldis Hodge.
AX: And Parker has a very particular affect. Did you jump right back into her, or did it take a moment to find her again?
RIESGRAF: Yeah. It was interesting, because we didn’t want Parker to lose that side of her, because that’s what makes her Parker, right? And if you try to normalize Parker, it doesn’t work. Parker still is the same character, so I think getting her [back in line with her personality and] my physicality, everything just clicked. But yeah, with the right dialogue, and the right little moments created in the script, it’s so helpful, because I can go in and see something, and because it’s Parker, I can click in and justify why she’s saying and thinking and stabbing and tasering, and it all just kind of comes back to me. But I would say initially, yes, there was a moment of, “Oh, gosh, am I remembering everything to do this?” And then I think everything they give you in the moment is everything. It’s what I can react off of, and the looks that they give me, or props we decide to play with at the last minute, all of it just makes the whole world click back together for me.
Related: ALMOST PARADISE: Dean Devlin on the Season 1 Finale , the Electric Now app, LEVERAGE 2.0 and more
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION: Stars Beth Riesgraf and Aleyse Shannon on the sequel series