Tracker star Justin Hartley breaks down the premiere episode

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Tracker star Justin Hartley breaks down the premiere episode

spoiler ALERT! This post contains details of the series premiere Tracker.

Justin Hartley makes his return to network TV with another post-Super Bowl premiere.

After Super Bowl LVIII, viewers will be introduced to Colter Shaw on CBS. Tracker. Colter is a lone-wolf survivalist who roams the country as a bounty hunter, using his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement solve all kinds of mysteries while struggling with his own broken family. helps.

based on the book The Never Game By Jeffrey Dever, Hartley teased to Deadline that the series would deviate significantly from the source material but would maintain the “sensitivity” of the character.

Additionally, the series will serve as a procedural, with Colter taking on new missing persons cases each week as he also grapples with trauma from his past… which is now coming back to haunt him.

Below, Hartley talks with Deadline more about bringing the series to CBS, the difficult circumstances it faced over the past few years to bring it to the small screen, and where he sees it going from here. of.

DEADLINE: I heard you were involved in the pitch for the show. How did you connect with him?

Justin Hartley: [Ken] Olin and I worked together this is us, We were talking about doing something together. We wanted to continue working together even after the show ends. So a year before shooting the last season, or right before shooting the last season this is us, we found this book and we loved the character and we brought it to 20th Place, which is my studio where I have my production company. We pitched him the idea of ​​playing Colter Shaw and having Ken direct and produce with me and he loved the idea. So he said, ‘Okay, let’s go ahead with it.’ We brought it to CBS, and they liked the idea that Ken and I sold it to them on the phone… It’s like, be careful what you wish for, because then all of a sudden we’re like, ‘Okay, now we Will have to be delivered. But I feel like we’re here. We’re almost done with episode six of the first season. I think we have something really unique, great, and entertaining, and I think it’s been well received, and it’s got a lot of places. It has a backstory, and that’s something I’m really proud of. I think it’s special.

DEADLINE: Besides producing, what attracted you to the role?

Hartley: Well, I just love acting. i loved this is us, and I loved working all the time. I think I’ve loved every acting job. So I knew I wanted to continue acting. The show gave me the opportunity to not only do that, but to take on another role as executive producer and have creative input and control. So it’s the best of both worlds. I always like to learn new things. What better way to do this than learning from the best? I mean, I’m taking classes from Ken, and it’s great.

deadline: tracker It definitely has some family drama elements in common this is us, but Colter is a very different character than Kevin. What have you enjoyed about the character so far?

Hartley: It was absolutely amazing. I mean, I enjoyed every second, every frame that I saw this is us, It was amazing. what a trip. Where did that character go, if you think about where we found him and where we left him – talked about a full circle. From a man-child to a fully grown, responsible man. It was really an amazing journey with this character. First of all, just for the sake of selfishness, it’s great to be able to play a different character. As much as I love Kevin…I think it’s great as an actor to play a role that’s completely different. I mean, you’re taking away a lot of things that you’re used to and you’re wearing a lot of things that you’re not used to wearing. I don’t think those two will be friends. You know what I mean? They are very different. But it is fortunate for me that I got a chance to play both the characters. So it was amazing. Needless to say, I wouldn’t ever want to play a character similar to Kevin in the future, but certainly after leaving that show, it’s really an actor’s dream to play a role that is so different. yes.

DEADLINE: How much will the series follow the events of the book it’s based on?

Hartley: Well, we make our own stories. We don’t really tell the story of the book. We are mainly taking the character. And then you have to adopt that character… you have to add and subtract from the character that is in the book. For example, in the book, Colter talks to himself a lot in his head. There are a lot of percentages in his brain. And it’s like, OK, you have to figure out a way to logically figure out what that’s going to look like on camera. I mean, what do you want people watching Colter to think? So do you want internal dialogue to be voiceover? Or do you want to type it on the screen? Or do you want it to be taken for granted? Or do you want to see it in his eyes? How do you want to do this creatively? But his background is still the same, and his sensibilities are still the same. [He] He does his business the same way, but you have to enhance it in other ways to make it suitable for television. So that’s what we did.

Deadline: The percentage thing is interesting. How did you end up on the path he was discussing out loud with the people around him?

Hartley: I think that, if you do it this way, where he’s reciting these numbers to himself, we’re asking the audience to believe him when Colter asks, ‘Just trust me on this. Do it,’ then believe that the person is actually going to do it. Having numbers running through your head…it feels a little like a serial killer. I wouldn’t trust that guy. That man’s work is very strange. Nobody’s counting on you, buddy. You sound weird talking to yourself. You’re running through numbers, you’re running through percentages. What is happening here? It’s very easy for us to say, ‘Okay, look, go here.’ And he is giving information to this person. He is trying to help them. As a viewer it becomes easier for me to believe in him [person] Would trust a man who is taking so much time to explain to her how he can help her or where the danger is, where the dangerous things are. So for me, that sold me on the way that we would deliver all that information.

DEADLINE: We found out in the premiere episode that Colter’s brother is trying to contact her, but we don’t know why. Can you talk about what we might see with that relationship this season?

Hartley: Well, I can tell you that Colter has a lot of questions about his childhood, about his family. And there are a lot of assumptions that he made, throughout the season, that we realized weren’t necessarily true. The questions he has may change depending on new information he either encounters or discovers. Things that don’t add up anymore. It’s going to be a really interesting place. If you’re wondering if your own mother is lying to you about certain things. I’m sure my mom never lied to me about anything [laughs], But this is bad. His brother is responsible for his father’s death. It’s terrible, isn’t it? Nothing is worse than this. Your brother is contacting you and it’s like, ‘Well, why now?’ So we answer all those questions of yours. There is a reward for all that. It’s a slow process, but it means a lot. And that’s certainly very, very beneficial.

DEADLINE: Do you have any roadmap for where the series could go after Season 1?

Hartley: I think it would be fun to see him uncover something that’s a little more than he bargained for. I would like to see Colter in a situation where, as an audience member, you’re afraid for him because he might go over your head. If you can imagine what that could be. With that being said, I think it will be fun to see/and then, she gets some answers and some peace with her past and peace with her family. We have a lot to unpack. If people enjoy watching it, we certainly have stories to tell for years.

DEADLINE: The series is premiering after the Super Bowl, which is a pretty prestigious spot. How did you feel after knowing this?

Hartley: I’m really, really proud, because it’s been years in the making. We went through a pandemic with the show. We went through a writers’ strike with this show and an actors’ strike with this show. We’ve been through a lot with the show. It has lived through them all and flourished through them all. Now we’re not only premiering, but right after the Super Bowl. It’s all worth it. It is truly an amazing feeling. This is my second Super Bowl. So, you know, I get it.

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