The new NBC drama “Deception” has brought together three Louisiana actors sharing the screen for the first time.
Baton Rouge-raised Wes Brown plays Julian Bowers; New Orleans-born Katherine LaNasa, who also grew up in Baton Rouge, portrays his stepmother, Sofia Bowers; and veteran actor, Emmy winner and New Orleans native John Larroquette is Sen. Dwight Haverstock, former best friend of family patriarch Robert Bowers.
“It’s a lot of fun. We get to have our Louisiana speak, you know, that no one else gets but us,” Brown said Jan. 25 from New York. “We’ve talked about places we’ve eaten in Louisiana, things we’ve gotten to do, things we would like to do. We talk about the Saints and LSU, and that’s been a lot of fun, because when you kind of look at it as a whole, there’s not that many people in this industry from our state, compared to other states. So to have three on the show, sometimes in scenes altogether, it’s pretty neat.
“We shoot in Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Long Island. We’re filming the season finale right now,” Brown said.
Debuting as a mid-season show Jan. 7, the show’s fifth episode will air Monday, and there will be a total of 11 episodes this season, Brown said.
The drama revolves around “the Bowers family dynasty through the opulent world of excess and scandal in which they live, starting with the death of the family’s eldest daughter, Vivian Bowers,” according to NBC’s website. Vivian was the heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire, and her death leaves many questions.
Meanwhile, there’s more to Julian Bowers, Vivian’s brother, than meets the eye, Brown explained.
“He is the heir to this multibillion dollar company, and he does have a party streak about him. It starts in a way that he seems just like he’s, everything’s in it for himself, everything’s in excess — the partying, everything that comes with all that — but when Joanna (his first love) comes back into his life, he starts to really rethink things. And so there’s a bit of a cat and mouse going on between him and Joanna and then, you know, he’s really trying to dive in and find out what’s going on with Vivian and who can he trust, who can’t he trust, and solving the problems just like everybody else. And the thing that’s most exciting to me is the story blossoms enormously as we go into the first season. It’s not just about who killed Vivian; we dive into many, many different things so it starts off simple, but it has a very complex story as we continue to go along,” he said.
His role in “Deception” has also been a coastal change for Brown, who lives in Los Angeles, but has been relocated to The Big Apple since August.
Brown, who attended Parkview Baptist and LSU, has one word for living in New York: different.
“I’ve lived in New York, and I’ve had a house right outside the city in Connecticut. It’s just different. I’m not used to this type of cold, it’s 12 degrees right now,” he said. “I like it, but it has a very different energy about it, on the other hand, there’s a lot of concrete, a lot of people, but there’s a lot of good about it too. It’s just so different. You can’t compare it to anything else.”
With family still back in Baton Rouge, Brown said he tries to head South a couple of times a year, but with his schedule of late, that hasn’t been doable.
“I kind of had everybody come up here (for the holidays), because you know, we were in the city and the New England area, it’s just kind of a different experience, so they wanted to do that,” he said.
Brown has had numerous recurring and guest-starring television roles over the last few years, including appearances on ABC’s “Private Practice,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Scandal,” the CW’s “90210” and HBO’s “True Blood.”
“It’s what I’ve been working toward this whole time,” he said. “I’ve wanted to be one of the leads, a main part of a series. Guest stars are a lot of fun, they’re fantastic, but they come and they go, and you make your mark on a show, then on to the next one. This is nice ... to have a home, to have a constant character that you get to work with and develop over a very long time, so that’s been a wonderful part for me.”
Playing Sofia Bowers is the latest in a lengthy list of TV credits for LaNasa, last seen on the big screen in the New Orleans-shot feature comedy “The Campaign,” where she starred as the wife to Will Ferrell’s North Carolina congressman Cam Brady. Also of late, she’s had roles on A&E’s “Longmire,” CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” and “The Defenders” and HBO’s “Big Love.”
Larroquette, who grew up in the 9th Ward, won four Emmys for his role as the sex-obsessed lawyer Dan Fielding on the ’80s NBC comedy “Night Court” and another for his guest-starring role on ABC’s “The Practice.” More recently, he’s starred on ABC’s “Boston Legal” and NBC’s “Chuck,” as well as a stint on CBS’ “CSI: New York.”