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Who He Is: The star of ABC's critically acclaimed dramedy Pushing Daisies, Lee Pace is best known so far for his work as Jaye's big brother on Wonderfalls, an earlier show from Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, and for his turn in the Showtime film Soldier's Girl.
Where to Meet Him: I've been talking about Pushing Daisies nonstop since spring, but if you haven't been paying attention, it's the story of Ned, a gentle pie baker who just so happens to be able to resurrect the dead. Unfortunately, his power comes with strings attached, and as a consequence, he is forever forbidden to touch the love of his life: a girl named Chuck (Anna Friel). She was dead once, you see, and he brought her back to life by his magic touch, and should he ever touch her a second time, she would die forever, never to return. Ah, the road of TV love never did run smooth.
Why You'll Love Him: Read the Q&A below, and check out the video from my Pushing Daisies set visit (where I'm in partial dead-body makeup for a guest spot), and you'll know why you'll love him! He's smart, sweet and thoughtful, not to mention dead sexy. Read on, and if you fall head over heels, don't say I didn't warn you!
How did you get involved with Pushing Daisies?
I've been doing movies for the past five years, and I wasn't really looking at doing television until this year, but I did work with Bryan Fuller on Wonderfalls, and I heard through the grapevine that Bryan Fuller had a new show, so I got a script from the manager. I read it, and I thought, this is actually really, really good. Then I talked to Bryan, and he told me, "You know, I kind of wrote the character with you in mind." And I was like, Oh, wow, that's never happened before.
That's so amazing.
Ned reads like the way I speak; we have the same speech patterns. So, I called my agents and my manager and I said, "I think this is really worth doing."
So, they fought you, or you fought them, or both?
Both. I remember one of them saying, "Doing television right now would be a deeply regrettable move." I just kept thinking, You know, if I'm tied up not doing movies for six years that means the show is a massive hit. And if that's the problem I'm dealing with six years from now, then I'll take it. I'll take it. But what really kind of tipped the scale is that it's good. Barry Sonnenfeld is directing it!
And the cast is great.
Every element has fallen into place. Everyone on the cast and crew gets along really, really well, we enjoy working together.
This show is love!
It's about love and life. It's about someone who can bring people back to life, but who can also inadvertently kill people. What I think we're going to see Ned gain through the course of the series is an appreciation for how good it is to be alive. That's the addition that Chuck makes to his life—it's good to be alive, it's good to be out of the Pie Hole, solving these cases. He learns how good life can be, how important this gift is.
—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin