USA’s hot new summer drama Necessary Roughness started strong with one especially key relationship: that of Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) and football coach Matthew Donnally (Marc Blucas). They meet in the pilot episode, a chance encounter in a bar, but they find they have a very real connection. Their night together turns into something a bit more lucrative for Dr. Dani, as she inspires Matthew to bring her aboard the team as therapist to the stars for a particularly troubled played. But ever since that first night, they haven’t quite grown and evolved as a couple as many fans were perhaps assuming. Or perhaps even how the actors were assuming.
“We’ve got to be careful because Dani and Matthew had one night,” Blucas reminded when we caught up with him this morning in Los Angeles. “It was a great night; they got along; [but it was still just one night]. The way that Callie and Marc have always approached it is we’re of this age now…where we’ve met someone we’re interested in and we want to give it a shot. We’re not in love; there’s no scoring. We’ve tried to balance that right, like, those looks of longing are like ‘This is something that could have been great.’ If there’s a moment where she’s having fun with someone else, ‘Damn, that should have been me; we should have given it a shot’.”
But it is not just Dani who may be keeping one eye on her options. In fact, her even doing so is very much a result of the fact that one of Matthew’s exes has come back into the picture. Enter Andrea Anders, who blew into the show as a force to be reckoned with, not only as an actress challenging the others but also as a character challenging Dani to step it up if she really wants something with him.“As we all know, stable relationships on TV are boring,” Blucas laughed. “It’s nice to have to interject an ex or jealousy or bring some other dynamic in. And for me, it’s nice to differentiate those relationships.”
Blucas best describes Anders’ character as a “kind of Kelly Preston type from Jerry Maguire”:
“She’s a balls to the wall, hardcore PR person, and to see she and I communicate at that speed and that level, whereas Dani and Matthew are relaxed and easy and having fun with each other,” he explained.
“It’s nice to mix that up, and that’s what we’ll continue to get to see; it’s the rollercoaster of relationships on the show,” he promised.
Of course Anders isn’t the only thing standing in the way. Craig Bierko will pop back up as more episodes unfold, and undoubtedly he will complicate Dani’s life and any attempt at a new relationship with his bipolar “I want you back/I want to control what you get out of this separation” attitude. But such interpersonal relationship complications make the strongest drama, don’t they?
Necessary Roughness airs on Wednesday nights at 10pm on USA.
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