If William Fichtner is playing a hero, there has to be a catch.
Famously edgy in the series “Prison Break” and such movies as “Heat” and “The Perfect Storm,” the actor is having a big summer professionally. Besides appearing in two of its biggest films — “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — he has the central role in “Crossing Lines,” an internationally flavored NBC crime drama premiering Sunday, June 23.
With “Criminal Minds” and “Third Watch” veteran Ed Bernero as an executive producer, the show casts Fichtner as a disgraced and drug-addled New York cop-turned-operative for the International Criminal Court, pursuing felons on a global scale.
“It was not an easy decision,” Fichtner tells Zap2it of signing up for the series, despite perks that included the chance to work with fellow “Crossing Lines” star Donald Sutherland.
“I’d been traveling back and forth to every movie location in the American Southwest, and I read episodes 1 and 2 of this and thought, ‘This is very good.’ It seemed modeled on when the FBI was beginning, when criminals were going over state lines, and they were being chased like in the old Bonnie and Clyde days. That really was how the FBI began: ‘We need [a unit] that can go across borders.’ “
The fact “Crossing Lines” would shoot in Europe “was as much a life decision as it was a work decision,” notes Fichtner, who’s been making next summer’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie reboot since.
“I sat down with my wife and said, ‘Listen, this isn’t like I’m going to Santa Fe for a couple of weeks, then I’ll be back for another couple of weeks. If I’m doing this, we’re all going.’ My older son happened to be doing a semester in Prague — I told him, ‘Just come over for dinner once a week’ — and I had a much better time with my whole family there.”