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Polished Edge: Dennis Quaid of ‘Vegas’ on CBS
Q: Your character is based on a real, living person. Does that make it more important to get it right?
A: It does up the stakes, because I have played so many real people who were still living at the time, like Gordo Cooper in “The Right Stuff,” and in “The Rookie,” Jim Morris was a real guy, and Bill Clinton. I think I’ve played about 10 of those, and I’ve always sought (the real people) out. If someone was doing my story, I’d want them to get it right. That doesn’t mean they have to sugarcoat the truth, but I want to capture the essence of somebody and tell the story from their point of view.
Q: “Vegas” is set in 1960. Are you having any nostalgic jolts?
A: Yeah, it’s mainly things like the (rotary) dial phones instead of cellphones and the cars and the way the houses were furnished back then. That brings up memories of my childhood, because I lived through all that. And it’s in the police work as well. It’s not as forensically driven. This is a show about basic, old-fashioned police work.
Q: This is your first TV series role. Is it challenging to do an open-ended story?
A: It’s changed the way I build the character. You just have to relax and let it unfold slowly. Even before I took the role, I felt good about everyone being on the same page in terms of where we wanted the character and the show to go.
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