‘Whiskey Cavalier’ Star Josh Hopkins on Ray Revealing Darker Side When a Villain Returns
In the short time it’s been on the air, Whiskey Cavalier has established itself as a show that’s part international intrigue, part comedy. The balance is struck well thanks to the cast — led by Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan — being fully capable on both sides of the tonal fence.
But what about Josh Hopkins and his role of FBI Special Agent Ray Price? From the pilot, Ray was always good for spewing some snark and acting as comic relief, but he crossed a line when he slept with buddy Will’s (Foley) girlfriend, Gigi. And while the team has been justifiably cold to Ray, he’s slowly wearing them down… or at least he’s trying.
In this week’s episode, we’ll get to see another side of Ray when their boss-turned-villain, Alex Ollerman (Dylan Walsh), returns to shake up Team Whiskey. TV Insider chatted with Hopkins about the international setting for the show (which shoots in cities like Paris, Prague and more) and how it was for him to play another layer of his character.
The show is parts international intrigue with a lot of humor. How has it been for you to step into this character in this particular world?
Josh Hopkins: It’s been a ball. Ray is a specific character and they really let me go kind of wild with it. To start, it’s just so ripe with so much comedy just innately in it because he’s starting in a place where he’s already just in such a bad place to start. So that’s a lot of fun stuff to play.
Going into this week’s episode, how is Ray’s relationship with the Whiskey team? Have they improved or still in a tenuous place?
It’s both. I think that his standing within the group has improved a little bit but he’s still Ray. There’s no getting around it. But he’s definitely won some people over and done some good things but he’s still got a long, long way to go. I think in this episode he makes up a little ground.
Do you think at this point that he’s given up on trying to get Will back in his good graces?
Oh, I don’t think he’ll ever quit trying that, ever! That’s his main goal in life is to be bros with Will again. He’s made a little bit of some strides at least with the other members and maybe if he keeps working Will will come around, we’ll see.
It’s not Christmastime in this episode but the gang is celebrating Christmas. Why now?
Yeah, they call it Spy Christmas because spies never get to have a Christmas party and do stuff like that because they’re all busy especially around that time and they’re out of the country. So when things calm down, they have like a Christmas party in the middle of summer.
Ray seems to be in the holiday spirit. He seems very happy about this.
I think Ray likes anything where you might be able to drink at work. [Laughs]
And Dylan Walsh is back as the big bad we last saw in the pilot. Safe to say Ray (and the team) won’t be real happy when he finds out he’s around again?
Ray is none to happy to hear that he’s alive and is looking forward to seeing him again. It’s fun to watch Dylan Walsh. He’s so good and to come play this part the way he does because it can be very mustache twisting. It’s over the top a little bit but he’s so good at it. He made it to where Ray was like, “You know, I do want to kick his ass. I really do.”
You also get to play Ray a little differently in this episode because we see his darker side here. How was that to play?
I love Ray and I love playing Ray. It was great to actually see some different sides to him and get to play some more serious actually very angry emotional sides of Ray and not just the pathetic sides of Ray. That was fun.
Is this episode a sign that maybe moving forward we might see him in the field a bit more?
His role is definitely growing and expanding and they’re starting to see little ways that he can be of use even out on the road and in the field, as they might say. That he’s got some things that can be helpful. When they’re short, there’s always Ray there.
How is his relationship with Susan (Ana Ortiz)? They’ve definitely played up a lot of the tension between the two of them given she’s very protective of Will.
In this episode he does a lot to ingratiate himself towards her. He helps her out quite a bit and they get to all see that he’s not just a bumbling idiot. Susan has been probably the most welcoming from anybody so she’s kind of been a little bit of a liaison so it’s nice that he gets to help her out too.
I’ve talked to Scott and Lauren about filming the first season all over Europe. How was it for you to be overseas for such a good stretch?
In the beginning of the series, Ray is not in it that much [since] he’s working his way back in so I got to travel quite a bit in Europe and take advantage of the good parts about shooting over there. Sometimes you get a little lonely but it’s all in all a pretty great experience.
Whiskey Cavalier, Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC