‘MacGyver’ Preview: Henry Ian Cusick on Sword Fights & ‘Lost’ Fans (VIDEO)

If you’re a MacGyver fan patiently waiting for Phoenix Foundation owner Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) to have some romance on the CBS crime drama, the wait is over. On the January 22 quarantine-themed episode, a COVID-related shacking up results in a deeper relationship for Russ and his long-distance occasional fling, Sofia Walker (Camilla Arfwedson).

Check out the exclusive clip from the episode above and, below, our chat with Cusick, who talks Russ’s dynamic with Sofia, shooting an intimate sword fight with COVID safety restrictions, and whether fans from Lost(where Cusick played heroic Desmond Hume) still reach out to him.

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It’s about time Russ had some love in his life.

Henry Ian Cusick: Yes! Russ is getting a romance! Camilla is lovely to work with. She brings something else to the show [as Sofia] in that she’s not all that she seems.

I do prefer the action stuff and running around, and the romance kind of takes you away from all that, but — the stuff that I’ve shot with Camilla will intertwine action and romance. Of course with Russ, it’s not just going to be romance. There’s always going to be humor in there because he can be so, what’s the word? Buffoonish?

Do you think viewers will look at Russ differently now that he’s involved with someone?

You did get a taste of it last season in a flashback episode with a girl he went to see, and Russ has dropped lines that he’s been married more than once. But he’s certainly the older character in the show so, is this his last hope at a full fledged, proper settling down romance? I don’t know. I doubt it, but I’m thinking that he thinks that, so that could be interesting.

MacGyver, Henry Ian Cusick


Apparently there’s a sword fighting that happens while Russ and Sofia are in lockdown that has a seductive element to it?

That sword fight was interesting. Because of COVID, it just takes up a lot more time [to shoot]. You’re testing and cleaning and resetting and everything just takes a lot of time with filming. They wrote it and the director said, “We’re going to cut it because it’s just going to take up too much.” We kind of fought for it and I’m so glad that that sword fight was back in. It just makes it a little bit more sexy, and Camilla’s character is aristocratic so it brings that element to it.

What draws Russ to Sophia?

They’ve been longtime friends and have been having these long-distance flings. So they meet up and hook up for a couple of days and that’s all the relationship was. Now with the quarantine episode, it’s more about, “Well, we’ve been together for a month now and we get on really well. How far are we going to take it?” Also in that episode, I get to play a musical instrument, which is great.

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Which instrument?

The drums, so that’s quite fun.

Your former Lost co-star, Jorge Garcia, is guesting in the episode that airs on February. Do you still hear from Lost fans?

Oh, for sure. I have some Lost fans that came with me to The 100 and then came with me to MacGyver. Coming to The 100 was an easy switch from Lost because they’re similar shows, but MacGyver is a big jump, so I’m very grateful, But, especially now during COVID, MacGyver is such a fun show to watch.

MacGyver, Fridays 8/7c, CBS.