Previewing PAN AM with guest star Goran Visnjic

Tonight on PAN AM, Kate and Maggie compete for the attention of a man on their plane; while doing so, Kate realizes that the man is involved with her next mission.  The man in question is played by the lovely and charming Goran Visnjic, of ER fame.  To celebrate the start of his four week run of episodes, Goran and I spent some time chatting about why people will love this character and why you should watch PAN AM!

I really enjoy PAN AM, and I wondered what it is that drew you to this character, and why you wanted to be a part of the show?
There are a couple of reasons, I’d say.  Jack Orman and Lydia Woodward used to be writers on ER, and Lydia was actually there when I first landed on ER, so we’ve known each other for a long time.  One thing about PAN AM I could have expected was good writing, and I’d seen the pilot also, and I really loved it.   We’d been talking about the character, and his past, and what they would like to do with me, and this and that, and I was like, you know, this sounds like a pretty good idea.  So I’m here.  I have one more day of filming and I’m done [laughs], my four episodes.

What can you tell us about how the character is introduced and a little bit about the role you’re playing?
He is a diplomat from Yugoslavia, 1963, so he works in UN.  He’s a bit of a traveler I would say.  He goes around many places.  Basically, he and Kate meet on the plane.  On the beginning, he’s a part of her assignment, given by the CIA, but then when she’s done with her part of the assignment, they just kind of fall in love, and they continue to have this relationship.  And later, we’re going to find out, that it wasn’t so simple to begin with.  That it was actually much more there, that he was not just a piece of an assignment, that he actually became an assignment, then things get really complicated.  That’s what we’re going to see in those four episodes.  It’s difficult to tell you more, without giving up too much [laughs].

It’s always hard to strike that balance of how much you can give away and how much you have to keep inside.
Yeah, especially if you have like, 4 episode arcs.  Everything happens quite quickly!

Do you get a chance to interact with the main cast other than Kelli [Garner]?
Christina Ricci and I had a little bit of, maybe a couple of scenes on the beginning of my first episode. Then after that, it’s mostly, the majority of my stuff, actually everything, is with Kelli Garner, who plays Kate.

Is this a character that you could see coming back beyond these four episodes?
I really don’t want to speculate, but you know, I would say it would be very difficult because of how we ended the fourth episode.  You know, but hey, you never know!  It’s TV! [laughs]

Why do you think that viewers might respond well to your character?
I don’t know if they will or not [laughs].  Thank you for that, and I hope that they are going to respond to the character.  He kind of ends up being a tragic character.  I can tell you this.  They’re going to fall in love, and something’s going to happen that is bigger than them, that they are going to have to consciously decide that they’re not going to see each other again.  And I think that’s what makes it sad, because you see that these two people are really right for each other.

Why do you think now is a good time to get involved in PAN AM?
I liked the pilot, I was hooked up from the beginning.  I can say, show to show will get even more interesting.  We’re introducing some new elements, and it was just the beginning.  They’re getting a hold of everything.  You can see on the sets, also.  It’s like, they started with these extremely long days, and now they’re getting into the groove.  I think that there are many interesting things to come.  But then again, I kind of feel really bad about saying “you should watch the next episode because I’m there” [laughs]. But I know that my first episode is definitely interesting.  It was interesting for me reading it, it was interesting for me acting in it, so I can say if I was interested, maybe you will be too! [laughs]

What else beyond PAN AM do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
I had a small part in the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” David Fincher’s movie, and that’s coming out around Christmas, I think.  Then I did the movie called “K-11” with Jules Stewart.  That’s coming up.  I think we’re going to go to Berlin in February.  I don’t know when that will have an opening, but they’re in editing right now.  So those are the things I did.  What’s coming up for right now?  I wouldn’t go into that.  It’s kind of like unsure.

Is there a role that you could envision that would bring you back to TV?
Honestly, I love to work on TV. It gives you continuity.  I’ve raised in theater all my life, I’ve worked really, a lot, we worked kind of every day.  Every night you’re going to have the show, every day you have rehearsals, so you work every day.  I don’t like, doing like 2 months of hard work on a movie, and then you have like, 2 months off or something like that.  It’s kind of too crazy for me; too many ups and downs.  This crazy TV work, 5 days a week, and then 2 days off, and you have your summer vacation, and you keep going back.  I think for something like that, the show needs to be extremely good and interesting.  That’s difficult to find something, like ER was.  I would definitely love to be on a show.  It just needs to be something that I would feel passionate about, and I would get up every morning, 2 hours before I’m supposed to get up [laughs], to go to work!