Keith Carradine has had a long and illustrious career that spans stage, screen, and radio, not to mention an Academy Award for best original song (“I’m Easy” from the film “NASHVILLE”). Recently, we’ve seen him grace our TV screens with guest starring roles on DAMAGES, DEXTER (I will always miss Lundy), DOLLHOUSE, and, personal favorite DEADWOOD.
This season, he’s lending his skill to ABC’s MISSING – as Martin, the voice of reason in Becca Winstone’s life. Martin leant Becca his shoulder to cry on when her hubby Paul “died” those years ago, and acting as her mentor, and the godfather of missing son Michael. But something funny happened on the way to the resolution of last week’s episode – Martin was revealed to be Suspect Zero, the head of a spiraling conspiracy that not-dead Paul has been working to unravel for years, and because of whom, Becca is running for her life.
To celebrate that reveal and what’s coming up in the next few episodes of MISSING, I chatted with Keith and he offered up some teases about why it’s the time to tune in!
What a great reveal at the end of the last episode!
What was it about MISSING that set it aside for you, and made you want to be a part of the show?
The people involved. That’s really what it comes down to for me. I read the pilot script, and I thought it was extremely well written. As you might have noticed, my character wasn’t in the pilot much. But, I did have a chat with Gregory Poirier, who is the writer of the [show], and when he and Gina Matthews, they explained to me who my character was, who he was going to be, I said, yeah, okay, count me in. It’s all about whom you are working with, and the material, first and foremost. The fact that we were going to shoot in the Czech Republic, that was certainly an enticement. Although, I’ve done my share of traveling. I mean, I filmed a lot in Europe in the 70s and 80s, so that is not new to me, although I’ve never filmed in the Czech Republic, I had never been to Prague. The main thing to me was the design of the piece, and what I thought would be the fun of playing this guy Martin Newman.
I love that you did have the idea that Martin wouldn’t be what he seems from the beginning. Did you know on that level of detail, what exactly was the plan, from the beginning, or just a vague idea that he was a good guy gone rogue?
Oh yeah, they told me the first day I walked onto the soundstage in Prague. I had a thumbnail sketch of who he was, but where the story was going to go, and who it would be revealed that he truly is. They shared that with me on my first day, so that I would be able to participate in designing how to play the guy, so that was fun.
Each episode seems to ramp up the tension, there is so much already revealed. With this big reveal at the end of the episode, how does it push the storyline forward, for Becca, for Martin?
The stakes are going to continue to rise. As it becomes more apparent, how much is in fact at stake, and who is in control of what, and why, then I think the tension will continue to go up. I think it’s going to be very entertaining for the viewers, to see how things unfold and how it ends. More and more, it becomes apparent that no one is who anyone thinks they are.
Has it been discussed where the story can go beyond the end of this season, and how it can change to go beyond this?
Well, that’s a fascinating question, isn’t it? One has to consider, all the characters involved, and who will still be there at the end of the 10th episode. I think it’s been very interesting to watch Michael’s development. To see him becoming, really coming into his own manhood, from being a young, sort of innocent young man in Europe, to the person he’s becoming as a result of this experience, and I think that’s going to leave a lot of room for a continuing story.
The scene from last week’s episode, “Answers,” where Becca realizes that Martin is not who he said he is.
Why do you think this is a show that is one worth catching up on, or worth sticking with, through the end of 10 episodes?
Well, I think it’s incredibly suspenseful. I think people are fascinated; they want to know how it turns out [laughs]. It’s a classic adventure tale, in that way. It’s a tale of international intrigue. I just think it’s masterfully written, and incredibly well thought out. I have friends who have been emailing me and asking me questions I won’t tell them, and they’re mad at me because they really want to know. I think it’s working on so many levels that people want to stay tuned and see what’s up.
What else do you have coming up for you beyond MISSING?
Right now, I’m working on a new musical piece. We’re actually in performance at the La Jolla Playhouse down near San Diego. It’s called “Hands on a Hardbody,” about a marathon contest to win a pickup truck that used to take place at a dealership in Texas, and Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio, and Doug Wright have written this really terrific musical. We’re in previews now, and it has every chance of winding up in New York.
I’m always fascinated when I read your bio – music, art, stage, and screen. Is there a medium that you’re drawn to, or is it a situation where you just love it all?
I do love it all! I’m a peripatetic, with work, I suppose. Music has always been a part of my life, as a song writer and a guitar player, singer, that’s always a part of my life, so every chance that I have to do that professionally, is certainly enticing for me. The main thing is story-telling. There are a lot of different ways to go about that. I do love live performance; I’ve tried to get back to the theatre on a regular basis. I do love filmmaking. I love the process, and the experience of working with a family of filmmakers on any given project, because that’s what happens – you do become a sort of instant family through the course of working on something. Listen, I have no complaints! It’s been a great life, and I look forward to whatever’s next!
MISSING airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Tune in tonight for an all new episode that further explores what on earth is going on, and why Michael is so important. Check out more information about MISSING at ABC.com.