Aaron Tveit Previews Mike's Season Two Return to 'Graceland'!
The 30-year-old actor stars in the addicting USA drama, which kicks off its second season tonight, as FBI rookie agent Mike, who is quickly making his way up the chain of command, much to his roommates’ chagrin.
We recently caught up with Aaron on set where he shed some light on season two, including Mike’s much-anticipated (and not so smooth) return to Graceland, as well as his oh-so-obvious chemistry with Paige. Check it:
Graceland returns on Wednesday, June 11 @ 10PM on USA!
In case you missed it, check out all our interviews with Aaron‘s cast mates too!
JustJared.com: We know that Mike is in D.C. at the start of the episode. What else can you say about where it picks up?
Aaron Tveit: We pick up in an interesting place. As you saw at the end of [season one], Mike goes back to D.C. and I think it’s a couple months later. and Mike’s been working in this job, and he’s back on the track that I think he thought he wanted to be on — this fast track to upper management. I think he’s starting to deal with hitting some bumps in the road and seeing that D.C. is more of a bureaucratic place than necessarily one where he can go out and get his hands dirty and make things happen. So I think he’s more frustrated by that.
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with Aaron Tveit…
JustJared.com Interview – Aaron Tveit
I think right where we pick Mike up there, he’s at a very crucial point where he’s starting to question this time in Washington D.C. and then he gets this call at the perfect moment. He says basically, “The cartel that we were looking at has a hit out on you. Can you come out and we can try to draw these guys out so we can take them down?” At the same time, I’m also working on this hunch that I have in Washington about contraband coming across the border on these buses, so I say, “Well, I guess I can come out there and look further into that,” while I’m also seeing Briggs and seeing everyone. And so I walk back into the house, obviously it’s a very different situation than last year when I came in. I was the new guy and everyone treated me as such. Over the trial by fire in the first season, I’m walking in a very different agent and person. So all of the relationships are in a very different place than they were last year, and I think we all have to figure out in the first few episodes how we fit in with each other. So that makes a very interesting dynamic besides this whole case that happens, is we have to figure out where we all stand with each other a little bit.
JJ: Can you talk a little bit about where Mike and Paige are? We saw them kiss in the finale…
AT: Yeah, at the end of the season it was definitely left…we had just kind of gotten to that place where we might have acknowledged that. We kiss kind of in the heat of the moment. And then we were thrust apart for a few months, and so yeah, that’s definitely one of the relationships walking back into the house I think I have no idea where it is or how it’s going to play. And it definitely evolves, you know, it moves toward that in the first first episodes. Without giving too much away…
JJ: Serinda told us that you get together and you’re working together more.
AT: Yes. This whole human trafficking case, it’s basically this big overall bus case that happens. It’s this corridor of contraband coming across the border through passenger buses. That’s kind of the main case in the first half of the season that we’re working on. And there’s an element to it that these girls come in who are also getting sold into human trafficking, so that’s her thing at the beginning of it. So I’m working with her closely on that because it overlaps with this case that I’m overseeing. So, yes, we’re put in a close working situation and of course, with those kind of feelings, things happen.
JJ: The new roommate comes in at the beginning and then Mike comes back. How does everyone handle that? Is there any distrust with him?
AT: Yeah, I think. I don’t know if they even trust me. After everything last year and the fact that I was there seemingly as a new person in the house, but really there to investigate someone in the house. I don’t know if anyone really trusts me, and I think that that’s OK. I think Mike’s used to that, and I don’t know — I just always get the sense that he works very well under pressure. So I think he may kind of feed off of that and use that to his advantage a little bit. But, yeah, the relationships are definitely strained. Where things left off with Briggs, I turned my back to that even though everything’s really up in the air, I think I know a lot of facts about what happened. So that’s there.
And with Charlie, I said it to Vanessa, it’s almost like if Charlie and Mike at the end of the season had just had a conversation about Odin and everything that was going on, I feel like they would have filled in each other’s blanks, but they never had that conversation. And now, of course I walk through the house and I don’t know if they gave this away, but Charlie and Briggs are together! So I’m kind of looking at them like, “Are you guys serious right now?! OK, I’m going to leave that alone!” And there’s a truly great dynamic again with Jakes because I feel like our scenes last year were always tension-filled, and I have a lot of scenes with him.
And then with Johnny, I end up challenging him even though I don’t necessarily intend to. So we get off on the wrong foot. So I basically walk in and get off on the wrong foot with everyone in the house (laughs)! Except for Paige, which I think Mike’s good at that. He doesn’t really know how not to do that to people, so it’s a really interesting dynamic.
JJ: Has Mike’s morals and motives changed? You said that he’s kind of become more like Briggs. Is he lying to his friends?
AT: Yeah, yeah. I guess that’s another thing that I’ve had to deal with. In a way, as an actor, whenever I had teachers, you always have to make positive choices as an actor, even when you’re playing someone who may not be doing the best things. You have to go in from the standpoint of, “This is for something.” Mike is really manipulative and puts people that he really cares about in not great situations. Maybe lying to them to get them into that. So that’s definitely where we’re going this year, and there’s a little bit of — I think he has a real dose of hero complex in thinking that he is kind of this hammer of the law a little bit, and he can kind of do anything he wants, no matter who it hurts, as long as it’s putting the bad guys away. He’s really on one with that a little bit, so that’s been very interesting to play with this year.
JJ: This recording that exists, Mike knows that there may be something incriminating on it. Does that come to light? Does that make him treat Briggs differently?
AT: Yeah. I think that’s definitely something that shades everything. There was a scene that ended up being cut out of the end of the finale episode. At the very end of the episode, before I went to D.C., at the bonfire when everyone kind of says “Congratulations.” Briggs and I stepped away and I basically said to him, “Don’t say anything. Do not even react. But I’m pretty sure that you’re Odin, I don’t know what happened with Juan, we’re going to figure this out later.” So that was a very crucial thing that I think will come up again, but basically is the crux of…I think I know what happened. And now especially with these new glasses that I’m looking at everything, I think I understand what he did and why he did it, that it wasn’t a malicious endeavor. But that tape is out there and it’s going to rear its ugly head at some point — we just don’t know when.
JJ: Briggs is trying to turn over this new leaf. Is Mike buying it?
AT: I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t think I’m buying it. The first episode I walk in, and you’ll see, the first moment that I have alone with Charlie, even after I see them, I’m like, “What’s up with him? What is he doing? What is this?” And because they’re in a relationship, her judgment is a whole different thing. And even after that, I say, “OK, OK,” and I leave it alone for a while. But where we are now, that’s kind of where it’s starting to happen again. But yeah, episode six, he and I do some not great things, but it’s interesting.
JJ: Would you say that Mike endures as much trauma as he did in season one?
AT: Yep. In a way, I would think because of the people involved, that ultimately it’s even more so. And some of it’s his fault, so it’s even — it’s difficult. It’s very difficult.