A More Confident, Relaxed J. August Richards in 'Notorious'

By Stacy Jenel Smith

October 4, 2016 3 min read

J. August Richards made his first big series splash back in 1999 on "Angel" as the street-savvy vampire hunter Charles Gunn. There've been dozens of roles since then, ranging from Marvel superhero Deathlok ("Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."), to fashion-forward gay dad Ford ("Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce") — to his star turns on "Conviction" and "Raising the Bar."

"The way I feel about it, right now in television you never have to marry yourself to anything too specific," notes the protean actor. "You can completely change."

Richards is changing again, back in the series game in ABC's new crime and legal drama, "Notorious." He plays high-powered defense attorney Bradley Gregorian, who practices law with brother Jake (Daniel Sunjata).

What's different about doing this series from others?

"Experience is truly everything," he says. "I think that how I approach my work, my job and career now is so different from when I was a younger man. I work in a much more relaxed way, a much more confident way."

Toplined by Piper Perabo and Sunjata, "Notorious" is ostensibly based on the synergistic relationship between real life lawyer-to-the-stars Mark Geragos and Wendy Walker, the news producer on "Larry King Live."

It has, however, been called a "Scandal" wannabe that has yet to find its footing. No question, there's a lot of sex and a lot of plot twists.

Richards is still learning about his character, but says he has aready grown a lot since his first introduction: "The guy I auditioned for is night and day from where I am now.

"One of the things I know for certain about him is that he is hell-bent on preserving the family legacy and the family name. He will fight for that. His thinking is, 'We're going to build buildings and create a legacy that lives beyond us.'

"Another thing I find very interesting about him is that his sense of morality is based on relationships. The relationship is more important to him than a distinctive right and wrong. It's about loyalty. I just love his sense of loyalty.

"And I don't know if the writers created it intentionally, but my character is empathetic. He can feel what other people feel."

Whether Richards gets the chance to show Bradley Gregorian's strengths, quirks and intrigues remains to be seen. We hope so.

 Courtesy of Karo McQueen/FanGeek.com

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