Who’s ‘Smash’s’ Devilish Director Based On?

at 9:50 pm | By

McPhee on 'Smash' S2
Things are looking up for Karen according to the actress.
Jack Davenportstars as Derek Wills, the seductive director/choreographer on NBC’s Smash and promises an explosive second season for the show.

“There are lots of cop shows and medical shows, but there’s only one show on TV about Broadway,” Davenport t0ld Celebuzz. “And that’s clearly what people come for, so why not double down on that? In many ways, we’ve done that literally, because now there are two musicals, not one. Broadly speaking, we’re giving more of what people want, we hope.”

So does that mean the snappy director will finally get his own time in the spotlight?

“Without being too specific, some of Derek’s more questionable interpersonal techniques may come back to haunt him in no uncertain terms,” the actor teased. “What has been interesting is playing a character whose job it is to essentially appear invulnerable, becoming really quite vulnerable at times, so that’s been kind of great.”

The 39-year-old actor also said that Derek is not based on any one director, explaining, “If I did, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now, I’d be in court!” Rather his diva antics are “possibly filched from one or two directors” that he has worked with.

That would definitely not include the late Anthony Minghella who directed him in The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Matt DamonJude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

“That movie does stand up, doesn’t it? It’s a beautiful film to look at. Also, that film represents the only time in my life I’ll be able to say, ‘I was in a film and had a bigger part than Philip Seymour Hoffman.’ It didn’t really work out for him, but that’s OK,” he joked.

Davenport’s father, Nigel, is also an actor and he says that being surrounded by thespians as a child influenced his career choice. “Both my parents did the responsible thing at the time, which was to slightly warn me off it because it’s not the easiest life,” he said.

“It’s not coal mining, but it has its moments. In truth, I was surrounded by a lot of actors as a kid. I was always beguiled by this unpatronizing, playful group of people. I just wanted to be in that tribe really. I wish I could pretend it was burning ambition, it wasn’t and it still isn’t. I wanted to be in that tribe and now I just want to remain a member of that tribe, that’s it really.”

You may also recognize the actor from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy in which he played Commodore James Norrington.

“It was a lot of fun,” he remembered. “It was a pretty mad ride because it sort of represents the last moment when movies were made like that. 700 of us flew to the ends of the earth for years and blew sh** up, big things, and now they do it all on computers.”

Back on dry land, the married father of one is relishing playing the resident bad boy of Broadway.

“The devil always gets the best tunes!” he laughed.

Smash airs Tuesdays at 10PM on NBC.

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