If Outlaw's Cyrus Garza is on one side of a case, then best friend Al Druzinsky is on the other — even though they're on the same team. David Ramsey, who plays Druzinsky, tells TVGuide.com that although Garza, played by Jimmy Smits, may be conservative and Druzinsky liberal, the new NBC series is not about Red States vs. Blue States. Ramsey talks about why highly politicized, current legal issues make the show relevant, and how he hopes it'll open up people to conservations.
TVGuide.com: How is Al able to work with Garza when they have opposing views?
David Ramsey: I like to think of him as Garza's liberal voice of reason and, yes, they are best friends and they're on either sides of the fence. But I think what the writers are trying to do is try to find a way where we can get to what's just. Ultimately that's not red or blue, but someplace in the middle. So how does Al wrap himself around that? By knowing that ultimately his best friend wants justice. He believes in his friend's vision, the epiphany he had, the ideas that the justice system in its current state doesn't always work for the little guy. We deal with politics, but you're dealing with politics in two characters that are not politicians. They want to do what's right for the client.
Outlaw's Jimmy Smits pursues — and plays with — justice
TVGuide.com: Last week dealt with immigration law and you have an episode about gay rights coming up. Is it always about hot-button topics?
Ramsey: I think it was deliberate that the writers continue to do these issues because these are the things on people's minds. Particularly when you talk about sexual orientation, race relations, a lot of these things were being talked about in television 20 years ago. Norman Lear was talking about some of this stuff in Maude and All in the Family. Unfortunately, you can't even talk about it now because you're labeled as a bigot; you're labeled as politically incorrect. Hopefully around the water cooler on Monday, people will be talking about the episodes that happened on Friday night. They'll have an intelligent conversation and they might argue like me and Cyrus, but ultimately they'll say, "OK, I understand you a little better." That's the point.
TVGuide.com: What's the message within the case this week?
Ramsey: The problem with the case is a tremendous rush to judgment. The episode is about a mother who's on trial for the death of her child. She doesn't fit the mold of a traditional grieving mother and because she doesn't and because she has stoic reactions she therefore must be guilty. It's about how we spin things from sound bites, a flash of a camera or an interview. You'll be pretty surprised with the outcome.
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TVGuide.com: Will we learn more about Cyrus and Al's friendship history?
Ramsey: You are going to find out more about their childhood relationship, how they grew up, and how his father was a father figure to me as well. He was liberal and I ultimately became a liberal and we were both greatly influenced by his father. You're going to get into a lot of how they came to be.
Outlaw airs Fridays at 10/9c on NBC.