Jason O'Mara may have lost his badge when Vegas was cancelled, but he's moved on in a big way. The Irish actor has an arc on The Good Wife starting this Sunday (Nov. 24 at 9/8c on CBS); the starring role in Complications, USA medical drama pilot from exec producer Matt Nix (Burn Notice); and not least, he's Batman in the upcoming animated movie Justice League: War. O'Mara shares his good news with TV Guide Magazine.
TV Guide Magazine: So how thrilled are you to have an arc on The Good Wife?
Jason O'Mara: I've been wanting to be on it since day one. Robert King and Michelle King and I did In Justice for ABC together back in 2006. It was based on the Innocence Project and it's funny, because some of the same themes we dealt with in In Justice — getting a guy off Death Row, immigration — have been coming up on The Good Wife. The Kings called me at the end of August and asked, "Would you come on The Good Wife? We love what you did in The Closer [as serial killer Bill Croelick] and we'd love to do the Irish version of that, someone where you're not quite sure where he stands." I said, "I'll see you in October," and that's what happened.
TV Guide Magazine: You play an obviously slippery lawyer named Damian Boyle on the legal show. Do you get to use your real-life Irish accent?
O'Mara: I do. I think it helps with playfulness. Boyle is an Irish lawyer who's moved to the States. He's pretty shady, perhaps morally comprised. Some might call him a mob lawyer. He's someone who doesn't think twice about using blackmail, bribery or some threatening kind of coercion, to achieve his aims. That why Will Gardner [Josh Charles] wants him at LG. He needs a pit bull.
TV Guide Magazine: What do Diane and Kalinda feel about O'Boyle?
O'Mara: Damian definitely finds himself in between Will and Diane [Christine Baranski] at times. His relationship with Kalinda [Archie Panjabi] is interesting because he really likes her and we're not sure what she really thinks of him. It feels dangerous when they're in a room alone together. He finds that challenging.
TV Guide Magazine: Is there chemistry between Kalinda and Damian?
O'Mara: I would say yes, unreservedly. They're both naughty.
TV Guide Magazine: Besides The Closer, you usually play pretty good guys. Are you having fun with this morally dubious character?
O'Mara: Yes. I don't know what it says about me, but this is where I really thrive. It's not that he's bad, he just likes to get people off their game. Alicia [Julianna
Margulies] falls victim to that, for one.
TV Guide Magazine: How is it working with those amazing actors?
O'Mara: The quality of acting on the show is incredibly high. I had to pinch myself when I shared a scene with all them in a courtroom.
TV Guide Magazine: I hear you'll be in two episodes before the holiday break and one in early January.
O'Mara: Yes, I've just completed shooting my third episode. But I expect to come back in February and do two more that will air in March/April after I shoot my pilot in Atlanta.
TV Guide Magazine: So for a change, in Matt Nix's pilot your character has nothing to do with the legal system, correct?
O'Mara: Yes. John Ellis is an ER doctor. Actually, when I talked to Matt last week, he told me that when the casting director suggested me, he said, 'Nah. That guy just plays cops.'" She showed him some tapes of me in other roles, and he was like, 'Oh, you're right. He can play characters other than cops!" Ellis is getting over a family tragedy and he's become quite disillusioned in his life and his work. He gets involved in a drive-by shooting and the action that he takes brings his life back into focus. It's not Burn Notice, it's really a character drama. It's one of the best scripts I've ever read; I can't wait to get started.
TV Guide Magazine: Are you prepping your doc lingo?
O'Mara: I remember watching Julianna Margulies and George Clooney in ER when I was looking for jobs in London, and thinking, how do they remember that lingo? I could never do that! And here I am.
TV Guide Magazine: You're voicing Batman in the new animated movie, Justice League: War, that's coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, Feb. 4. How did you get into playing such an iconic character?
O'Mara: It's really tricky. You've got to try to find your vision, but you also have to be prepared to collaborate with the people around you who frankly, probably know more. I went in wanting to be close to Christian Bale's Batman, but I quickly realized when people aren't seeing you, you can't just have a deep, dark growl for 90 minutes. You have to convey more emotion. So I ended up modulating my voice quite a bit. It's been a surprisingly enjoyable experience.
TV Guide Magazine: Growing up in Ireland, were you a Batman fan?
O'Mara: Oh, yeah! I grew up on the Adam West Batman and that evolved into the Tim Burton Batman. Even though I didn't read that much DC and Marvel stuff, I was more 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, Batman has always been part of my pop culture consumption. [Laughs] Also this is DC's "New 52" Batman, so the movie is about the Justice League's origins. It's pretty cool.