On-screen, he's the tough- and quick-talking flight medic Rabbit, but in real life, Cliff Curtis is a veteran film actor from New Zealand, whose role on NBC's Trauma (Mondays, 9/8c) is "the most fun character" he's ever played. Curtis hinted to TVGuide.com what's really going on in Rabbit's head, who he should hook up with and why this was the first TV role to steal him away from the big screen.
TVGuide.com: As a film guy, what drew you to TV?
Curtis: I really liked Rabbit — he's the most fun character I've ever played. He's got endless possibility, he's heroic, he's a bit of a goofball, [he's] masculine, but the journey is that he's probably going to reconstruct that whole thing that he's got going on. This is a character I've not had the opportunity to play in film, so I thought, I'm going to go for it. [And] I thought, I can get into this. There's enough action, enough boy stuff. Once we get to know the characters and set up who they are, we can delve into the story lines as well. Rather than just being about an incident, you start to wonder what's going to happen next.
TVGuide.com: The Oct. 19 episode briefly touched on your character Rabbit having post-traumatic stress disorder. Will that story line be developed further?
Cliff Curtis: Oh yeah, Rabbit's whole bag of tricks is that he doesn't want to deal with that whole side of life. [He wants to] have fun, be masculine and look cool in his Ray-Bans with his big blue jumpsuit. He doesn't want to be dealing with the complications of PTSD, but he's not going to get off that lightly.
TVGuide.com: Will we see more flashbacks of the past year?
Curtis: He's been out of action for an entire year and despite being in a coma, being put up in a hospital, he's basically come back [to work] worse than he was before. He's clutching onto the notion that he's got to be strong. That's what driving him, and ultimately I think that's what's going to pull him apart. If you're watching carefully in the PTSD episode, Dr. Joe is describing the symptoms to him in the helicopter and [Rabbit] goes, "Dude, you just described the last 22 years of my life." There's a clue there that there's another life that precedes him being a medic, that precedes his relationship with Nancy and Dr. Joe. There's something else that is driving him that made him become a medic.
TVGuide.com: Who would you rather see Rabbit hook up with, paramedic Nancy or his pilot Marisa?
Curtis: Honestly, I don't think he's fit for a relationship, but I know something's going to happen. That's what human beings do — they get intimate when they really should go into therapy. If you go into the backstory, I think he and Nancy used to work together and had something going on in the past... I don't think he wants to do that again with Marisa. So if you want to see a really big mess, then he should probably hook up with Marisa. That would be the worst idea in the world, and if he wants to try and work out his stuff, maybe it's worth him exploring something with Nancy.
TVGuide.com: What about Nancy and her new partner Glenn?
Curtis: Glenn's our hot guy. We've got to come up with a moniker for him, like Gorgeous Glenn or Good-Looking Glenn... We could call him McMuffin or something. We actually have an episode coming up where he takes his shirt off, it's one for the ladies, and that boy is in mad shape.