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News From:The Straits Timesposted on 21 January at 10:55 AM
21 January at 10:55 AM

Marc Blucas on living with Buffy fame

"I was in the pet store one day when someone came up to me and told me her dog's name is Riley. I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult but, thanks, I guess," says Blucas, 40, as he bursts into laughter.

Before landing the lead role as football trainer Matthew Donnally on sports-centric drama Necessary Roughness, of which Season 2 premieres on beTV (StarHub TV Channel 525) on Monday, he was Riley - a demon-hunting special operative who was Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) love interest.

Blucas starred in the popular supernatural drama from 1999 to 2000, and in 2002. He then took up movie roles such as Cameron Diaz' ex-boyfriend Rodney in Knight And Day (2010), which also starred Tom Cruise.

He also played a lead role in the critically panned thriller Three (2006), which earned only around US$1 million (S$1.2 million) at the box office.

When the opportunity to join Necessary Roughness came along, he jumped at it.

Referring to the differences between movies and TV, he says: "There's a blessing and a curse to television. It's nice to have a steady job and a pay cheque every week, but it limits you to playing one character for a big part of the year. After Buffy, I just decided to focus on film before I got offered this show, and the quality of US TV has just changed - with all the cable channels... the business has changed dramatically.

"It was a change to play a more interesting character on television, and was fun to get back into that.

"The other nice thing about working on a TV show is that you're working six months, and they really do become a second family to you."

Necessary Roughness sees his character fall in love with protagonist Dr Danielle Santino (Callie Thorne), a divorced psychotherapist who becomes sought after by star athletes and celebrities, and at the same time, has to juggle that with being a single mum.

The New York Times calls the show "a refreshing change from the usual cop shows, legal dramas and spy capers", and it was renewed for a third season just last week.

Blucas, who is married to journalist Ryan Haddon, 41, was drawn to Necessary Roughness because he used to be a professional athlete, playing for British professional basketball team, Manchester Giants.

"It was one of the reasons why I said 'yes' to doing the show," he says.

"Our creator and writers are so open, collaborative, and informative. Knowing my background in sports, they came to me and said: 'Hey look, we want to be as authentic and as real as we can. We know you've been both a professional athlete, and seen behind the scenes of a lot of professional sports'."

With a laugh, he adds: "So they bounce ideas off me, technical terms, and with my character I kind of have a long lease - it's very freeing. There's nothing worse than an actor saying something you don't believe in, or worse, you know is wrong."

rachaelb@sph.com.sg

Necessary Roughness Season 2 premieres on beTV (StarHub TV Channel 525) on Monday at 8.30pm.

This article was first published in ST Life! on Saturday, Jan 19.

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