[SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains major spoilers from season one of The Bridge. Don't read this unless you are caught up on the season.]
FX scored this summer with The Bridge, another successful adaptation of a Danish/Swedish crime drama, which draws to its suspenseful conclusion tonight. One of the key recurring cast members is Eric Lange, a TV veteran who has appeared on shows like Lost, Castle and Victorious. On Monday, Eric sat down with us to discuss his role on The Bridge as Kenneth Hastings, friend and confidante to the wife of lead detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir).
Viewers now know that Kenneth Hastings isn't his real name - and that he's the serial killer Ruiz and his American partner Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) have been pursuing. Playing the central villain is a juicy role for an actor to sink his teeth into, but as Eric told us, it also comes with a lot of other concerns to manage.
"It's exciting on one hand because you're such the focal point of the show. That's always exciting, to get to play a large arc in the role of the show," he reflected. "But it was always kind of intimidating to me. There was always the fear in the back of my mind that when this reveal happened, the audience would be like, 'Him?' So I tried to basically just do my job, and hope at the end of the day the people who put the show together assembled it in such a way that's satisfying for everybody."
He was always aware that he was playing the guilty party. "They told me right away," he explained. "I auditioned for another part at the beginning, and [the producers] said, it's not that but we do have this other thing we want you to do. They were very vague about it. I had to have this little private meeting with them very early on. And I was told not to tell the cast or the crew or anybody. Here I had one of the best jobs I'd ever gotten and I can't tell anybody about it. [It was] kind of a bit of a job on my end - because I kept worrying something was going to slip."
Now Eric can stop worrying about keeping the big secret, but things are also somewhat bittersweet. The Bridge has been renewed for a second season by FX, but by virtue of the function he serves on the show, Eric knows he might not be part of it. (He's not able to mention whether or not he'll make it back for season two.)
But he told us he's okay with whatever happens. "Most criminals only get an episode," he pointed out. "To have as long as a run as I've had on the show, I'm proud and honored about. It's been such a great run - and on a cable show and with great actors and good people."