The path of true love has never been more tenuous and tricky. But for those rooting for Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) and Donnie Ryan (Scott Wolf), the stars may have finally aligned to that they can get their happily-ever-after. In the TNT drama series PERCEPTION, the lives of Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), Kate Moretti and Donnie Ryan have never been more entangled personally or professionally. But when working on cases that explore the hidden depths of what the mind can really do, it should not be surprising that even the minds of our heroes can be just as fascinating as those of the criminals they track.
In a recent exclusive interview, star Scott Wolf candidly shared what is upcoming in the next chapter of the Kate-and-Donnie love story and whether true love can stand the test of the many mistakes they have both made and how that further complicates their professional lives.
So what’s going on with Donnie in Season 3? Will he be still actively working with Kate and Daniel?
SCOTT: At the end of last season, there was definitely a sense of: would Kate ultimately be able to give Donnie a second chance? And there was some ambiguity with what that last moment of Season 2 meant and the way Donnie and Kate were left. Was it sort of “hello again and let’s give this a chance,” or was it “goodbye”? I think the fact that I’m here speaking about it, shows that it was kind of a new beginning. But things get a lot more challenging this year as they potentially decide to give things another chance. So Donnie still is in town, he still is a U.S. Attorney, and someone that Kate and Daniel have as a resource that they need and use throughout this season. So Donnie is as involved as he has ever been in the work life between Daniel and Kate. This season also explores the second incarnation of the relationship between Donnie and Kate, and if it’s going to work or not and what it will look like.
Because this is your character, do you want Donnie to have this relationship or do you think he should have moved on?
SCOTT: I want him to have it. Part of the fun of this story is that it explores something interesting, which is two people who ultimately are really meant for one another, but things went wrong. Mistakes were made and people were hurt and trust was broken. And the question of: is that worth fighting to get back and is it possible, is a really interesting one. It’s also one that I think a lot of people can relate to. I personally feel as someone who believes in true love that it’s worth it. Even if somebody makes it really difficult, there is nothing more important to fight for than true love. So in that way, it’s a really compelling story — depending on who you are. One of the things about this show at this point is that there has always been this connection between Kate and Daniel, and there are a ton of people in the audience who pine for the two of them to be together. So I suppose I’m biased as the guy who plays Donnie, thinking that he and Kate are meant to be together. But there would be a lot of people who would argue that it is actually supposed to be Daniel and Kate. Yet this triangle that’s formed between the three of them, I think is very compelling and really fun to play. Eric and Rachael are such game performers. I think we all enjoy and buy into this dynamic between the three of us — in a weird way. (Laughs) I don’t know why it is. It feels like the three of us got born doing a show together. There’s just so much synergy between the three of us that even when scenes are stressful and complicated for the characters, there’s this great life between us just because I think we understand it and are enjoying it.
It’s true. The Donnie/Daniel kind of bromance, and the fact that they get to work together on cases of their own at times, is actually pretty fun. There’s a highly entertaining element to that.
SCOTT: I’m glad you think so. We have a ball together. They’re a bit of an odd-couple, which I think is appealing and interesting to watch. Stylistically, they are so different and there’s things about each other that they resist, but clearly at some point during the last season they had this meeting of the minds somehow. I think they surprised each other, in a way, and saw sides of each other that they didn’t expect to see and suddenly, yes, there’s this kind of a bromance — which is very complicating for Kate. Season 3 deals with that as well. There’s another opportunity for Daniel and Donnie to kind of wind up on their own in solving a case, like they did last year. It’s really fun to play along side Eric. He’s just an incredible actor and so fun and passionate and game. I think the fact that we enjoy each other’s company in a way gives us freedom to really go after each other in front of the camera as characters, and it’s great fun.
At this point, what is the best quality that Donnie exhibits? He seems to have grown a lot in terms of what his series arc has been.
SCOTT: I feel that to me was one of the most exciting things about last season. It really was a story of redemption, for Donnie. Of a guy who was figuring out that in order to have the life that he wants, he is going to have to be different — a better man than he had been capable of being. There’s always been some question as to whether he’d ultimately be able to get there; and even if he did get there, would it be enough for Kate? But the fact that he was willing to look at himself and realize that he wasn’t the man that he wanted to be and decided to be better is to me really appealing and interesting to play. It makes him as a character far more easy to root for than anyone would have thought when he first arrived. Most people wanted to slap him hard when he first showed up, and it has been really cleverly and well-written. They just wrote an interesting arc for him. The beauty of it was that it surprised people. It didn’t happen quickly. It really took the entire season. But with such patience and interesting storytelling and character development on behalf of Ken Biller and all of his staff, they allowed for that character to surprise people in the end. And I don’t think he’s done surprising people. There’s a lot of stuff in Season 3. There’s a wide range of stuff that Donnie gets up to and it will challenge the audience all over again. We’re hoping anyways!
To see what further surprises Donnie has in store and whether he and Kate are destined as true love, be sure to tune in for the Season 3 premiere of PERCEPTION on Tuesday, June 17th at 10:00 p.m. on TNT.