Slater & Cuthbert: TV’s Hottest New Crime-solving Duo?

Elisha Cuthbert and Christian Slater of 'The Forgotten' (ABC)

Elisha Cuthbert and Christian Slater of 'The Forgotten' (ABC)

No need to go with the obvious play on words here, but let’s just say that ABC’s latest big drama, ‘The Forgotten,’ was somewhat lost in the scheduling shuffle earlier this year.

The show premiered to a decent-sized audience, but over the course of its initial run about half of its viewers tuned out before the show took a winter break.

The good news is the Christian Slater-led drama is back with a new lead-in (a little show called ‘Lost’), a new face (the stunning Elisha Cuthbert), and, in some ways, a new purpose.

'The Forgotten' centers on a team of volunteer crime solvers who try to identify nameless victims of crimes that the police are no longer investigating. It returns at 10 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.

Some tremendous news surfaced this week as ABC announced that a real-life ‘Jane Doe’ had been identified, thanks to a public-service announcement that airs at the end of each episode.

I got a chance to talk with Slater and Cuthbert, who joins the show on Tuesday as a recurring guest, about that development, what’s to come on the show, and what it was like getting reunited on the small screen after having co-starred in the 2007 film ‘He Was A Quiet Man.’

First, I have to ask you guys about working together again. Was that a coincidence, or was there a recommendation kind of thing going on?

Elisha Cuthbert: Well, you’ll have Christian that one. I don’t know if there was a recommendation.

Christian Slater: Well… yeah! They did mention Elisha, and I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe Steve McPherson was really excited about that, I was excited about that. The fact that we worked together before and I did have such a fantastic experience — I was thinking about her this morning, actually. You know, I was in the shower, actually. [Elisha laughs].

No, you know, for some reason it popped into my mind, working with her and I was so impressed with some of the scenes that we had to do, and her level of commitment and professionalism really quite blew me away. So knowing that she was coming on board this was thrilling.

EC: Yeah, I had met with Steve McPherson and we were talking about where I would fit in the ABC family and all of that. It was literally, I had my meeting and he brought up ‘The Forgotten’ the next day and to work with Christian again would be amazing, and I was really confident about that. When you work with someone you know how they are and there’s no question mark there. You know their style and you know how they are on set. And I learned a lot from Christian the first time around in ‘He Was A Quiet Man’ and there was some heavy stuff in that film, so I knew I was going to be in good hands. But it’s different because the dynamic between the two of us now on the show is completely different from the dynamic on the movie.

Watch a Sneak Peek of Elisha Cuthbert’s Debut on ‘The Forgotten’ Below:

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So, Elisha, as far as fellas to work with, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Kiefer Sutherland and Christian Slater. How do those two compare?

EC: They’re similar in the sense that they definitely set a tone for their shows. On ‘24,’ I was 18 years old when I got on that show, so I was a little bit green. I kind of was a little bit awe-inspired by being able to work in L.A. And he sets a serious tone for the show there and everyone kind of follows suit, and I feel like Christian does the same here and it makes for a great working atmosphere. I think when you work with guys that have been in the business as long as they have, there’s a definite experience that can’t be denied. I mean, it’s just great to work with people who’ve been doing it so long and they’re pros and everyone kind of wants to be at that level so it raises the bar for everybody.

Christian, I want to go back and ask you about ‘My Own Worst Enemy.’ It was your first shot at leading a drama. What did you take away from that experience?

CS: I loved that experience. I had a great time. I thought it was an interesting and creative show, for an actor getting to bounce back and forth between two characters was quite a lot of fun. But each time you step up to the plate don’t know how it’s going to go, but the final result came and you try and handle it with as much dignity and grace as possible. And, you know, one door closes another one opens and when I got this call to do a show with Jerry Bruckheimer I was thrilled at getting another opportunity to come back on to television and do something I could be really proud of.

When we started this show I had a feeling we had an opportunity to actually, genuinely solve some real cases, and I’m happy to report that has actually started to happen.

Right, I wanted to ask you about that next. I hear the public-service announcements that have been airing resulted in solving one of these cases. Can you tell me about that?

CS: Yeah, this woman named Paula Beverly Davis went missing in 1987, and her sister Stephanie Clack was watching an episode of ‘The Forgotten’ and saw the PSA after the show for, the organization we work with, and she went on there, put in some info she had about her missing sister and on Dec. 11, 2009, NamUs positively identified her.

‘The Forgotten’ returns with new episodes on Tuesday, Feb. 9th, at 10 p.m. on ABC.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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