14 episodes in, the Lethal Weapon television series has made a name for itself without sullying the classic film franchise that inspired it. The chemistry between Damon Wayans’ Roger Murtaugh and Clayne Crawford’s Martin Riggs is undeniable, like Danny Glover and Mel Gibson’s originals before them, but showrunner Matt Miller (Forever) has ensured the show wouldn’t just copy and paste what came before.
Enter Leo Getz — the angry, sniveling witness/con man who, as played by Joe Pesci, annoyed Riggs and Murtaught in three of the four films. A new Leo played by Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, The Odd Couple) will make his debut during tonight’s episode, “As Good As It Getz.” While this iteration’s occupation as an ambulance-chasing lawyer distinguishes him from Pesci’s snitch, Lennon knows the dangers he faces in rebooting a classic character. Hence why he approached the job with a blank slate of sorts.
“I wasn’t really sure what I was doing until I started,” Lennon told us. “It was one of those weird moments where I didn’t necessarily have a plan.” As audiences will soon find out, however, this The State alum‘s take on Leo will honor Pesci’s performance as much as it distinguishes itself. Lennon even grew his mustache back for it.
When Fox announced a Lethal Weapon television series, I assumed a new version of Joe Pesci’s Leo Getz would pop up at some point. As with most remakes, this worried me at first, though I was pleasantly surprised when you were announced for the role.
Thank you! I’ll tell you, I did think about it for a good couple of days before I decided to take the role. But I was delighted to do it. I like to take on things that might be particularly difficult, and I thought the level of difficulty of this would basically be a double black diamond of sorts. I asked myself if there was anything I could really do to make this work. It was very daunting, certainly.
Had you watched the show before you were cast?
I’ll be honest, I’m remiss. I had not really seen that much of it until I went and filmed it. I was unaware they were making a giant, McG-sized action movie every week. The last time I was on anything as big as Lethal Weapon was Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. The scale of this thing is really pretty amazing.
Right, which the Lethal Weapon films are too. Yet the show manages to channel that into a once-a-week drama series.