Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scott Bakula Stars, Produces New Show

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Scott Bakula Stars, Produces New Show

Article excerpt

DOING a one-hour action series is no walk in the park. The hours are incredibly long and the pace is overwhelmingly hectic.

But not only is Scott Bakula starring in CBS' new one-hour series, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," he also is the executive producer of the series that combines elements of comedy, action, romance and espionage.

With a bemused grin, Bakula acknowledges that it's "sheer madness" to be wearing both hats. "I guessed it was going to be pretty bad," says Bakula, 41, relaxing in his trailer during his lunch break. "I didn't think it would be as bad as it has been, but yet at the same time, I am surviving." Plus, Bakula adds, he has achieved "mini-victories" for the series amid the daily grind. "You find a little something that really works," says Bakula, who won a Golden Globe for his work in NBC's sci-fi series "Quantum Leap." "Or a location that worked. Or a great piece of casting. I am still teaching myself every day: How am I psychologically going to survive? How do you get through all the negativity, all the notes, all the suggestions, all the help you get from people who are not directly involved in the project and enjoy the moments when things work?" "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" finds Bakula playing a dashing industrial spy who is teamed by his employer with a sexy, free-lance operative (Maria Bello). It's a pinch of "Moonlighting," mixed with a little "Thin Man," some James Bond and a twist: For security reasons, neither is supposed to know anything personal about the other, including their real names. On a recent afternoon, Bakula & Co. are shooting a nightclub scene in downtown Los Angeles. "We are invading the rock 'n' roll world," explains Bakula, who began his career on the Broadway musical stage. "I am playing a backup singer. So I actually end up singing a little bit and playing the piano." Bakula was brought the idea for "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" about a year ago by creators and executive producers Kerry Lenhart and John J. Sakmar. (Both Bakula and Sakmar are St. Louisans, although they didn't know each other here.) Bakula had been off of "Quantum Leap" for two years and had a production deal with Warner Bros. …

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