Fans of Nip/Tuck will remember Seth Gabel for his portrayal of Adrian Moore, the teenage sociopath involved in an incestuous relationship with his mother. But as evidenced by our inability to remember his real name when we spotted him at a Knicks game last year, we know him best as Jeremy Darling, the 25-year-old trouble-magnet twin on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money, which returns for its second season tonight. Vulture spoke with Gabel about over-the-top scenes on the Brooklyn Bridge, Lucy Liu’s mysterious new character, and why he won’t be punking Darling family patriarch Donald Sutherland anytime soon.
A lot of the promotions for the upcoming season have been saying it’s “dirtier, sexier, moneyer.” So what can we expect?
There will be another wedding. And there’s some people getting killed. There’s a lot going on with Simon Elder and his threat to the Darling name and the Darling company. And Jeremy also matures a lot without his sister — she’s still a presence on the show, but her character has gone off to an island. Without each other in the picture, they’re forced to reveal a different side of themselves. What I love about the writers is that they have people meet that wouldn’t normally meet. Jeremy will end up talking to Simon Elder. Also, Trip Darling meeting Carmelita and them having an exchange ends up really revealing something about each of them.
They’ve been like kind of hush-hush about the details of Lucy Liu’s character. Is there anything you can share about her role?
I’m not sure what I am technically allowed to share. Her character is definitely a villain of sorts, and it pushes and pulls on us in many different ways and parts of family, especially Jeremy’s inner soul. [Laughs.]
Does that mean there’s not going to be any more Jeremy and Lisa? Because, you know, he kind of had a crush on her…
The two are not mutually exclusive.
Jeremy had some crazy scenes last season — getting tied up in the bedroom, singing on the Brooklyn Bridge. What’s your reaction when you see these scenes in the script?
My first reaction when I read stuff that we can blow over-the-top is like, “Oh no, are we going to get corny with this?” But what’s amazing is we find a really good balance as to how to make it realistic and how to make it seem not over-the-top — or over-the-top in such a way that’s actually smart, commenting on the fact that it’s over-the-top. So there’s a really fine line between being excessive on the show and then commenting on being excessive.
I know that you did Nip/Tuck before this, but are you starting to get recognized a lot more?
When the show is on, yeah. It’s also a surreal experience when you travel the world. The show will air at different times around the world. I had this same experience with Nip/Tuck where my wife and I were on our honeymoon in Paris and I was like a fish out of water over there. I don’t really speak the language well or anything, but right after I got off the train, this woman came up to me and she’s like “Ooh-la-la, Nip/Tuck.”
There’s a promo on the ABC Website for the first-season DVD, and you guys are talking about some of the pranks that get played on set. Can you tell us about some of those?
It’s gotten bad lately. There are certain actors that whenever I see them, when I need to work with them, I get really worried because I know it’s going to be a long day. Whenever I’m working with Natalie Zea or Peter Krause or Glen Fitzgerald, I just know that I’m gonna be in trouble. And Donald too. Donald you really have to look out for.
So is it just you guys riffing off each other?
Yeah, it’s just the riffing off of each other and the look in someone’s eye when you know it’s gonna go downhill from here. We were shooting this very tragic scene that takes place at a cemetery, and, well, one of the characters was talking — I don’t think I can reveal who. But this fly landed in their head. Like this huge bug. The size of a grapefruit. And it landed in this person’s head while they’re giving a terribly dramatic story about loss and tragedy and heartache. And Natalie Zea and I were dying. We just had to hide our heads and pretend like we were crying.