Mason Alexander Park, Nanrisa Lee, Ernie Hudson embraced ‘Quantum Leap’ S2 changes

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13 (UPI) —Quantum Leap co-stars Ernie Hudson, Mason Alexander Park and Nanrisa Lee said they welcomed changes that the show’s second season brought to their characters’ roles and backgrounds.

The midseason finale, airing Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST, even took the show on location to Egypt.

The trio play present-day staff members of the Quantum Leap project, which sends Ben Song (Raymond Lee) into the past.

Hudson, Park and Lee did not get to join Lee on location for the “Nomads” episode. Still, Hudson said he is excited by what it could mean for the future.

“It opened up the possibilities to other places around the world,” Hudson told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. “Most of the leaps are here in the country, but that really opened up another dimension.”

Based on the 1989-93 series starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, Ben leaps each week into a different character in a different time period. He has a hologram from the present to help him.

Season 2 let the entire cast take turns being Ben’s hologram. Ben’s fiancee, Addison (Caitlin Bassett), began a new relationship in the present, complicating her role of visiting Ben holographically.

Lee said she enjoyed the episodes in which her character, security expert Jenn, was able to help Ben in legal trials in the past. She said she also felt episodes in which Ian and Magic were holograms brought out their unique skills.

“What’s exciting in Season 2 is seeing what each of the three of us bring to the table when we are the hologram — how that helps Ben, how our relationships with Ben help him in the leap and also just our point of view. It’s always nice to have a different perspective,” Lee said.

Season 2 also introduced a love interest for Ian (Park). Rachel (Alice Kremelberg) not only helps Ian obtain technology to track Ben through time, but also helps them personally.

“It’s very helpful to have Rachel now on the team because she knows them,” said Park, who uses they-them pronouns in real life and on the show.

“She knows them intimately as both a partner and someone who she’s worked with,” Park said. “So that provides a lot of insight that they can’t really get anywhere else.”

Flashbacks have also revealed the origin of the Quantum Leap project. While most of the characters haven’t changed much between those flashbacks and the present, Ian’s look evolves.

“This poor person had a lot of identity crises in that time,” Park said. “It was really fun to meet a younger version of someone that the audience has grown to know in a very specific way and see them dressed really differently.”

Season 2 also introduced the news that Quantum Leap project head Magic Williams (Hudson) is a recovering alcoholic. Magic bowed out of some missions to visit his sponsor.

This development was sudden news to Hudson, who said he only learned this major character detail when they filmed the episode that introduced it. Now, Hudson said he appreciates the layers it gives his character.

“It certainly opened up a huge side of Magic that is exciting to explore and see how he has functioned,” Hudson said. “When you’re an alcoholic, I’m sure it affects everything so it’s a big thing for him.”

The three actors agreed that they are open to any surprises the Quantum Leap writers have in store. Park said they want the writers to feel free to challenge them with new developments.

“Odds are, we’re just going to hear whatever they have to say and go, ‘That’s insane, but sure, yeah, let’s try it. Let’s go for it and see where it takes us,'” Park said.

The cast of Quantum Leap is back on the set filming new episodes for 2024.

2023 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This story was originally published December 13, 2023, 4:30 AM.

source: star-telegram

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