Both Kelli Giddish (Past Life, Damages) and Cole Hauser (K-Ville, ER) know the daily grind of doing a weekly TV series, but I’m sure neither of them were fully prepared for the arduous stunts they have perform each episode on their new show, Chase.
Giddish portrays U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, whose sharp mind and Texas upbringing assists her in tracking down violent criminals on the run. Her partner U.S. Marshal Jimmy Godfrey (Hauser), is an East Texas kid who grew up as a true American cowboy.
Can you tell us a little about your characters?
Kelli Giddish: Annie Frost is the leader of the team. She’s blunt. She goes right to the point, and yet she’s got a huge heart, huge soul, and she’ involved in this game of cat and mouse.
It’s amazing playing her because (I get to do) all of the stunts. That’s me. That’s all of us. It’s not special effects where they fill it in later. If you see me going down a river, it’s me and it’s the fugitive.
Annie’s dad is a criminal. He’s still out there somewhere, she doesn’t know where, which is probably a pretty big motivating factor for why she tries so hard to be a good guy in her own life.
Cole Hauser: Jimmy Godfrey is from Uvalde, Texas. It’s pretty much a ranch-town community. He grew up in nature. His father taught him how to hunt. He grew up looking at the stars. He grew up dreaming of being in law enforcement.
He’s Annie Frost’s partner. There’s a great love affair, not in a sexual way, with Annie, just as partners, as friends and having each other’s back. We see that in the pilot, and it’s continued throughout the season.
It’s a character that I’ve always wanted to play, which is a true American, a guy who loves the country and loves the people that live in it and wants to protect them.
What’s it like shooting the series in Texas?
Cole Hauser: Texas is a huge character to the show. It’s supposed to be Houston but we’re shooting in Dallas and Fort Worth. We are in Palmer. We’ve been all over Texas. It’s a wonderful place, just speaking from experience. Being there in the last month, it’s a little hot. I’ve sweated off about ten pounds, which I’m not angry about, because I needed to.
Kelli Giddish: I think that’s what’s so exciting about this show, and that’s why it is great to be in Texas. Man, it’s saturated with culture, with color, and you get all of that because we are not in the studio. It’s not LA, it’s not New York. We are out there, running, catching the bad guys.
You are so physically active on this, did you have to ramp up your training?
Kelli Giddish: We all trained with the Dallas U.S. Marshals. I got to do five, 15 hour days with them, riding around, hearing stories, serving warrants. Going out and really getting with the guys.
I’m from Georgia, I’ve been around guns, but I hadn’t trained with them. I had a whole day of firearm training with five different types of firearms, it was absolutely awesome.
Cole Hauser: She’s an athlete. Let me tell you, I’ve run with the best, and she’s got some skills.
Kelli Giddish: But he still beats me.
Cole Hauser: Did you know that the U.S. Marshals were the first police officers of this country? And as it grew, it became a federal (agency) run by the government.
How does doing this role compare with your real life growing up in Georgia – were you outdoors a lot?
Kelli Giddish: Absolutely, I grew up in North Georgia, right beside the Chattahoochee River. I couldn’t keep a pair of shoes clean to save my life when I was a kid. So it’s such a dream to be able to play a woman who embraces the physicality of doing this so well.
The thing about Annie Frost is it’s a physical and mental chase. You get to see her calm her team down and say, ‘Alright, guys, let’s put it together. Where did this guy come from that you were chasing, so that we can figure out where he’s going?’ It’s good to see her just sweep away all of the static and really get into what she thinks, because her father is a criminal, and she (can think like a bad guy) and know where he’s going to be.
Did you ever have a ‘what have I gotten myself into’ moment?
Yes, with a smile on my face. It’s called Chase, baby! I showed up on set the first day of filming, and they’d got the camera strapped to the golf cart, and they said, ‘Alright. You signed on. Go.’ So I did, I was sprinting the entire first day.