'The Defenders' star Jim Belushi wonders if he's 'hot'
According to actor Jim Belushi, he faced a moment of crisis when he was offered the role of Nick Morelli on “The Defenders.”
While the actor has been known to engage in the romantic side of things on-screen in roles in films such as “K-9” and “Taking Care of Business,” he recently had problems coming to grips with his own “hotness” when he was inadvertently offered the role of womanizer Pete Kaczmarek.
After reading the script for “The Defenders,” Belushi remembers thinking that the part didn’t seem right to him. But Belushi read it again anyways.
“So I sat down, and I read the cover letter again that says role of Pete Kaczmarek. And Pete is banging a stewardess at the top of the show, banging a prosecuting attorney, driving fast cars, dressed in nice suits. And I went, ‘I didn't think I was that hot,’” says the actor in an interview with CTV.ca.
Belushi remembers thinking: "Maybe I'm hot. If the studio thinks I'm hot and my agents think I'm hot -- I'm hot. I called them back and said, ‘Okay, I'll do it’. And they go, ‘It's perfect for you. You're drinking a martini in the morning.’ I go, ‘No, no, no. The character drinking the martini is Nick. The offer was for Pete."
Turns out they made a mistake on the cover letter note.
“For three days I am torturing myself, beating myself up, thinking that I don't think enough of myself and I am hot. I'm hot. I'm a hottie,” says Belushi, and it’s safe to say things worked out just fine for him in the role of Nick.
Belushi began his work in show business as a member of Chicago’s Second City troupe in the late seventies, and later went on to appear on Saturday Night Live and a number of film projects, as well as appearing on Broadway. Recently Belushi starred in and executive produced eight seasons of “According to Jim.”
On “The Defenders,” Belushi plays Nick Morelli, a lawyer who isn’t afraid to be “bold” is his attempts to work the system in order to protect his clients. And because the series is set in Las Vegas, the defendants are often bright and colourful characters with unusual problems.
One of the things that drew Belushi to this show in particular, is the unique world of law practice in Nevada, which according to Belushi has “plenty of prisons. And they actually farm out their prisons to other states. They're the only state in the world that still has debtor's prison. If you don't pay a bill, they can throw you in jail.”
And that’s where the lawyers on “The Defenders” come in: “These lawyers care,” says Belushi.
“They fall in love with their clients -- they really have compassion for them. And they sacrifice fees for it. They're not doing DUI cases. They're doing real cases that really have thinking involved with what's right.”
As for working with co-star Jerry O’Connell, Belushi is ripe with praise.
“He's the best partner I've had. We have just this level of trust between the two of us as people that transfers into the chemistry. He's terrific. And he's funny as can be,” says Belushi.
Belushi says things weren’t always rosy between him and his co-star. The actor remembers working with O’Connell’s wife, Rebecca Romijn on film, which involved kissing her during a fantasy sequence.
“I got to kiss her a couple times because we did take after take. So when we come back to L.A. and land, there's Jerry picking her up. I guess he didn't want me to give her a ride home. And he looked at me, like, a little jealous,” says Belushi.
“So now he jokes about it. He goes, ‘Ah, come on, that was just first base.’ I said, ‘Well, you know, Jerry, in baseball you can get stuck at first base for a long time.’”
“He was so mad at me.”
“The Defenders” airs Wednesday nights on CTV, with full episodes available online at CTV.ca.