Is Derek Wills a changed man? When Season 2 of “Smash” premieres tonight at 9/8c on NBC, the womanizing director played by Jack Davenport faces a difficult challenge when he’s confronted with a sexual harassment scandal. With a tarnished professional image, Derek is forced to do some serious soul searching before he can move forward.
“It does something to his sense of self and sense of confidence that plays out in quite an interesting way,” Davenport reveals of Derek’s struggle this season. “He’s a very successful man professionally and he in some ways needs to be challenged both personally and professionally. This opens the floodgates to that a bit and I think it makes for an interesting arc for me this year.”
Part of that arc finds Derek reevaluating what’s important to him while trying trying to atone for his sins of the past. “Some of his behavior may be coming home to roost in certain ways,” Davenport admits. “Will that change the way he works? Maybe. Maybe not. But it might change the way he relates to people that are close to him.”
Davenport says he was thrilled to find out about Derek’s more inward storyline this season, because “whilst it’s extremely enjoyable to play a character whose job it is to have an enormous amount of effrontery and roomfuls of people [who] look to him when no one knows what the f–k to do next, it would be terribly boring if they were like that person in private as well.”
Watch the First Hour of Tonight’s Season 2 Premiere Before It Airs on TV:
Derek’s push-pull between former fling Ivy (Megan Hilty), and current muse Karen (Katharine McPhee), who was offered the part of Marilyn in Bombshell at the end of Season 1, will also continue to be a source of conflict.
“One of the real pleasures of the show for me is that you’ve got this character who in many ways before was just a serial womanizer, and yet there are these two women who are incredibly different,” Davenport admits. “[They're both] very beautiful and with huge amounts of talent, but he’s kind of stopped in his tracks by both of them for very different reasons.”
Davenport says he finds enormous storytelling potential in that juggling act, but he’s quick to pull back when asked to elaborate on who Derek may end up with. Instead, he offers this cryptic tease: “It ain’t over ’till it’s over!”
The two-hour Season 2 Premiere of “Smash” airs Tonight at 9/8c on NBC.