On ABC’s lighthearted legal drama “Eli Stone,” it’s not uncommon for cast members to break out singing, dancing or fighting dragons, depending on what prophetic vision strikes titular lead Johnny Lee Miller, who plays the title role. But with the show’s second season, the surreal scenes receive a dose of Hollywood A-list in the form of Katie Holmes and Sigourney Weaver.
“I take the concept seriously of ‘guest stars.’ They’re our guests, and I want them to have a good time. That’s really the bottom line when it comes to how you attract people to come on the show,” series co-creator Marc Guggenheim told MTV News.
And letting the actors call the shots on what ways they’ll participate pumps up the fun factor across the board.
“Some people want to sing and dance, some people don’t want to sing and dance," said Guggenheim. "Some want to play a certain kind of character, but the nature of the show, because it can go in so many directions, is that it allows us to accommodate all sorts of requests on the part of various actors.”
For Holmes’ part, the actress makes her return to TV by way of a full-blown song and dance number that entrances Eli Stone on screen -- and husband Tom Cruise in real life.
“Tom was on the set -– not every single day, but he came and went and had a good time,” said Guggenheim. “I think Katie enjoyed being on the show, particularly the singing and dancing, and Tom really enjoyed watching her.”
And while Weaver’s role as a therapist digging into Stone’s subconscious doesn’t offer up as many opportunities for odd behavior, card-carrying geek Guggenheim (who also writes the “Amazing Spider-Man” series of comic books for Marvel Comics) joked about holding back from quoting “Ghostbusters” lines to the star.
“The truth of the matter is that when you get into those situations, you try to be as professional as possible, but the funny thing is that she was so lovely and so nice that I suspect if I would have asked her, she would have [recited some]," laughed Guggenheim. "She’s very laid back. She doesn’t put on airs, and you really get the sense that she’d be totally comfortable with it.”
As for whether or not the characters will live beyond their season kicker status, Guggenheim had hopes that more will be in the cards for his A-list ladies.
“You pretty much approach everyone for one episode, but when it’s a good experience for us and them, there’s always a possibility of people coming back -- and we hope they will come back.”
Are you watching "Eli Stone"? How do you feel about feature-film stars making TV cameos?