Home | Behind the Scenes | On the Set: Sultry New CBS Drama ‘Reckless’ in Charleston, SC

On the Set: Sultry New CBS Drama ‘Reckless’ in Charleston, SC

Cam Gigandet and Anna Wood in "Reckless"

Cam Gigandet and Anna Wood in “Reckless”

The new CBS drama, “Reckless,” which premieres Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9/8c, promises juicy crime stories, familial drama, secrets, and sexual tension. It focuses on Roy Rayder, played by Cam Gigandet, best known as James in “Twilight” and as Christina Aguilera’s love interest in “Burlesque.” (Incidentally, Catherine Hardwicke, the director of “Twilight,” also directed the pilot of “Reckless.”)

Ray is a southern lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina whose latest opponent is a hot Yankee lawyer, Jamie Sawyer, played by Anna Wood (from NBC’s “Deception”). The two of them create sparks both in and out of the courtroom while dealing with a political sex scandal.

I know the show’s Producing Director, John Gray, who created “Ghost Whisperer,” so I went to Charleston, where they shot the first season, and visited the set.

The show takes advantage of Charleston’s many picturesque locations to create an authentic southern flavor. The architecture there alone is among the finest in the country, and it’s a boating culture as well, making it the perfect backdrop for the show.

An outdoor "Reckless" set in Charleston, South Carolina | Melanie Votaw Photo

An outdoor “Reckless” set in Charleston, South Carolina | Melanie Votaw Photo

The first scene I watched took place outdoors by the water in the yard of a home. I sat in “video village” and watched the scene on the monitors while it took place just a few feet away from me.

What most people don’t realize is that shooting a TV show or film is enormously tedious. The actors have to perform each scene over and over and over … and over. The scene is shot from different angles, and the day I visited, noises from passing boats or a neighbor’s lawn mower occasionally interrupted the action.

Gregory Harrison

Gregory Harrison

Gregory Harrison, probably still best known for his 1970s show “Trapper John, M.D.,” plays Roy Rayder’s father-in-law, Dec Fortnum, also a lawyer and perhaps a little bit lacking in the dad department. During a break, I was introduced to Gregory and told him that I used to have his poster on my wall, to which he asked, “Which one?” He then treated me and one of the show’s writers to a story about the time he was attacked by a seal while surfing. He got right in my face to show how the seal had intimidated him. I walked away, thinking, “Yeah, that just happened.”

Later, during lunch, I chatted with the show’s very sweet and talented star, Anna Wood, who is married to Dane DeHaan, an actor whose career is certainly on the upswing with the feature films, “The Place Beyond the Pines,” “Kill Your Darlings,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” as the Green Goblin.

I also had a chance to meet the jovial Executive Producer, Ian Sander, who has produced such shows as “Profiler” and “Ghost Whisperer.”

One of the indoor sets for "Reckless" | Melanie Votaw Photo

One of the indoor sets for “Reckless” | Melanie Votaw Photo

For “Reckless,” the studio has constructed indoor sets within a former manufacturing plant in Charleston and turned it into an expansive studio. The designers and technicians have built the interiors of the courthouse and courtroom, as well as offices and houses of the main characters. The attention to detail is astounding.

I watched a scene as it was shot in the courtroom and visited some of the other beautiful sets, including Jamie’s home/office and Dec’s “old school” law office. I was impressed with the efficiency and friendliness of everyone involved with the show, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. (When my phone was almost out of charge, for example, one of the crew members found a place to plug it in for me and got it back to me before we changed locations.)

Other actors playing regular characters on “Reckless” include Adam Rodriguez of “Ugly Betty” and “CSI: Miami,” Kim Wayans of “In Living Color,” Michael Gladis of “Mad Men,” Shawn Hatosy of “Southland,” Susan Walters of “The Vampire Diaries,” and Georgina Haig of “Fringe.”

“Reckless” promises to bring extra steam to your Sunday nights this summer. Check out the teaser below.

Melanie Votaw

Melanie Votaw is a New York City-based freelance writer and the author of 15 non-fiction books. She’s a former actress/singer/dancer who started performing at age 4 and now loves to write about film, TV, and theater. Visit her Web site, Rule the Word, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Melanie Votaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


  1. This sounds like a great summer show – can’t wait to check it out.

    And what a story about the seal! (And his telling of it) So much fun.
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