Most of us remember Eddie Cahill as Rachel’s hot assistant, Tag, from Friends. After all, his moments with Jennifer Aniston were so perfectly awkward (we mean, Rachel did forget his last name!) that they became entrenched in the show’s long-lasting culture. So it’s a good thing that a decade and a half later, Cahill doesn’t mind the fan connection.
“It’s sweet,” he tells us. “It surprised me for the longest time… how far-reaching that show was. But every time it comes up I get this sort of internal yearbook flashback to what feels like my freshman year as an actor. It’s a nice, sweet memory.”
It’s certainly true that Cahill — now 38 years old — has done an awful lot in his acting career since Friends. That includes playing the goalie in the hockey flick Miracle, as well as gigs on the Stephen King-inspired series Under the Dome and on CSI: NY (although we’d call 197 episodes more than a gig!).
This fall, he’s adding something else to his resume — the new anticipated legal drama Conviction, starring former Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell. On it, he plays district attorney Connor Wallis. And if the pilot is any indication, things are definitely going to heat up between his character and Atwell’s character Hayes Morrison.
“It was the dynamic, it was the relationship between Wallis and Hayes that got me,” Cahill says. “I see it as a lust-driven competitive game of command and conquer. There may be romantic moments, but I don’t know that what’s going on between them is compelled by romance.”
When we first meet these two in the pilot, Wallis convinces Hayes — a former U.S. First Daughter with a legal degree and a penchant for drugs — to work for him on a new Conviction Integrity Unit he’s started, to investigate possible wrongful convictions. And while Wallis may seem like a semi good-guy at the beginning, there are deeper layers to that character.
“I liked the idea of playing somebody who wasn’t necessarily a good guy or necessarily a bad guy, but who rang a little bit true as a three-dimensional person,” Cahill says. “What’s compelling about the show is that, unlike a lot of procedural crime shows where your prison sentence shows up at the end as a form of salvation and everybody’s happy, this show is looking into the system and the chain of command that goes into putting somebody in prison for, let’s just say, a life sentence.”
Let’s break this down, shall we? Cahill has snagged himself a meaty role as a guy who is more than meets the eye. He seems to adore his new co-star (“Without disrespecting any other people I’ve worked with, she’s one of the most exciting people I’ve ever worked with in terms of on-set chemistry”). And as for the work itself, the show seems to make some larger-context comments on the ongoing failures of the U.S. judicial system that we’ve become obsessed with, thanks to the Adnan Syeds and Steven Averys of the world.
Yeah. We’d say Tag from Friends has a crazy new show indeed.