MacGyver is back! Season four of CBS’ MacGyver returns this Friday, February 7th at 8:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Ahead of the series’ latest season premiere CBS Local’s Matt Weiss caught up with Mac himself, Lucas Till, to discuss the show’s launching off point and what it’s like to walk through a home depot as the man who can make everything from anything.
MW: Lucas, how are you doing today?
LT: Pretty good man.
MW: So we have season four of MacGyver about to get under way. How’s it feel now going into season 4 with this iconic character?
LT: Yeah it is really nice because we never thought we would make it past the first episode [laughs]. That has nothing to do with the people, that’s just CBS deciding whether or not we did a good enough job to continue and we kind of did and kind of didn’t. They said they’d let us try again, here’s 13 episodes because we scrapped that original episode, so I never thought we would make it past that. Then I was worried about how people would respond to it, but we’re in year four, I think we’re doing okay.
MW: No better stamp of approval than the network getting behind you and keeping you going.
LT: Yeah exactly, so I thank them for that. It’s been really fun, especially with last year where all the grooves have been hit and everyone is firing on all cylinders and it’s really nice. I think it’s going to be a really good season.
MW: Do you think there was a turning point in particular where you hit that groove and everything shot off from there?
LT: Probably just this year, for whatever reason, everything, all the problems we had been dealing with and then it was just me having to deal with figuring out how, oh wow yeah, I’m good, let’s just continue from here. It was just nice, man, we got Henry Ian Cusick who’s on the show and Levy [Tran] are now series regulars. They’ve been welcomed additions to the cast.
MW: Do you find yourself taking on any MacGyverisms in your real life, like you’re walking around Home Depot and you’re figuring out how to build a ladder out of folding chairs? Is that bleeding into Lucas Till’s day to day life?
LT: It is. I hate the fact that I can never answer this question, I never have anything I can fire from the hip with. But yeah it’s all the time, all the time. A lot of times in the show it will be something like will this work and it’s like nah, well yeah, but if I were going to do it, it would have a few less steps. Then it’s like ‘wow you really could do this’ and it makes you think, if you can do that, couldn’t you do this, and couldn’t you do that? Yeah it happens all the time. I wish I had an example for you, but I don’t. [laughs]
MW: It’s all good. [laughs] When we left off in season 3, Mac had a difficult decision to make, lots of lives in the balance, where are we picking up now in season four?
LT: Season four is like a year to 18 months after season three, a lot has gone down. The whole Phoenix was falling apart and has dissolved, it doesn’t exist anymore. Basically what happens is Russ Taylor played by Henry Ian Cusick, he comes in and tries to get the whole team together. He runs spear head operations, kind of like Blackwater, you know dubious past, don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, but he convinces me to go get the team back together and then we go on a mission to stop a virus being released into the air of Los Angeles.
As the season progresses, we realize that we’re fighting the biggest bad guy we’ve ever had, just a cabal of different people. Eventually we have to fight this really, really, big bad guy, that was our emblem that we threw up on Instagram a couple of weeks ago or a month ago. It looks like a 69 but it’s actually something else. So our biggest bad guy is coming up, we’ll have a team up possibly with bad guys, it’s crazy. We’re doing all kinds of stuff we never done in the prior seasons. In my opinion it’s a completely different show without sacrificing any of the things that you love about what we were doing before.
MW: That’s great. Do you find it’s hard sometimes, because there’s all the history with the original MacGyver show and the MacGyver character, to introduce those new things?
LT: I think it’s a struggle, I think the person who is most concerned with it is Peter Lenkov. We just want the show to look a little more mature and stuff like that, but he doesn’t want to change, that’s his concern, he doesn’t want to take a risk and alienate an audience. We knew what we wanted to push him to let us do and then we did it. It’s a much more mature looking show and the writing has gotten considerably, I didn’t think it was bad before, but it’s a gotten a lot better this season and everyone loves what they’re doing. We all sit around read the script and we laugh out loud while we read them and it’s seen on camera, it plays out really well.
MW: I think a lot of times it comes through when the actors are enjoying what they’re doing. If it makes you guys laugh, it’s probably going to make the audience laugh.
LT: Yeah exactly and it does. It’s just been fun, non-stop fun and it’s a hard job, it needs to be fun. It’s been cool.
MW: What are some of the hardest things you have to do on set physically?
LT: Oh, wait around [laughs], that’s the only thing I hate doing. I never thought I would say that, I used to love waiting around. To answer your question in a real way, I think the most sore I’ve ever been is, me and Desi had an MMA fight, like a sparring match and I’ve never been that sore on set or ever. I mean I was destroyed, it was like my first day of jiu jitsu all over again, I was in a lot of pain. That’s probably the most taxing thing to do, we had to do 6-hour sparring. You’re acting like you’re sparring, but you’re doing it for 6 hours instead of 15 minutes. It tends to hurt.
MW: So are you saying next up is Conor McGregor?
LT: Well yeah. I probably won’t know that I even got beat, I mean 40 seconds against Donald Cerrone, it’ll be in 25 against me. [laughs]
MW: Well all the best with that [laughs]. That’s all I have for you today, it’s been awesome talking to you and all the best with the new season!
LT: Thanks man, appreciate it!
MacGyver returns Wednesday, February 7th at 8:00PM ET/PT, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your locals listings for more information.