Lights Out’s hard-hitting star, Holt McCallany, talks us through the sweet science of FX’s latest.
On the beaten, battered face of it, FX’s new drama, Lights Out, sounds a bit like Stallone’s famous downer Rocky V: an ex-champ boxer struggling to cope with retirement, balancing his family life with his debt-collecting sideline, and the looming possibility of pugilistic dementia. But there’s much more to this show than these superficial similarities, largely thanks to the brutally engaging performance of Holt McCallany in the role of Patrick “Lights” Leary.
“There were so many guys who wanted this job!” says Holt, best known for turns in The Losers, Heroes, and Fight Club. “A deal was virtually in place with Ray Liotta, so I was very lucky to get this. I’ve always loved boxing, and I’m from New York City, so for me to play a boxer in New York on my own show—it doesn’t get any better than that!”
Of course, taking the role has its down-sides—among them being punched in the face repeatedly. “We really land all the body shots and jabs to the face,” Holt explains. “You get banged up sometimes, and the makeup department will have to cover a black eye, and your ribs will hurt, but I like to do all my own stunts.” Even so, some punches are too dangerous to take.
“For left hooks to the head and straight right hands to the head, we brush past the face,” he admits. “If you start landing flush left hooks to the face of your acting partner, it’s going to be an awfully short day!”
Lights Out premieres January 11 at 10 p.m. on FX.