Considering its source material, Fox's Lethal Weapon is a series that understandably showcases a lot of action-packed sequences that cause just a little bit of destruction. While most of that mayhem is of the stunt variety, it appears the show's stars can sometimes do legitimate damage while filming. Tonight's episode of Lethal Weapon introduced the strangely amusing Leo Gatz, as played by the never-not-hilarious Thomas Lennon, and when CinemaBlend's Laura Hurley spoke with the comic actor about the role, Lennon shared one particularly silly (and probably expensive) situation that came up due to his lack of experience with a stick shift.
The stunt crew had me out driving this like vintage Porsche and like racing down Forest Lawn Boulevard, and I was burning out the clutch so bad that in a later scene in the show, my stunt double pulled up with the Porsche and there was smoke coming out of the clutch. And I said, 'Oh my God!' I was like, 'You're ruining the clutch of the car! I know, it was really hard for me too!' And then he explained to me, he said, 'No, no, this is a joke. You were driving the Porsche so badly that the special effects crew put a smoke bomb in the car so that it would make sense when you pull up at the last scene and the clutch has been destroyed.' It was a really fun time, I will say.
Boom! While Thomas Lennon might not have put a bunch of bullet holes into city landmarks or crashed a helicopter into anything, he certainly destroyed the clutch on that Porsche. Which definitely isn't the same as, like, messing up the clutch on a Pinto. In fact, damaging a Porsche is probably a bigger affront than totaling two Pintos into each other. Maybe not, but it's something for Leo Getz to somehow pull off during his next visit to Lethal Weapon.
Let's give some major props to that stunt crew, too, for having the wherewithal to play a simple and funny joke on the Odd Couple actor for his lack of finesse with the Porsche. I wonder if anyone would have let Lennon know if he hadn't unwittingly played right into it.
A character that was originally portrayed in the films by Joe Pesci, Leo Getz's entry into Fox's Lethal Weapon immediately made him seem like the kind of person who would drive around in a super pricey car without knowing the ins and the outs of not messing it up. So long as it got Getz to the next ambulance-filled scene, amirite? There were some kids driving a Porsche in an earlier Lethal Weapon episode that had a better handle on things. I think we can all agree, though, that Thomas Lennon destroyed that performance, too, and in the best way possible. Which in this case means "with that classic 'stache."
Thomas Lennon told us how his take on the role was different from what Joe Pesci did, and he said the original version is "in the Valhalla of amazing movie performances." It turns out that aspect, rather than the chance to run around a city watching things explode (not by accident), is what drew him to taking the part. In Lennon's words:
Part of the reason I took the job, I was like, 'Well that sounds like a real challenge to try to come up with something at all funny and interesting for a Leo Getz that's not that Leo Getz.' I mostly just tried to tap into myself and relax and try to crack up Clayne and Damon. Which I did a fair amount, so it felt like it was working out.
A quick peek on Twitter shows that lots of people agree the actor put in a clutch performance, pun fully intended. Lethal Weapon, a show that put together a pre-premiere promo involving a digital projection of a car crashing through the side of a building in Times Square, airs Wednesday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. (That stunt did less damage than Thomas Lennon, for the record.) Check out what the actor told CinemaBlend about a potential Reno 911 film sequel and then head over to our midseason premiere schedule to see what will plow through your TVs in the near future.