'Fairly Legal': Sarah Shahi finds Richard Dean Anderson 'lovely' and 'a little weird'

richard-dean-anderson-sarah-shahi-fairly-legal-550.jpgSince the beginning of the freshman USA Network comedy-drama "Fairly Legal," San Francisco-based mediator Kate Reed ( Sarah Shahi) has been coping with the loss of her father and legal mentor.

Her grieving process took a surprising twist at the end of episode two. The reading of the late Teddy Reed's will revealed that, while three-quarters of his estate went to, in equal measure, Kate and her brother, Spencer ( Ethan Embry), and their stepmother, Lauren ( Virginia Wiliams), the remaining one-quarter went to an unknown someone named David Smith.

In "The Two Richards," the episode airing Thursday, February 17, Kate and the show's fans get to meet David Smith -- played by "MacGyver" and "Stargate SG-1" star Richard Dean Anderson.

This marks Anderson's first appearance on the show; he will be in a total of three episodes.

"We wanted someone," series creator Michael Sardo tells Zap2it, "who would, in a short amount of screen time, be able to convey the gravity of someone who has lived an interesting life, and whom Kate would find interesting. Kate lives an interesting life, and that was a tall order.

"It was like casting someone who wouldn't wilt against her, someone whom Kate looks at and goes, 'I've got to find out who that is,' just in the short amount of time she encounters him. That takes someone with a lot of personality and charisma, and there aren't a lot of people like Richard who can give that to you."

"He's quiet," says Shahi when asked about working with Anderson. "He's a little weird. All of us are weird, though. Also, for our dynamic on the show, it was better that he and I didn't know each other very well. So we kept it like that.

"He's a lovely man, a great actor, very subtle."

As to who David Smith is, Shahi says, "I'm not exactly allowed to say how he's involved in the story, but he is involved in the story, and that's pretty much all I can give away."

Sardo is a bit more forthcoming, saying, "David Smith is someone who, we find out, was very much a part of her father's life, and yet she's never heard of him. Apparently he was an important part of her father's life, so in the course of the first season, she'll be constantly trying to get information from him and about him, with which he's very reluctant to part.

"The idea is, Kate knew a version of her father. David Smith is going to start to bring another version of who her father was to the forefront.

"I guess it's an overall theme of the show, in that, as we get older, we realize that the truth is not black and white. It's not that simple. There are a lot of parts to it. That's what we explore in the show." 
Photo/Video credit: USA