Taking a Second Shot at Love on 'Cupid'

Today's cuppa: raspberry ceylon tea

Cupid Just dropping in with a quick link to an edited version of my feature story on ABC's remake of the short-lived but critically acclaimed romantic comedy-drama "Cupid," starring Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson.

And while we're at it, here's a little more from Cannavale, courtesy of my own syndicated "Inside TV" column for this week:

JUST A HARD-WORKING GUY WITH WINGS ... Bobby Cannavale is not exactly a TV novice. He had short stints in several TV series -- even winning an Emmy Award for his recurring role on "Will & Grace," and was a regular on the NBC police drama "Third Watch."

But he recently finished filming eight episodes of the new ABC comedy-drama "Cupid," premiering March 31, and it wiped him out.

"If we're lucky enough to come back," Cannavale says, "it's a real double-edged sword. I've never quite done this kind of a schedule before, ever. I've always been involved in ensembles. This is the first time I've been in anything resembling a part this big. You're pretty much there every day, 15-hour days.

"I can say I had a great time doing it. I was really never tired. I was really energized by playing this part, but again, it was only seven episodes.

"I don't know how the hell we'll do 22. I wouldn't be complaining -- we'll do it -- but at the end of seven, it felt like a lot more than that.

"But to come in every day and do a one-hour comedy is really a lot of fun, so I'm glad that I'm not on a procedural, and I'm on a show like this."

In "Cupid" -- writer Rob Thomas' remake of his short-lived 1998 ABC series by the same name -- Cannavale plays Trevor Pierce, who announces that he is really the Roman god Cupid. And, if he doesn't unite 100 couples, he can't return to his home on Mount Olympus.

Of course, he's thought to be crazy, but judged harmless and released into the care of a psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson) who has a rather more pragmatic view of romance than Trevor, who relies on instant chemistry.

Apparently, Cannavale didn't even have to go through the normal process to get the part.

"Rob found out that we had a mutual friend. I love when things happen like that, when it doesn't come through an agent. My friend called me and said, 'My friend Rob Thomas wants to talk to you.' I said, 'OK.' That's how it happened.

"And Rob loved (my movie) 'The Station Agent.' He said he wanted to do the same sort of quality. I said, 'Yeah, I can do that.'"

Cannavale also found more to love about "Cupid" than just working with a fan of "The Station Agent."

"This show has an element to it that I very much responded to," Cannavale says. "It was less about matching those hundred couples than it was about Trevor and Claire. I really love how that relationship tracks through the series.

"The writers can write really clever ways of matching up people and matching up opposites, doing things like a jewel thief and his probation officer. We do different, fun things like that.

"But a mature relationship, like the one between Trevor and Claire, it's complicated. I think Rob is real adept at parsing that out, little by little, the way a relationship really is. It needs to build."

Asked if he is romantic or a cynic about love, Cannavale says, "I'm just not set in my ways. I tend not to be set in stone about anything. I've got to remain open.

"Not to get corny about it, but it's what Trevor says about taking a step into the great unknown. That's what acting is for me. I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid.

"It was always about doing something that I was afraid of doing, that I didn't know if I could do."

He has one wish for Trevor that may or may not be fulfilled.

"I want one moment, where Trevor really does have his back to the wall, and he's caught in a compromising position.

"He makes a really strained face, and these two little wings pop out of his back, but they're not quite big enough to fly him away. If the show goes long enough, anything can happen."