Wesam Keesh promises big cliffhangers on next season of Shondaland's law drama 'For The People'
Keesh, one of the main cast members of the show, spoke to us about his character in the show, his transition from the first episode as well as what's in store for season 2!
If you're a fan of law firm dramas, 'For The People' is definitely for you. And unlike other stylish law firm shows out there, this Shondaland show is a welcome change.
Why? Simply because it is so heartwarming. It revolves around the lives of a bunch of lawyers, both public defenders and prosecutors. In a refreshing take on the courtroom television shows, 'For The People' is all about what a lawyer does for a case. They stand by what their client needs, even if it means it is everything that their heart stands against - at the end of the day they do their job, and they do it well.
Wesam Keesh, one of the main cast members of the show, spoke to us about his character in the show, his transition from the first episode as well as what's in store for season 2 - the show was recently renewed to come back for a second season. Potential? We think so. You would've also seen him in 'Touch' (2012), 'NCIS' (2011) and 'The Mentalist' (2011).
Keesh plays the character of Jay Simmons, a Federal public defender in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. He comes from a hard knock background. His father, who used to be an electrical engineer in Syria now runs a small laundry outlet to support his family. As for his career, he's climbing up slowly. The conflict of responsibility with his father is one of the most vulnerable points of Jay's character and that's what makes the show so realistic - it doesn't just tell you that lawyers are ruthless. They falter, they make mistakes and strive to fight another day. And one more thing, he would get "food poisoning" than have a chat with prosecutor Kate Littlejohn (Susannah Flood).
Q: Other than the obvious reasons, why do you think Jay is so terrified of Kate? What’s the underlying cause there?
Keesh: Jay sees that there is a very little break in Kate’s armor. If it’s the law, it’s the law. Very little to no compromise. I feel that he see Kate as losing her sense of humanity by having this core belief in the law and life. He knows that a good portion of the job entails showing the humanity of his clients and when the prosecutor seems to care more about the law than the humanity of the accused, that could be a big problem. Especially when laws are out of date or the punishment for breaking that law is too extreme.
Q: Jay Simmons started off as quite a naive character, as seen in his first case with the conman. How do you think his character transition has been?
Keesh: His transition has been bumpy but it’s well-learned lessons that you can only experience when the job is "trial by fire". You learn the best from experiences by directly experiencing them and making mistakes.
Q: The finale is on soon, give us a little sneak peek. Where does this leave all the characters, especially Jay?
Keesh: We all become bounty hunters… in space. Just kidding. All I can say is that there will be ends tied up and some big cliffhangers.
Q: The show has been renewed for a second season. What will we see this season, in terms of the storyline?
Keesh: For this season, it’s gonna be very exciting for audiences to see what it’s like to be in the first few months of a new job that is intense, uncompromising, and high stakes. People’s lives are in the balance and these characters have to deal with their own personal dilemmas as well as complicated relationships.
Q: What kind of cases would Jay be handling? Will Kate make his life difficult? How will we see Jay’s character evolve in season 2?
Keesh: Not sure yet! Paul Davies and the writers will be working on it this summer.
Q: The show has been so loved and successful, how did it happen to you? Anything in particular that you remember?
Keesh: By the grace and generosity of God, I’ve always put in 100% when I audition for a role. I’m glad that my artistic choices line up with what was needed in the show’s storylines.
Q: How did you prepare for the role of Jay?
Keesh: One of the cool things I got to do was shadow a real public defender at the LA courthouse. It was an incredible experience and very eye-opening. It’s amazing with the types of cases PDs have to deal with in a day. Ranging from bicycle theft to sexual assault cars and everything in between.
Q: Jay’s backstory is revealed, in a very little way. Do you think season 2 will reveal a bit more about the characters too since now they’ve been established?
Keesh: I wouldn’t be spurred if they did. Paul and the writers are very clever in giving the audiences the right amount of backstory at the right time.
Q: How did you get into acting? And what made you stay for so long?
Keesh: Always had a passion for performing from a young age. That passion grew the more shows I performed in and the more I studied acting.
Q: Any other upcoming shows/projects you’re working on? If yes, please tell us about them
Keesh: I’ve got a podcast called Wesam’s World that you can listen to on iTunes podcast as well as listen to it live Thursdays on Idobi radio at 3 pm Pacific / 6 pm Eastern time. I have great talks with great people. Some of my guests have been my amazing co-stars on the show Britt, Rege, Jasmin, Sussanah and even Tom Verica came on. Amazing conversations about life, art, and everything in between.
Q: Is there a genre of show that you wanna do? If yes, which one and why?
Keesh: No specific genre. I only wish to be part of great shows/movies that not only entertain but also enlighten people so that they better themselves and better the people around them.