Deception, a new show on ABC where FBI agents get a pinch-hit in their crime-solving from a roguish magician, premieres on Sunday, March 11 at 10 pm. The show’s stars and its magic consultant, Francis Menotti, have been drumming up interest with lots of press interviews. Menotti said he has been particularly impressed with how quickly his newest protege, actor Jack Cutmore-Scott, picked up the tricks.
“Jack may be the best I’ve ever worked with,” he told Decider. “What I thought I had to do was teach him basic sleight of hand, muscle movements, control, and observation; being able to aware of your surroundings and be aware of angles. What I didn’t realize I’d be teaching him, and what he’s learned on his own is how to work an audience.” Menotti added that he could send the actor a video clip of a magic trick and Cutmore-Scott would have it nailed in six hours. They also did plenty of in-person research to prep him for the role as superstar magician Cameron Black.
“We went to see real magic shows and we’d talk about them after,” Menotti recalled. “We had discussions not just about how the tricks work but specifically how the psychology of the magic worked.”
When Decider asked Cutmore-Scott about the magician training, he said that keeping a poker face during the tricks has been his biggest challenge:
The hardest part is to actually not get overexcited when it works, staying calm as if it’s normal, because for Cameron it is normal; it’s just not for me. I’m only more impressed now that I’ve snuck a peek behind the curtain because you find out how much work goes into these tricks that are designed to look totally natural and magic. They’re supposed to look effortless and they are not.
Read the full interview here.