QUANTUM LEAP Star Raymond Lee on Leading the Revived Time Travel Saga

long jump Star Raymond Lee—who plays Dr. Ben Song in NBC’s recent revival of the show—knows as much as viewers about some of the mysteries to come. The show isn’t necessarily a reboot, nor is it a remake of the beloved 1990s series starring Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett. Instead, there is more of a revival of Project Quantum Leap to better understand it. In honor of its arrival, Lee caught nerdist To talk about finding things systematically, creating network TV history, etc.

,[The showrunners] were going to tell me [the show’s big secrets], but I said ‘Don’t tell me!,'” Lee says via Zoom. “I asked for bits and pieces. I want to know as much as the character knows. Not to say that I can’t play it once I know it, but it has worked so far. And I want to be surprised by the scripts that come out and those that come before me otherwise. I’m already guessing what’s out there already. So yeah, it’s more fun for me.”

<iframe loading="lazy" title="Quantum Leap: Official Trailer

Lee understands how much of a cult following the series has and knows the importance in pop culture; However, he doesn’t feel the pressure to keep up Sam Beckett’s legacy. In fact, he decided not to watch the original series in its entirety so that he could focus on what’s coming next.

“For creative reasons, I haven’t re-watched so many episodes because we’re making a new show,” shares Lee. “Even though the show exists with us spiritually, I’m fully aware that we’re creating something new, so I don’t want [watching the old episodes] to impress me a lot. ,

Raymond Lee explains that the original long jump The series was perfect the first time. And they didn’t want to try to recreate that exact format. Instead of a bromance between Sam and Al, Ben’s hologram partner is his fiancé and fellow scientist, Addison (Caitlin Bassett), whom he can’t remember from the jump.

“It’s a romance,” says Lee. “I love that we are trying to piece together the kind of love that it once was. That theme is so exciting and it’s a dynamic thing to play out during these leaps.”

photo of quantum leap star raymond lee
NBCUniversal

The revived series will also focus on the people working on the project with Ben and Edison, including project director Herbert “Magic” Williams (Ernie Hudson), scientist Ian Wright (Mason Alexander Park), and security officer Jane Chow (Nanrisa Lee). Are included. Technology has come a long way, so Project Quantum Leap HQ—home of the supercomputer Ziggy—will play a major role.

And, more than 30 years after the first series, things were bound to change onscreen. Instead of the previous heavily white male main cast and writers’ room, the story and the people in front and behind the camera are markedly more diverse.

“We’re already off with casting as usual,” shares Lee. “The writers’ room is a very diverse room. All the directors that have come in so far are from different backgrounds, cultures, and genders. It’s 2022. A lot has changed. It’s really silly of us that Let’s not just address this and make our quantum world look like the world we live in. It starts from the top down. Our creators put a lot of importance in making sure that all backgrounds are seen and heard.”

The casting of Lee itself is historic as the first Asian American lead in a sci-fi series, let alone one with a cult following on network television. he is aware of the importance of taking her long jump Mantras for the Asian diaspora, especially since the series is not centered around his identity as an Asian man. Lee insists that he plays a scientist who travels in the quantum realm and just happens to be Asian.

Quantum Leap star Raymond Lee wearing a leather jacket and red bandana
NBCUniversal

“That’s what inspired me to take on the role — it wasn’t just about identity,” says Lee. “It wasn’t an identity role. I never want to harp about my background. It’s just a part of me and if you want to know about it I can tell you about it. But I’m an American . I grew up eating more rice than other people.”

With Lee still casting, it gives the show an opportunity to explore different perspectives by touching on Ben’s identity as a Korean American raised by a single mother. While Beckett’s character comes from a white privileged perspective, Ben’s upbringing as a person of color informs his choices when he leaps into a person.

“I can’t divorce my background and the way I see how I react to the world,” Lee explains. “It was important to us not to jump into straight white guys over and over again. You’ll see that as the series progresses, it certainly informs. As the series progresses, we can see Ben’s background and will find out more about his mother, who was an immigrant [from Korea] And being an only child. all [these things informed him on] The reason why he chooses to make the decisions he makes. It’s intrinsically a part of him.”

Although the series has undergone many changes, the heart of what made long jump In a fan favorite relic. It is about how one person can change history for the better. Lee connected with that aspect of the show and tells us what to expect with his series.

,[The original series] Such a great show,” revealed Lee. It was heartwarming and I was able to connect with Sam Beckett’s character. I remember he had a weird relationship with his father and that’s something that kept coming up [and] that resonated with me. Here are some themes [understood], [For our show[, there’s levels [of] Sympathy that I am shocked by each episode. ,

long jump Currently airing on NBC.

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