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Treat Williams, 'Leverage': Actor Talks Hockey, Playing The Bad Guy & Emily VanCamp's 'Revenge'

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Treat Williams talks "Leverage," Emily VanCamp and more,

Treat Williams may have made his TV mark as Dr. Andy Brown on "Everwood," but one of our favorite small screen dads is changing it up for a guest role on TNT's con man drama "Leverage" (Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on TNT).

Williams will play Pete Rising, an ex-hockey player who now owns a professional team, the Oregon Otters. However, after Rising sacrifices the team's star player to get ahead, Nate (Tim Hutton) and his group step in to protect the team from its ruthless, "dumb as a fox" owner. The episode also reunites the veteran actor with one of his first loves: hockey.

HuffPost TV chatted with Williams about his upcoming role on "Leverage," why he enjoys playing the bad guy and if he'd ever consider heading to the Hamptons to pay his former co-star Emily VanCamp a visit on "Revenge."

In this upcoming episode of "Leverage," you're a ruthless hockey team owner. After four seasons of "Everwood," I'm not used to seeing you play the bad guy.
Oh, really? I think you missed a couple then! [Laughs.] Some people know me for those roles. In "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead," I played a total psychopath, and Brian Dennehy did a thing that keeps playing on television where I played a wife-killer. I was the go-to charming guy who turns out to be a maniac. It's nice! After four years of "Everwood," it's refreshing to do roles like this. I keep wanting to change people's minds and change it up.

You're going to hit the ice in this episode. Are you a hockey fan?
I played in high school! I used to play baseball, but then I switched. I wasn't one of those prodigy kids, but I could skate, and I just loved it so much.

Was it fun to get back on the ice?
On Sunday, the entire crew -- and all of them are guys from the Pacific Northwest and hockey players -- had a big pickup game in the afternoon. Basically, nobody could walk on Monday morning. It was great! Everybody from the producers, down to everyone else in the crew played hockey -- even Christian [Kane], who could barely skate! He's the real miracle of that show. He was not a skater or a hockey player, but he really did a good job with that. He worked for a month and a half to get himself up to speed. And Tim [Hutton] too! He's not a hockey player, and he did a great job.

Are you going to be facing off with them in this episode?
Tim and I do a shootout, which was kind of fun. Of course, I threw my shoulder out doing it, but it was worth it because it was fun. We were on the ice for two days, for about eight hours both days. I'm usually on skates for an hour and a half -- we play, we take them off and then we go grab a beer. But it was really great. I love to skate, so I had a blast. We had the whole arena to ourselves. The acting I did for free!

Did Christian and Tim ask you for any tips?
Well, they didn't need them from me! There were five or six guys on set who were pros, and they had trainers for those guys. I was a defenseman, so I did need a few pointers when it came to shooting because I was not a good shot. In my time, I was more known as a football player on skates.

What can you tell me about your "Leverage" character Peter Rising?
Although you may not always see it -- in fact, I'm about to do it again in a miniseries -- I have a tendency to play these well-educated and very ambitious, and sometimes very cold, calculated men. And in this case, the guy wasn't particularly bright. He's dumb like a fox. He's an athlete who turned around his success in the pros to own a small hockey team. Eventually, he almost takes these people down; they're the con artists, but he cons them. However, his ambition is really his downfall. He's very hungry for money, and he takes advantage of his players. He had pretty much been a thug as a hockey player, and not particularly good, so it was exciting for me -- not to mention that acting with Tim Hutton is like playing good tennis.

Is the relationship between Peter and Nate also going to be like playing good tennis?
Oh definitely! He challenges me and gets under my skin. It pretty much remains that way throughout the episode until the big shootout. I'm working opposite of an Academy Award winner! It doesn't get any better than that. I don't have one!

I think it's so funny because he's this very thuggish, ruthless character, but he owns a team called the Oregon Otters, which are very cute and fluffy, the opposite of Peter.
Yes, I know! I guess it's like the Mighty Ducks. They come up with the strangest names for these teams. It's sort of an oxymoron. But it could be worse! It's better than the Swans or the Oregon Knightingales.

Your former "Everwood" co-star Emily VanCamp is currently on "Revenge." Are you a fan?
I am a fan of Emily, and I just did a picture with her two years ago for Hallmark. I've watched a couple of episodes [of "Revenge"], but I have to be honest with you: I don't watch a whole lot of TV. I'm in my garden, I read a lot of books and I fly airplanes. I don't even watch myself on TV! So I think that if I watched it regularly, I'd probably be a fan, but I just don't watch a lot of TV. I hear that she's just extraordinary in it. She deserves all of her success. She's a great kid ... kid? Well, she's now in her 20s, but she was 15 when she started. I'm happy to be a part of her life after all of these years.

If ABC asked you to guest star, would you be up for it?
Sure! I'm a gun for hire. I'm open for anything. At this point, I look at it and say, "Is this going to be fun? Is this going to be challenging? Who am I working with? And does this work for my family?" I didn't think that I'd ever guest on TV, and all of the sudden, things changed. I began to examine how much more fun it could be to guest star on these shows, but it has to be something more than just the villain of the week.

Well, if you have the opportunity to be in "Revenge," maybe you'll end up sparring with Emily. She does some kung fu in the show.
Oh! Once my shoulder heals from "Leverage," I'd love to go do kung fu with Emily.

"Leverage" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

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