There’s a new resident coming to Tree Hill, and his name is Kevin Federline.
For his second TV appearance (he got his feet wet in primetime on CBS’ CSI), Federline has traveled to Hill’s North Carolina set to begin filming for his two-episode stint. But, as executive producer Mark Schwahn tells Us, if K-Fed plays his cards right, it could turn into a long-term gig once the show returns mid-season.
Usmagazine.com: How has Kevin performed thus far?
Mark Schwahn: We’re thrilled to have him- he was a great fit for us. This role is tailor made for him. It’s still very early in his acting career and he’s doing really well. Hilarie Burton ran lines with him and Kevin came very prepared. The climate on set has been great.
Us: Given all the media attention Kevin has received, has he surprised you?
MS: I have lived under a rock for five years making the show. I had a cursory knowledge of Kevin - I saw the Super Bowl commercial and knew who he was married to. People know a more bombastic version of him, but he seemed very humble and sweet to me - hardworking and well-intentioned. He’s been pretty fearless in the face of [media scrutiny].
Us: How many episodes has Kevin committed to?
MS: Two, but it’s open-ended. We have along history of being soap-esque and serialized—of having characters go away and then return. It won’t be based on fan reaction. If we have stories to tell for his character and the dates line up, he’ll come back.
Us: What did you think of the attention you got by casting him?
MS: I wasn’t nervous - I was surprised by it. [On the show], we’re comfortable creatively. We have this unprecedented idea of jumping ahead four years [in terms of character development]. We don’t need to invite Kevin in for the promotion or the press. It was about him being a good fit for the character. There was a time on this show when we might have chased that for attention. But we don’t need the attention – we’re not even on the air right now.
Us: Was the role of Jason written for him?
MS: My writers’ room is very pop culture-centric. They started saying ‘Kevin could do this.’ He guest-starred on CSI and [the team] thought he was great. I figured having been a dancer and a musician it would be an easy transition for him.
Us: Will he put his musical talents on display as well?
MS: He has a couple performance scenes on stage. He’s fronting a rock band.
Us: Is he actually singing?
MS: All that is prerecorded. We’re using an underground band, Pilot to Gunner, who agreed to do a couple songs for us. So he’ll be lip-synching. Kevin’s character has to have more swagger and presence than anything else.