Beverly Hills, Calif. — When Jake McDorman received the pilot script of Limitless and his agents said Bradley Cooper, star of the 2011 film, thought he would be great for the lead, McDorman didn’t believe them.
Even after he met with executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Craig Sweeny and director Marc Webb, McDorman still did not believe that Cooper wanted him to star in the TV sequel.
So when McDorman attended the same awards ceremony as Cooper last year, it was the moment of truth.
“He came right over and sold the show,” McDorman said Monday at the show’s TCA summer press tour panel. “We nerded out about expanding the universe of the movie as something to explore week to week.”
In Limitless, McDorman, who starred on the ABC Family teen drama series Greek, plays Brian Finch, who develops extraordinary cognitive abilities from mysterious drug NZT and uses them to help the FBI solve complex cases.
Cooper will reprise his role as Eddie Mora in the pilot and could recur throughout the series, depending on his schedule. That the TV version, which uses the format of a police procedural, would be a sequel “was always the idea,” Sweeny said. “We knew Bradley Cooper was going to be involved. If we wanted the option of having him on screen, we knew we shouldn’t recast the role of Edward Moran.”
“Recasting the role of Edward Mora would have been a lot more pressure,” added McDorman.
McDorman said he loves the challenge of playing two versions of Brian — one on NZT and one off NZT — and that Cooper checks in with him regularly. “He’s the best resource and excellent to work with,” McDorman said. “I’m so thankful for his availability.”
Kurtzman said that Cooper has been involved in “critical DNA” of the show, especially during the pilot process. “Bradley was dogged about his involvement and about Jake and it came together beautifully from there,” Kurtzman said
Limitless, which costars Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, premieres Tuesday, Sept. 22 on CBS.