Satisfaction’s Simon on the South & Season 2

by Jaime Lin Weinstein

In the South, where temperatures don’t really call for boots and sweaters till well past the official start of fall arrives, there is one other sign of the season’s change we can rely on: the return of our favorite television network shows. One of those is USA’s "Satisfaction," returning this week with it’s Season 2 premiere.

An original drama created by Sean Jablonski, the show explores the relationship between a husband and wife (played by Matt Passmore as Neil Truman and Stephanie Szostak as Grace Truman) as they confront issues with their relationship, their work, their personal happiness — and infidelity. That’s where Georgia native Blair Redford comes in. He plays Simon, a male escort whom Grace pays for sex, but their relationship is more than purely physical. We talked to Simon from the set of Satisfaction" at EUE/Screen Gems studios in Atlanta to find out what’s in store for Season 2. 

Coming from the South, do you think that’s had any effect on who you are today in general?
One hundred percent. Yeah, it’s given me I think a different sort of, you know we have a set of values down here and sort of a pace of life that I try to keep with me. I guess it’s sort of more like a genuine quality. People are very genuine whereas you don’t find that a lot in some West coast parts, LA especially. Yeah I definitely try to always hang on to that. I would like to not deviate from how I would be if I kind of stayed in Georgia.

And it’s nice that there are so many acting opportunities here now.
It’s amazing. When I moved away 10 years ago, it wasn’t anywhere near; no one would’ve guessed it would become what it is. I did back to back shows here last year, it was nice.

So you’re in Atlanta, this is your home, so does your family hit you up and say “I made food for you”?
All the time. They’re basically all here except for my father, who lives in Australia, but yeah, Woodstock, where I grew up, little less than an hour north, maybe an hour. But I try to go up there all the time. I went up there this past weekend to play tennis with my brother, hang out, I was with the family a little bit. But yeah my mom, knowing that I’m here, won’t really let two weeks go by that I don’t come up for a visit. They come down too. They’ll make trips down to the city and I’ll take them out to dinner here and hang out at my place. It’s good;it’s nice.

Let’s turn to the series. Any tidbits that you’ve taken away from your character, or the different topics discussed on the show that you’ve been able to apply to your real life relationships?
I think one of Simon’s interesting qualities, the reason he’s very good at what he does, is that it’s not about just giving women sex. So when I play the character I have to kind of, you know, see it from his point of view and think like him because he’s very good at looking at each woman individually and getting in tune with what they need, so I guess I hope if anything I kind of take that mentality to my dating life and stuff.

It’s interesting that you’re the younger male character yet you seem to have more insight into a woman’s needs. Are we going to learn anymore about Simon’s background or how he got to be who he is?
A ton. Yeah, yeah, you’ll learn that’s pretty much the whole deal with Simon this year is finding out how he got to where he is now, his past, you know, his dad. They obviously bring in Grant Show to play my father, which is awesome, he’s great. You find out where he came from, what his family is like, his upbringing … and I think that really makes him much more of a dimensional character. I mean you kind of just get one side of him in the first season and you don’t really need more than that I guess. I’ve been a huge fan of what they wrote for me in the second season because of that.

Did you know in the first season that he was going to be from a wealthy family earlier than when it was revealed?
No. It’s one of those deals where you have your ideas … and I even think at one point maybe it was Kevin (Bray), you know, he’s not a writer but he was doing the pilot. I think it was even an idea of his that I came from a low-end like Venice Beach sort of surfer community … like something not at all what it ended up being. But I guess it kinda makes you wonder how much they just come up with and how much they decide after they see you do the first season and then think what would fit … like did I have a part of it? I don’t know.

So how did you fold in that tidbit about his past into his character?
Oh well it definitely seasons it. Once you do have the facts I think then it’s your responsibility to make sure you know it’s kind of seeping in there. But luckily he rejected all of that. He rejected sort of the wealth and the status of his family so I could kind of continue to do my own thing and develop him in the way I wanted. I think that’s the thing, he kind of rejected it all so he seems like more of a regular guy. You don’t catch him like talking above class of anyone or out of turn … he’s just kind of done away with all that.

“Satisfaction” Season 2 premieres on USA, Friday, Oct. 16 at 10/9c.