(CBS Local)– On Sunday, September 27, Showtime premieres its fascinating new dramatic mini-series called “The Comey Rule” that focuses on the relationship between former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump during the first few months of the Trump administration. Jeff Daniels stars as Comey and the series features big names like Holly Hunter, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Kelly and Steven Pasquale.
Pasquale plays former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who led the FBI’s investigation into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server and was also a member of Robert Mueller’s Special Council Investigation that looked into the connection between the Trump administration and Russia. Strzok also saw his relationship with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page become media fodder before he was fired from the FBI for sending disparaging texts about President Trump. All of these things made playing Strzok an intriguing assignment for Pasquale.
“It [the show] felt really important and we’re proud of it,” said Pasquale in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “It’s a look inside the insane pressure cooker that was the FBI during the 2016 election, on the heels of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, which looked into Russian meddling. It’s a really great insightful look into how crazy that was for those great and patriotic American men and women, who work at the FBI, which was once an apolitical organization. They tried to do the right thing in the face of emerging fascism in America.”
“The Comey Rule” is a two-night event that will begin on September 27 at 9 p.m. EST and then the second episode of the mini-series will air on Monday, September 28 at 9 p.m. EST. Strzok recently came out with a book about his life and career called “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump” and Pasquale is excited to read it and learn even more about the FBI agent. The actor says his heart goes out for Strzok and Page because of the way that they have been vilified in the media for their relationship.
“I think Peter Strzok is one of the most unsung heroes in all of this. He is a decorated decades long patriot of this country and a public servant who was not making millions of dollars a year,” said Pasquale. “He was trying to put bad guys in jail. What is a person supposed to do when a career criminal and lifelong con man finds his way with the help of the Russians into the White House. You’re going to say this is going to be really hard to the person you are sleeping with. This guy has been discredited that he somehow couldn’t do his job because he spoke a truth.”
While Pasquale has been in hit shows like “Rescue Me” and “The People V. O.J. Simpson,” “The Comey Rule” is in a separate category for Pasquale because of the significance of the moment and the presence of Daniels as the lead. The actor was blown away by Daniels’ portrayal of Comey.
“When you get to work with a giant in the acting world, you never know what to expect,” said Pasquale. “Sometimes it’s very disappointing and other times it’s thrilling. I didn’t know what to expect from Jeff. He was amazing and was laser-focused. He had a lot of material that your average actor wouldn’t be able to wrap their mouth around. Jeff is a classic, great American theater actor, which is why he’s so great. I’m a believer in the integrity of James Comey and I know that’s a controversial thing to say. I believe his downfall was his own sense of his own personal decency. He didn’t realize he was operating in the political climate we are operating in.”
Watch “The Comey Rule” on Showtime.