‘The Calling’ Star & EP Tease Finale ‘Cliffhanger’ & How Avraham’s Faith ‘Bleeds Into His Job’ (Exclusive)

Peacock's new crime drama isn't your typical procedural. 'The Calling' star Jeff Wilbusch and EP Matthew Tinker break down what to expect.

Avraham Avraham isn’t your average NYPD detective. His belief in mankind is his superpower when it comes to uncovering the truth. However, he starts questioning his own humanity when a seemingly routine investigation takes a shocking turn. For The Calling star Jeff Wilbusch, he told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVE that he knew he had to play Avraham the moment he read the script.

“When I read the pilot, I thought to myself, I’ve never seen such a character on TV, never,” Jeff said. “It’s very rare as an actor that you read something… you may read something good or very good, but that you personally read a character that you know you have to play this character. You have to. It happened where I just fell in love with Avi, and he’s so fascinating and so complex and such a mysterious character I think, even to himself. That was definitely something that I had to play.”

Jeff Wilbusch
Jeff Wilbusch as Avraham. (Peacock)

Jeff noted that while Avraham “loves people,” he’s actually a “loner.” The Israeli actor continued, “He prefers to work alone. He is such a devoted detective, but his cases are everything to him. But in real life, he has no children. He’s single. He has basically no life, so he prefers to work alone. But then when Detective Harris wants to work with him… it’s not the first time that people want to work with him, want to understand what he does, but Detective Harris, played by the amazing Juliana Canfield, she’s special. She’s ambitious, she’s curious, and she inspires Avraham and surprises him. I think this is a character, this is a partner, that he didn’t want but he definitely needed.”

Executive producer Matthew Tinker revealed that the second Jeff walked through the door to audition for Avraham, that was it. “It was like, you’re Avraham, and Avraham is you. There were a lot of conversations about casting authentically and honestly these days, and I’m really proud that we have someone starring who is portraying beliefs and characteristics and even mannerisms that are authentic to who this character is on the page of the books,” Matthew said.

The EP had seen some of Jeff’s previous work, including Unorthodox. “I think that’s the beauty of Jeff in a way. I feel like we’ve gotten a steal. He’s a massive star,” Matthew admitted. “It’s going to be the first time for a lot of people seeing him here and that is a gift. When you see a Tom Cruise movie, you’re seeing Tom Cruise, and I think he really disappears in Avraham here and just knocks it out of the park.”

Jeff Wilbusch
Juliana Canfield and Jeff Wilbusch in ‘The Calling.’ (Peacock)

Matthew detailed that Avraham will be using his “faith in humanity” to help solve cases. He continued, “It could be Judaism. It could be any religion. It could be any belief system really that one has that’s greater than oneself. So when Avi looks at the world, he tries to put himself in another character’s shoes. That’s what makes him a great detective. He tries to empathize with them. He rarely is going to resort to violence. He first and foremost, even to a detriment, is going to try to use his compassion to open doors rather than force. That’s how his faith sort of bleeds into his job.”

The executive producer teased that season 1 will “end on a cliffhanger. I don’t think anyone’s going to see it coming really.” With this cliffhanger, Matthew has his eye on season 2. “It’s a pretty intricate callback to something that happens in an earlier episode, and we’re planning for it,” he said about the finale and a second season. “We’re excited. Obviously, no one knows how it’s going to do until we drop, but since we’re dropping all episodes at once, we should know fairly soon. I would say 99% of the behind-the-scenes team would be back in a heartbeat to do this and is excited and raring to go.” All episodes of The Calling are available now on Peacock.

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