Exclusive Video Interview: Quantum Leap’s Raymond Lee on Ben’s Relationships with Addison & Hannah & More

Quantum LeapTonight, NBC premieres the final two episodes of season two of Quantum Leap. In the first one, Ben (Raymond Lee) leaps into the body of a firefighter in 1974 and is once again reunited with Hannah (Eliza Taylor) and her son, Jeffrey (Connor Esterson). Then, in the season finale, Ben leaps into a speeding stock car in 1976, but he and the team must also work to stop a threat from the future. 

Recently, Lee spoke with SciFi Vision about Ben’s relationship with Hannah, how he reconciles how quick it was and if they can have their happy ending, if there’s still hope for Ben and Addison (Caitlin Bassett), what’s to come in the end of the season, and more. 

Watch the interview or read the full transcript below and be sure to tune in, tonight on NBC.




SCIFI VISION:   The first thing I want to talk about is Ben's relationship with Hannah. Now, I know obviously from an audience point of view, a lot of times it's different, but part of the story has been how for Addison, [Ben] was gone years, but for Ben, it was days, and it still seems like it has not been that long since all of that happened. Do you personally feel that it's kind of early for him to have fallen in love with Hannah? How do you sort of, I guess, play that, and is it hard also, from an acting standpoint, to get kind of that chemistry without having a lot of time for their backstory?

RAYMOND LEE:   
The way that I made sense of it, as far as Ben's journey goes, and as far as just from experience myself, is sometimes you feel a connection to a person immediately. You meet them, and you go - And I don't know how much folks believe in this stuff, but in past lives, like we must have known each other in a different life, but in this relationship to this world of the reality of Quantum Leap and what's possible, I think Ben believes that there's a possibility that we're connected in a different way than in this metaphysical state. So, he meets Hannah and goes, “There's something about this person. You're talking about yo yos and centripetal force, and like, okay, this is strange, but the fact that we keep running into each other” - I think Ben has to believe that something else is conspiring to bring these two together. And I think Addison's character is actually the first to point it out. “I know why the accelerator keeps bringing them together, [it’s] because they're in love.” I think she realizes it before we do, and we just continue to connect and continue to connect. And we're escaping death at every turn. I don't know if you've had a near death experience, but you remember everything about that moment and the person that you were in there with. You have a story forever that you're bound by. And when these things continue to happen, and you continue to fall in love in the back scape of different time periods where, you know, the lens flares are happening, I think it's very easy to believe that you're seeing each other through starry eyes as well. So, it makes sense to me. It made sense to Ben. As far as connecting with someone like Eliza goes, she's she's done 100 episodes of her own show. She's such a pro. For me, I was learning a lot from Eliza as we were going through this too. And when you have somebody who's attuned that way to people's feelings and everything around them, we're both very - we have heightened senses about our surroundings as well. So, we're looking at each other's micro reactions, on and off set. You create that sort of chemistry in a matter of moments. Also during the chemistry read too, that's essentially what it's there for. You have to build chemistry in just moments. So, by the time we found ourselves on set, we sort of knew the task at hand, and we knew that we had to play this relationship out throughout the course of the season. So, how to disseminate the love that we're going to share with the audience was another thing that wasn't spoken about, but I feel like we just sort of knew, and we also had great directors and producers and writers that were constantly watching what we were doing, too. 

Now, obviously Ben wants to tell her, and he finally [did let her know] about her husband, just because of the person he is, not because of their circumstances…But now, with everything that's going on, I'm just curious, [can Ben] have a happy ending with Hannah? Is it doomed? I mean, is there a way that they can be okay, or is he just happy with whatever time he gets? 

Quantum LeapYou know, I don't know. I think Ben, one of his strengths and weaknesses is his optimism. So, I think in his perfect world, everything could work out all the time for everybody. I think his well being is actually the least of his concerns. I don't know if he's even had enough time to really sit down and think about whether this could be a permanent thing, but all I can tell you is Ben is a reactive person, and he is constantly just trying to hold all ends of tethered ropes together, and he wants to be the center knot. For story, it's great that all these ends pull apart and [are] exploding. [laughs] Like, “Oh, my God I can't possibly bear the weight of everything.” But I think he has to believe that it can work out. Otherwise, why try? 

Now I want to ask you about the flip side of it, with Addison. If regardless of how [it could] happen, let's just, you know, hypothesize that it doesn't work out with Hannah or something happens…do you think he would be ready to go back with Addison? I mean, obviously, Tom (Peter Gadiot)'s out of the picture it seems like, but they've both changed a lot…I think I feel he still loves both of them, but I'm just kind of curious, how do you think that could potentially play out in that sense? 

What's really cool about this love relationship is that it's very unorthodox and it's nonlinear. There's not a very black and white answer to like, I love you, and I don't love you, and I can love you and I can love you…Also the given circumstance is so wide open as well. He basically lost consciousness for three years to everybody else. He was gone for three years to everybody else, and he's just playing catch up. He hasn't even probably asked about what happened to Jenn (Nanrisa Lee) or Ian (Mason Alexander Park) in those years. He's just catching up to just the sprinkles that he's getting of Addison’s life. And every now and again, “Oh, did you know this happened at headquarters?” Like, how can I help that? That's insane. I didn't know that happened. So, I think to believe what we believe in a traditional love relationship would be a trap in this sort of situation. I think all three of them have an immense capability to love beyond that. So, to answer your question, I think there is always hope for Ben and Addison, and what came before their love relationship was a deep friendship. When two people know each other in that way, I feel like it's like seeing an ex, and you're like, “Oh, I remember what this felt like; I can't do it. If I sit in this room with you for more than 10 minutes, we're probably going to end up falling in love again. So, I'm probably going to see myself out.” But the possibilities are always there. 

[Episode twelve] the logline says that Hannah is in it. Can you tease a bit sort of about what's to come, with Hannah and Addison, just sort of relationship-wise what's to come, whatever you’re allowed to say? 

I’m not allowed to say much, and truthfully, I don't want to say much at all, and that is just purely out of respect for our fans and for everyone that's been watching since day one, since day negative one and the original series. I am just so elated and fulfilled with the way these last two episodes turned out that I just want for our fans to watch and absorb and just experience [them] in real time with no prior information or anything. 

This is something maybe you can give me that isn’t really spoilery. I just want to ask, it says that you you play a firefighter and there's a towering inferno. That's in the logline. What was that like? Because I'm assuming that there's a lot of action and special effects and that kind of thing in there. So, can you just sort of talk a little bit about that part of the episode? 

It was so hot. [laughs] Yeah, much respect to everybody on the cast of Chicago Fire and every show and movie that came before, because those turncoats, it's like another thirty pounds of just equipment, and also that helmet. I think I was drenched for two weeks straight in my own sweat. It was very hot. But that's it. Yeah, being in that place, you know, one of the my dreams as a - [at] my preschool graduation, there's a recording where I say, “my dream when I grow up is to become a firefighter,” and seeing myself in the turncoats and the helmet, while I was getting changed, I was like, “This is insane.” This is really just one of the coolest things about this job is just the wish fulfillment of every wish that I've had grown up as a kid, but this one was so specific. I wanted this. But yeah, and also to pay homage to The Towering Inferno. That's one of the great bits about this show is that we get to continually do that, but it was just very cool. It's a very cool world that Ben [Raab] and Deric [Hughes] created, and I was happy to live in it. 

Just really quick, we're out of time, but I just wanted to ask, you since you said that, is there a time period you really want to get to go to that your younger self would have loved to get to play [in], to explore on the show? 

It's wild, because we've already kind of done it all. One big one was a Western, and we did that, we established so early on in the first season, but I love the early 2000s. I know that's not far off in history, but I think that's a fun time to revisit as an adult, because just Y2K was so wild, what Y2K would have been. and I just [would] want to get some perspective as an adult and what that might feel like.

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