Adrian Pasdar's life experiences could make a mini-series

Adrian Pasdar
says his new show is a reflection of real life.
Adrian Pasdar says his new show is a reflection of real life. MCT

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Actor Adrian Pasdar doesn't need to look for drama in his work — he's had plenty in his life. Watching his father save a life taught him priorities. A crippling accident pushed him into acting. And meeting his wife forced him to change his lifestyle.

The actor from Heroes and Castle is co-starring in ABC Family's The Lying Game, in which he plays a mysterious friend of an adoptive family. Their daughter discovers that she's an identical twin. The twins plot to root out their birth mother, and Pasdar's character knows more than he's willing to reveal.

"The show is about generations of consequences from not being 100 percent honest," he says.

"I'm at the point in my life where decisions I made as a young man are the ones I live with now. The decisions I'm making now are the ones my children are going to have to live with. That's what this show's about in many ways. There are many layers of complexity to the levels of deceit in the show. It does become a very complicated web of deceit and misperception in the show between the adults and the youth."

Pasdar's early decisions might be guiding him now, but when he was 14, he learned the value of life in an instant.

"I was with my father, and he's a cardiovascular thoracic surgeon. We were walking out of the hospital Sunday to go get some lunch; I was doing rounds with him. And as we were walking out, the paramedics came flying up and a fellow had a punctured lung. ...

"Fluid was collecting in his lung and there was no time to bring him into the ER. My dad laid him out, ... ripped his shirt off, shaved his chest with a scalpel, cut a triangle in his skin, took the casing off a Bic pen and pushed it in there to relieve the pressure that was building up from the puncture in the lungs, it was filling with air. And as soon as it hit that pocket it went phewww, like that, and this fluid and air, noise, blood went all over the room. ... I remember thinking, 'That's drama.'"

Another crisis occurred when he was a promising football player in college. "I had a car accident and woke up in traction and had road rash all over my back. ... My roommate was in the car with me. I had a broken neck and had been in a coma for a little bit, my legs were both broken, and I remember lying there and I remember looking over at him. He woke up and saw me and we started laughing because we were alive."

Meeting his future wife also was filled with drama. Pasdar is married to Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks. They have two children, 7 and 10.

"I'd come back from working in Paris and I was a best man in a wedding in Texas. She was a bridesmaid. My transmission dropped in Benson, Ariz. ... I was late and missed the rehearsal dinner because of my transmission. I finally showed up, the dust hadn't even settled on my back tires when I was putting on my shoes and bow tie. I had a shot of tequila with the groom, pinned the boutonniere on him.

"He said, 'By the way, you're the end of the line of the groomsmen because you were late.' So I was last. ... So when we left, we were united. The first thing she said to me was, 'You're late.' She didn't even look at me. She just grabbed my arm and said, 'You were supposed to be here yesterday.' I said, 'It's nice to meet you too.'"