Luke Kleintank Talks FBI International And Upcoming Baby Plans - Exclusive Interview

Fans of CBS' "FBI" or "FBI: Most Wanted" were excited for the second series spinoff, "FBI: International," which began airing in September 2021. The show follows an international FBI fly team as they investigate crimes and potential threats to the US abroad. The anticipated Season 1 finale is set to air tonight at 9:00 p.m ET. Prior to the end of the season, the series was also picked up for two more seasons, so there's a lot more to look forward to from "FBI: International."

Luke Kleintank, who stars in the series as Special Agent Scott Forrester, sat down for an exclusive interview with The List. During our discussion, he shared his thoughts on the first season, his relationship with the cast, what it was like moving his life to Budapest for filming, and if he's looking forward to the next two seasons. Kleintank has also worked on hit dramas like "Law & Order: SVU" and "CSI," but according to the actor, "FBI: International" has been like nothing he's experienced before.

How FBI: International compares to Law & Order

"FBI: International" deals with a lot of real-world and current issues in the episodes. What do you think about the way the show has handled those topics?

It's a mixture of things. Because we are a TV series, some of the things that we speak about are truthful, and some of the things we take a lot of liberties. Certain things ... there are certain cases that cannot be solved in a day or two days. They take years, but I know from the writer's perspective, they take a lot of their stories from factual stories, and we try to condense them because we do a 22-episode format. We try to condense them so that it's in one episode and try to make them as relevant as possible.

It's tough because [it would be great] if we could spend 22 episodes on one case, but it's not the format of the show. We do take our liberties in the sense of certain things that the FBI does and how they operate, but we try and stick to as much as we can without the suspension of disbelief as well.

How would you say working on this series has compared to other crime shows you've been on, like "Law & Order" and "CSI?"

When I did "Law & Order SVU," I was a co-star on that show. I felt I was scared s***less, and it was my first job ... I grew up in the theater background, ao I didn't know how anything worked. That was a whole different experience for me. "CSI" was similar. You come onto a new show that's been there for so many years, and you feel like you're the new person on the show, and it's nerve-wracking. On some shows, you have actors that are very welcoming, or the lead stars are very welcoming. That's something that I learned at a very young age, is to welcome everybody that's new, that's coming in, because I know how that feels ... It's hard coming into something that feels bigger than you.

FBI International cast's unique relationship

Was it a different feeling with this show when you're starting out in Season 1, and the whole cast is new, and you're all coming in together?

Oh yeah. When we started this season, everybody was new, but this one was different because not only was everybody new, but everybody was moving their entire lives to a new country. I did a series called "The Man in the High Castle" for four years in Vancouver, but I was living in LA at the time. That's two hours, that's not much. The majority of our casts, a lot of our producers, and a lot of things there, everybody lives in the states.

For me to get home [from shooting "FBI: International"], it's a 14-hour flight. It felt like it was a huge decision for everybody to take their lives and move it all the way to Budapest and start in a new place [where] actually none of us had ever been. It felt like a huge choice and a risk.

It turns out that we all were in the same boat and we all felt the same way, and we didn't really know anybody else. We all depended upon each other for friendship, and luckily enough, you could work with actors that you don't like, and you could work with people that you don't vibe with. We were blessed enough to actually truly vibe with each other. We're the fly team, and this is not me just saying this because it's an interview or whatever. I'm being 100% truthful. Our actors team is, it feels like we are the fly team because we know nobody else. This is us. I've said it again and again, it's like, life imitates art. We really are the best of the best.

We go out, we hang out ... When that wraps on the weekend, me, Heida [Reed], Carter [Redwood], Vinessa [Vidotto], we are out together. We're having drinks. We're going, we're singing karaoke. We're at each other's houses. We depend on it. We actually depend on each other, which is rare, because if this show had been in the States, it's easy to go back to your respective house and see your other friends that you know. We didn't know anybody. It's a forced friendship, but it actually became a real friendship.

How his relationship to cast members helped the series

Do you think how close you guys became helped you in making the show and having your characters have that bond?

Absolutely, because aside from work, as people — Vanessa or Carter or myself ... we spend 12-hour days on set together. They're really the only people, and you know there's crew too, but they're the core of the group. We really lean on each other to talk through our personal anxieties and our personal emotions and whatever's happening in your life and your days. We really have become a real family, which is really cool, which is really nice.

I've never experienced that on a job, because I don't think I've ever done a job this long. In the sense of ... Because we shoot for 10 months out of the year every day, and it's heavy. Everyone has a life outside of that, and they're dealing with their own things, but they have to focus on the work. The work comes first, but the human thing ... Or actually, that's not true. The human comes first, so we depend on each other.

What he hopes we'll see more of in coming seasons

You just got picked up for two more seasons. How are you feeling going into doing that 10-month schedule again?

I feel very blessed. I'm having a baby, myself, with me and my wife. She actually got pregnant here at Budapest, and she came to move out here with me. One of the things we all talked about, there was a big celebration for everything, so ... my child's going to be born in Budapest. It's amazing. It feels like a huge blessing. I've never spent much time in Europe in my life, and to be able to experience different cultures and see all that, it's different, but it's also, I feel like I'm living a dream, to be honest.

Going forward into the next few seasons, is there anywhere you want to see your character go or see the storyline develop?

I've said it again and again. It's nice, not just for him. I really would like to see the team and the relationships and their stories and what they go through, and how they deal with it within the group of one another. It feels like we're a unit, and I want to see more of that and the relationship, the inner relationship between all of them. The relationship between Raines and Forrester, we haven't really seen that.

When they're outside of work, maybe that's what I'm saying. It's the same thing where I'm talking about, as individuals and those people, it would be nice to see the characters evolve in their inner workings inside, what's happening in their personal lives and how that transitions into work as well, as opposed to seeing them in the office and solving crime. [I'd love to see] how they work with each other through the dramas of their lives, and then maybe stepping outside of work and seeing what's happening behind them.

The season finale of "FBI: International," titled "Crestfallen," airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Episodes are available to stream on the CBS website and Paramount Plus.