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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) I just finished a short film called The Happiest Person In America that was written and directed by Sarah Israel. She was reading an article one day about a recent gallop poll saying the happiest person in America according to statistics was Asian, Hawaiian, Jewish, over 65 and had an income of 120K a year. This was the jumping off point for a terrific screen play that floored me the first time I read it.
Q) What made you originally want to be a part of "The Closer?"
A) The writing was really interesting for a procedural type drama - very character driven.
Q) What challenged you most about playing Lieutenant Tao?
A) The only thing about Tao that resembled me was his voice. His taste in clothes and technology were a complete 180 for me. I grew up a rock & roll musician and a surfer - those are my roots. Also, I've had a long career playing villains and foreigners, which gave me lots of masks to wear, like accents and extreme behavior. With Tao, I use my own voice which makes me feel quite exposed.
Q) What current implications does the Johnson Rule have over Brenda and the team for the rest of the series?
A) Johnson rule? Was this a storyline from last season? Like lines, once I'm done, they're gone...
Q) Did you take any souvenirs from the set?
A) I did take some pictures from my desk. When we began "Major Crimes," the prop department called me up and asked me to bring them back, since our desks would not have changed that much from one show to the other!
Q) Do you have a favorite episode or favorite story arch that will stand out in your memory?
A) Well, it would be the episode "Under Control" that dealt with my family and the relationship I have with my son. The opening scene was shot at the same park my wife and I used to take our son to when he was a toddler. If you know the story, it was quite dark and we really didn't watch.
Q) Will we be seeing some sort of crossover where an introduction is done near the end of "The Closer" to kind of lead into "Major Crimes?"
A) This will be a surprise.
Q) What do you think will be the legacy of this show after it's over?
A) "The Closer" changed cable television programming.
Q) Where can people go online to learn more about you?
A) Google. I'm always finding stuff out there related to me that I never knew existed!
Q) Please tell us about your work with the charity The Sunshine Kids.
A) G.W. Bailey introduced our cast to Sunshine Kids during our 1st or 2nd season. One of their nation wide trips was a "California Adventure." The SSK kids visited our set and among a slew of other excursions, there was a day at the beach that I volunteered to be at. I grew up surfing in California and know the ocean quite well. I was taking kids into the ocean, putting them on boogie boards and putting them in waves. We didn't get out of the water until the sun sent down. They are some of the bravest kids I'd ever been around, all fighting cancer, the ravaging effects of chemo apparent, parts missing, you get the picture...
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) To all my fans and fans of "The Closer" - a sincere thank you for watching and your generous support!
The Sunshine Kids Foundation:http://www.sunshinekids.org/
To donate "in honor of The Closer," Sunshine Kids Foundation, 2814 Virginia Street, Houston, TX 77098 or their direct website:www.sunshinekids.org/donate/
PHOTO COURTESY OF TNT