Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year from Mystery Playground

Happy New 2015! 
2014 was a wonderful year for Mystery Playground. 

And we went to speakeasies, conventions, had tea parties, made crafts that we never would have without Mystery Playground. 

And I have so many wonderful people to thank. 

First of all I want to thank all of our wonderful readers, especially Bobbie T., Petite, Traveler, Brook B, Cathy T., Library Pat and Ilona Arcari. 

Next I want to thank Kerry Hammond, who has been blogging away, covering everything from Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries to crime fiction fan panels at Bouchercon to teaching us how to go autograph hunting. It's really just the tip of the ice berg. She has so much more coming in 2015 too. 

Here's Kerry getting Catriona McPherson to sign her book at Bouchercon

Kim Hammond is also due big thanks. She's been my partner in crime at Bouchercon, when she's not hanging out with Castle's costume designer, Luke Reichle or reporting on Karin Slaughter's visit to Cleveland

Here's Kim and Eoin Colfer

A big thank you to our wonderful crafty club members - Pat & Janet (and we have some cool new crafts coming in the new year. One involves vintage Kodachrome slides.)  Pat & Janet are the go-to team on the ground for photos, ideas, cooking and encouragement. Janet made everything this year from Game of Thrones Dragon Noodles to The Queen of England's Scones. If you haven't made those Dragon Noodles, you need to do it soon. They are easy to make and very satisfying. 

I would also like to thank all of our wonderful guest bloggers without whom Mystery Playground would not be possible. 

Special thanks to Jo Ann Gaglione for letting us use her Comic Con photos for the second year running, and the gang at TLC Tours.

And super special big thanks to Lori Caswell over at Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book

And of course, my mom, who whips out book reviews when my work schedule gets heavy. 

You can see all of the Drinks with Reads posts and bloggers here

Here's wishing you and yours a fulfilling 2015! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Downton Abbey Tea Review

Downton Abbey returns this Sunday, January 4th, so we thought it would be the perfect time to review the Republic of Tea Downton Abbey teas (of which there are many). Most of these are available on the Republic of Tea website or at Cost Plus World Market. We want to make sure you are completely prepared for the return of the show. 

Here is what your intrepid review team had to say about each flavor:

Butler's Pantry Tea - This taste like England in a cup. Strong black tea with a hint of lemon. Best taken with sugar and milk. This will wake your taste buds up in the morning and keep you going all day. This is my favorite tea of all of the Downton teas to drink first thing in the morning.

Mrs. Patmore's Pudding Tea -  Mrs. Patmore knows her tea and her puddings. This tea had vanilla and caramel flavors and it is the perfect afternoon tea when taken with cakes.   We've taken it with milk, and by itself. We all liked it better with the milk.

Lady Cora's Evening Tea - This chamomile tea is caffeine free with a hint of lemon balm. While I love the name of the tea, and I love to have chamomile tea at night, this tea drinks like many other chamomile teas. It's just not distinctive. 

Downton Abbey English Rose Tea - This tea is caffeine free and delicious. It doesn't need milk or sugar, although some might add fresh lemon. It also makes a fabulous iced tea. 

Downton Abbey Estate Tea - Black tea with a pleasant hint of vanilla. This is an excellent tea to have any time of day. It is excellent with milk or without. 

Note: There are even MORE flavors of Downton tea, but this is just what we sampled. And of course, if before you go down stairs for tea, you should apply perfume...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Major Crimes Chat Recaps: Tony Denison on Reddit AMA & James Duff on Facebook

Hold on tight, because we have a very long Major Crimes post. Executive Producer of TNT's Major Crimes, James Duff returned tonight for the Facebook chat after a brief hiatus (last week's chat was hosted by Kendall Sherwood). And elsewhere in the social media sphere, Tony Denison (Lt Andy Flynn) hosted a AMA (Ask Me Anything) session over on Reddit. We have the recap of that below also, and you can go directly to the Reddit link here. (Thank you, Barbara G.) 

I had a lot of issues with formatting this week, so I apologize in advance. 

Here's what we learned this week from James and Tony:

From Tony:
  • When asked about book recommendations Tony said Stephen King's 11-22-63 "was nothing short of brilliant."
  • Tony's favorite authors are:

"Oh, I have 4 favorite authors. Hands down. Anything written by Charles Dickens, anything written by Mark Twain, anything written by William Shakespeare, and anything written by Joseph Campbell. Those are my favorites." 
  • Here's what he had to say about shooting and editing a show
"Well, I guess that time varies. It takes 7.5 days (like they said) to shoot an episode from start to finish. But the editing process could take weeks, months even, because as soon as we finish one episode, we start another (obviously) and the editing crew, they get to work on one episode and the next one comes in and they have to set it up, and the episodes air week after week, and so it's conceivable that it could be well over a month before an episode is ready from when it's finished. But they could do it quicker if they have to because that's what they do. They're really good at that kind of stuff. We have a great post-production team."
  • Tony Denison's favorite sandwich ingredients
"I guess my favorite, I have 2: one would be a tuna melt, that would be tuna with cheese, and the tuna would be made with veganaise and not regular mayonnaise, and the second favorite would be... almond butter. Crunchy almond butter, on toast, those would be my 2 favorites." (I have to say that this is an awesome question, so I had to include it).

Here's what we learned from James:

  • Many aspects of the Rusty character are taken from James' own life. 
"Jill Z asks how much of Rusty's story is based on my own life. Quite a lot, really! But my parents were truly wonderful people who I loved enormously, and who were vitally important to my life. Much of Rusty's impossible attitude came from my own life as a teenager. And I did run away from home and live on my own before I graduated high school, a matter of some true difficult feelings in my family life. But my mother was not an alcoholic, she was a really great mother with an incredibly problematic teenage son. I tried to make up for it later in life. But my late teens and early twenties were not a lot of fun for anyone. Thankfully, I don't remember a lot of it."

  • James was also asked why he made Rusty gay:
    "@Hope A-D says her husband wants to know why I made the Rusty character gay, because he didn't think it was necessary. I sort of disagree, for a few reasons. But first, I would like to note, that no one in my life has ever asked me why I made a character straight. But anyway! I write about Los Angeles, and in Los Angeles, which is an incredibly diverse city, there are a lot of people working very hard to build a better world. Diversity is America's strength. Los Angeles is proof of that. Every part of Los Angeles, we try to represent. As fairly was we can. And Rusty is part of this world. Also, the character is based a lot on me, which is probably why people don't like him that much."

  • Next week's episode focuses on Julio and his issues with anger management

The rest of the recap is below. As usual, I've removed any references to this specific episode that may be construed as a spoiler. Because of the volume of questions, only James Duff's answers are included. He restates the questions in his answers so you can track all of the action. 

James Duff Hi everyone. Welcome to the New Year's Eve Facebook chat. Only we're a little earlier.
James Duff Samantha K starts with a question most of you 
have heard before, which is can Brenda come back for a 
visit. The answer is, of course, she could. It's up to our schedules, really. She is a producer of another show on TNT. But we want to have her back and she wants to come. So it's a good possibility.
James Duff Nathan S notes that Fritz Howard's uniform doesn't fit him as well as his suit. That's true! He's wearing a vest around his chest that shocks him if his heart stops. Maybe he will have an implant by next season. A pacemaker. Right now, he has the vests

James Duff Evelyn David, a fellow mystery writer, asks if the gift Sharon was holding in her hand was something Andy gave to her in a scene that got edited out. Well. No. It was the box the gift came in, actually. I misunderstood this question from another person. Yes, the scene got edited down for the sake of time (we have to meet our format and that episode came in about six minutes over). A good eye, Evelyn, and Happy New Year to you!

James Duff Julia K asks if we are going to see Sharon in danger in a future episode. We try to avoid false jeopardy on the show unless it is absolutely necessary to tell the story. But she has been in danger before and every police officer is in danger every day they go to work.
James Duff @Karen H thinks Sharon should be told that her ex-husband is drinking. I do, too. And she finds out about it next week.

James Duff Eileen F-L likes that we have given Flynn a big part of the story line tonight. But notes that it's an icky plot.
 It's an icky world sometimes. But Flynn is right for the lead in this episode, because hope for reform is the theme.
 And Flynn has been successfully not drinking for almost twenty years.

James Duff Tracy E-M asks if Major Crimes could rerun on Saturday mornings as it used to do. I think the issue is that the show is sometimes running twice in a row and that TNT has a limited number of times they can run it on the license fee they pay the studio. Or, in other words, it's a business issue!

James Duff Remember they don't call it show art!

James Duff @Deborah Lacy asks when you know a difficult scene has worked. Sadly, not until you've shot it. Very hard to know how a scene is going to work entirely before it's shot, but you go with your hopes!

James Duff@Jill Z asks how much of Rusty's story is based on my own life. Quite a lot, really! But my parents were truly wonderful people who I loved enormously, and who were vitally important to my life. Much of Rusty's impossible attitude came from my own life as a teenager. And I did run away from home and live on my own before I graduated high school, a matter of some true difficult feelings in my family life. But my mother was not an alcoholic, she was a really great mother with an incredibly problematic teenage son. I tried to make up for it later in life. But my late teens and early twenties were not a lot of fun for anyone. Thankfully, I don't remember a lot of it.

James Duff Ashley T-R asks what made us bring Fritz back to the show and will we see more of Laurie Holden.

James Duff Jon never really permanently left the show. He was in every season and we just wanted to put him in as often as possible because we love working with Jon so much and because he's been such an important part of our lives for so long.

James Duff Laurie Holden is an amazing actor and everyone wants to work for her. Us more than anybody, really. My hope is that you will be seeing a lot more of her. We will see!

James Duff @Emily P asks if Charlie Hunnam played last week's villain, our first dead Santa. Absolutely not.

James Duff Except that if we had Charlie for a guest star we would have certainly given him a lot more to do!

James Duff And we would have been shouting it from the mountaintops.

James Duff He's a great actor. If he wants to be on Major Crimes, all he has to do is call us!

James Duff Terri Ann S S asks if there will be more seasons.

James Duff Yes! Major Crimes has already been picked up for next year, so we will be seeing you again next summer. But we still have three more winter episodes after this.

James Duff Denise A notes that, as a Deputy Chief, Fritz is
not as nice as he was when he appeared mainly as Brenda's
husband. Actually, he was always really tough, we just mainly
saw him in his domestic environment or helping his wife.
Unshackled by the rules of the FBI, he is much, much 
tougher. A lot of people don't know that it's illegal for the FBI
to lie to suspects, but not illegal for local police. Fritz has 
always had to rely very heavily on the FBI's rules. And all 
that's over.

James Duff @Vickie O wants to see more of Julio. You get 
your wish next week, because the episode is all about Julio.
And Raymond Cruz is amazing in it. Also brilliantly directed 
by Anthony Hemingway.

James Duff A couple of people have made an issue of Rusty 
keeping the same hair he had when he was a kid. This isn't
true, actually! His hair was much longer when the show 
started. And it changed gradually. Maybe too gradually.

James Duff @Jane, whose last name I won't put here for 
obvious reasons, thanks us for telling the real story of police 
officers, and showing the long, hard hours they put in. We 
only indicate how tough this job is. And it's not a job really, it's 
calling. And it's a calling that's an amazing service to the 
community. Especially when the jurisdictions properly train 
their officers, and those officers adhere to the law. People, I 
think, would be surprised to know how much of themselves 
police officers give up for the job. We indicate that, I hope, 
with an authentic look at their work.

James Duff @Hope A-D says her husband wants to know why I made the Rusty character gay, because he didn't think it was necessary. I sort of disagree, for a few reasons. But first, I would like to note, that no one in my life has ever asked me why I made a character straight. But anyway! I write about Los Angeles, and in Los Angeles, which is an incredibly diverse city, there are a lot of people working very hard to build a better world. Diversity is America's strength. Los Angeles is proof of that. Every part of Los Angeles, we try to represent. As fairly was we can. And Rusty is part of this world. Also, the character is based a lot on me, which is probably why people don't like him that much.

James Duff And with that, ladies and gentlemen, as per 
usual, I leave you to watch the end of the show without me. 
Come back next week when we'll see Julio face his demons. 
I don't want to give anything away, but things are going to get 
serious for our resident rageaholic.

To read a pre-season interviews with James Duff and crew, click herehere and here. To see the recap from last week, click here

You can see Tony's entire Reddit chat below.  

James Duff and Major Crimes writer, Det. Mike Berchem Ret.

Here's Tony Denison's Reddit chat. 


submitted   by TonyDenison
Hi, I'm Tony Denison, actor and humanitarian. I play Lt. Andrew Flynn on TNT's Major Crimes. A little bit about me: I'm very grateful that i have an opportunity to work in this wonderful profession. It's a gold-collar profession, but I'd like to think that I bring blue collar ethics to it, as my parents (who were blue collar) taught me a lot about showing up and suiting up.
And I like giving back to others less fortunate and children's causes and animal rights causes.
Tonight's episode of Major Crimes is going to be awesome. A very intense subject, so please tune in, and I hope you enjoy it.
In the meantime, Victoria's helping me answer your questions. AMA!
Update Well, I'd like to thank my fans for their support, their loyalty to the show, and their enthusiasm. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And hopefully you will continue to be pleased and entertained with our episodes and our work. And I'm new to the Twitter world, and the instagram world, not as new to Facebook, but I will (to the best of my ability) continue to tweet & instagram & Facebook as many responses to any inquiries that my fans have. My twitter handle is @RealTonyDenison. I'll see you tonight on TNT at 9 PM ET/PT!

[–]auntsa 1 point  
Hi Tony so glad you are doing IAMA...looking forward to tonight's episode, love the show and your work, how do you feel about tonight's topic, and anymore insight on the relationship with Sharon?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Well, I don't want to give anything away, okay? So let's just leave it at: the audiences will not be disappointed by the experience for these winter episodes. That's the best way I can describe it. 
[–]auntsa 2 points  
Thanks! GW Bailey does a lot with the Sunshine Kids, how involved are you with the cause? I notice a couple of Golf events for the kids which I think is awesome that the cast did.
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Yes, I help out any way shape or form that I can. I go on some of the trips - some of the trips are here, the Hollywood trip, but I've been to New Orleans... if there's any kind of Sunshine Kid function, like the golf tournaments in Florida, I'm only too happy to go. I have this abundance of free time and I'm only too glad to use as much of that time as possible to be of service to these kids. They're wonderful, wonderful. I like doing charitable functions, and The Sunshine Kids is the perfect outlet for that. 

[–]melissa55 1 point  
Hi Tony!! I love "Major Crimes" first of all! Do you think Andy will begin to form a relationship of some sort with Sharon's kids?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
I think Andy already has. Including, you know, Rusty who is legally now one of her children too. 
[–]Taylor_Wood 2 points  
What is your favorite episode from this season so far? Is it one we've yet to see or one we've already seen?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I would guess the episode that airs tonight is pretty darn good. So I think that that's one of my favorites. But i also like the episode from a couple of weeks back when my daughter character, Nicole, shows up - "Acting Out." Finally audiences get to see her, and I've spoken of her so many times before. So that is major league fun. 
[–]preopticarea 1 point  
It was a very funny episode full of double entendre. I am just wondering how a relationship between a detective and his immediate supervisor could play? I think it is a very tricky subject and as previously involved in internal affairs, I would think that Sharon would be very cautious if not opposed to such a relationship, as it potentially could constitute a breach of ethics! what is your opinion on this?
[–]anythingcanbe 3 points  
Thank you for taking time to do this today. Do you have any favorite book recommendations?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 2 points  
Interestingly enough, I just read a novel from Stephen King called "11-22-63" and it was nothing short of brilliant.
[–]anythingcanbe 1 point  
Thank you. I've avoided King in the past because I'm not usually one for horror/anything-too-scary, but the description I just looked up is intriguing enough for me to give it a try.
[–]Nurse_Jess04 2 points  
Hi Tony! I love that you are always keeping in touch with your FlynnGirls! Since Mary did a Major Crimes panel at Dragon Con over the summer, would you ever consider being a part of that? I believe a lot of fans would come to see you and Mary! 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Yes. I would love to do one. And I hopefully will do one next year. Mary told me about the one she did this past year, I think it was in Atlanta? not 100% sure? But anyway, she went on and on about how enthusiastic the fans are about the Shandy relationship, and I'm flattered by that, I really am. So I would love to go next year. 
[–]Nurse_Jess04 1 point  
Yes it was in Atlanta. I would totally come to see you and Shandy! It could be a FlynnGirl party! There are FlynnGirls all over the world! Did you ever think that you and the show could/would be responsible for connecting so many people from so many different places? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 2 points  
It's a good show, so you HOPE that you would get fans who think it's a good show, and then you have this opportunity which is over & above just having fans for the show - people who are so appreciative of what you do as an actor. It's great. I'm always surprised by people who stop me on the street and want autographs, or want to take selfies with me, I'm only too glad to do it. I'm honored by every request. One of my favorite actors, Morgan Freeman, one time I ran into him at a Screen Actors Guild awards show, and I went over to him and I said "Hi Morgan, Tony Denison here, You're the man" and he looked over at me, and he said "Hey Tony!" and i said "I hope you don't mind me saying this to you" and he said "Tony, I don't mind that one bit. When it stops is when I'll mind." So... 
[–]NathProf 0 points  
Woohoo, you know all the #FlynnGirls dream to see you two!!!!! Do you think it could be a good thing to meet your #FlynnGirls????
[–]Flossy1982 3 points  
Hi Tony thank you for doing this..... During your time on The Closer and Major Crimes, is there an episode that has stuck with you?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
There are so many. But any of the episodes - like the one tonight - I still think about it, and we filmed it 4, 5 months ago. Whenever there's a murder of a child... I am always affected by it. Because I can't help but think of the devastation that it causes a family. And then, if the family is responsible for the murder, I can't even imagine the insanity that exists that would allow that to happen. And it affects all of us. Even though it's a dramatic television show.
[–]Flossy1982 2 points  
Those are the ones that stick with me too. Thank you again and thank Victoria for being here to 
[–]NathProf 1 point  
Hi Tony,
What do you think about #Shandy ? Do you think it's a good thing? Because all the #FlynnGirls are waiting for more!!!!
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I think Shandy is a great thing. Anything where i get to work opposite Mary MacDonald more, I'm in favor of. I think Mary is a wonderful actress, and a wonderful person, and I'm only too happy to share that experience with her. 
[–]NathProf 1 point  
Is Mary in favour of too????
[–]ilonarcari 1 point  
Is there something from Major Crimes set that you wont ever separate again from, or you wish you could take with you? And I was always wondering why there is a snake on Flynn's desk? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I believe that when you have an experience, a memory, obviously has been created. And the more loving and exciting and adventurous that experience, then the stronger the memory. And for the rest of my life, I will always look upon this show as a special opportunity for me, because I get an opportunity to delve into the human condition. And I think that's wonderful. So MAJOR CRIMES will always be in my heart. Like I tell people: "I may live in California, but I was born & love New York City. NYC will always be in my heart. MAJOR CRIMES will always be in my heart. My relationship with Mary, GW, Graham, Jonathan, John... they will always be in my heart. "I enjoy working with these wonderful actors any opportunities I can. And if MAJOR CRIMES runs another 10 years, I can't even remotely imagine being bored 10 years from now. 
[–]Shelley95 2 points  
I would love to see more of Flynn's family. Will we get to see Andy's son in the next season at all and what do you think he's like?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
I can only hope! I don't know! It's up to Mr. Duff if the rest of my family shows up this season, or the season after. There is the character that I've spoken of, of my ex-wife, so she could show up next year. I have no idea. Again, just tell me what you want me to do and I will swing at the ball as best I can, and hopefully it'll go over the fence or maybe it'll be a line drive double and score a couple of runs that way. If they want me to bunt, I'll bunt. If they want me to hit a sacrifice fly, I'll hit a sacrifice fly, whatever they want me to do to score a run, I'll do it. 
[–]NathProf 2 points  
Hi Tony, What do you think about #FlynnGirls who came from everywhere on Earth????
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Isn't that the best? Hahahaha! I'm wondering, you know, I guess... like I said earlier, I can't help but be in total awe and appreciation of the Flynngirls. I just... believe me, from the bottom of my heart, this is not Hollywood speak, this is the real deal, I am so overwhelmed and appreciative, you have no idea. 
[–]NathProf 0 points  
Thanks for respecting your fans. We appreciate a lot!!!! Will we see you in other shows or film in 2015?
[–]dustandspurs 3 points  
I noticed that in season 7 of The Closer, after Sharon shoots a suspect with a beanbag gun, Andy keeps the beanbag. Does he still have it?
[–]_lexx 2 points  
I know you play poker and like to cook, but what other hobbies do you have?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 1 point  
I like to play chess. I like to build things. And that's it.
[–]nolegirl713 1 point  
Hi Tony! First of all, thanks for all you do. Your work on the show is great and us #flynngirls sure appreciate all your twitter time that you spend with us. My question is, have you ever done stage acting? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Yes I have. I started out as a stage actor, and it was the very first play I ever did, was when I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. It was a scene from DEATH OF A SALESMAN. I played "Happy." And then I did a lot of theater in NYC. And I got my big break on Michael Mann's series Crime Story for NBC. 
[–]nolegirl713 1 point  
Great show! There is nothing like being on the stage. I miss it. Did you ever do musical theater?
[–]napulitano 2 points  
What are your most favorite sandwich ingredients?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I guess my favorite, I have 2: one would be a tuna melt, that would be tuna with cheese, and the tuna would be made with veganaise and not regular mayonnaise, and the second favorite would be... almond butter. Crunchy almond butter, on toast, those would be my 2 favorites. 
[–]napulitano 1 point  
excellent choice!
[–]Kathryn_Lutra 0 points  
If it takes 8 days to film a Major Crimes episode, how much longer does it take for the episode to be fully edited and finalized? When do the cast and crew get to see the finished product? What's it like watching it for the first time?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Well, I guess that time varies. It takes 7.5 days (like they said) to shoot an episode from start to finish. But the editing process could take weeks, months even, because as soon as we finish one episode, we start another (obviously) and the editing crew, they get to work on one episode and the next one comes in and they have to set it up, and the episodes air week after week, and so it's conceivable that it could be well over a month before an episode is ready from when it's finished. But they could do it quicker if they have to because that's what they do. They're really good at that kind of stuff. We have a great post-production team. 
[–]Kathryn_Lutra 1 point  
What's your experience watching a completed episode for the first time?
[–]dustandspurs 1 point  
Hi Tony! What's you favourite memory from filming Crime Story?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Every episode was great. Getting the role was fantastic. Making friends with certain actors that I am still friends with today - David Caruso, John Pulito, one of the executive producers, we are all still friends today. I'm sad about the passing of Dennis Farina, I really enjoyed the few times we worked together because we were on opposite sides of the law, but a shame that he passed, he was a good man. But I enjoyed every minute of it. And it's a shame that John Fantucci, who played my partner on the show, passed as well. He was a good man, and he passed on, and it's a shame. But I have to say that I think CRIME STORY changed my life for the better, and now with MAJOR CRIMES, MAJOR CRIMES is like the greatest thing that ever happened. We just finished 10 years of filming, and we are about to do our 11th year (if you count THE CLOSER with it). 
[–]kylieblerg 1 point  
Hi Tony! Thanks for doing this today! My question for you is, is there a dream role you wish to play? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Yes. I would love to play an attorney, and I would love to play in a western. 
[–]kylieblerg 1 point  
I would absolutely watch that western! Do you have advice for someone who has started her own acting journey? 
[–]ilonarcari 1 point  
Hello Tony! Who is your favorite partner in crime on the Major Crimes's set?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Well, that's easy: that would be G.W. Bailey, who plays Provenza.
[–]sillygirlrachel 1 point  
Hi Tony! After so many years of being in the same role is there a character wish list? Something you'd like to see happen that hasn't yet? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I don't even want to suggest that. I'm very happy, and very surprised, with all the wonderful things they give me to do. So rather than say to them "Look I would really rather to do this or that," I just like being surprised. So when they come up with the things they want my character to do, I'm only happy to suit up and show up, as they say. 
[–]_lexx 1 point  
Hi Tony! Thank you for taking the time to get on Reddit!
My question is in regards to tonight's episode: were there any moments when you felt conflicted and, if so, how did you work around that? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
The answer to that question is: no. I didn't feel conflicted. But I did feel incredibly affected by the subject matter. And how (as a police officer) you walk that line where you can work on the crime at hand, and maintain a level of humanity. 
[–]preopticarea 0 points  
I do believe the ethics of this can be very difficult for a person to reconcile! How do you deal personally as an actor with subjects that are terribly difficult to film? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
I guess the easiest way is to rely on speaking with our technical advisor, Det. Mike Bircham. He's been wonderful, and he's now an executive producer on the show, and I go to him any chance I get, and he tells me - he told me early on, there was one time we were at a crime scene, and I ad-libbed a funny thing, and everybody got a kick out of it. And at first, people didn't know whether to laugh or not, but he told me that if you don't have an opportunity to let this out, either by laughter once in a while or just letting out steam, somehow, he said you'd go crazy. You would just go crazy thinking bout man's inhumanity to man. 
[–]CapricaM1983 1 point  
Hey Tony, If you could travel back in time, what era would go to and why?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
I can't even think of one era, there are so many. I guess I would like to go back to Biblical times. I think that would be really fantastic. To be in that area of the world, the Middle East, at that time. But the other thing I would really like to be involved in would be the American West in the 1880's. That would be really incredible, to travel West, from the East Coast, that was probably an unbelievable adventure. 
[–]CapricaM1983 1 point  
Thank you, oh my gosh going back to the Wild West would be so frakking (sorry) awesome!! To ride a horse and the train, and to live off the land.
[–]vnssgdnr 1 point  
Are there a lot of practical jokes on set?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Oh yeah! Lots of practical jokes. There is a healthy sense of humor between the cast. The practical jokes aren't as many as, you know, you might think because the schedule is very demanding. But G.W. Bailey definitely keeps us all entertained with his wonderful storytelling. And when John is guesting on an episode, he's one of the best joke tellers I've ever met on a set. He always has a fresh supply of jokes that make us laugh. 
[–]olafurneal 1 point  
Hi thanks for doing the ama!!! My question is: What has been your favorite episode on either The Closer or Major Crimes?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 2 points  
Well, one of the episodes that is near & dear to me would have to be the one that really gave the Provenza / Flynn relationship development - I think it was called "To Serve & Protect"? Anyway, that was my favorite episode with G.W. and I trying to cover up the fact that we went to a Dodger baseball game and left a dead body in the garage? And it's the episode that's responsible for the unique relationship that we have & continue to enjoy on MAJOR CRIMES. Not a day goes by on MAJOR CRIMES that G.W. or I don't welcome an opportunity to share scenes or dialogue that's not necessarily connected to the crime. 
[–]olafurneal 1 point  
That was my favorite episode! Flynn and Provenza's friendship is one of my favorites on the show. Thank you! :)
[–]dvs12490 1 point  
How do you feel about your #FlynnGirl fans?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
I've said this before, regarding my FlynnGirl fans: I am So humbled by this, you have NO idea. I can't help but just be overwhelmed with appreciation. And I will continue to step up at the plate on the show, and swing at the ball as hard as I can, and give the audiences what they want!
[–]preopticarea 0 points  
I think it is very interesting how times have changed and how actors on TV can get now almost instant feedback... certainly the audience is not life, but in a way do you think it makes it a bit closer to theater where you have a live audience?
[–]Greypo 2 points  
How did you get into acting?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I got into acting through a continuing education class at the college that I had graduated from. I was out of work. I was a newspaper editor and out of work. And I studied this acting class, in this acting class, teacher thought i had some potential, and asked me to do a presentation for the continuing education department, and I did a scene from DEATH OF A SALESMAN, and it was during that first line in that scene that I decided that was what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. 
[–]amtprabhu 1 point  
Hi Tony! Thanks for doing this AMA and happy holidays! What is your favourite music group/artist to listen to?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Ok, are you ready? My favorite artists or musical groups to listen to, very simple: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Hank Williams, Randy Newman, The Band, and Bob Dylan. 
[–]Nurse_Jess04 1 point  
Hank Williams is surprising! I'm assuming that would be Hank Williams Sr not Jr? Am I correct? I'm pleasantly surprised! I'm a southern girl! 
[–]sillygirlrachel 1 point  
How do you stay so devilishly handsome? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I owe it all to my mom & dad for my looks. They had some strong genes in their DNA passed on to me, and people have said that it's as if I got equal amounts of mom and dad and mixed it together to form me. 
[–]Nurse_Jess04 1 point  
All your FlynnGirls will thank your mom and dad too! Do you like the always matching colors of Andy and Sharon? I personally like the suspenders but the 3 piece suit was hot also! 
[–]BabiGodoi 2 points  
Thank you for being here, Tony. I'm a brazilian fan and I love your work since The Closer. Flynn has evolved in recent years, he is much more mature in Major Crimes. Do you think that what helped Flynn in this process was the approach to Sharon? By the way, I am also a huge Shandy shipper ♥, you and Mary are perfect on the screen ♥. Christmas episode was awesome, but I'm little desappointed with the lack of Shandy :(, hehehe. Love you, xoxo!
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I guess, if I had to give you the short answer, I would say yes. The Sharon / Andy relationship has been an interesting influence on Andy. So yeah, I guess the short answer is yes. That's a good observation. It's not the only thing, but it's one of the key things. 
[–]ilonarcari 0 points  
So... when Flynn and Provenza will be getting in to trouble again? They were so well behave lately is that because of Sharon effect? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
That's very astute.
I would say yeah, I think the Sharon effect has caused Flynn & Provenza to be at odds with one another, but much more subdued than previously when we would get into scrapes. But I think there are some misadventures coming down the line for next year. At least that's what i was told. 
[–]Taylor_Wood 0 points  
What do you think about a possible "Charmed" reboot?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 2 points  
Oh I don't know! I had a ball playing the father of those 3 actresses. They were great. And I enjoyed it. But they always felt i was too young-looking to play their dad, so I just did the one episode, but if they ever want to revisit that, like as a special tV movie or something, or as a feature film, I would LOVE to do it! I would love to guest star. 
[–]ilonarcari 0 points  
Is there something you would like to share with your fans that you never told us or anyone before? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 5 points  
Well I think it's important to keep some things close to the vest. I'll say this: I am in recovery. And that is one of the most important things in my life. Because it was in recovery that I learned that it was more important to be happy with who i am rather than what I am, or what I have. And I get an opportunity to share that with other people who are in recovery who need help. And whatever I can do to lend my "celebrity" to be of service to- be it people in recovery, be it children's charities or animal charities - I am more than ready, willing and able to do so. 
[–]preopticarea 2 points  
this is a very profound answer and I thank you for this and all you are doing for other people in need! All the best!
[–]auntsa 2 points  
Will you be tweeting tonight? Do you miss living in NYC aside the fact the weather is so much nicer in LA.
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Yes! I will be tweeting. And I always tell people "My heart is in New York, but my body is in LA enjoying the weather." There's not a day or whatever that goes by that I don't think about some New York experience, when you asked that question before about memories there are so many memories about New York that will be there always. When I tell people stories about myself, about my past, a lot of them are based in New York. 
[–]auntsa 2 points  
Would you ever consider producing/directing an episode of Major Crimes?
[–]ilonarcari 0 points  
I noticed that in last few episodes Hobbs and Flynn always annoys each other, how is that for you and Kathe to play out? Because is super fun to watch for us fans! 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
She's wonderful to bump heads with! And so is Nadine, when she shows up on the show, we get the opportunity to bump heads. Anybody from the DA's department. It's fun. She does a wonderful job. They both do. 
[–]BabiGodoi 0 points  
Which of your movies do you most recommend, Tony? I'm watching some of them, I was surprised to see you and the Mary's husband, Randle Mell in the same movie, in Sex, Love and Cold Hard Cash :). Very cool.
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Yes, it was great, I got a chance to work with Randy and it was wonderful working with JoBeth Williams. Well, if you can get a copy of it, I really enjoyed this small little movie I did called "Little Vegas." I had a ball doing that movie. If you can get a copy of "Trattoria" a movie I did about a chef in San Francisco, that was fun too. And it's not released yet - there are 2 movies - one is called "Dirty" and the other is called "Clarity". But "Little Vegas" and "Trattoria."
And there's a TV series that I did that sadly, I don't know how you would ever get a chance to see it, but it was called LOVE & MARRIAGE and was an opportunity to do an homage to my dad, who's a blue collar guy, and it was a comedy, and I loved it. It was Amy Sherman Palladino, who went on to THE GILLMORE GIRLS. They only did 9 episodes, but it was so much fun. That's why I love the comedic stuff I get to do with G.W. Bailey. 
[–]BabiGodoi 1 point  
Thank you ♥. I've watched Trattoria, great movie, I loved it... and you are great in that too. I'll try to find the others!!! 
[–]vnssgdnr 1 point  
How much fun did you an Provenza have on 'To serve and protect' on The Closer?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
We had a ball. There were times when it was difficult to do a scene because we kept cracking up. But it was great. It was great. We just had the time of our lives. G.W. is such an accomplished, polished performer. He's got the opportunity to do a lot more comedy than I had. I learned from him. And he's not only a good friend and a great stablemate (as I say to people), a teammate, but he's also a mentor. But don't tell him I said that!
[–]Shelley95 1 point  
Any advice for an aspiring actor(me) in guiding their way about the business and getting on this career path? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Make sure that as you go forward, you love what you do. Stay away from the naysayers, anybody who tells you you can't is not being honest with you. And the other thing to remember is that there's nobody else in the world that's exactly like you. So if you persist because you really, really love what you do, you will find a niche in this business. 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
It might not be acting - it might be writing, producing, casting director, lighting - but if you really, really love this business, and you persist and understand that there's nobody in the business exactly like you, you'll do fine. 
[–]Taylor_Wood 1 point  
Other than Stephen King of course, who are some of your other favorite authors?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Oh, I have 4 favorite authors. Hands down. Anything written by Charles Dickens, anything written by Mark Twain, anything written by William Shakespeare, and anything written by Joseph Campbell. Those are my favorites. 
[–]Kathryn_Lutra 1 point  
You said once that though you were not interested in directing, you were in producing. Can you help those of us not familiar with the entertainment industry understand what you mean by "produce" and what projects are you producing now?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Producing is getting a team together, you know, the writer, director, crew, the actors, getting 'em all together to serve a particular script or a concept (if it's a reality show) and getting the money together to do that, a studio, a production company, whatever, and putting it together and getting it on the air, that's producing, and that's what I enjoy doing, I have a couple of projects that are very close to getting what's called a "green light" and I would have as much fun doing that as I would acting. 
[–]madkola 1 point  
Hi Tony! I feel crazy for making an account just to ask this, but it is worth it. My question is: You have been playing Andy Flynn for so long, first do you have any parallels with the character and second do you ever feel like you are the character? Almost like an emotional bond? From a major fan and #FlynnGirl
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
The short answer, again, is yes. The character is me, and I am the character. I am not a real police officer, but I always tell people that the life of my character exists between the words "Action" and "Cut." A real police officer, his life exists from when he wakes up in the morning until he goes to bed at night. So I can bring my emotional reality, my emotional strength, and life, to a particular scene, through that character, and then that character (Andy) says to me "this is what's going on in this scene" and addresses that particular aspect of me. I notice that in my real life, that i drive down the street now, and I have this particular like... awareness of things that are going on around me that I didn't previously have. 
[–]madkola 1 point  
That's very interesting, that it sticks to you now on and off, between "Action" and "Cut." 
[–]ilonarcari 1 point  
Do you like how Flynn has developed from The Closer till Major Crimes? Are we going to see his hotheaded temper again?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I think there'll be some opportunities for Flynn to get angry. I mean, there already have been this year. But Flynn is a very passionate guy. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy. But he's not a guy who believes that the ends justify the means. Which is a really important distinction. But he struggles in that world all the time. 
[–]ilonarcari 1 point  
I really, really hope to see more passionate reactions, the one we saw against Jack Raydor was amazing scene! 
[–]ilonarcari 1 point  
We've heard this case for Andy Flynn will be a difficult one, how was is to play such a emotional case? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
It was very tough to play that case. Because as you'll see when you watch the episode, it's a very intense story. And again, man's inhumanity to man, and how families can be so incredibly dysfunctional - it pales. And when you see this, you think It can't be that people are like this. But you gotta remember, our stories are from real-life accounts from the police department. They are dramatic retellings. And sometimes we had some originality to a crime, but the overtones are always based on what police work would be like. 
[–]IamAWorldChampionAMA 1 point  
Tony, how does it feel to be playing the same character for over 9 years? Not many actors can say that. Does it ever get dull?
[–]nolegirl713 1 point  
Do you enjoy any sports teams? I'm a big college football fan. 
[–]CapricaM1983 1 point  
Your probably busy but have you seen this show called Naked and Afraid? If so what one item would you bring with you? 
[–]NathProf 1 point  
Hi Tony,
Do you think to come in Monaco for the festival of tv show next year? You have lots of fans in France even if they can't watch Major Crimes on tv!!!! Thanks for your work!!!!!
[–]ilonarcari 2 points  
How was it to finally meet Nicole Flynn? Did you imagine Flynn's daughter to be just like that? 
[–]Shelley95 1 point  
Thanks for the acting advice :) Are you planning to see Mary in 'The Cherry Ochard' next February/March? I'm travelling over 3000 miles to see her performance! 
[–]toulie 1 point  
Long time admirer. Thanks for all you do for SSK. As for my question...What is your favorite place to eat when back in NY?
[–]BabiGodoi 1 point  
Will we have more Shandy this season, Tony? Is so sad when when we don't have our Shandy moments ♥. I hope season 4 is THE Shandy Season, we deserve it after 6 years waiting to see these 2 together, don't you think? Hahaha :D. 
[–]jayzhelle 2 points  
Hello Tony! Sending you love from the Philippines! :) Random question: What is you dream vacation destination? Also thanks so much for taking time to do this AMA
[–]madkola 1 point  
Thank you for answering our questions, I have a silly one. You say that you are "overwhelmed" yet "appreciative" of the attention from the #FlynnGirls... My question concerns the overwhelmed part; I'm assuming your twitter feed explodes constantly from fans and you are so generous when it comes to following them, how do you handle it all of the tweets? Any special method to the madness?
[–]sehriban94 1 point  
I just want to say Hi :) I can't wait for episode and Which is your favorite episode? Love from TURKÄ°YE :)
[–]CaptBAMF 1 point  
Seeing as you've already said you enjoy comedy, do you have a particular favorite comedic work or comedian?
[–]Kadi219 2 points  
Tony, first off, thanks for this and for all you do letting us show you how much we appreciate your work (yeah #flynngirls). Now then, tell us a little more about the causes you support? Anything coming up for Sunshine kids & how can we help (Fundraising, etc)?
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Well, you can go to and get a list of upcoming events (I don't know them off the top of my head) and I also do work for animal charities, different ones, I donate money and sometimes time, and what I am intending to do is I make (as an avocation) I make these really cool litter boxes for cats. I have 2 cats. And i make these litter boxes that look like a chest of drawers. I am going to start making them and donating the proceeds from the sales to supporting the Sunshine Kids & to some animal charities. 
[–]Kadi219 2 points  
That sounds really interesting. I know the cookbook has been big among the fans of the show. As you know, we've got the FB appreciation page in your name. Would you be open to our doing a donation drive for Sunshine kids? 
[–]preopticarea 1 point  
That is a great idea, I am sure my cats would love this as well. :)
[–]carolnapora 1 point  
dont you have a dog also
[–]Shelley95 0 points  
Hi, Tony! We appreciate your presence here :) Is there any storyline or character development that you would like to put forward for consideration for Season4 of MC, if you could? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
The answer is... No. I just keep waiting for them to surprise ME! When you suggest something, and if they don't do it exactly how you suggested it, and you say "oh, can you change this or that" - I'm just happy to get scripts each week, and I like to be surprised, just the way the audience is surprised each week when they see a new episode. So that's my answer, and that's truthful. 
[–]BossyRobinB 1 point  
Hey Tony! So great of you to do these social media things. #flynngirls love it, as you know! Do you have any input on any of the character arcs written for Flynn, or are you at the mercy of Duff et. al? (All of whom are awesome in every way!) 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 3 points  
Well, I would say it's a tender mercy, because he's just brilliant. So I feel I'm in the best hands imaginable. And I don't suggest arcs or storylines. I really want to be surprised. And I've always been pleasantly surprised. 
[–]somethingorthe -1 points  
Hi Tony! I noticed a surprising number of questions begin with "Hi Tony" and are softball questions asked by brand new users. Are these fake accounts generated by your publicity manager?
[–]ilonarcari 2 points  
Trust me there are not, I personally know most of the people that started with "Hi Tony" they are all FlynnGirls very grateful that Tony is taking time to do AMA with us :) 
[–]somethingorthe 3 points  
Ok thanks, it just seemed too coincidental to be true.
[–]nolegirl713 1 point  
I am brand new to reddit. Never heard of it until Tony mentioned he was going to be on here. That's sort of a rude question. :/
[–]sillygirlrachel 1 point  
Maybe we #flynngirls just like to talk softball.. Tony doesn't have to answer those invisible questions that you speak of. 
[–]msflynntingle 0 points  
Hi there how are ya Tony? So random question? Favourite flavour ice you could never get sick of? And if there was one episode of MC you could film over and over which one would it be???
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
Quintuple dark-dark chocolate. Anything dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 62% or more.
Well, because they're more current, I would say the episode with my daughter, and the one tonight. I have to admit, it was a pretty intense episode, and I don't know if it would be something I would watch every day, but I will watch it more often than not, because there are some very interesting things in there. 
[–]nolegirl713 0 points  
I thought I asked this before but I can't find. If so, I apologize. Do you know if Trattoria is going to be on Netflix or Amazon Prime eventually? :D

[–]rnwhitfield 0 points  
I love to see celebrities support animal rights, my favorite is PETA. Do you have a animal rights charity that you support in particular? 
[–]TonyDenison[S] 4 points  
I support about 5 or 6 different animal rights charities. One of my favorites is a place in Utah called Best Friends, where they take in dogs & cats, and they just let them live out their lives in a sanctuary. That's one of the best. I've donated some time, some money, to certain PETA causes, World Wildlife Fund, ASPCA, I've donated time and gone to functions. Whatever chance I get. There are people out there that are so disconnected from morality that they will commit crimes against man and nature, and when you lose your sense of hope, when you are absent any feelings of love and compassion, you're capable of all kinds of lunacy and insanity. And animals need help. Young children need help. There are a lot of people out there that do not know how to behave or how to deal with children & animals, and so they need help.