Monday, December 14, 2015

Major Crimes Q&A with James Duff & Michael Paul Chan

Tonight on the Major Crimes Facebook Chat, Michael Paul Chan who plays LT. Tao joined Executive Producer and show creator James Duff.

Before we get started, don't forget to check out Jonathan Del Arco's Facebook page. Jonathan plays Dr. Morales on the show and did a live Facebook video at his house during the show where he talked about this episode and answered fan questions while wearing a Santa hat. He also reiterated his favorite beverage to drink during the show. The video is a hoot. 

And now for the chat. As always, I've just included James' answers since he does a good job of including the question. I've also removed specific references to tonight's plot that could be considered spoilers.  

James Duff Hi, everyone! Michael and I are here in my office, excited to take questions

James Duff Michael's favorite scene in the autumn episodes is tonight, when he comes face to face with a bad guy, and doesn't have a chance to figure out how to react. Also, he has a terrific scene in our five-part story this February. Tao gets a little physical.

James Duff Kate S asks what our favorite holiday traditions are. My favorite holiday traditions involve my family and/or traveling. I especially like having Christmas in Paris, in Texas and in Palm Springs. MPC loves going to Hawaii with his family at Christmas, surfing his way through New Year's.

James Duff Jen W asks what MPC's favorite thing about playing Tao might be. He has a lot of character traits he loves, but one of the things he likes is going on a little bit longer than he needs to. Also, he likes when the character shows however smart he might be, at bottom, he's a cop.

James Duff Ilona Arcari asks who MPC's favorite acting partners are.  Naturally, Michael says, everybody! But he, Kearran, Raymond and Phillip hang out together a lot. Graham joins (as available). And MPC also helps GW out with the Sunshine Kids and really loves the interviews he does with Mary. He and Tony have had a lot of great moments, too. There is no favorite! It's kinda like asking me who my favorite actors is on the show! There is no good answer to a question like that!

James Duff Ilona Arcari also asks it there's a theme for season five? Which starts next year. Yes! And I will blame Duppy, since you said to!

The theme is balance, as in how we balance work and home, how we balance children and spouses, how we balance pragmatic needs with our idealistic dreams, how we balance the present and the past....

James Duff Peggy F wants to know if MPC is as technically savvy in real life is he on the show. No. In fact, just today, the internet was down, and MPC said, "I sure wish Tao was here to help me." 
Big laugh on set.

James Duff Teri SM asks if there are any plans involving the medical examiner, or our pathologist, Dr. Morales. 

James Duff Linda K asks if we'll be seeing more of the personal sides of Mike and Amy in season five, the answer is: Yes! You will be seeing a lot more of them in our five parter, too. Mike Tao and Amy have some rule breaking ahead of them!!!

James Duff Nora S asks why Michael Tao quit med school.

James Duff Working as a police officer is a calling. It's not just a profession. Over and over and over again we have police officers telling us this. That there is nothing better than running toward the trouble everyone else is running away from.

James Duff Sue B asks if MPC has ever hit a hole-in-one.Yes, and he was really proud to have made it through the windmill. Actually, he did almost hit a hole in one, except the ball bounced out of the cup! So close! He has years left to make it though.

James Duff Jenni G asks if we will see any storyline with Tao, as we did before with his son. Sort of this winter. We have a great big case that gets reopened because with Tao's old partner, a corrupt cop who was fired for committing perjury on the stand.

James Duff Helen L asks what MPC's family would like to see him do on the show. He suggests more action scenes, like the one he just had! People may have noticed that our squad gets broken up more, moving between different parts of the LA landscape. MPC leads our own version of "the away team."

Capt Taylor is enjoying this, you can even tell from the back

James Duff Trinity D KT Tao is best when faced with trying to get all the details of the puzzle right. Sometimes, he also puts it together; sometimes he runs the mission finding the pieces. But he is perfect at the details.

James Duff Jonathan Del Arco rocks in the episode tonight

James Duff Duppy Demetrius, the writer of this ep, just walked in.

James Duff Just want to point out that we have a lot of cast in this episode. And that we are spread out across Compton, Brentwood, and the courtroom.

James Duff Kris W asks if we will have lesbian characters or killers on the show in the future. Of course, the whole pilot of The Closer featured a (somewhat) lesbian killer. And there have been lesbians on the show. And there will be another coming up in our five parter: a ballistics tech, Firearms Francine.

James Duff Ed S asks if Andy's better: yes! The surgery was a couple of weeks ago and he recovered and is back on desk duty until February.

James Duff Our finale next week was directed by my long time producing partner, Michael M. Robin, and it's one of the best shows we've ever done. And I have to say that this episode was directed by one of our DPs, David "Harpo" Harp, who has been working with us for ten years. Kathe we have all the time, and Ron is often here, too, but Greg and Garrett are newer to our family. I will hate to see Garret, who plays Slider, leave next week, after the jury decides his fate.

James Duff As per usual, we are going to bow out now and allow you to enjoy the rest of the episode without us. This crime is not completely solved until the very last moment of the show. Unusual for our fifth act. We are making deals, of course. Provenza finds something with MPC, Sanchez, Buzz and Sykes that...well, you'll see!

James Duff Just one more word about death penalty trials. Murder trials happen in phases. We are doing a little bit of each phase, which you don't often see on television. Slider is about to speak to the jury in his own defense, to explain why they should mitigate his crimes with something less than death.

James Duff Next week, a huge action story and a special appearance by Jon Tenney as Deputy Chief Fritz Howard!

James Duff And thanks for the shoutouts to Bill Brochtrup, who has done a great job playing our police psychologist. And we are planning more for him next season!

James Duff Get your shopping done, wrap the gifts, and take a break next Monday night with us as we finish up our autumn season and prepare for our first five-parter ever. Thanks from me and MPC for joining us. And Duppy says, "Sometimes, you have to work hard to prove a murder. And it takes help from someone else to get you there..."

James Duff Good night everybody!

You can see previous Mystery Playground Major Crimes coverage, including past chats, and Jonathan Del Arco's favorite drink.

Here's Rusty's video log from last week. 

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