Monday, June 27, 2016

Q&A with Tony Denison from Major Crimes

Tony Denison on the set of Major Crimes

Today we have a special interview with Tony Denison who plays Lt. Andy Flynn on TNT's Major Crimes. Tony got his start playing Ray Luca on Crime Story and has had roles on shows including Melrose Place, Wiseguy, Prison Break, The Closer and so many more. Tony took a break from filming this season of Major Crimes (TNT just ordered more episodes to extend the season) to talk to us about his approach to acting, life and his role on Major Crimes. The next episode of Major Crimes airs tonight at 10pm on TNT.

How do you approach the role of Lt Andy Flynn?

I play any role to help the character understand the best course of action. I don't play for sympathy or cheers. I don't want to know what's coming down the line. Some actors like to know, but I like to find out when my character finds out. It's wonderful to play the relationships with everyone on the Major Crimes squad - Mary's character and GW's. GW and I are friends, we actually get mad at each other like Flynn and Provenza. 

Is it challenging to play a police detective? 

Sometimes in drama for a particular character, the ends justify the means. Andy goes right to the borderline of the end justifying the means, but he won't cross that line. That's the difference between playing a criminal and a cop. For a criminal, all bets are off and that's justified in the storytelling. That's not the case with Andy or Major Crimes

It can be hard playing a cop at the end of the day, but my life as a cop begins with the word "action" and ends with the word "cut". Real policemen are policemen as soon as they get up and the world doesn't say "cut."

One of my favorite Flynn and Provenza episodes is from The Closer. It's the one where Flynn and Provenza find a body in Provenza's garage and decide to go to a Dodger game instead of calling it in. What's your favorite episode?

That Dodger episode is a fan favorite. Everyone loved that episode. It was a lot of fun to film. We were all cracking up laughing. 

Can we look forward to another Flynn & Provenza comedic episode this season? 

The fourth episode (airing July 11th) GW Bailey (Provenza) and I get in scrape. It involves thinking about buying a house. 

When did you know that Sharon and Andy were going to be in a relationship?

James Duff (executive producer) had constructed it so Andy and Sharon banged heads a lot in The Closer when she was in the Internal Affairs Department. But when Captain Raydor came over to us in Major Crimes, Andy was one of the first guys to say she's doing the best she can. So our characters bonded. I don't know when it happened but suddenly there were a couple of subtle smiles between us. Fans went crazy. But with something like this, Andy and Sharon would move very carefully. 

What advice do you have for aspiring actors who want to get into the business?

1) Have passion 
2) Persevere by doing what you can do
3) Go to a store that sells patience

If you do these three things I believe you'll be successful. I have been in recovery for 23 years so far it seems to be working. 

There was an actress who was the queen of commercials and making commercials are really good pay days, but all of the sudden the calls stopped. She sold her house and utilized the proceeds to flip houses. She took some of the money from that and started producing. She made do with what she actually had. There's a saying, that if you want to make God laugh, you tell him your plans. 

I went through a dry spell before Major Crimes. I realized that is was more important for me to be happy with who I am. During the dry spell, when I was slowly going broke, I managed to endure, then things came along, like The Closer and Major Crimes. All as a result of me being happy with who I am. 

I used to kick the can down the road. Alcoholics haven't cornered the market on fear. Fear running out of time leads to a look at motion - you say, "I'm not moving fast enough." But everything will come when you are happy. Jesus said, if you have faith the size of the mustard seed you can move mountains.

Tony from the set of Major Crimes
Thank you Tony Denison for stopping by Mystery Playground! You can find him on Facebook and Twitter @RealTonyDenision.

Don't forget to go to the Major Crimes Facebook page tonight at 9:30pm EST/6:30 pm PST where Major Crimes Executive Producer James Duff will answer fans questions via video with Mary McDonnell who plays Captain Sharon Raydor on the show.

You can read our interviews with Kearran Giovanni and Ransford Doherty of Major Crimes


  1. Awesome interview. He's one of my favorite characters!

  2. Informative interview, great guy! Glad to hear more episodes ordered of Major Crimes!!

  3. It is so fun to hear directly from the actors. This is a favorite show of mine!

  4. I'm so glad that his patience paid off, he's one of my favorite characters on the show. And I also LOVE the Dodger episode, dark comedy at its best.

  5. Fabulous interview. I love this series of interviews and I love Major Crimes.

  6. How cool that you get to talk to these folks and get the inside scoop! :)