Recently I got the chance to speak with Actor Michael Paul Chan. Michael was in town promoting the upcoming season of The Closer and was kind enough to take a few moments from his schedule to do this interview with us.
GVK: What drew you to acting?
MPC: I was a mediocre musician and came into acting late during my time in college. It was that 60’s-70’s Gorilla Theater that was so popular in San Francisco, and I was able to get a scholarship that got me started.
GVK: What sort of preparation did you do for The Closer and what attracted you to the role?
MPC: I had done a lot of character work in the 90’s, playing a lot of bad guys. I would go to the grocery store and people would ask me which bad guy I was playing next. It was nice seeing a role that would allow me to use Standard English and it was a very well written show with a well-defined character. I had worked with Michael Mann on Robbery Homicide Division and liked that fact that this was a solid genre and that my character was an interesting mix as he is very bright, but he is socially inept.
GVK: What surprises can fans look forward to in the upcoming season?
MPC: New Characters stepping up, (Laughs), that is about all I am allowed to say.
GVK: The Closer is the rare series that is popular with critics and fans alike and has been able to get solid ratings as well as a cult following, to what do you credit the success of the series?
MPC: Kyra, and very good writing. We have been very blessed to have a great cast that has a good chemistry and we have been very blessed and lucky as there are plenty of shows that seem to have it all but for one reason or another just do not click.
GVK: I have to ask, with the buzz about a new Arrested Development film being considered, is there any chance we will see Judge Ping again?
MPC: That is funny; this is the 2nd time I have been asked that today. I did a few episodes of the show, and my work was usually a few days sitting around while the cast did there stuff. They were amazing and very funny, and usually they would be sent home, and then they would do my close ups and the rest of the scene without them. I have not heard anything about Judge Ping returning but it was a great show.
GVK: Having acted in so many different genres do you have a favorite?
MPC: I love Drama but with jokes when appropriate. Too many sitcoms are not enjoyable to me as the jokes are presented in such a way that the laughs are obligatory. I like the more subtle humor where one guy in a group gets it.