With the long-running and high successful series THE CLOSER about to close the book on its seven season run, before spinning off into the new series MAJOR CRIMES, these last final episodes are a tense time as each character is under the spotlight for possibly being a department leak and watching the slow unraveling of their respected leader Brenda Leigh Johnson. Fortunately, for the cast members that are moving from one series to the next, they are having a different experience as they elatedly transition their characters. In an exclusive interview, Michael Paul Chan happily shared his reflections on THE CLOSER, working with the superb Kyra Sedgwick and where the journey for Detective Lt. Michael Tao is headed.
How would you describe your experience working the past seven seasons of THE CLOSER?
MICHAEL: The experience has been life changing and career changing. Life changing as in the security a long running series gives you, and career changing as in not having an audition in years!!!
Is there one particular moment from THE CLOSER that stood out for you that you’ll remember fondly?
MICHAEL: I’ll always remember the audition experience for THE CLOSER: getting the material and the writing popped. I instantly knew how I’d go with it, and my instincts were correct as the audition went great.
What is one quality you most admire about your character Det. Lt. Michael Tao?
MICHAEL: His heart, his humility, his smarts.
What would you describe is the secret to Tao’s success as a detective?
MICHAEL: His ability to listen and work with others.
You have the most animated facial expressions in scenes where you usually don’t have lines. What is going through your mind to when you’re in those types of scenes?
MICHAEL: I just listen and pay attention to what’s being said. If you’ve ever observed a group conversation, there’s always someone who likes to talk, and then there are the ones who are active listeners.
Tao never seems to be paired with a partner in the Major Crimes Division. But if he were to be, who would you like to see him partnered up with and why?
MICHAEL: I enjoy working with everyone on the show. They each offer something unique, but I also enjoy riding solo, as you will see in a later episode of MAJOR CRIMES.
How do you think Tao views Brenda after all their years working together?
MICHAEL: I respected Brenda’s instincts and her smarts, and most importantly, how she was able to lead.
What has been your favorite memory working with Kyra Sedgwick on the series?
MICHAEL: Kyra often reminded me of the girls I grew up with in elementary school! Some of the dresses she wore, her body language and behavior was very childlike. Her inner child was awesome Often times I’d gaze at her with a schoolboy crush…
With MAJOR CRIMES about to debut, what do you hope lies in his future? And what would you still like to discover about Tao?
MICHAEL: Tao will finally have a chance to show what he’s capable of. I just finished an episode that shows just that.
Will Tao be a regular in the new series MAJOR CRIMES?
Can you talk a little bit about the upcoming episode in MAJOR CRIMES that features Det. Lt. Tao?
MICHAEL: A case comes back to haunt Lt. Tao…and he’s on his own.
With only three more episodes to go, the clock is ticking down to find out who has been the traitor in their midst. But as evident from Michael’s candor, he will be back as Det. Lt. Tao in MAJOR CRIMES and he is perfectly delighted to be a part of the new series and to explore more of Tao’s past. With so much at stake for the entire Major Crimes Division, do not miss one second of the upcoming episodes of THE CLOSER Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. on TNT. Then look for the debut of MAJOR CRIMES directly to follow the series finale of THE CLOSER on Monday, August 13th at 10PM
In addition to his fine work on THE CLOSER, Michael Paul Chan is actively involved with The Sunshine Kids charity organization, which has tirelessly worked to assist children with cancer in both the United States and Canada for the past 30 years. Just as involved are co-stars G.W. Bailey and Tony Denison, as well as the entire cast and crew of THE CLOSER, who have hosted trips to Los Angeles for many of the children so that they can have a “red carpet” experience and go surfing. They have generously given their time and financial assistance to help inspire these children as they combat one of the most insidious diseases.
THE CLOSER fans have a special fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids in honor of TNT’s #1 show, THE CLOSER. As a way to say “Thank Yew”, fans can support The Sunshine Kids Foundation via this Facebook page.
The Sunshine Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to children with cancer. For more than 30 years, the Foundation’s mission has been to provide exciting, positive group activities for children with cancer, so they may once again do what Kids are meant to do…have fun and celebrate life! The Foundation serves thousands of kids annually working with hospitals in the U.S. & Canada. The Kids and their families participate in a variety of events including arts & crafts parties, Build a Bear events, circus parties, sporting events and more. In addition, the Foundation hosts regional and national trips for pediatric oncology patients each year. These exciting destinations include New Orleans, Louisiana; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; New York City; Los Angeles, CA and Orlando, Florida. All events and activities provided are free to the children, their families and participating hospitals.
Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).