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It forced me to want to play in the dark edges in my spare time. Yeah certainly my life over the past four to five years has been very safe and gentle and loving and kind – all of the things that the last two characters I played are not.
Does being a dad influence the roles you now take or don’t take? Maybe only in terms of pushing me further to do more drastic things.But other than the detective in the wheelchair there’s pretty much no other similarities between our show and that one.And I’d say gritty and dark is pretty much the best description of the world of our show. Because of the wheelchair there’s so much movement in all of the scenes; Blair’s [Underwood] always on the move and therefore the cameras are always on the move, so the show really flies along at a good pace. It kind of mirrors the hustle and bustle of NYC, which I love as well.” Is it annoying to be recognized solely as the characters you’ve played in the past?It hasn’t reached the point of being incredibly annoying for me yet. If people recognize you from something and have you lodged in their head as something it means you’ve made an impact, so that’s flattering obviously, to have people be very connected to a character you played. If they suspension of disbelief was working for you, why are you arguing with that?I have two kids at home; this character has two kids, both of us have two boys.
So [I was excited] to get to play a father who takes his job very seriously and is battling the dark forces within himself, versus all of his good impulses to be a protector and a father.
Then the other side of that is the limitations of it, having people only be able to see you as this past thing. It’s so interesting – people know you’re playing a character and they want some physical elements to be real.
I feel like so far in my career I have played a variety of things, so that there are enough people who have different images of me so that I have yet to fall into the trap of having one that really defines me. As long as those preconceived notions of me are drastically different in different people’s minds then I’ll continue to be happy. The character has such a strong identity, he’s so clearly who he is, that I think when people who are introduced to my work from see me out of that character there are split reactions.
So it doesn’t seem like having children made me soften my choices [laughs].
If anything it seems to have pushed me in the opposite direction, maybe because I have such a normal and calm and healthy existence.
Part of that is the job and what it’s like to be on the job, so I definitely felt a responsibility to the people I met in doing research and finding out what it was like to be an NYPD officer.