MCTV Exclusive: Tony Denison On Flynn’s Evolution, Shandy and the Answer to That VERY Important Question

By M. Sharpe

 517- flynn raydor n2 lrAfter a nearly five-season courtship, the very slow-burn relationship between Andy Flynn and Sharon Raydor hit a milestone last week, when after a series of near-miss attempts, Andy finally proposed to Sharon. As the episode faded-to-black, fans were left with a lot of questions, most notably…. did she say yes?

We spoke with Tony Denison to try and find out the answer to that, as well as his feelings about the Flynn/Raydor relationship, the changes his character has undergone this season, and how that’s affected him as an actor, as well as the scoop on the new project he’s been working on during his hiatus.

MajorCrimesTV: So, before I go any further, the question everyone is asking is, what happened? Did she say yes? 

Tony Denison: Well, I’m not allowed to say… But apparently there’s unintentional hints out there. So if people are observant, they might see something. If not, maybe they don’t see, or they see the absence of something. But they’ll have to watch (tonight) and see what happens.

MCTV: Ah, I see. Well, a little bit of suspense is healthy for us all. After five seasons to get here, we can’t have the answer in one episode–that’d be too easy!

TD: Exactly. I agree.

MCTV: But it was very exciting! What was it like for you, getting to this point in the characters relationship and filming that proposal scene?

TD: It was great! I enjoy every moment of screen time that I get to work with Mary, especially when it’s one-on-one scenes, so that was really cool, because we got a little bit of the payoff of what’s been going on. And as we move forward, people will see where it goes, and as far as what happens this next season that we’re about to start filming in few months, I don’t really know what happens, to be honest with you. I just know that according to James, it’s going to be a good season.517- flynn raydor3

MCTV: The whole proposal scene was done a little differently than a lot of the show, in that we saw Flynn proposing, but there was no dialogue.  A lot of the fans have been asking, was there more to that scene when you shot it?

TD: There was never dialogue. When I say my last line, after I close the sliding door, at that point, it’s all silence from there on and we don’t say a word. I just take it out of my pocket and then I do what I did. And that’s how it ends. I mean there may have been different camera angles that were shot, but those are the ones that they showed, and there wasn’t anything more than that.

MCTV: Andy has had a lot of health issues in this last year, and a lot of changes in his life. How has he, or has he changed, from experiencing all that, and is that part of the reason he’s kind of gone from this confirmed bachelor to proposing to Sharon? 

TD: Well, I don’t know. Andy’s going through a lot of changes. And there’s a couple of payoffs in this season that are exciting, I have to admit, that happen in terms of how Andy is – his health issues and all that stuff. So I don’t want to give away too much but he’s really enjoying this relationship. I mean, I’m enjoying it because I love working with Mary, and so as an actor and as a character I’m having a lot of fun.

MAJOR CRIMES (TNT)MCTV: It seems that your role has changed a bit this year. All these seasons on The Closer and then for most of Major Crimes,  Andy’s always been “The Cop” and that’s been so much of the role, in terms of being part of the team solving crimes and dealing with suspects. And now with these health issues, that’s shifted, and he’s not out with the team as much, he’s in the office with Sharon. How has that been for you as an actor, to have the role you’ve played for many years undergo this big change?

TD: I’m glad you asked that question. It has been strange. It’s been a really interesting adjustment because Andy has gone through a lot of different things over the years. It started out, he was the nemesis to Kyra’s character, and then they joined forces, and became part of the squad, and then she left and then he was at odds with Raydor early on, and then when she took over the squad they instantly hit it off as co-workers and then it became…I guess the natural extension was for us to hit it off as a man and a woman.

Those changes, as an actor, to get the opportunity to keep playing stuff like that, is great. And that’s the joy of television vs. doing feature films. You do feature films and you get two hours of action-packed fun, you do your character, and your character has his journey, and then the movie’s over and you wind up with all these things you’d like to explore beyond what’s written, and hopefully you’ll get a sequel in a movie and a chance for a bit of that. But in a TV series, the sequel occurs every week. And you get the opportunity to continually explore into different things for the character. And I like that. As an actor, I like that a lot.

MCTV: I can see how it would be517- flynn2 lr very rewarding to be able to continue with, and grow with the character for many years. Another thing I’ve seen a lot of fans commenting about in terms of the storyline between Sharon and Andy is that so much of the development of their relationship has tended to happen off-screen. Is that frustrating to you, or are you satisfied with how the development of their relationship has been portrayed on screen?

TD: I think leaving it up to the imagination is good for us. It’s good for me. I mean, no matter which way it’s done, the fans are clamoring for more of whatever they get, you know? Which is really great. And more than that, the cast, we’re all part of the – I say this a lot because it’s true, for me anyway, but we’re all part of the same team. And it’s great when someone on your team hits a home run and wins the game even if you’re not on base or you didn’t score. You all celebrate the victory. So, the way the show is structured now, [James Duff]is trying to give everybody their home life moments, and to do that, means we can’t follow any one relationship or person that much. And he’s doing a good job trying to satisfy that aspect of the show. But I think at the end of the day, I have no complaints about the work that I get to do with Mary, and there’s also going be some more stuff coming up with G.W. again, which I know a lot of fans miss.

MCTV: Oh, great! We’re looking forward to that!

TD: So that’s going to be happening again. And for me, I don’t ever ask what’s going on, or what’s going to happen to my character. When I get the scripts and read them, I’m like “Oh! Okay, cool.” And that’s it. I don’t question things or want to complain about having more or less to do. It’s not my job.

517- flynn raydor2Now, if they, or come over and say, “Hey, listen, are you happy with the script?” At that point, I might turn around and say “Well, you know, I was wondering is it possible for this to happen or that to happen?” And a lot of times, James is very accommodating to me. We have a good collaborative effort on a lot of that stuff. But for the most part, one thing’s sure, he knows I don’t knock on his door up at the office and say “Hey, you know, I was wondering…?” I don’t do that. So I’m happy with what is written, and what I’ve gotten to do, and how we’ve told this story.

MCTV: You’re filming a new movie right now. Can you tell us about that?

TD: I just finished. It’s called “Agent Emerson” and a virtual reality movie. They needed me for two days and I had some really good stuff to do, and it’s an interesting–and I really highlight the word and underline the word and quotation mark the word “interesting” project. I’ve not ever done anything like that before, in terms of how the camera works. It’s not your typical 3-D, it’s not your typical virtual reality, it’s incredibly immersive. It was pretty cool, and I’m excited for it. People are going to have a ball watching this thing.

MCTV: Well, we look forward to seeing it. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, Tony. We always look forward to chatting with you.

TD: My pleasure!

Major Crimes is all new tonight at 9PM/8C on TNT.

MCTV Exclusive: Tony Denison on Major Crimes Season Four, Surprises, and ‘Shandy’

By A. Cascone and M. Sharpe

tony gallery colorWith the season four premiere of Major Crimes right around the corner, talked to Tony Denison to get the scoop on this season’s upcoming storylines, surprises, and of course, ‘Shandy.’

After eleven years of portraying Lt. Andy Flynn on The Closer and Major Crimes, Tony Denison says his appreciation for the work that his character and real-life LAPD cops do has grown tenfold. “I always enjoy what we do, solving crime and the exploration of that crime. It’s interesting, because as an actor you never get tired of that.” Even with the advancement of technology and it’s growing prevalence in the lives of law officials, Denison stresses that it’s the gritty reality of cops rolling up their sleeves and really immersing themselves into the crime that most appeals to him as an actor. “I can appreciate shows like CSI that have all that high tech equipment,  but at the end of the day you still have to have someone walk around the place and bring the information to the microscope, and that stuff is always the most interesting to me.” Continue reading

MCTV Exclusive: Tony Denison Previews What’s Next For Flynn, “Shandy” and More

By A. Cascone and M. Sharpe


Photo credit: Justin Stephens. Courtesy TNT, used with permission

Since TNT’s hit drama Major Crimes debuted, audiences have been delighted to see a whole other side of resident tough-guy Lt. Andy Flynn revealed as Flynn has confronted both family and personal health conflicts, adjusted to new additions to the Major Crimes squad, and, most excitingly, has begun to step toward a potential new romance. Recently, we caught up with Tony Denison on the set of Hollywood Today Live, where he took the time out of his hiatus schedule to update us on Flynn’s journey so far, as well as speculate with us as to what might be next for the smart-alec Lieutenant.

MCTV: Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us again. You are halfway through your third season right now, what’s your experience been like so far and what can we look forward to in the second half?

Tony Denison: This season has been so great that somebody said to me one day, ‘How much longer do you think you can play this character?’ And I am telling you, without exaggeration, that I could go ten more years; I am having so much fun. And it’s ten years into it [playing Lt. Flynn] and I am not even remotely bored. I love every episode and whatever I get to do and I love to work with G.W. Bailey; he’s a friend and he’s a wonderful actor. I also love all of the stuff that I get to do with Mary McDonnell, as well as the other guys in the cast too, like Kearran Giovanni and Raymond Cruz and Michael Paul Chan; they’re all just great.

MCTV: Congratulations on rising to TNT’s “BOOM” rebranding challenge! Major Crimes has been delivering consistent, record-breaking ratings this season. You and the rest of the cast and crew must be incredibly proud of that accomplishment.

TD: We are poised again to be TNT’s number one show. I joked with James Duff one day and I said, ‘if you write it, they will watch.’ And I was right!

MCTV: Last season audiences got to see glimpses of how Flynn’s family life has affected him, but we didn’t actually get the chance to meet any of his family members. If we do get the pleasure of meeting his children this season, what do you think Flynn’s relationship with them will be like?

TD: Well, I know through dealing with a lot of cops that I’ve spoken with over the year that it’s probably a very tough relationship. When you work a profession where when you go out the door in the morning and your family doesn’t know if you’re going to return alive that night, where you’re carrying a gun, it’s got to be a strain on everybody in the family. Whether people openly admit it or not, there’s got to be some kind of like stress and I am sure that it affects everybody in the family to some degree; maybe a lot, maybe a little, but it’s got to be there. So I would guess that Flynn’s character has experienced what a lot of detectives go through when it comes to their families. Continue reading

Major Crimes Season 3 Press Round Up

A few more Major Crimes Season 3 interviews were released over the last few days, and we’ve gathered them together in this post for you:

Mary McDonnell talks Major Crimes on the Fox4 Morning Blend

Mary McDonnell and Tony Denison talk about the season with CinemaSource from the set of Major Crimes:


Mary McDonnell talks about Major Crimes on the Pop Culture Podcast:

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Mary McDonnell talks Major Crimes during the premiere press tour:


Major Crimes cast attends the season premiere screening and Q&A at Raleigh Studios



MM closer mag1Mary McDonnell talks family, career and Major Crimes in Closer Magazine (click thumbnails for viewable version)

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Tony Denison Talks Major Crimes Season 3

218-41-flynn In a new interview with TVWise, Tony Denison talks about the upcoming season of Major Crimes, working with co-star G.W. Bailey, and the incredible staying power of the show.

“TVWise: Major Crimes has been a huge success for TNT and is now heading into its third season, how does it feel to know that the fans are still embracing the show?

Tony Denison: It’s wonderful. I don’t want this to sound like an obvious answer, but it is. We had this great ensemble for seven and a half years on The Closer and then we had some personnel changes. Then all of a sudden, Mary McDonnell moves to the head of the squad. The transition was effortless, even for us as actors playing the same characters. It’s funny because Raymond Cruz and I thought Major Crimes was going to be a hit; not in an arrogant kind of way, but we thought it is almost the entire same cast and the same production team led by James Duff. If The Closer was a hit, why wouldn’t we be a hit? I know losing Kyra was a concern for a lot of people. She was great to work with those seven years, but I didn’t doubt we would be a success. I thought we would at least be as successful as The Closer, but never thought we would be more successful which is great.

TVWise: With so many police show on television, what do you think separates Major Crimes from the rest of the pack?

Tony Denison: It’s really a nuts and bolts cop show. I remember seeing an interview with Jimmy Breslin once and he said that at the end of the day, most crimes are solved by old fashion shoe leather. That is exactly what we are about, old fashioned shoe leather. We are out there walking a case, we walk it back. We are just doing what real cops do. They go door to door; they talk in the squad room and they bullpen ideas around. Then they just go out and work the case.

TVWise: One of the more interesting dynamics on the series is the relationship between Flynn and Provenza. What is it like working with G.W. Bailey?

Tony Denison: Working with G.W. is wonderful. I genuinely really love the guy. He does a lot of work with different charities which is wonderful as well. He’s great to work with and we play off each other really well. If one of us has an idea and tells the other person and if we can make it work without it being disruptive to the plot, we will try to improv some stuff. It’s just a great relationship. I’ll also defer to GW sometimes during a scene because he is very knowledgeable as an actor and he is very honest with his feedback which helps me.

TVWise: There has definitely been a change in the relationship between Lt. Flynn and Sharon Raydor since the first season. What can fans expect going into season three?

Tony Denison: I think what’s going to happen is that the dialogue is going to shift. It happens in all working environments. How it’s going to shift and when is it going to shift specifically, I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s going to sound like or when that overt shift is going to happen, but right now there is this little hint of something. I guess somebody could say that is it moving slow, but why not? We may be on the air for another four or five seasons, so why not have it move whatever way it is supposed to move. I don’t think that anything should be rushed no matter what it is. Whether it is the relationship between Sharon and Andy or if any of the other character has a love interest or family issues or something. I like watching things develop slowly because that’s how it is in real life.

TVWise: Playing a cop on The Closer and now Major Crimes, when you aren’t working, are you more aware of your surroundings?

Tony Denison: Yes and no. I like to always think that I was always somewhat street smart and street savvy. Now I find myself looking at things and noticing things that are peculiar with people. So, does the cop role rub off on me? Maybe. I don’t know. I’ve always had a good magnet for knuckleheads on the street and I would keep my guard up just in case.

TVWise: One of the understated aspects of the series is its comedy. How important is the comedy to the show and its characters?

Tony Denison: It’s very important. In fact, there was an episode a while ago where my character cracks a joke at a crime scene and everyone laughs. Mike Berchem, who is the lead detective for the city of Los Angeles and is now a writer and executive producer on the show told me that is the kind of stuff they do. If you think about all the crime scenes that they see and the horror that they come upon, they needed a way to release that tension or they would all go mad. There was one murder scene that we did one time where a little girl was killed by her step brother. Even though the scene was a recreation, it still got to me because it was so gruesome. I went to Mike Berchem afterwards and asked him how they hell do you do this? Cops have to find a way to maneuver around that stuff emotionally or again, they’d go mad.

TVWise: The show has some amazing writing. Do the actors have to stick strictly to the script or is there room for ad lib/improvisation?

Tony Denison: Well James Duff has been very generous with G.W. Bailey and I. He’s allowed us a little bit of latitude. If I throw in an ad lib, I do it either at the beginning of a scene or at the end of a scene. If I do it that way, it gives them the opportunity to cut it out if they don’t like it, but if they like it, they leave it in. We don’t do it every single scene, but every once in a while. Sometimes we’ll get an idea and we go to the writers before we start shooting and ask if we can try it. They let us try and sometimes they use what we come up with. That is generally how it works. I am one of those guys who really believe in a third eye. I may have instincts or my guy may tell me something, but you need that third eye around; that director, writer or producer who can be an arbiter. That’s the way I was trained in the theater.

TVWise: Will we get to learn more of Flynn’s history in the third season?

Tony Denison: I’m not trying to be coy, but I am under the impression that there is going to be some stuff from Flynn’s past that will be introduced in the storyline, but I don’t know what it will be. Many of the characters from the show have had things from their past or background used in storylines. There’s tone, which is the overall theme or the atmosphere that James Duff is looking for and in that tone, there is texture; the elements that make us all human, frail and humble.”

Read the original article here

Major Crimes returns to TNT for its third season on Monday June 9th at 9/8c.

Video: Tony Denison Cooks Eggplant Parmigiana from the Major Crimes Cookbook

Click here for more information and to order your own copy of the Major Crimes Cookbook

Tony Denison Talks Trattoria and the “Major Crimes Cookbook” on CBSLA

Tony Denison stopped by CBSLA to talk about Major Crimes, his film Trattoria, and show off his famous “Sicilian Style French Toast”, one of the recipes he contributed to the Major Crimes Cookbook.