The Closer cast member Tony Denison (Lieutenant Andy Flynn) reveals his favorite moments and experiences during the show’s seven-season run. The final six episodes of The Closer begin Monday, July 9, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TNT.
Q: What has been the most fun part about playing Flynn throughout the series of The Closer?
A: It hasn’t really changed for me, other than the first year, when I was sort of the main antagonist, and then got rehabilitated. The opportunity to work with G.W. Bailey has been wonderful.
Q: The fans love Flynn and Provenza. What makes the chemistry between the two of you guys work?
A: I’d like to think that what makes it really work, or makes it unique, is that we both can take turns without realizing it. Being the straight guy to the comedian, we both get to do the slow burn. He’ll do something and I’ll be like, “What?” I’ll do something, and he’ll roll his eyes. We get to do both, which is rare. I think that’s what the audience likes, because everybody isn’t always the clown in relationships. Sometimes one is serious and then the other person decides they’re going to be a clown. People can identify with that.
Q: Do you remember auditioning for The Closer?
A: Well, it’s sort of a long story. I got hired as a guest star on the pilot. I’ve known James for about 15 years, and he said, “Listen, I don’t know if this character is going to be able to return, but it’s a really good opening scene in the pilot.” It was a six-page scene. When it was over, I went to the screening, and I turned to G.W. and said, “This show is going to be a hit.” Later, I get a call from James saying they want to make me a recurring character. I said “Oh, great!” I was happy to be on the show. I wound up doing nine of the 12 episodes.
Q: Why do you think the show has been so successful for seven seasons?
A: You can’t do anything without a good script. You could put Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Willy Mays on a ball field, but if they don’t have any rules and regulations, chaos ensues. No matter how good they are at baseball, if they don’t know what the rules are, it’s not interesting. You give them a guideline and then all of a sudden, wow, look at the way they play. So you start with a really great script, which is the guideline, and then you add wonderful executive producers like James Duff, Mike Robin and Greer Shepherd, who bring to the set a calm. Things are done efficiently. I’ve been on sets where it’s a lot of yelling, and stuff gets done, but this is a very calm set, and everything still gets done. Kyra’s one of these actresses who was born for the role. It’s just one of those anomalies that happens. When you start with a really good script and then you get this sort of blessing of these people, these actors, it just makes it super special. We were all these unique men and women who came together and produced this thing. But I still maintain, it’s only possible when you start with a great script.
Q: Lastly, what are your thoughts coming into this last episode?
A: Well, I’m sad. This has really been great. This has been a nice place to come for seven years in a row. I would have been happy to come to this place for 17 years in a row. In fact, one day somebody said to me, “Well, now that Major Crimes is going to go on the air, what happens if that runs for seven years? Won’t you get tired of playing the character? Do you think you’ll be happy playing the character?” I said, “Is this a trick question? Of course I’ll be happy. Are you nuts?” So yeah, I will miss the show, but it’s really nice that we have it. In my life, I’ve been blessed in so many ways. My hope with the fans is that they will stay with us on Major Crimes. I love it when people come up to me on the street. It means I’m doing something that’s really entertaining them. Now with Flynn, I don’t mind people coming over to say hello. In the middle of a dinner, walking down the street, it doesn’t matter.