‘Rescue Me’ Star Denis Leary Answers Burning Questions

by | June 3, 2009 at 8:08 PM | Interviews, TV News

What kind of a TV star suggests killing his own character off? And no, this is not a T.R. Knight/Grey’s Anatomy situation. Apparently, just an actor who loves his show and looks out for its best interests. We’re talking about Denis Leary, star, co-creator, and executive producer of the hit FX show, “Rescue Me.”

That’s what Leary told Fancast readers when he clicked in for a live chat earlier today and fielded questions on who might be the next firefighter to fall victim to a blaze.

“You never know,” he wrote. “This is coming from a guy who is a co-creator – me – who has pitched killing his own character off twice – so every one is up for grabs. Even Tommy.”

Yikes. So, should viewers be nervous? Maybe not just yet; Leary did confirm he and the show will be back for at least one more season. ” We start shooting another season starting in September. We will write and shoot for a few months and then decide creatively if it feels like it’s time to go. We love doing this show but we do not wanna overstay our welcome,” he said.

Leary also told fans that his character, Tommy Gavin, will continue to battle inner demons now that he’s back on booze. “One of the guys Tommy is based on has been back and forth over both sides of that fence. When and if Tommy ever gets sober for good – that will be fun to write and to figure out exactly what makes it happen,” he said. As for the ghosts, “We wanted a burst of haunting – once that booze hits his lips – of course it quickly becomes a nightmare.”

As far as guest star Michael J. Fox goes, Leary – and us viewers – can only hope at this point for a return. “I would love it [but] he is a very busy man. He raises massive amounts of money, and spends most of his time at events, so it’s up to his schedule,” he said.

He also told chatters that addressing 9/11 this season was a must and that almost every conversation is ad-libbed and based on real life firefighter banter. But did you know that his character is also based on real life?

“He’s based on two friends of mine from the fire service. We wanted something Irish – one of my friends growing up died in a fire as a member of the fire service named Tommy, and another friend in the fire service has the first name Gavin. I thought it was a nice combo,” he said. “But the fun of playing Tommy is in the places that aren’t like me – the dark areas, the insanity in a fire, the crazed approach to his own real life – that’s what acting is all about.”

And why he could never be a real one. “All the training in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the sheer courage and cojones to run in and do the damage that needs to be done. I would doubt I have what it takes.”

Well, Denis, it sure seems like you have it on TV, anyway. See for yourself every Tuesday night, 10 PM, on FX, and be sure to check out this do-gooder’s fire fighter foundation too, at www.learyfirefighters.org.