TNT’s ‘The Closer‘ reports back for duty this Monday at 9/8c, and Season 6 promises to put Brenda and Fritz’s union to the greatest test. Jon Tenney, who plays FBI special agent Fritz Howard gave Fancast his take on this season’s theme, teased the obstacles ahead for the show’s core couple, and shed a tiny bit of light on next week’s big mystery. Also: In what (DC) Universe is Jon Tenney old enough to be Ryan Reynolds’ father?!
I actually just finished watching this season’s second episode, and have been telling folks it’s one of the show’s strongest ever.
That’s really good to hear. This season we had a particularly long hiatus, due to a confluence of events, so we were off filming for about eight months. But while the actors had that time off, the writers still came back and broke a lot of the stories early on, so a lot of the scripts are in very good shape.
I know that series creator James Duff likes his themes. What’s the theme for Season 6?
He always comes at us with a very provocative word like “power” or “family,” and this year the theme is “attraction.” I of course got very excited, because I was like, “Brenda (played by Kyra Sedgwick) and Fritz are married now, what’s going to happen?” He said it has to do with what you’re attracted to as well as what you’re not attracted to, and how different attractions can pull you in different directions.
How are things for Brenda and Fritz when the new season picks up?
In the very first episode, there’s a scene I love where they’re ostensibly discussing a case that she has, and we’re talking about having affairs. But we’re play-acting, so we’re also sort of feeling each other out a bit… There’s this “Nick and Nora” sort of banter about the issues of work and personal life and commitment to both of those. That comes to the forefront this season for Brenda and Fritz.
Would you say that Brenda’s job is the biggest “third party” threat to their romance, more than any person ever could be?
I think it has more to do with how she prioritizes her personal life and professional life. That’s where the real challenge is going to come from, not exactly an extramarital affair. There is, though, always that thing I love on the show – Pope (JK Simmons) and Brenda had a history. Whether acted upon or not, that’s there and Fritz knows it. That helps deepen the dynamics in the relationships, which from an acting point of view is fun.
But see, I’d almost buy it more if Brenda one day were seduced away by some enigmatic “bad egg,” like Jason O’Mara‘s firebug character, Bill Croelick.
Well, there’s that expression: “Your work is your mistress.” Brenda’s incredibly dedicated to what she does, she’s very, very good at what she does…. She and Fritz are both addicts in a way – Fritz is obviously in rehab, and his energy is focused on overcoming that, but Brenda is completely clueless to that side of her personality. And that frustrates Fritz. But to your point that it could be some “bad egg,” I agree with you that what seduces her away would have to do with her work.
I mentioned Episode 2 earlier. The DVD that reporters were sent purposely omitted the final scene, only saying that it was “surprising.” What can you reveal about its content?
Well… the final scene speaks very much to what I was just talking about. I will say that much.
Before we go, what can you tell me about your role in the ‘Green Lantern’ movie (starring Ryan Reynolds)?
The people at ‘The Closer,’ bless them, worked the schedule to let me film this movie, and I’m just finishing up now in New Orleans. I’m playing Hal Jordan’s father, Martin Jordan. Everybody goes, “Wait, you’re playing Ryan Reynolds’ dad?” I’m like, “Well, he’s 11 [in my scenes].” Part of the movie takes place in 1993, and I’m in the ’93 part. That makes me feel a little better! I don’t feel like I’m Ryan Reynolds’ father yet. Not yet!