Michael Chiklis

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Michael Chiklis recalls his early interest in acting and performing in Summer Stock as a teenager. He tells of studying acting at Boston University, moving to New York, and getting his big break playing John Belushi in the feature film "Wired." He explains how he was blackballed by the industry for his role in the film, and turned to television work when Burt Reynolds hired him in B.L. Stryker. Chiklis then details starring in The Commish at the age of 27, and describes his encounters with fans of the show. He mentions his voiceover work on Family Guy, and then talks of the other show for which he's best known, The Shield. He discusses the tone and look of the show, playing the role of "Detective Vic Mackey," and shares how the show was shot. He comments on his Emmy and Golden Globe wins for The Shield, and speaks of his current acting, directing, producing, and music projects. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on December 13, 2013 in North Hollywood, CA.

"If I can entertain people, and at the same time make them walk away from something that I've been in and make them have a conversation, and make them think and feel something, that's important."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Michael Chiklis on playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed
Michael Chiklis on playing "Tony Scali" on The Commish and meeting the real man upon whom the character was based
Michael Chiklis on the pilot of The Shield and the synergy of the cast and crew
Michael Chiklis on his Emmy and Golden Globe wins for The Shield
Michael Chiklis on playing "The Thing" in "Fantastic Four"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on knowing at a young age that he wanted to be an actor; on doing Summer Stock as a teenager and attending Boston University
On earning his Equity card doing repertory theater; on television shows he watched as a kid; on starting to lose his hair during college and his talent for impressions
On moving to New York City and learning his craft; on getting an agent, playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed
On Burt Reynolds hiring him for a role in B.L. Stryker and starting to get TV roles on Miami Vice, Wiseguy, Murphy Brown, and Seinfeld
On starring in The Commish at the age of 27; on his character "Tony Scali" and the show's production schedule

Chapter 2

On the cast of The Commish; on the show's fans; on the end of The Commish and returning to the stage with "Defending the Caveman" on Broadway
On doing character voices on Family Guy; on playing "Curly" in the ABC movie "The Three Stooges"; on the sitcom Daddio
On reinventing himself and auditioning for The Shield; on the synergy of the cast and crew
On the complexity of his character, "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield; on the show's great writing

Chapter 3

On the challenges of playing "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield; on the look and tone of the show
On how real cops and fans enjoyed The Shield; on the arc of the show and the finale
On playing "The Thing" in "Fantastic Four"; on starring in the superhero show No Ordinary Family and Vegas; on Emmy and Golden Globe wins for The Shield
On then-current projects: directing, producing, and recording music; on career achievements and regrets and where he sees himself in ten years
Shows

Commish, The

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Michael Chiklis on his role in Wiseguy and meeting Stephen Kronish, co-creator of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on playing "Tony Scali" on The Commish and meeting the real man upon whom the character was based
Michael Chiklis on fans of The Commish feeling like they know him
Michael Chiklis on his input on playing "Tony Scali" on The Commish and how the character evolved over the course of the show
Michael Chiklis on a typical production schedule on The Commish and how it affected his personal life
Michael Chiklis on the writing on The Commish and his input on changing lines
Michael Chiklis on the cast of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on the fans of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on the end of The Commish and being typecast after the show ended
Michael Chiklis on how fans of The Commish and The Shield respond to him

Family Guy

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Michael Chiklis on doing character voices on Family Guy

Miami Vice

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Michael Chiklis on making an appearance on Miami Vice

Murphy Brown

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Michael Chiklis on his role on Murphy Brown and his admiration for Candice Bergen

Seinfeld

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Michael Chiklis on appearing on Seinfeld and enjoying the cast and set

Shield, The

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Michael Chiklis on meeting Shawn Ryan and auditioning for The Shield, originally called The Barn
Michael Chiklis on the pilot of The Shield and the synergy of the cast and crew
Michael Chiklis on the stars aligning to get the lead role on The Shield and the sense of family among the cast and crew
Michael Chiklis on the complexity of his character, "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on his preparations to play "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on surprises in the scripts on The Shield and the great writers on the show
Michael Chiklis on the challenges of playing "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on the tone and look of The Shield
Michael Chiklis on Los Angeles as a character in The Shield
Michael Chiklis on "gross" things in The Shield
Michael Chiklis on how real cops reacted to The Shield
Michael Chiklis on "Detective Vic Mackey" as an anti-hero people still root for on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on how fans of The Commish and The Shield respond to him
Michael Chiklis on how people respond to him since The Shield
Michael Chiklis on "Detective Vic Mackey's" home life on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on censorship not being an issue on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on interaction with the writers of The Shield
Michael Chiklis on "Detective Vic Mackey's" relationships with "Shane Vendrell" and "Curtis Lemansky" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on the arc of the show and the finale of The Shield
Michael Chiklis on how The Shield changed the television landscape
Michael Chiklis on his Emmy and Golden Globe wins for The Shield
Michael Chiklis on his proudest career achievement - The Shield

Wiseguy

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Michael Chiklis on his role in Wiseguy and meeting Stephen Kronish, co-creator of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on his character arc on Wiseguy and shooting in Vancouver
Topics

9/11

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Michael Chiklis on 9/11 occurring during the run of The Shield

Advice

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Michael Chiklis on advice to aspiring actors

Characters & Catchphrases

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Michael Chiklis on playing "Tony Scali" on The Commish and meeting the real man upon whom the character was based
Michael Chiklis on his character, "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Michael Chiklis on meeting his mentor while doing Summer Stock as a teenager

Emmy Awards

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Michael Chiklis on his Emmy and Golden Globe wins for The Shield

Fame & Celebrity

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Michael Chiklis on the fans of The Commish

Historic Events and Social Change

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Michael Chiklis on 9/11 occurring during the run of The Shield

Overcoming Adversity

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Michael Chiklis on playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed

Pivotal Career Moments

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Michael Chiklis on playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed

Pop Culture

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Michael Chiklis on playing "Tony Scali" on The Commish and meeting the real man upon whom the character was based
Michael Chiklis on his character, "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield

Television Industry

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Michael Chiklis on the fans of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on advice to aspiring actors
Michael Chiklis on changes in the industry and "binge watching"
Professions

Actor

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Michael Chiklis on different schools of acting that he studied
Michael Chiklis on advice to aspiring actors

Directors

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Michael Chiklis on his love of directing

Performers

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Michael Chiklis on different schools of acting that he studied
Michael Chiklis on advice to aspiring actors

Producers

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Michael Chiklis on learning how to produce from The Shield's Executive Producer Scott Brazil
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Michael Chiklis on starring in The Commish at the age of 27; on his character "Tony Scali" and the show's production schedule
Michael Chiklis on auditioning for and playing "Detective Mackey" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on the challenges of playing "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield; on the look and tone of the show; on the finale

Drama Series

View Genre
Michael Chiklis on starring in The Commish at the age of 27; on his character "Tony Scali" and the show's production schedule
Michael Chiklis on auditioning for and playing "Detective Mackey" on The Shield
Michael Chiklis on the challenges of playing "Detective Vic Mackey" on The Shield; on the look and tone of the show; on the finale
People

John Belushi

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Michael Chiklis on playing John Belushi in the film "Wired" and getting blackballed

Candice Bergen

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Michael Chiklis on his role on Murphy Brown and his admiration for Candice Bergen

Stephen J. Cannell

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Michael Chiklis on working with Stephen J. Cannell and Stephen Kronish

Elton John

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Michael Chiklis on Elton John being a fan of The Commish

Stephen Kronish

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Michael Chiklis on his role in Wiseguy and meeting Stephen Kronish, co-creator of The Commish
Michael Chiklis on working with Stephen J. Cannell and Stephen Kronish
Michael Chiklis on the writing on The Commish and his input with Stephen Kronish on changing lines

Seth MacFarlane

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Michael Chiklis on doing character voices on The Family Guy

Leslie Moonves

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Michael Chiklis on Les Moonves believing in him

Edward James Olmos

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Michael Chiklis on making an appearance on Miami Vice and Edward James Olmos helping him on set

Burt Reynolds

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Michael Chiklis on Burt Reynolds hiring him for a role in B.L. Stryker

Shawn Ryan

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Michael Chiklis on meeting Shawn Ryan and auditioning for The Shield, originally called The Barn
Michael Chiklis on surprises in the scripts on The Shield and the great writers on the show
Michael Chiklis on the arc of the show and the finale of The Shield

Jeff Sagansky

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Michael Chiklis on Jeff Sagansky not wanting him to play the lead in The Commish

Kurt Sutter

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Michael Chiklis on interaction with the writers of The Shield - Kurt Sutter

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