NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Actor Colin Hanks might be best known as Tom Hanks’ son, but over the past 10 years, the junior Hanks has produced a steady stream of film, stage and screen work and transcended the moniker, son of a star.
His film roles have ranged from the widely-liked ”Orange County“ to comedy ”The House Bunny,“ and he has worked on TV shows like the Emmy-winning drama ”Mad Men and science fiction program “Roswell.”
He has also co-starred alongside a number of Hollywood heavy-hitters, including John Malkovich and Jane Fonda.
Now, Hanks is starring in a television buddy-cop series, “The Good Guys,” set to premiere on the Fox network in the United States on June 7. The action comedy centers on a mismatched duo of an old-school cop named Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) and modern-day, by-the-book detective Jack Bailey (Hanks).
Reuters recently spoke to Hanks from Los Angeles about cop shows, Halloween costumes and the mustache on Whitford’s character, which is fast becoming a hot topic among TV fans.
Q: There have been many memorable on-screen police duos, from Starsky and Hutch to Turner and Hootch. What makes the dynamic duo of Jack Bailey and Dan Stark different?
A: The Good Guys” works in that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s meant for laughs. My straight-laced young detective, is paired with a slobbish, over-the-hill, ‘if there is a book he hasn’t even bothered reading it’ cop, played by Brad. And they sort of clash. That always makes for good comedy. There’s a reason why these formulas work. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather show off a wheel that hasn’t been around on television in quite some time.
Q: Dallas, the back-drop for “The Good Guys” seems to play a big role in the series. So why Dallas?
A: Four words: Tax incentives and Chuck Norris. Texas has amazing tax incentives (which lower production costs) and Chuck Norris shot “Walker, Texas Rangers” there for 10 years. So the film and TV crews were very good at doing car chases and big explosions and things of that nature. In a strange way, once we set the show in Dallas, it really sort of incorporated itself very organically into the show.
Q: Your character, Jack Bailey, has a snarky attitude that has landed him a job solving petty theft cases that nobody else wants. Did you model the character after anyone in particular?
A: He’s not really based on anyone. Deep down he’s a good cop. Granted, his quirks can get in the way of success, but he’s working on it. He really does need to be paired up with someone polar opposite, which works quite well with Brad’s character.
Q: Does Detective Bailey have a love interest?
A: Jack has a previous relationship, Assistant D.A. Liz Traynor, played by Jenny Wade. There’s a ‘will they/won’t they’ element of whether they’ll get back together. But certain roadblocks stand in their way, such as his personality.
Q: “The Good Guys” is a fast-paced, action-packed series. Tell us about preparing for a physically demanding role?
A: Just trying to stay in shape is sort of a necessary evil with this show. You end up getting bruised and battered quite a bit. The last thing you want to do is tweak a neck muscle right before you have to shoot your stunt scene, which has happened to me. I did a stunt one day and two days later it finally aggravated my neck as I was about to start doing a fight sequence. So you just learn to stretch and eat right and try to take care of yourself as much as you can.
Q: So what do you want to be when you grow up? No, seriously, if you weren’t an actor you’d be...
A: Music’s one of my big passions as well as photography. If I could somehow combine the two, perhaps a music photographer -- that would be kind of fun. Anything in which I could travel and take pictures would be fine with me.
Q: The promos have billed the show as “Whitford. Hanks. Mustache.” Do you think a new trend will emerge as mustache-wielding, aviator-donning dudes attempt to get in touch with their inner Dan Stark (Whitford)?
A: I have a new passion: Halloween Costumes. I want there to be Dan Stark Halloween costumes come October. And this whole mustache thing is really funny. As long as I’ve known Bradley Whitford, he’s had the mustache. So for me, it’s just Brad. For everyone else who knows Bradley from seeing him on “The West Wing,” they’re not used to it.
Brad’s mustache has taken on a life of its own and has become the third character of the show. Obviously Bradley and I are now sharing top billing with the mustache and it’s just something we’ve gotten used to. I‘m sort of shocked at how many people have really gravitated toward the mustache, regardless of whether they like it or are repulsed by it. It’s kind of like the sun, you can’t look away.
Editing by Michael Perry