Interview with Michael Gaston
Mr Gaston I am so thrilled to be able to do this interview with you. Your portrayal of Gray Anderson is astounding, Gray drove me nuts so many times during Season One! I would like to thank you for bringing us such a awesome character.
It's my pleasure.
You have had an amazing career so far. You have appeared in over 20 films, had roles on numerous TV shows, and performed on Broadway. Which did you find the most enjoyable and rewarding for you as an actor?
That's a very nice thing to say. Truthfully, they all have their pros and cons. Ultimately, what makes a project rewarding for me, as an actor, is the quality of the material and the complexity of the role. This is particularly so with theater because of the repetition of 8 shows per week. With series television you have the long-running connection to your cast and crew, which is incredibly satisfying. That could suck, of course, if the people were a drag, but I am happy to report that I have never worked with a more wonderful group of people than those associated with JERICHO.
Who has affected your life the most (who is your hero)?
I hope you won't take offense to this, but I really think hero worship is a bad idea. I have many, many people I admire but picking one, I'm afraid, would seem silly to me. And making a list makes me feel like a beauty pageant contestant.
Which of the many different characters you have played was the most difficult for you to get into character for you?
The worst have been abusers of children. Very hard to live with that for any length of time.
Were there any roles that you found to be so similar to your own self that you found it very simple to relate to and portray?
There have been, but those are rarely much fun.
How early in your life did you know this was the career for you?
I thought that I would be a teacher right up to my college graduation. I took a theater class my last quarter of school and fell for it pretty hard. I decided that I would pursue it for as long as it was fun. And 23 years later, here I am.
If you had to explain your character Gray Anderson to someone, what would you say about him?
Gray is a very different man now, after 29 episodes, than he was when we first met him. He's much more sensible now. And stronger for it. See, because the writers never gave Gray any family, and because he was defined entirely, in the early episodes, by his work and his political ambition, it was a struggle to make him anything more than a thorn in the sides of the Green family. For reasons that were never obvious to me, Gray loves his town and always believed that he was the best person to run the place. But, truthfully, he was never that bright. Part of this was because the network insisted on the Green's being right all of the time. So Gray would have to be wrong. But later, when, I think, the episodes started to really get interesting, the writer's found and were allowed to show a greater complexity in the stories, and it got even more fun for all of us to go to work.
I'm a passionate man who has been known to speak before thinking.
What appealed to you about the part of Gray Anderson from the very beginning, what about this character motivated you?
It's really what I just said, his drive and complex motivations.
What would you like to see happen with Grays character over the coming seasons?
While I don't think the network would ever allow it, I'd like to see Gray make some intimate connection to somebody. Maybe even fall in love. Or a friendship, at the very least. Get some insight into the man. Aside from that, Gray has transformed in the short time of season 2. He's becoming a steadier leader, a more mature voice in place of the departed Johnston. I like that direction. I still like it when he's a jerk, but I like to mix it up.
What was your reaction when you heard Jericho was given another seven episodes?
I was ecstatic about seeing all of my friends again. I live on the East Coast, so when the show was cancelled long after we ended production, it was heartbreaking to think I wouldn't see those folks again.
What can you tell the fans of Jericho about what they can expect in the upcoming season?
I will tell you nothing except that a lot of crazy stuff happens.(my insert - drat, I tried guys :-)
Your most treasured memory while working on Jericho?
Me and Lennie spending the whole day shooting the interrogation scenes from ROGUE RIVER. Working with a fine actor on good material is the best of what I do.
How has working on Jericho affected your life/your outlook on life?
I'll be able to answer that when I know it's gone for good.
If we could ask Gray about what had happened on the scouting party ( Four Horsemen)
before he returned to Jericho with news of the outside, what could he tell us?
Gray pretty much answered that with his story about the water truck when he returns in episode 7. I don't think Gray was hiding anything.
And last question: Could you tell us about some of your current projects?
Right now I am in Rabat, Morocco, working with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott on a movie called BODY OF LIES. Before this I shot a movie in Iowa and Arizona with the writer/directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden(HALF NELSON) called SUGAR. It's about a minor league baseball player from The Dominican Republic. I also did an episode of my new favorite show, DAMAGES. It is awesome.
I would like to thank you once again Mr Gaston for taking the time from your busy schedule to talk with me,
it is a huge honor for me and I can not wait to see you in the second season of Jericho and your other endeavors.