Mehcad Brooks Talks "Necessary Roughness"

By Jamie Ruby

Mehcad BrooksThe new USA Network series, Necessary Roughness, follows Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) as she becomes a therapist for a football team. She must learn to balance work and family life. The first team member she treats is Terrence King, played by Mehcad Brooks.

Brooks is probably most known for his work on Desperate Housewives and more recently for his role of Eggs on True Blood. He can also be seen in the upcoming Chris Carter (The X-Files) film, Fencewalker.

Aside from acting, Brooks is also one of the new models for Calvin Klein underwear advertisements.

Brooks recently sat down with the press to discuss his new series.

USA Network Conference Call
Necessary Roughness
Mehcad Brooks

July 19, 2011
10:00 am CT

Mehcad BrooksSCIFI VISION: Can you talk about how you became involved with the series?

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes, I was in Toronto and I got a phone call and a script and (he) said, "Listen, we'd like you to read this." And I was really heartbroken after My Generation was cancelled. And I was - I kind of told myself...I just kind of sworn off television. And when I read the script I was like, "Wait a second. Maybe I spoke too soon."

And I was really drawn to the project because Terrence had so many levels to him. And I thought, you TK was really endearing; also flamboyant and boisterous, but at the same time, I thought, I think he's a really misunderstood kid. And that's something I was wanting because that's kind of what I consider myself a very child-like person, but not childish. So I understand that. But he hasn't quite gotten to that level yet. But, I was kind of routing for him. So it really drew me to him.

SCIFI VISION: What's your favorite part about playing the role?

MECHAD BROOKS: Anything goes. Anything goes. I mean it's the producers', writers' and the director's job to kind of reel me back in. So that's a lot of fun -- a lot of fun.

SCIFI VISION: And if I could go off topic for one second, can you tell us anything about your upcoming film, Fencewalker?

MECHAD BROOKS: It's a great film. Its American beauty meets American history (arts). It's Chris Carter, who created [The] X-Files. It's a departure for him because it's not sci-fi. But, there's been some (hurdles) in producing it and hopefully it'll be out soon.

QUESTION: Talk me a little bit about working with Callie [Thorne], because having met her, she's a little force in a very small little package and you're a big guy. Can you talk about working scenes with her?

MECHAD BROOKS: Callie and I are like kindred spirits. That's the amazing thing. Callie, yes, she packs a huge punch in a very tiny little package. But she is - she has this sort of intoxicating energy about her. If she's smiling you're smiling. If she gets angry, you get fearful. When she means business, you have to step up to the plate and mean business too. It's - she's one of my favorite actors in the world, period. And it's an honor to be working with her. It really is. I learn so much just by watching her.

QUESTION: What else are we going to see with TK as far as his journey with his character? I mean we've already seen little bits, and he definitely has issues he's working through. What are we going to see? Is there going to be any romantic interests or anything else like that with him?

MECHAD BROOKS: It's going to run the gamut. I mean there's going to be - I'm not sure how much I can reveal. But I'll tell you - I'll give you little hints here and there. But it always gets worse before it gets better. There's that as an issue.

It's also, we're taking advantage of having a superstar and being able to take an introspective look into his life and some of the things that come along with that, whether they're funny or scary or timely or topical. TK is going to go through a lot of it. And the thing about TK is -- as you guys have probably seen -- he doesn't - he really hasn't met a real woman in his life except for Dr. Dani. And so, if and when that does happen, that's going to be a very sort of comical and sad circumstance. But I believe it's in the cards for sure.

QUESTION: How do you relate to your character of TK? Are you alike at all or...

MECHAD BROOKS: I'm pretty much the antithesis of TK. And that's kind of why I like playing him because he's so different. I get to go to work and just sort of release a bunch of energy and a bunch of anxiety and a bunch of insanity. And when I come home I'm completely different.

And I'm - I think I'm channeling a part of myself from my early 20s. Because we all have those days where -- at least men -- we all have those days where we do act as, pigs, especially in our early 20s. We have this attitude that we're invincible. We have this attitude that nothing can stop us. And just the problem is, most of us don't have 80 million bucks when we're doing it.

So it's kind of an interesting role to play, but he and I are completely different. I wouldn't even want to hang out with him -- honestly.

QUESTION: What kind of romantic interests do you see for TK in the future? Any dream actresses you want on there?

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes, Halle Berry. There's no actress that comes to mind in particular, but I would like to play, love interest with TK, but definitely - like I said before, it's definitely in the cards. And I have a lot of faith in the writers. And, I think it's going to be a fun ride.

QUESTION: Are we going get flashbacks of TK's past to see how it shaped him into who he is today?

MECHAD BROOKS: I don't think so. But you know what? That's a really cool idea. Maybe I'll bring it up.

QUESTION: What aspect of the show is the most entertaining for you? Is there something about it that you think makes it easy for audiences to connect with?

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes, the aspect that really sticks out in the project for me is that it's the most fun I've ever had shooting anything. And I really kind of feel like if we're having - I'm in the school of thought that people love to watch other people have a good time. And if you're having a great time and you're performing it, I really see how people can watch you and not have a great time. So that's our little secret. We're just having a blast. We're just a bunch of actors coming to work, being able to do great material and who really respect and have an affinity for each other.

And we - in love, actually, really - and we support each other and we just have a blast. And I think it's evident when it comes on screen.

QUESTION: How do you usually spend your time between scenes?

MECHAD BROOKS: If it's not -- because we shoot in Atlanta -- so if it's not too hot, we'll stick around and hang out and talk and just make jokes.We have - I mean I came back to the trailer, the makeup trailer one day and the entire makeup trailer was plastered with my Calvin Klein photos that Callie and the makeup department to do as a joke. And so I went around, like kind of like drawing little faces on them and cutting off Scott Cohen's head, of pictures and pasting them on top of my face, because he was getting a little - because, he had a couple of things to say about it.

And so we took a picture of him and unbeknownst to him, we blew it up to - I don't know - maybe, God, probably 5 by 3 feet -- 3 by 5 feet. And it looks like this old, trying to be sexy 1936 picture, like Clark Gable at the background of the movies. And we hung in front of the makeup trailer and so when we came in, it hit him in the face.

So, we just have a good time. We play jokes on each other. We respect each other. We hang out. It's fun. It's a lot of fun.

QUESTION: Since you're an athlete yourself, what did you draw upon to get into the head of TK?

MECHAD BROOKS: That's a good question. We have a wonderful sports director here on set called - his name is Mark Ellis. I've worked with him before. So we had a preexisting relationship, so that wasn't too difficult. He held a football camp before the pilot, which I attended.

And, it's that competitive nature as an athlete. It never leaves you. You actually learn, as a small child playing in athletics or being involved in athletics and growing up through high school, being involved in athletics you learn to work with people that you probably never would, in any other circumstance. That's what life is about, working with people from all walks of life, working with people that you may not like, working with people who you have to respect for what they do. So those are the lessons that I think can, cross pollinate in anything we do, but also the competitive nature of it.

TK is such a winner, I think. He doesn't take losing very lightly.

And I can understand that. I can completely understand what it's like to really believe in your heart and any manifestations that losing is not an option. He and I just go about it in different ways.

QUESTION: You mentioned Callie earlier. Can you talk about what it's like to work opposite Gregory Alan Williams?

MECHAD BROOKS: Oh, he's great. Yes, he's awesome. I laugh, because that was the first time that I received that question, but it shouldn't be, because he's a fantastic actor, very underrated, and just - I mean he's a fireball of energy. It's like - and he doesn't stop. It's like he'll call, "Cut." And he'll start doing a monologue on something else. And then he'll tell you a story about, what actors call war stories.

And, this happened in this city when I was shooting this and so on and so forth. And he's also very well educated and well versed in a lot of the different arenas. So he's a very interesting character to talk to. So he's a blessing.

QUESTION: Since the show is based on the true story of the New York Jets' psychologist, how does that help?

MECHAD BROOKS: The thing that helps, at least for me in particular, is that I know Dr. Donna Dannenfelser, who is the actual therapist that this is based on.

I don't just know her. She's actually my therapist. And...

QUESTION: Wow.

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes. And - but I'm kind of a kid who's doing the homework in class, because I probably should have done this beforehand. But I really - I got into a bad car accident here in Atlanta and I was sitting at a stop light and somebody hit me going 60 miles an hour, head on.

So it was really nothing I could do. And I'm lucky to be alive, to tell you the truth. But there's the traumatic aspect of the whole thing and I wanted someone to talk to. And I trust her and she's really good at what she does. And so I have a lot of insight into how this whole thing works. And I have personal experience with how it works and I wake up every day and I thank my lucky stars for her as well.

And it's crazy because it's like you would say (some of the), the people that this is really based on and all the actors, we're their family.

QUESTION: You talked about it has to get worse (unintelligible) before it can get better.

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes.

QUESTION: And I'm wondering does that mean that we see him spinning a little bit more dramatically and hitting bottom and what that look like for him?

Mehcad BrooksMECHAD BROOKS: Well it looks - okay, well keep in mind that it's USA -- so it's not going to be an HBO crash and burn. But you - the thing is talent can take you to the top. The character keeps you there. And I think the issue is TK has to build his character. And I can't tell you exactly what that looks like yet because it's not completely finished, and polished with the writing. And as far as that goes, also, I don't know how I'm going to perform it because I do have the freedom to do, like I said, to do take a lot of liberties and they pulled me back a lot of times. And sometimes, they push me even further.

So we never know what that sort of chemistry project is going to be, but it seems to work. And I'm happy to be a (scientist) in it -- if that makes any sense to you whatsoever.

QUESTION: Do you find that being able to play lighter and play that comic relief is something that you welcome after having such dramatic roles, and as you say, on networks that are not USA, that are a little darker?

MECHAD BROOKS: You know what? I - the strangest thing is I forget about the role that I already did. Like I completely focus on whatever it is I'm doing. I live in that moment, because I think life is a bunch of moments that lead to certain destinations. And then once you're at that destination you have some more moments that lead to a different destination, so on and so forth. So it's not like I'm comparing TK to Eggs (on True Blood), as TK to Rolly Marks from My Generation. I just take on roles that I think I like and that would challenge me. And TK is a hard role for me to play in a lot of ways, but I find hard work challenging.

So, it's not like I'm sitting at home going, "Oh my goodness. He's so different than Eggs. He'd make it..." I hope he is. I really hope he is. But I couldn't tell you the comparison unless I go back and then watch True Blood and go, "Oh, yes," Because I don't even remember what I did.

QUESTION: You've also talked about wanting to get into producing and directing and I think you've started behind the scenes, but is that something that want to translate into Necessary Roughness and would you ever consider directing an episode?

MECHAD BROOKS: You know what? If they'll have me, yes. I would love to direct an episode. I think my sense of humor for the show - I mean have the utmost respect for the writers and the producers and the directors that we've had. And - but I've also been just throughout my career, I've been directed by enough people to know, I think, what to do and how to talk to actors and what not to do and how not to talk to actors as well. And that's not to say that that's anything that's happening now, because we've had some great directors on the show. But, yes I would, eventually down the road -- Season 2, Season 3, Season 4 -- I would love to throw my hat into the DGA. That would be awesome.

...

QUESTION: How do you think TK views Dani? Do you think of her as just a therapist, a possible friend, or maybe a substitute mother figure?

MECHAD BROOKS: I've long since been embattled with that question inside of me as well. And I keep coming up with different answers. And 100%, she is the only person that he's ever opened up to -- 100%. So whatever that means to someone. I mean there's feelings of trust there. There's feelings of respect. There's feelings of admiration. There's feelings of - she's also the only person who can set some guidelines and some rules, that he follows -- I mean, begrudgingly.

But in that, I mean there's a surrogate mother quality. There's a, "She's too old" - "She's too young to be his mother," obviously. But there's the surrogate mother quality. There's a big sister quality. There's a, I think, sort of a inkling of a romantic sort of longing in TK that obviously I can't date my doctor, but I wish I could find a woman like her that I can respect like her, that could put me on the straight and narrow.

I think every man looks at a strong woman and even if it's not the one that he's going to be with, he says, "Wow that's somebody that I can respect and I want in my life." And every - I should say every heterosexual man -- every straight man. I shouldn't put every man into that category. That's not fair. No, it's not fair.

So, every heterosexual man I think looks at a strong woman and says, "That's something I want in my life," whether her in particular or someone like her. So yes, there's a bunch of new jumbled up feelings in TK's head about Dr. D., for sure.

QUESTION: Why do you think TK is reaching out and trying to be friends with Dani's friend Ray J? Is it like a quasi-big-brother mentoring thing or does he see a bit of himself in Ray J? What TK's angle?

MECHAD BROOKS: Well, I think - for me, TK, the angle with Ray J is there's no angle. He just - he kind of he genuinely cares about Dr. D. and her family and he really has never had any family of his own. He's never had any siblings. He's never had - he never knew his mother beyond him being 7 or 8 years old. He never had a father. He never had a lot of the situations that Ray J has and Dr. Dani and her family. It's very foreign to him -- money is not, but, a support system and love is.

So I think when he sees that it's something that's hard to like, oh, like so maybe you show up two hours early for your appointment and you play video games with her son. Or maybe you stay too long or you overstay your welcome. Or maybe you crash a pizza party or a birthday party. Or maybe you just start to get inappropriate.

And this actually - a lot of these are true stories where some of the players who've never had any family come and come and hang out at the sweet 16 party -- and not for any inappropriate reasons; just because they felt like family. Even though Dr. Dannenfelser was like, "This is not appropriate."

And, it's - I think it's more of he wants to be a Santino more than he sees an angle.

QUESTION: wanted to ask you a little bit about working with creator, Craig Shapiro...And I would be curious if you'd kind of juxtapose working with Alan Ball on True Blood and Marc Cherry on Desperate Housewives with Craig Shapiro, and what they're like and the comparison between the three, because I know they're very different guys?

MECHAD BROOKS: That's a great question. Well first of all, it should be known that TK is completely based on Craig Shapiro, as you know from the...Obviously that's not true.

I would say Marc Cherry, all three were very hands on. All three were very hands on. They just had very different ways of doing it. Marc Cherry would come up in his golf cart at Universal and hand deliver you notes and say and critique your performance from the night before, on a Monday -- like, "Okay, so..."

But not like in a way where you think - you really felt critique. He was trying to give you constructive criticism...

QUESTION: Yes, like a (stage director), yes.

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes, almost like a stage director. There you go.

And then Alan Ball was - I mean he's so brilliant -- just absolutely brilliant. And the way he handled it was he was very hands on by allowing you to - by hiring the right person to do what they do and allowing you to run with it. And if at any point in time you felt like it was out of line for the character, then he'd speak up. But for the most part, you never really heard from Alan about your character. You heard from Alan about a movie or a composer or like a song or a political issue, so on and so forth. But he was very hands on by being hands off. I don't know if that makes sense, but it (contributes) when you're in that situation.

Craig, I think he's got the best of both worlds, and the fact that he is available any time of day. If you have any questions, he's always reachable. He always gets back to you -- Elizabeth and Craig, both.

He's hands on, to the point of where he knows -- he knows no limits, you know what I mean? Like for instance when we're shooting in Atlanta he's in Los Angeles running the show. So if there's a character situation going on -- say like for instance there's other shows that I've worked on -- if there's a different choice that you want to make or a different line you want to throw, you have to get it approved. They have to call LA, even if it's 6 o'clock or 7 o'clock in the morning on the East Coast, like there's no one awake.

Like I mean how do you get this line approval? That's makes no sense. And Elizabeth and Craig are just, "Hey, just do it and just give us what we want at least one time," and so we have the option. And, once again, they have a hands off, hands on approach too. But they're like doctors, very precise. And if something is wrong, they fix it. And if something is not wrong, they say, "Just, maintain." So if the...

QUESTION: Could you describe for us what your physical transformation was like and how you got your body into the shape you did, from Desperate Housewives, to Calvin Klein, to True Blood, to now, because I mean you probably put on, what -- 30 pounds of muscle since then?

MECHAD BROOKS: I don't recall what I was weighing when I was like 24 years old during Housewives, but Calvin Klein, I can tell you man, that was - that's kind of a special deal for me. That's the anomaly. That's the pinnacle. Because once I found out that I had it, I had about a month to prepare. So what I did was I got on a special diet and I was training with weights twice a day. And I mean, biking 6 or 7 miles a day, while I was shooting a show called the Deep End, in Dallas.

I was cutting carbs around 2 pm. So that's not going to happen again, unless somebody is trying to pay me to get in my underwear again. So yes, I don't walk around like that.

True Blood - no I'm just going to be honest. I'm completely honest about that. I do not walk around looking like that. It's crazy. It would take way too much work. I would just end up being on a subway somewhere and choking somebody because I would just go insane and be like, "I want some carbs."

QUESTION: Can you tell me about what the collaboration is like between you and Marc and Scott?...I'd love to hear what you have to say about Marc Blucas and Scott Cohen, because they're such fun guys.

Mehcad BrooksMECHAD BROOKS: They are really fun guys. They're the nicest guys you ever want to meet. Also, I think and they'll tell you they are actually doing some of the best work of their entire careers and they love it. And we are all doing this to make the best work of our careers and we all love it. And it's just nice to collaborate with Marc and Scott. And I learn - once again, I learn so much watching these guys work.

And keep in mind -- I'm the youngest guy out of the four, so a lot of times I'm obviously doing my job, but I'm astounded by how good everybody else is. I'm astounded - and I'm lucky to be surrounded by that. And I'm so blessed to be able to sit - just kind of sit back sometimes and learn. And it's amazing. It's really amazing. It's like free school, and a job.

QUESTION: Yes, right? And free surgery too, right?

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes.

...

QUESTION: So a lot of our readers...know you as kind of really from True Blood as Eggs, on Dollhouse. And I know that you said that you don't compare roles per say, but I was hoping you could kind of compare working on more supernatural shows versus this show, which obviously is based on a true story, maybe the challenges and the joys that you have going from a more supernatural realm to more realistic.

MECHAD BROOKS: Okay, that's a great question. For me, the supernatural is actually a little more difficult, because you are having to imagine something, nine times out of ten, to get a reaction.

Or you're having - you're put into a situation where this probably never would happen or you would never see it happen and you would never experience it happening. But at the same time I'm such a sci-fi buff and such a sci-fi nerd and lover and I romanticize about it. I believe in aliens and I believe in ghosts and I believe in all these occult and extraterrestrial and extra-sensory things. And I think that they're there.

So I actually don't always consider them science fiction. Sometimes they're science fact waiting to happen and I like being a part of that. And it's fun. It's a lot of fun to be able to exercise this sort of sensational muscle that never gets exercised (in your daily life).

But I think that there are aspects that are in a lot more difficult areas to play the day to day lives of human beings.

Not to say that, that's true for every episode or true for every film you did, because there's some people who live really interesting lives and, something that if you don't have something to draw upon, once again, you have to go there in your mind and you have to exercise that same muscle, just a different part of it.

QUESTION: Another question I have, I guess, more about the craft than anything specific -- also related to the character of TK. I was watching the preview where Dr. Dani says, "TK, at this point in your career, it's mostly a mental thing." And I'm curious if you find yourself also thinking out about being an actor. Are there challenges that come to you that are not about being able to do a sports team, not about being physical, but it's more of a mental challenge?

MECHAD BROOKS: On this particular job or just in general?

QUESTION: In general, yes.

MECHAD BROOKS: Yes - well, you know what? The entire - the entire...If you choose to be an actor the entire (thing), I think 80% is mental.

And it's because the hardest part about being an actor is when you're not working.

And then - then you fail and you fail a lot. And it's - there's a (statistic) that says, maybe you broke 1 out of 14, 1 out of 18 auditions -- and I don't even think that's true, like I mean...It's just that if you take that to heart. If you take that temporary failure to heart, then you're going to believe that this something you can't do.

But the fact of the matter is if you fail -- and like I said before, I think family is only temporary, because if you choose to win, you're going to win no matter what. The thing is if you take that failure to heart - I'm sorry. Sorry. If you don't take that failure to heart, it's a mind - it's mind over body. It's mind over situation and the fact that you say, "You know what? All I have to do is choose to get better. All I have to do is choose to get undeniably good, and they can't continue not to hire me."

And that's a lesson that you have to learn on your own time, but it's a lesson that you have to learn as an actor, period. You can't just step into a room and say, "I'm great." You know, knowing you're probably not. Probably not yet, but you could be -- you could be.

It's all mental.

QUESTION: Do you have a random or maybe weird even celebrity crush?

MECHAD BROOKS: A random or weird celebrity crush -- oh, so many. I think the strangest - I don't know what the strangest...The strangest would have to be -- I mean I don't even think it's that strange -- Rachel Maddow. I love Rachel Maddow. I love Rachel Maddow. I mean I know I'm not her type, but I love -- I watch her every single day. And I'm in love with her mind. I'm in love with her wit. And I think she's gorgeous..

...

SCIFI VISION: What would be your ultimate dream role and is there someone specific you'd like to work with?

MECHAD BROOKS: That's a good question. Ultimate dream role? I've got so many that it's kind of hard to do - it's kind of hard to cut down. But I've got to say I would love to play Jimi Hendrix. And somebody I want to work with, I would say - there's so many. If I had to choose one really quickly I'd say I would definitely say Julianne Moore.

SCIFI VISION: What have you learned about yourself since you started the show?

MECHAD BROOKS: That I'm not invincible -- no I'm kidding, because that was based on the car wreck. But what have I learned about myself since - you know what? That - your job can be as fun as you make it. It can be as fun as you make it. I mean everything is a choice and that seems to reveal itself to me more vividly as I get older. And this is no exception. This is no exception. We choose to make this a really, really, really fun show to do.

And I think if we weren't having such a good time, then, you know why do it? Why do you your job? I'm sure you love your job. And there's been other jobs that I've been on that I didn't love so much and I kind of question if this is something I should be doing. So it's rekindled that flame, my friend.

SCIFI VISION: Can you talk about -- if you can think back -- your work on True Blood, about just the whole experience?

MECHAD BROOKS: That's a pretty broad question, if you don't mind. Like through the whole experience?

SCIFI VISION: Yes, or your favorite experience. Just something about working on the show.

MECHAD BROOKS: It's - I'm comfortable being naked, I guess. I got that out. Well, on that. I was a pretty naked kid growing up. My parents had to like force me to put clothes on. And, you're born naked, you die naked. And I think clothes are something in between. And you might as well look good in between, right?

SCIFI VISION: Yes.

MECHAD BROOKS: And it's also kind of the law, I found out -- no.

But, yes, it was strange. I had a fitting in True Blood once, and my agent was on set, and the wardrobe person came to my trailer and there was no clothes. And my agent was like, "Well, I thought you had a wardrobe fitting," and the wardrobe person said, "He does." And she opens her hand and lo and behold was the wardrobe that I had to try on. I'm not going to go into detail what it was, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

SCIFI VISION: What's something your fans would be surprised to know about you?

MECHAD BROOKS: Something my fans would be surprised to know about me?

SCIFI VISION: Yes.

MECHAD BROOKS: They would be surprised to know that I didn't know I had fans.

SCIFI VISION: Well you do.

MECHAD BROOKS: Thank you very much.

SCIFI VISION: You do great work on the show. So thanks for talking to us.

MECHAD BROOKS: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

QUESTION: You character brings a lot of comedy to the show and I was wondering do you consider yourself a funny person or was it a challenge for you to play a more comedic role?

MECHAD BROOKS: Good question. I've - one of the reasons that I got into acting in the first place -- entertainment in the first place was because I used to go home every single day before my mom got home and I would watch Eddie Murphy Raw or Delirious. And I could recite the entire - I can recite both stand-ups to you at the age of 13. And I just love comedy, as an escape, as an introspective look into society, as way to.

Comics are the only people that someone would go into their pocket and pay and sit down for an hour or even and hour and a half sometimes, for you to listen to them speak. And I just thought that was really interesting. I just thought it was really interesting that someone can get on stage, grab a microphone and captivate an audience of live people for an hour, and get paid for it. I was like that is amazing.

So I took that upon myself to be the class clown, for the next -- I don't know -- almost ten years throughout college. But at the same time, I was the kind of guy who knew how to balance his school work -- (was very lucky). So yes, I consider myself to be a really funny person.

And my brother is really funny. He's doing standup in Austin now. And we had competitions where we would just try to make our parents laugh. And if you - the real test was the people who are always around you, if you can continually make them laugh and push the envelope then you're doing a good job.

So yes, I consider myself funny. I crack myself up. And I'm kind of a comic snob, so I think I'm funny.

QUESTION: Can you talk about some of the other guest stars that are going to be coming up on the show in the coming episodes?

Mehcad BrooksMECHAD BROOKS: Yes. You want to talk about funny? We have Orlando Jones, who we're shooting with now. This guy does not stop. He's unbelievably funny. He just started doing standup. But he's going to come in and play a role that's very close to TK. I won't be a spoiler, but he's hilarious and the interactions between he and I, I think are quite funny. In summary, actually really dramatic.

We may have my buddy played by... through a friend of mine named Michael Strahan. All-Pro football player, ex-football player, also a really talented actor -- so we hope we can get him into our next episode.

And we have some - few more tricks up our sleeves as far as actors and athletes. So I'm excited. Very excited.

OPERATOR: ...We have another follow-up question...

MECHAD BROOKS: Can I register for a question?

OPERATOR: You do not need to register for a question.

MECHAD BROOKS: I'm kidding.

SCIFI VISION: How did you get started in acting?

MECHAD BROOKS: I was hell-bent on playing professional sports when I was 14 or 15 years old. And my mother said, "Okay. You know what..." My mom is the kind of person who is of the school of thought that people can do whatever they like, but at least try to broaden your horizons while you have time and figure it out.

So she forced me into this camp called Leadership Enrichment Arts Program, at UT. It was a - it's called LEAP and it's a place where kids who didn't really have access to the arts would be able to see symphonies and operas and talk to the people who are involved in the arts and performing arts and what have you. And at the end of the summer camp, we - the kids wrote a play and performed it. But you're talking about a bunch of 13 to 15 year old kids, and nobody wanted to do any work.

So I pretty much wrote the whole thing. And I was like, you know what? If I wrote this, I'm going to star in this thing. Forget it. So my brother and I kind of starred in the play and we made people laugh. We made people cry. We made people cheer. We pissed some people off, which was great.

And I realized that this was something that I wanted to do, because once again, back to Eddie Murphy, it was all of sudden I was holding an audience captive at 15 years old. And I was like this is awesome. How do I continue to do this. So that's kind of where it started -- luckily, in Austin, on stage.

SCIFI VISION: Is there anything, maybe a scene you filmed, that they cut out of the show for time, that you'd wish they'd left in?

MECHAD BROOKS: Oh, there's - I mean that happens on every show, every episode you do. It just happens, you know? So yes, I can sit here and tell you all day, but I think I'm going to push for some extras on the DVD. So I think you guys will be privy to all of the ridiculousness that happens on set. And sometimes they can't use the take or use the end of the take, because I just did something that is just crazy. But it's a lot of fun.

So yes, there's plenty of those opportunities and hopefully you guys will be able to see it on the DVD.

SCIFI VISION: What was your favorite scene you filmed so far this season?

MECHAD BROOKS: It's so hard because there's a lot of comical things and then there's a lot of dramatic. So I'd say that one of my favorite comical scenes is actually coming up tomorrow night, where I'm in a night club. And I'm not going to tell you - I'm not going to tell you what it is, but you'll see.

And then one of my favorite scenes, dramatically is coming up in like three weeks maybe. But it's between me and Callie. And it's an unexpected twist -- a very unexpected twist.

Even did me and Callie -- we we're like, "Wow, really?"

SCIFI VISION: Do you watch yourself back when you act, or are you one of those people that criticize yourself too much and can't do it?

MECHAD BROOKS: I used to be that. I used to be the guy sitting in front of the television, wincing and - or at a movie theater, wincing and having a pad and writing notes and really just not really enjoying anything that I did. And I finally got over that. I mean there's I haven't even seen that I've been in, because I was - I didn't feel good about (other cases). But it's mostly your own insecurities and your own - you have to get it out of your own head.

So now I just kind of - I make sure that no matter what they use, that I walked away that day from work feeling good about what I did. So I know I can watch. I can watch without a notepad. I can watch without wincing. I can watch without keeping myself up at night. And that's a good feeling.

But I think one learns that you have to do that while you're there on set shooting. You have to - that's your insurance policy. You have to make sure that you're happy when you leave. And if [you] do that you can watch.

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