Interview with Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young is currently co-starring as Barry Frost on “Rizzoli and Isles”.  The show is beginning its second season July 11th.  Lee Took some time to chat with Movie Mikes about the season two and what we can expect from his character.

Mike Smith: What do you like most about playing Barry Frost on “Rizzoli and Isles”?
Lee Thompson Young: I really enjoy portraying his technical and computer knowledge.  It’s really fun to be sitting at a computer and breaking down video footage or researching terrorists’ criminal records.  It give me something fun to play and those scenes have the energy of a mystery being solved.  It’s almost like a Sherlock Holmes moment.  To me those things are the most fun about playing Detective Frost.

MS: What can fans expect from your character this season?  Anything jaw dropping?
LTY: I certainly hope there is some jaw dropping stuff.  We definitely learn more about my character this season.  My father comes to visit us in the office.  I won’t go into detail why but it’s all geared and woven into one of the cases we’re dealing with.  We learn a lot about his family and who he is…his growing up and his relationship with his family.  There’s definitely a lot more history about Detective Frost this season.

MS: What is the most challenging aspect for you working on the show?
LTY: The most challenging thing, and it’s similar on all television shows, is that we’re doing fifteen episodes and the challenge is to come in on episode ten with the same intensity and freshness and excitement that you had in episode one.  Keeping it alive and staying 100% involved in your character over six months.  On a feature you just have that one story and you can perfect each moment and it’s done.  But we do one story every week and a half so just keeping it fresh is a challenge.

MS: You’ve got two very strong actresses (Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander) leading the cast.  How is it working with them?
LTY: What I take away most is the skill that they have and the job they do.  If they’re women or men, it doesn’t really play that much into the experience.  Everyone in the cast is a professional.  Having Angie and Sasha there is like going to a master acting class every day.  They are both very skilled and when I watch them I try to take away things…I notice the choices that they make.  The only major difference in having two girls or two guys in the lead is that sometimes hair and make up takes a little longer (laughs).

MS: How do you prepare for a role?
LTY: I love doing research for my roles.  To me it’s one of the best parts of the job.  For this role I went to Boston and spent about a week with the homicide unit.  They gave me the rundown on how they work and how they live.  It was really eye opening and probably the most valuable investment I’ve made over the past two years.  It’s given me so much fuel to play this character.

MS: How was your experience working on the film “The Hills Have Eyes II?”
LTY: That was great.  That was great!  We shot it in Morocco, which was a mind blowing experience.  I loved Morocco…I was surprised at how much I loved it….because I thought it was just in the desert, no big deal.  But the rocks..the mountains, the sky at night…everything was very beautiful.  But it was a tough shoot.  A hundred degrees plus temperatures in the day time…running around all day in a full National Guard Army uniform.  A lot of long hours doing very intense stuff…running, screaming, getting shot…shooting people.  But because it was so intense I think it was a very strong bonding experience with the cast.  But we had a lot of laughs.  We worked hard and we played hard and we had a good time.

MS: Do you have a preference between television and film?
LTY: I think that there are pros and cons to each medium.  But what it ultimately boils down to me is the quality of the story that I’m going to be involved in, be it t.v. or film.  With TV the schedule sometimes pushes you to move a little faster and you might not get as much time as you’d like to get a moment right.  But you also have a lot of time to develop the character over a series of episodes.  On a movie you sometimes can’t reach the same level of depth but…you know the script five months in advance…you can study each moment and spend the time to get it just the way you want it.  When it’s done it’s done and you can put it to rest.  Both mediums have their benefits.

MS: Besides the new season what other projects do you have coming up?
LTY: We shoot the show for six months and a lot of the time stuff that comes up in the middle of the year I’m not available for.  I don’t have anything lined up right now but I’ll try and have something lined up by the end of the season.  I’ll get with my representation and try to see what’s going on and hopefully there will be some things that come out of that.

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