Interview with Michael Gaston

Michael Gaston is appearing in two TV shows this fall, the new series “Unforgettable” and returning in “The Mentalist”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Michael about his TV work and what we can expect from his characters.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us about your role in “Unforgettable”?
Michael Gaston: My character Mike is a veteran detective that has spent his whole life in Queens. He is a good guy trying to do a hard job well. When the Carrie character is introduced Mike, who is the old school guy, surprisingly is the most receptive to her unorthodox skill set. Mike is just trying to get justice for the people who have been killed.

MG: How do you feel this show stands out from others in the same genre?
M. Gaston: There are a handful of shows that are a version where they are part procedural and then have one member with a special skill set. From my own stand point our show is a little darker. It’s been fun for me. The creators and writers are trying very hard to build on all the characters nuances. Speaking for my character they are giving me really interesting things to do right away. We are a pretty smart bunch of characters which is something you don’t always see as generally the character with the special skills has all the knowledge. We are allowed to be smart and clever. While the show is primarily serving up Poppy Montgomery’s character the rest of us are allowed some real latitude to be strong and interesting.

MG: What do you like most about working on “The Mentalist”?
M. Gaston: I get to work with one of my long time friends Robin Tunney. There are some actors on that show that I have known for a long time and getting to work with them is great. When I work on that show I have travel so for it to be a pleasant place to work makes things a lot easier.

MG: What can we expect from the upcoming season?
M.Gaston: I can’t tell you anything! I can tell you that I didn’t even know who Red John was until he was exposed as Red John and I am not even sure that was actually Red John. I don’t know anything. The way my job works is I did a couple quick episodes before “Unforgettable” started and I am not sure if I am going to be able to do anymore than that due to the schedule and the fact that we shoot “Unforgettable” on the east coast and “The Mentalist” is shot on the west coast. I shot all my stuff for “The Mentalist” in two days before running back to NY. It’s something I can’t really maintain and it’s not something that either show wants to schedule around. I think I may have read the trade that my character was replaced by a younger good looking guy. I don’t really know.

MG: How was it working on “Inception”?
M.Gaston: It was a tiny part that was about a day’s worth of work. I really admire Chris Nolan as he is astonishing. Leonardo DiCaprio is a real gentleman and very good at what he does. It was great to see him again.

MG: Can you tell us about your upcoming film “Everybody Loves Whales”?
M.Gaston: The film is based on actual events. A family of whales was stuck under the polar ice and it’s reported by a green peace member in Alaska. The news makes its way onto the NBC national news and the story becomes not only nationwide news but worldwide news. Everyone from the National Guard to Ronald Reagan became involved with these events in an effort to promote themselves and look like great guys. The film is a really sweet romantic comedy that has some political satire going on in the background. I shot up in Anchorage for about 9 or 10 weeks with a great group of actors such as Christine Bell, Ted Danson and Drew Barrymore. Everywhere you went there were just great people coming in to do work on the film.

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