“The Closer” has enjoyed record breaking cable ratings.? According to Media Week 7.6 million during it?s closing finale, making it cable?s all time most watched season finale.? Fans of TNT?s late night crime drama know and enjoy watching actor Robert Gossett as Captain Taylor, colleague and nemesis to Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (played by Kyra Sedgwick).? With a foundation in theatre, honed in his home state of New York, Gossett’s filmography includes an impressive 19 years of roles in such television hits as Melrose Place, Diagnosis Murder, Dark Angel and NYPD Blue to name a few.? Although currently a Los Angeles resident, Gossett was in New York preparing to film a new movie when I caught up with him via phone for some Los Angeles referrals and ?need-to-know info? about the future of his hit television series.
Robert, as a Los Angeles resident, we have to start with a run down of your favorite LA leisure spots.? When in LA, where do you?
Harold and Bells, on Jefferson in LA. Creole food, if you don?t know it you should.
Sye Devore?s in Sherman Oaks on Ventura Blvd.
14 Below, The Jazz Bakery, Charlie O?s and the list goes on when it comes to jazz clubs.
Nice recommendations.? While we?re on the topic of ?LA?s treasures?, let?s talk about The Closer and how Los Angeles is used as a backdrop as well as character.? How does being in Los Angeles affect the experience of the show and the storylines?
The show really benefits from such a diverse city.? Los Angeles has so many highs and lows. In one moment you can see a very, very, I mean ridiculously rich person walking right next to a homeless person!? I think the energy here is unique and bazaar all in one because people come west; as they have always done; to pursue their dreams.? It?s kind of like the last place before the ocean. A repository for all of America.? Anyone who has tried at something and failed or succeeded comes to California, so you have brilliant people and wacky people ? it?s really mixed up and I like that.
I like that too Robert and judging by The Closer?s ratings millions of other Americans like it too.? Besides the LA factor, what else makes the show connect with so many viewers?
The cast is certainly a huge reason why people tune in each week.? The characters are vibrant, interesting and well-rounded so people care about them and want to tune in each week and see how their lives are evolving.? I also think people have an inherent interest in the drama that unfolds when you try to get someone to tell the truth and uncover a secret.? We all have secrets and watching someone try to hide and shield themselves from the truth seeker is interesting and dramatic and we always want to peep in and see how that?s done.?
Robert, you?ve played in other crime drama series in your career.? What makes the experience with The Closer unique from the others?
Definitely Kyra and this type of role that she?s brought to the fore.? It?s very compelling and fresh.? For me, playing the counterweight has been a dynamic experience.?
Dynamic indeed, Captain Taylor is quite the antagonist.? A formidable foe for any smart woman!? So Closer fans want to know, will things between Captain Taylor and Deputy Chief Johnson continue to come to a boil or is a united front in their future?
I think Taylor has come to a realization and understanding that due to the political climate of the department, at least administratively, things do run down hill and you don?t wanna get hit by those things. Cause you don?t want to get that on ya, you know?? So I think he?s been able to restructure his approach if you will, toward his feelings, and how he deals with Deputy Chief Johnson.
You have enjoyed much success as an actor.? Do you express yourself through any other artistic or business mediums?
Music. I play the clarinet ? that was actually my major in school.? I?ve been doing some poetry readings in New York.
Final question, what?s next for Robert Gossett?
Currently, two additional episodes of The Closer in December and I start shooting a Mario Van Peebles movie called A Spring In Her Step this month in New York.
Robert thank you for your time and the local recommendations, continued success to you in your career.?
Thank you.? Tell Los Angeles I said hello.
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Written by Kibibi Springs