Chat with Tony Denison
Moderator (2:54 PM)
Hello everyone! Tony Denison will be here in about 5 minutes! Keep sending your questions!
Tony Denison (2:59 PM)
I am here and ready to go!
Sean Spokane, Wa
have you really coached before? if not what preperations did you take to prepair for your part?
Tony Denison (3:03 PM)
I did coach a little league team once in upstate New York. I did it as a community service thing. Somehow my hand rose above my head and I volunteered. That was an amazing experience because the kids were so great. They were around 12 to 15 years old and all just great kids. The parents were certifiable though. I quickly resigned my post as soon as the season was over. We came pretty close to winning though. As far as preperation, I played high school football and the one thing I didn't want to be was anywhere resembling my totally deranged and in serious need of therapy coach I had. I did not want to resemble him at all. That man needs therapy for about 50,000 hours. As an actor, I have an acting coach that I go to when I have auditions. I go to her to see what she thinks and we work on things. We worked on brining as much of me to the character as I can. Her name is Leslie Kahn and she in Los Angeles. She's wonderful.
Reggie (Pittsburgh, PA)
I love the show and how you play your character. I was just wondering if the show will ever pursue your illness. The first few episodes showed you in pain, but nothing has been shown since then.
Tony Denison (3:04 PM)
The reason is because it truly is an ensemble show with 6 principle actors. They needed to establish stongly the different characters. They sort of put my pain on hold. During the commercial breaks I was grabbing my side ; ) Tonight it will start to unfold.
Mark C. (Grand Rapids)
How long does it take to shoot each episode? What do you do for fun between scenes?
Tony Denison (3:07 PM)
It takes approximately 7 days not including the weekends. Some series take 8 days. Our pilot took about 8 days just because we wanted it to be perfect. Everyday I work I have fun. I try to bring as much passion as I can to my work. I have a helluva lot of gratitude and appreciation for this part. I have a lot of fun playing this character because I haven't played a coach before. I've played cops and gangsters but never a coach or anything athletic. I love boxing and baseball. I used to box a long time ago. I play modified fastball softball in L.A. I just try to have fun all the time. I was at a celebrity baseball game at Dodger Stadium one time maybe 12 yaars ago and I met Max Bear who played Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies. He told me "take your work seriously but don't take yourself seriously". That's what I try to do.
Derek (Orange, Ca.)
What is your favorite sports movie of all time?
Tony Denison (3:09 PM)
I don't know if I have a favorite. I like all bio pics .. guys who overcome incredible odds to make it to the pros. The one movie I really enjoyed the most but not necessarily my favorite .. I started to tear up .. was The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. When he got the call to go the majors, that was special. I really started to well up and cry. I really enjoyed that movie a lot.
Best villian of the 80s huh? That's pretty cool! Who was your competition?
Tony Denison (3:11 PM)
Well, I'm not exactly sure. I just know that of all the shows in the 80s, Time Magazine dubbed me and Larry Hagman who played JR on Dallas, they said I was the best villian of the decade or the two of us loomed as the best villians. I played Ray Luca on Crime Story. It was a very nice honor I suppose. I wasn't seeking it, they just called me up and said "Look at Time magazine!" My wife had it framed and put it on the wall. My wife Jenny is my better half.
Who is the best athlete on the show in real life?
Tony Denison (3:13 PM)
Me! Just kidding. All the guys have played ball and they are all fine athletes. Chris Weihl who plays McConnel actually played QB in college. A lot of the guys have played at various levels. We have one guy who was a champion weightlifter! Jason Smith who plays Olzyck was at a crossroads in college and chose acting over football. But he was ready to play at a high level. Omar Gooding played sports in school. They are all pretty athletic guys.
Scott Sypien Pittsburgh Pa
First off I think playmakers is a great show. Im hooked! What do you think about some professionals bashing the show?
Tony Denison (3:17 PM)
Good question. There were some unfortunate things that went down recently. Some radio host made some comments but I just think it's a poor choice of words. The sad thing is he was preparing to bash the show. He really showed how little he knows about the sport. Jason Smith said he was doing an interview with a guy bashing the show and it turns out the guy hadn't even seen the show! How can you have a meaningful debate with people who haven't even seen the show?
Tony Denison (3:19 PM)
There was a big drug scandal in baseball and they survived it. Every sport has had controversies and they all survive. People love the game, love to play the game, watch the game, etc. In that sense, I don't see anything really taking a serious hit not matter what people say about it. People will always have opinions.
I see everyone but you is having some sort of love crisis on the show-- wheres yours? You need a woman-- BAD!!
Tony Denison (3:19 PM)
OK! When you watch next week, we'll discuss that! That's all I can say! I will say my character is married and has kids. That's about all I am able to say.
Coach D. I have well-established sources in the league offices that have told me about DH's substance abuse problem. What do you intend to do in order to quell this situation in the coming weeks? Will we see Leon Taylor get a start here sometime soon?
Tony Denison (3:21 PM)
Good question. That goes to the heart of the episodes coming up. Ryan, all of your questions will be answered in episodes 9, 10 and 11. 11 being the last one. Episide 7 is tonight. Be patient!
coach, did you watch the Colts-Bucs game last night? Wow!
Tony Denison (3:21 PM)
No, I was working. We were in the Skydome working on football scenes. Everytime I went into the lockerroom I watched the football game and the Red Sox game at the same time!
What would be your dream role?
Tony Denison (3:24 PM)
I really don't know. You stumped me! In once sense, the life I am leading is my dream role. This character is really such an incredible challenge for me. In some sense, this is kind of like a dream role for me. When you move from character to character, my job is to find something I can connect to. Tom Hanks once told me after reading something I had wrote, he said he would have to commit to the role 110 percent. He has to see something in the role that will allow him to give 110 percent. It's the same for me. I look at scenes in a movie like a baseball game. It feels like you are playing a 120 inning game sometimes.
nick carlsbad ca.
coach in real life would you put up with d.h.
Tony Denison (3:29 PM)
(Laughing) Good question! The best way to answer it is someone like DH is really have a problem. His problems have overwhelmed him. He's not a criminal. DH represents a person in fear who is trying to numb the pain. On a lesser scale, I think what happens, it's like in my walk of life. My business is show business. The show comes before business. The actor has to recognize there is a business behind everything. When you understand that, you can produce such great shows and movies. You have to find a way to work in cooperation and compromise and not compromise your principles. You have to have a margin of forgiveness for people who don't have the same philosophies. If I was Coach George, given the constraints of the character, I would probably handle it about the same. I might try to have an intervention. Without giving away storylines Nick, you will see Coach George really apply a more pro active stance to DH in the coming episodes.
Who is your pick to win the World Series? I say Cubs over Yankees.
Tony Denison (3:31 PM)
Oh my! The first thing I did after learning to walk and talk was go to a Yankee game! However, I am in love with the Cubs. Here is my problem. I ultimately always root for the underdog. If it's the Cubs and Yankees, I won't be disappointed no matter who comes out on top. But I do like the NL overall because they don't have the DH. I appreciate the DH rule in the AL but I appreciate the no DH rule in the NL much better.
Jose Vallejo (wahington DC)
Your team is good. Why do you let the owner push you around?
Tony Denison (3:33 PM)
Because he signs the checks! Pro sports today, going back to a previous question, you have to remember it's a business. It's commerce. Coach George and the players bring in the art of the game. But the owner brings in the commerce. Sinec the beginning, all owners have had a say in what goes on. Some wait until the end of the season to voice their conerns and others do it throughout the season.
Favorite teams? College? Pro?
Tony Denison (3:34 PM)
Don't have favorites in football. I like watching college ball a lot. But no favorites. It's the easiest sport for me to watch and I'm always for the underdog no matter what since I don't have a favorite team.
Chuck San Antonio, Texas
Whats been most difficult about being part of playmakers? Can you see yourself doing this for sometime to come?
Tony Denison (3:36 PM)
If they will have me, I'll do it for as long as they want. The most difficult part is being away from my wife. She is back in L.A. I love my wife and our four cats who are our version of kids. I miss my friends. But that's part of show business.
Darryl (Louisville, KY)
First of all I enjoy the show, however, a lot of people in the NFL hate it. Have the cast received any negative feedback from the league.
Tony Denison (3:40 PM)
I have not personally received any negative feedback. There is an equal if not greater number of pro athletes who love the show. These are thoroughbread type of people who have dedicated their life to this sport. They get angry when things don't go right. In the HOF you have a limited number of guys even though thousands play the game. There is not one person in the HOF who never made a key error or gave up a grand slam, but they still make it to the HOF. They don't beat themselves up about it, they try in the present moment to go the extra yard.
Seth (St. Augustine, Florida)
Is playmakers already looking for a second season?
Tony Denison (3:41 PM)
Smart money says we will have a second season. They could tell us tonight but they have until January to let us know. They may hold off the announcement. I would venture to guess we are coming back but I don't have a crystal ball.
Is it more fun to work in TV or movies?>
Tony Denison (3:46 PM)
Each one is a different discipline. Doing a feature film is like having a nice long walk. It's a much more leisurly pace with less time constraints. When it's done it's done. When you do a TV movie, it's more like jogging. You have less time to get it done. A feature film might take 8 weeks and a TV movie might take 4 or 5 weeks. A TV show is like a 40 yard dash! You have X days to shoot the script. It's much quicker. The job as an actor is to realize you are running and not walking.
Rich Bock Happy Valley Pa
Will There be some Positive things that happen to any of the players or you during the final episodes. I pull for my boy Leon to get a break every show but something is always bringing him down.
Tony Denison (3:54 PM)
The answer is yes! But one particular player might not see it as a positive. It's kind of like life. If we knew how everything was going to work out, we would never leave the house. Life we be so damned boring. Our show is just like life, it just takes place amidst a football game.
Tony Denison (3:57 PM)
Thanks to everyone for the great questions. On behalf of everyone connected with the show, it's great that you are all watching and looking at the website. We are building a great fan base and it's because of all of you. Some shows you just don't get along with everyone, but this one is just great. Everyday is wonderful. I'm up for the challenge of what lies ahead. I know everyone on the show wants to thank each of you for writing in today! Be sure and watch the show tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN! Take care everyone!
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