link to main

main 2News 2Locations 2Funstuff 2Music 2ReviewsMonk WorldContact 2

February 19, 2009

Chet Grissom 3

Chet Grissom has guest starred on Monk four times... so far. He was first cast in the third season episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas" as "First Cop", one of the detectives recovering from the bachelor party the night before. He's the one who lamely explains why Monk was not invited. He returned as "First Detective" in season four's "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office". In that episode he and another detective discuss football as Monk unsuccessfully attempts to join in. Later in the season his character is given a name, Detective Terry Chasen. Unfortunately, he meets an unhappy and grisly end as the Port guzzling murder victim in "Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa".

Death, however, is not necessarily an insurmountable problem in Monkland. Chet returned in the season seven epiosde "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" now billed as Detective Burns, who is also a regular guy/football fan.

I found Chet on Facebook and he was happy to tell me about his many Monk experiences.

Please click on the images if you want to see them larger.


How did you get the part in your first Monk episode, “Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas”?

I'd been in town for awhile and had done another show that the casting office worked on in the past. They called me in and it was pretty quick as I remember. There were about five people in the room and they put it on tape. I think I found out that I got the job the next day.

What do you think made them choose you?

Vegas 1
"Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas"
The bachelor party aftermath

You never really know why you get chosen, because you have no real idea what they want and don't see everyone else's audition. You just try to know the tone of the show and don't go outside of that. Tony [Shalhoub] is extremely subtle, so I just tried to keep things real and small.

Vegas 3
Chet in "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas"

Where were your scenes shot?

For that first one we shot on a lot in Culver City.

How long did it take?

I don't remember exactly, but I was probably there for 6 hours or so.

People are usually surprised with how long it takes to shoot an episode or a scene, but the crew are actually working quite fast. They shoot many different angles and then edit it together the way they think is best.

What was the atmosphere on the set like?

I'm usually very quiet my first day on a set, because you never know what you're walking into. I found everyone to be extremely nice and relaxed. All came up with ideas and ways of doing the scene. By that I mean they work together well.
Chet Grissom 2

What was your first impression of the Monk cast members? Had you worked with any of them before?

Chet Grissom 5

I'd never met any of them. I was quite excited to meet Ted Levine and Tony. I had been admiring both their body of work for a long time. I found them all very friendly and welcoming.

What was the most memorable part of filming the episode?

Tony reading with me off camera, giving me a thumbs up and smiling when I finished.

Did you watch the show before you got the role?

I had watched a few episodes before, yes. I try to watch everything I could potentially get cast in.

For the second appearance in “Mr. Monk Goes to the Office” were you asked to audition? Or did they already know they wanted you back? Did they consider it the same character?

I did not have to audition for the 2nd episode. I got a call from my agent saying they wanted to book me on a particular date and there was no script yet. I didn't get my lines until I showed up that day. I considered it the same character...although I think it was "Detective #1" or something like that. It was 4 months or so since I had filmed the first one.

What was your take on the character? How did you approach it?

Office 1
Chet (First Detective)
and Brian Hatton (Second Detective)
in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office"

From the scene I could tell they wanted some gentle razzing of Monk from the other I didn't want to be mean, just poke fun a guys will do.

What was different, if anything, about working on the show the second time around?

The main difference between the first and second one is that I had no idea what I was doing until I showed up that day. Quite frankly, I was hoping it wasn't going to be a lot, because there was no time to prepare.

There's a story here ~ About a month after doing the second one, my wife and I were waiting in line at a movie theater on opening day of some movie. She had something to return at a store, so I ended up waiting alone. Then the line began to move and everyone went in. I had her ticket, so I waited for her. Then I see Tony coming across the lobby headed my direction, waving. I checked behind me, because I was sure he wasn't waving to me... but when I turned around again he was right in front of me. He said "Hi, I was just having dinner with my family over there and saw you here and wanted to just tell you that I saw our scene the other day in the editing room and you're going to be very happy, it came out really great...."

Office 2
Chet with Tony Shalhoub in
"Mr. Monk Goes to the Office"

I was in shock at this point. I stammered something about what a great experience it was and thanked him profusely for leaving his family to come tell me that. Then he went back to the restaurant and my wife came back and I said "You won't BELIEVE what just happened to me..."

That doesn't happen in this town very much... at least to me.

Your character finally gets a name [Det. Terry Chasen] in “Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa” and then he promptly gets killed. Were you happy to get a more central role or disappointed to get killed off?

I was thrilled to come back for a third one, and disappointed to be killed... I was certainly hoping it would continue... but I felt grateful that they liked me enough to have me back a third time.

Secret Santa 2
Chet Grissom as Terry Chasen in
"Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa"

How hard is it to play dead? And how long did it take to film those scenes?

Secret Santa 4
Chet playing dead in
"Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa"

Those scenes took all night as I recall. There were many extras and the fall over the table was done by a stunt guy, and then by me, and they edited the two together. Ted Levine actually helped me play dead, he asked if I had ever had to do that before and when I said "no" he said "just focus on something far off in the distance" helped...

Did you do any research on death by poison or did you just wing it?

I didn't do research on poison, but I've certainly been sick enough in my life, so I had that to draw on :-)

How did you feel being asked to return again for “Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs”? Were you surprised?

Well, I actually had to audition again. I was VERY surprised. They had the other actor [Brian Hatton] from the second one at the audition also ~ so I knew they wanted the same kinda feel as that second episode. I guess they figured enough time had gone by (almost three years) that it didn't matter that I had died. I don't really know. I just know I was happy to get the chance to work with them again.

Secret Santa 3
Stottlemeyer and Det. Chasen with the
fatal bottle of Port in "Secret Santa"
What was the most memorable moment filming that episode?

When I first saw Ted again he said "Hey! I remember you! The bottle of Port, right!?" I immediately felt comfortable.

Playoffs 1

What did you think of the episode when you saw it?

I thought it was great :-)

Have they invited you back yet to reprise the role in the upcoming season?

No, not yet, but there's always hope :-)

Any phobias of your own?


What do you enjoy most about acting?

Acting's at its best when there's a sense of play and community with the other actors. I try to work with the best people I can, regardless of how big my role is. I'd rather do one line in a Coppola picture than play Hamlet in a small town somewhere. That's just me.

Professionally speaking, what’s the one thing you’d most like to do that you haven’t done yet?

A Coppola picture :-)

Chet Grissom 4

You’ve done stage, film and TV. Which do you find most rewarding and why?

They are all rewarding in different ways. Stage offers community, many opportunities to "get it right", and immediate feedback from human beings, but once the night is's over. Film and TV are forever.

The challenging thing about film and TV is filming out of sequence and creating a performance through little bits and pieces filmed on different days... it's very challenging. At this time in my life I concentrate more on film/TV. However I do belong to a theatre company here in Los Angeles and work with them often.

What led you to acting?

Playoffs 2
Chet and Tony Shalhoub in
"Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs"

My 4th grade music teacher was in a production of Bye Bye Birdie at a dinner theater and asked if I would audition. I got the part. I was eight and have been doing it ever since.

What was your best acting experience and your worst?

That's hard to answer - I've had many good ones.... hopefully my best is yet to come. My worst is something I don't really want to talk about. I just try to look ahead.

What’s next on your agenda?

I'm on an episode of Criminal Minds airing on 2/25 and am doing a play with Sam Anderson (who plays Bernard on Lost) at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood which runs until May 2nd. Beyond that I'm auditioning and looking for that next job... the middle class working actor's life :-)


Chet Grissom on You Tube

Chet Grissom in the 2008 short fim Return to Sender

Chet Grissom 1

Chet Grissom on IMDB

Chet Grissom's Resumé


Index 2back to topinterviews 2