July 14, 2009
Weeks guest stars in the season
eight debut "Mr. Monk's Favorite
Show" as Mr. Cooper, the head
of The Cooper Clan, which
is, you guessed it, Monk's favorite
show. Gary was featured in season
two of USA's Burn
Notice as Campbell. His
other credits include The
Mars and 24.
Gary has also written and produced
two feature films, Deadland
(2009) and 29
Reasons to Run (2006) which
won numerous film festival awards.
he now lives in L.A. close to the
action, Gary is originally from
Georgia, attended Georgia State
University and still calls Georgia
home. In fact he had just returned
from Georgia when he answered all
my Monk questions.
did you get the part on Monk?
was actually extremely lucky with
some good old-fashioned right-place,
right-time timing. I got a call
from my agent asking if I could
make it to the studio in a few hours
for a same-day read for producers.
When I looked at the sides (the
audition dialogue), I had a great
feeling about it. I thought that
even though I didn’t have
a lot of time to prepare, I felt
like if I just fully committed to
the absurdist comedy, I just might
pull it off. It was a fun read,
and since I am talking to you about
it now, I must have done something
right I guess.
do you think they chose you for
the role? It's sort of the Monk
version of Mike Brady, right?
always a tough call; I have no
idea, honestly. But I do feel
like I physically look the part,
I made them laugh in the audition,
and I did feel good when I left
the room so I like to think that’s
a good sign.
Mr. and Mrs.
Then again, Mr. Cooper is a very
exaggerated caricature of Mr. Brady,
so I was actually hired to act badly
in a way, so take that with a grain
of salt too. But no matter how you
slice it, I was just honored to
have gotten a chance to play such
a unique role on one of the best
shows on TV.
was your concept of the character?
How did you approach it?
hard not to think of the original
Reed Mr. Brady character, and
Cole’s [Dexter Larson,
"Mr. Monk and the Playboy"]
fantastic movie turn with it, so
I played around with splinters of
that, adding large doses of my own
Dad, who was definitely a man’s
man but had a very unique timing
when he spoke “fatherly”
to them as kids… and then
I threw in some of my own tricks.
Mr. Cooper’s over-the-top
physicality was a great playground.
On the set of
"Mr. Monk's Favorite Show"
were your scenes shot?
We shot all of my scenes on a sound
stage with an amazing built-from-scratch
“Cooper Clan” home
on a soundstage. The production
design and art departments did
astounding work. It was beautiful.
long did it take?
shot it like a 3-camera staged
pre-lit sitcom (like the original
show), so it actually flew by.
But then again, time flies when
you’re having fun, right?
do you think you may have brought
to the role that wasn’t in
love improv, and Randy (our director)
really made me feel comfortable
to play around with the character,
which was a true gift. Tony Shalhoub
is so amazing to bounce off of,
and I hope we created some comedy
in places – It sure felt like
we did. Not to mention that I also
had a stellar guest cast around
me, so it all felt effortless and
fun. I just hope it comes off that
the atmosphere on the set like?
are all fantastic people, who
really do have fun. It says a
lot about a set when people enjoy
their work, and don’t take
themselves too seriously. One
of the best I have ever had the
pleasure of working with.
was the director of the episode
and what was he like to work with?
directors just “get it”
and Randy Zisk is that guy for sure.
He’s a brilliant director
and really made me feel empowered
to take chances. As an actor, I
couldn’t have asked for better.
He got the shots he wanted, and
he did it with a smile. I’d
work with him again in a heartbeat
anytime. He’s class.
was the most memorable moment during
our first take, an afro-donning
Tony comes up at one point in
the scene and gives me a big hug
and he held it uncomfortably long.
It took all I had to not break
and start laughing the first time
he did it. His timing is impeccable,
and he’s so much fun to
work with. I knew right then how
special a memory I was making
Did you watch Monk before you got
course! It really is one of the
best shows on TV, and I feel honored
to have been a part of it.
do you enjoy most about acting?
single character is unique, and
it’s hard to pinpoint, but
I love creating, and I love interacting
with people. That’s a lot
of what it is to me. It’s
creating a character, then seeing
what happens when that character
is faced with obstacles life throws
at them. Feeling that. Sometimes
its very joyful or very painful
to experience, but there is nothing
like truly being in the moment.
It’s really tough to put into
words, but I do know this: I love
what I do, and I feel blessed to
get to do it for a living.
has been your best acting experience
BEST? I have been so fortunate
to have some amazing experiences
and I would put Monk
very high on that list for sure.
Each one is so different, it’s
hard to say which is the best…
but recently, I had a fantastic
experience recurring on another
USA show Burn Notice,
and I got the pleasure of acting
in a big scene toe-to-toe alongside
my brother Tony in the movie Deadland,
and he really nailed it. That
was pretty special thing to be
a part of.
Gary Weeks in
WORST? I try to focus on the positive,
so mum's the word there!
do you find most rewarding acting
or writing and why?
love them both. As a writer, I love
being the first person to meet a
character, hear their first words,
see their first actions, and feel
their plight and joys. I won’t
repeat what I said about enjoying
acting, but I just truly love it.
I hope I will never have to choose
one, because they are both a huge
part of my life.
speaking, what’s the one
thing you’d most like to
do that you haven’t done
Um… Well… Everything!
I have been doing this for a while
now, but I always feel like am
just getting started. Every project
is something entirely new, and
I really love the process. So
I guess for now, I’ll just
keep smilin’ and stay true
to whatever happens next.
next on your agenda?
Gary Weeks in Deadland
wrote, produced and co-starred in
the feature Deadland, which
is running at film festivals now
and will be released by the end
of the year, so keep an eye out
for that (see www.DeadlandTheMovie.com.)
And of course, thank all of you
for watching Monk, and
I hope you have as much fun watching
this episode as I did making it.
See you August 7th for the season
premiere. I’ll be watching
Weeks' Web Site
Weeks on The Commuter Show