James McDaniel Video Interview DETROIT 187

     January 9, 2011

ABC’s Detroit 187 returned last week from a brief holiday break and with that comes the second to last of my on-set interviews. Tonight I have veteran actor James McDaniel (NYPD Blue), who stars as Sergeant Jesse Longford. The show itself is a police procedural drama with an infusion of humor and eye for the times; there’s even a running gag about cell phones. Detroit 187 is headlined by Michael Imperioli and McDaniel, and features a varied cast and intelligent writing. Hit the jump for my full interview with McDaniel and a bit more about his character.

detroit_187_Shaun_Majumder_natalie_martinez_james_mcdaniel_imageMcDaniel plays Sgt. Longford who is a year from retirement and constantly joking with his partner, Det. Vikram Mahajan. Having served on the force for 24 years, he is able to pick up on small details and the duo work incredibly well together. Sgt. Longford is always practicing his Italian as he eyes a dream home in Italy. During my interview with McDaniel, I tried to get a few Italian phrases out of him and asked about his experience on the job. Below is the video interview and the time stamps.

  • I ask if I can get any Italian phrases.
  • 1:16- I ask what makes this show different from the others. He explains Detroit is their secret weapon.
  • 1:54- Asked him to open up about acting alongside Michael Imperioli.
  • 2:25- I ask if the character arc has a definite end in sight.
  • 2:49- Ask if he has a record player, personally. In the show, Det. Mahajan gets him a record in a touching moment.
  • 3:11- I ask what he thinks of the music utilized on the show.
  • 3:37- Ask if he has been to the Motown Museum

I’ll admit that when I sat down with James McDaniel, I didn’t know what to expect. The last thing on my mind was that he was going to joke around with me a bit. Clearly I didn’t catch his joke about speaking Italian fluently and yet not having any lines to give me. (He doesn’t speak Italian, obviously.) Good thing we didn’t dwell on that long. As I mentioned, I have premiered a ton of on-set interviews, and if you enjoy the show I would definitely recommend them. I interviewed Erin Cummings, Jon Michael Hill, D.J. Cotrona, Natalie Martinez, and Michael Imperioli. Finally, my last interview is with creator and lead writer Jason Richman, and you can look forward to it early next week.