Michael Mosley goes from playing a funny medical technician on Sirens to a "maybe-good, maybe-bad" cop in Hot Pursuit.
Michael Mosley may be best known as Johnny Farrell, the hilarious emergency medical technician in Chicago-based show Sirens, but the actor will briefly break from that character to fill another comic role in the upcoming movie Hot Pursuit, which hits theaters May 8. In the film, Mosley plays a law enforcement officer alongside Hollywood heavy-hitters Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon.
Here, Mosley talks about hanging out in Chicago, who plays the most pranks on the set of Sirens, and what it was like working alongside Vergara and Witherspoon.
You've been playing Johnny on Sirens for some time now in Chicago. What has been your overall experience in the Windy City so far?
MICHAEL MOSLEY: I love Chicago. Chicago is like one of those beautiful [cities]…I don’t know, it might be my favorite. The architecture’s so gorgeous. I mean the whole city burned down, right? And then they built it back up in such an amazing way. This [city] of people is strong, meaty, beer-drinking badasses who aren’t afraid of the cold. And you know, it’s such a sports town—the whole city is practically an arena.
Do you have any favorite spots?
MM: We usually end up at The Old Town Ale House. You know, that’s usually where we really start to fall apart at the end of the night. Everyone gets there, we start chugging beers, and that’s usually where we do most of our heroic work.
How has it been working on Sirens?
MM: Halfway through, we all started to get into a groove; it just kind of accelerated. And this season, we’re just that much tighter. It’s almost like being in a band, we all know each other’s rhythms, and [...] it’s just faster and more of a free fall. We’re really figuring out what this thing wants to be. And also, the world of Sirens got bigger; it’s much larger than Johnny, Hank, Brian, and Theresa. We built up the depot—we now built a hospital set. There’s all kinds of people and new characters that come with the hospital set.
What have been some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working on a TV show?
MM: The most rewarding thing is that I like comedy, drama, movies, TV, theaters, skits—I love all of it; it’s so interesting to me. To be able to lean so heavily on comedy right now for me has been so much fun. Sometimes, you’re working on a show that’s very serious [but] it’s fun to just go to work with my friends—they really are my friends—and just try to crack each other up all day [...] If there was anything that wasn’t rewarding about the business, it would be that we travel a lot. You’re living out of suitcases a lot, but you know, whatever. Everybody’s got a bag of rocks.
Are there any pranks that happen once the camera shuts off? Who tends to be the jokester of the group?
MM: It’s probably Kevin Bigley, I would think. Kevin does this really amazing thing in the mornings when we get up. It’s usually 5:30 in the morning and nobody is awake except the driver and us. I’ll go in, I’ll set my bag in my trailer. Kevin Bigley will open my door and he’ll throw a crushed can of soda at my head, then slam the door and walk away. It’s really a lovely way to wake up in the morning. Doesn’t that seem really relaxing and calm?
Tell us about Hot Pursuit and your role in the film.
MM: [Hot Pursuit] stars Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, [and] it’s a road-trip comedy where they're kind of running away from me and Matthew Del Negro—we play maybe-good, maybe-bad cops in the movie. And so they’re running through Texas, we’re chasing them, and there's a drug cartel chasing them, and it’s funny. Reese and Sofia are hysterical together; they don't realize how physically funny they're going to be. They're obviously so talented, the two of them, but Sofia is this tall, leggy woman, and Reese is, literally, you could hold her in your hand. And the two of them together running around in the desert is just hysterical to watch.
How did you prepare for your character in the film?
MM: I ate a lot of crawfish. We were out on Frenchmen Street [in New Orleans, where Hot Pursuit was filmed] dancing a lot—and that's about it. [Laughs] Sometimes these things, you just have to kind of walk into them and not over-think them, especially with comedies and stuff like that—yeah, this one wasn’t that deep. You know, other things I had to really prepare for and study to film. But sometimes you can over-think it, and it becomes the opposite of helpful.
It's an action-comedy film. Did you have any difficulty shooting the action scenes?
MM: No, that was definitely some of the most fun stuff. We blocked off [this] highway [and] the ladies hijack a tour bus with tourists in there. And they’re running away from us, I'm hanging out of a cop car window with a gun shooting at them. I mean, it’s like every kid’s dream playing cops and robbers.
No injuries on set or anything like that?
MM: Well, Matthew Del Negro, my partner, he actually got punched in the nose by one of the actors, completely by accident and it was during one of the stunts. I mean, we can all laugh about it now, I probably laughed about it at the time, too—and Matt did, too, I think. But the producers were not the happiest. They were running around him with ice in their hands, thinking, “Oh man, this guy is going to sue us.” But it turned out fine. [Laughs]
What's next for you? Do you see yourself getting into film or sticking to television?
MM: I don’t know. I just want to do what makes me happy, and this stuff makes me happy. We just secured the option for a book about an old murder that happened in my old town. The book's called Brother’s Blood and it’s by Scott Cawelti. So, me and a friend of mine and these producers, are going to try to turn it into a movie within the next 15 months. That’s my immediate goal, to try developing things for myself. I think it’s important to [do] as many things as you can, while you can.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARRIE SHALTZ
September 14, 2018
September 13, 2018