PASADENA — Chi McBride is not a Method actor.
“I’m really not a guy who thinks you actually have to snort cocaine to play a coke addict,” says the towering thespian when asked about preparation for his latest role as a gruff, veteran detective partnered with a young hotshot on the new CBS drama “Golden Boy,” which premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m.
McBride, who has played a cop several times and knows many police officers, felt no strong need to do ride alongs for research.
“They wanted me to go the Brownsville projects and I’m like, ‘I don’t have to do that. I lived that! Let’s go find an 80-story building and some cat burglar in Manhattan. That’s the ride along I want to do.’ Acting is nothing more than pretending to exhibit certain human behaviors. I don’t look at it like this glamorous thing. It’s my job.”
Over a long career in film and television, the charismatic McBride has been fortunate to have a lot of jobs, playing everything from president Lincoln’s British valet (the short-lived sitcom “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer”) to a no-nonsense principal (on the high school-set drama “Boston Public”).
And whether the shows lasted four seasons (like “The John Larroquette Show”), or four episodes (“Pfeiffer”), McBride has employed a hit-it-and-quit-it mentality.
“I look at every job as, ‘We’re here till we’re not here.’ Every ounce of whatever meager talent I have, I’m going to throw at my job until we’re done,” McBride said during a recent interview at the Television Critics Association press tour. “This is a business where if you don’t know how to move on, the next thing you know, you start drinking.”
We asked McBride to do a little free associating on a few of his previous endeavors.
“The John Larroquette Show” (1993-1996)
Role: Wisecracking janitor, Heavy Gene
McBride: “John taught me how to be
“The Secret Diary of Desmond
Role: Desmond Pfeiffer
McBride: “I survived.”
“Killer Instinct” (2005-2006)
Role: Lieutenant Matt Cavanaugh, head of the “Deviant Crimes Unit”
McBride: “Kill it, it stinks.”
“The Nine” (2006-2007)
Role: Malcolm Jones, manager of the bank being robbed in the series
McBride: “The only show in the history of television named after its audience.”
“Human Target” (2010-2011)
Role: Former cop Laverne Winston
McBride: “I was so glad that it was over because I hate shooting in Vancouver, but I love those guys.”
Role: Detective Don Owen
McBride: “I really believe that this is the best show that I’ve ever been on and I’m having the opportunity to do the best work I’ve ever done.”