The best movies and television shows have great lead actors but are nothing without outstanding performances of supporting characters played by the likes of Kevin Fry-Bowers (@kevinfrybowers). Fry-Bowers is a seasoned veteran with more than 20-years playing a range of dope roles from an Irish gun smuggler to a troubled undercover cop in the new pilot Beyond The Badge ( Executive Producer/Creator Anita M. Cal and Executive Producer Cheryl Jenkins). Viewers may recognize Fry-Bowers from some of their favorite shows. The often working actor has been fortunate enough to play characters in dozens of hit shows, including, Babylon 5, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Melrose Place, Pacific Blue, Nash Bridges, Beverly Hills, 90210, Sons of Anarchy, and Scandal to name a few. Skilled on both the small and big screen, some of the Motion Picture films Fry-Bowers has been featured in, include 300: Rise of an Empire , Taken 3 , and Eraser along with the iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Hype Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with the veteran actor about his upcoming role as Cecile O’Malley in the indie pilot “Beyond The Badge” and what intrigued him about the role. In addition, he shared insights into some of his past roles in Son of Anarchy, Wanted, HBO’s OZ, and working with Jeff Perry, Portia de Rossi and Shonda Rhimes on the set of ABC’s hit television show Scandal.
The consummate artist, Fry-Bowers stated he enjoys auditioning for roles because it allows him to know that he’d earned the role. During the course of the interview, Fry-Bowers talks about some of the music that he is listening to during his free time. The full Hype Magazine interview with Kevin Fry-Bowers can be seen below.
Can you tell us about your character in your upcoming project “Beyond the Badge”?
His name is Cecile O’Malley and he is of Irish and Catholic descent. He is an officer in the LAPD and has been assigned to anger management treatment.
What intrigued you about the pilot of “Beyond the Badge”?
What caught my attention was the point of view of the police officers and what they must face once they lose their partners in battle or how they are affected after their undercover missions go bad. This is something that has not been touched on in very much in television or film.
What are some of your personal experiences that you will bring to this role?
I had a dad that was obsessive growing up. So, I will be channeling what it was like being around someone in that type of environment and from the experiences of my mother and brothers. I was raised by my mother, she was my best friend and I could not imagine a man harming a woman physically, nor I have never raised a finger to a woman. I guess hopefully we learned our lessons from the past.
How would you describe the difference between great non-network projects like Beyond the Badge and great network projects?
I was blessed to work on season five of Sons of Anarchy and I played Neal an Irish gun smuggler in five episodes.
That show had a huge following and they are currently making a spinoff called The Mayans MC, based off the biker crew. When FX or Fox find their niche… watch out! Years ago, not a lot of television stations would touch that type of content, because it was too dark. It was not until the Sopranos came along on HBO, that America was able to accept a dark character that was living on the edge. For me, being able to play these types of characters allowed me to find my calling as an actor. So, I would say platforms like HBO, Hulu, Netflix, and FX has opened up of a lot of opportunities for actors.
When you prepare for roles are you using the same techniques you’ve acquired throughout your career or have you learned to adapt over time?
My thing has always been to keep everything as simple as possible. I have played very intense characters over the years. I’ve studied with the same acting coach by the name of Stuart Rogers for the last twenty years and he takes what you have as artists and works from that. Whether it is keeping everything simple or having your character project more emotions. It basically comes down to what is in the story and all the answers you need are in the script. If I can’t find those answers in the script, then I create a backstory through fantasy work.
How often at this point in your career do you have to audition for roles?
It really depends, in this case, the two lead characters on Beyond the Badge, Daya Vaidya and Don Wallace reached out to me. In other cases, it is still a process for me to audition. In fact, I would rather audition for roles, because it allows me to know that I’ve earned the role. If a casting director or a producer is hiring me for my five-minute reel from different scenes, that I have already worked on that they should know that I have much more to offer.
Are there any other projects that we can look forward to seeing you in heading into the rest of 2017?
In October, Hulu will be premiering the second season of Chance starring Hugh Laurie. I have some amazing scenes with Hugh, so, make sure that you tune in this fall.
You have had the opportunity to play characters on a variety of hit TV series and feature films. Which one of these roles do you consider your toughest challenge?
The most challenging role I have played was a character by the name of Owen Vickers on Wanted. This television show was created by Jorge Zamacona and he was also a producer on the HBO show OZ. Owen was a crystal meth dealer, who liked to do some of his own drugs, he was also the leader of a biker gang that went on a killing spree against anyone in law enforcement. It was extremely challenging and intense, but it was probably my favorite character because I had a lot of freedom to create.
Have you thought about partnering with platforms such as Netflix or Amazon and producing some of your own content?
I have some things in the works that when the time is right, I plan on partnering with some of those platforms in the future.
ABC Scandal is getting ready to air its seventh and final season. Being that you were a part of season four can you tell us some of the memories you enjoyed the most during your time on set?
The opportunity to hang out with Jeff Perry, who plays Cyrus Beene on the show. He is one of the founding fathers of Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. He is very talented, funny and quite a genuine person. Just being able to show up on the set and work with Jeff was a blast. As for Shonda Rhimes, once you can get into Shondaland it is amazing! I have had the opportunity to audition for Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Private Practice and although I haven’t booked any of those shows, booking Scandal made all the hard work worth it. We shot at Sunset Gower Studios. I played a pretty evil character named Dan Kubiak, who was an ex-Washington Police Captain that had to retire because of his affiliation with known drug traffickers. Dan then started a private security/murder for hire organization. He colluded with the character Elizabeth North played by Portia de Rossi. Being able to work with Portia was exciting and she is very down to earth.
Who are some of the musicians you are currently listening to?
Sade, Adele, Bruno Mars, Old School Blues, Funk, and 104.7 in Los Angeles