What’s new for Corey Reynolds?
Since TNT’s The Closer ended last summer, Tony Award nominated actor Corey Reynolds has been pretty busy. So, what’s he up to now? Writer Jaylen Christie has the answer with this exclusive interview!
Summer television programs are a dime a dozen, but one quality drama will sadly be missing from the line-up this upcoming season – TNT’s The Closer. After it ended its stellar seven year run last summer, the show’s principal cast has been exceptionally busy including fan favorite Corey Reynolds, the cool Tony Award nominated actor who played Kyra Sedgwick’s right-hand man Detective David Gabriel. So, what has Reynolds been up to lately? You’d be surprised. I was blessed to be able to catch up with him to ask him about life after The Closer, the state of minorities in Hollywood and – drum roll please – what it feels like to be a new father.
Ah, Corey! So nice of you to speak with me.
Jaylen Christie! It is I, Corey Reynolds! How are you?
I’m good, dude. So, let’s get this thing started. You made a name for yourself as the actor that originated the role of Seaweed in Broadway’s Hairspray. How does it feel to be both a master of stage and screen?
I don’t know if I’d call myself a master. When I think of a master, I think of the old Chinese sensei that’s 90 years old and kicks every young guy’s ass. Before I moved to L.A. in 2003, every job that I’ve taken in my life, as far as performance goes, has involved singing and dancing. I miss live theatre. There’s nothing that is quite on par with the instant gratification that you get from a live audience. You know, when you’re playing a scene on a stage in front of 25,000 people, you can tell when you have them in the palm of your hand. Sometimes, when it comes to filming, if you say something funny in a scene, no one is really allowed to laugh, so it comes down to trusting the director, trusting your performance and trusting that the camera is capturing what you need because you don’t have an audience that gives you the instant response.
So, I’ve heard. Was it challenging making the transition from Broadway to Hollywood?
Yes, it was tough. I had a nice leg up though. [During] one of my final performances in Hairspray, I got a note from the stage manager that said someone wanted to meet me. I came backstage and it was Steven Spielberg. He was like, “Hey, I’m Steven.” And I swear, the very first thing I said to him was, “Motherf#%er, I know who you are.” He sat me down and he told me he felt I had that ‘it-thing’ and that when I finished doing Hairspray, he was going to find something for me. I wrapped the show on July 13, 2003, and July 14, Debra Zane called about a small role in The Terminal opposite Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I packed up everything I knew in New York and came out [to Los Angeles,] a city I never really knew before. It was a leap of faith.
Oh, I bet it was. But hey, you found work in one my favorite shows — The Closer! How was that experience?
It was a good time, Jaylen. It was a great run. It was the first pilot that I had ever done. To have it picked up, and run for seven years was an amazing blessing and also an incredible opportunity for me to learn screen-work. There’s a subtlety to camera performance. When you’re on the stage, you have to play to the back of the room so everything you’re doing is exaggerated. Kyra [Sedgwick] was really great in mentoring me. A lot of people always tell me that they loved our relationship in the show, and a lot of that was really reflected in real life. I’ve been exchanging text messages with her.
Tell Kyra I said what’s up!
(Chuckles) I will. [The Closer] was a great opportunity to learn how production works. I had never had a character that evolved and changed, and had different opinions from where he started. Seaweed didn’t have that. It was a huge learning experience, and Kyra was great to work with. She always kept the energy up and made things fun. That’s why when I knew she was going to be finishing up, I figured I should finish up too.
Which brings me to my next question – is there any chance that we’ll be seeing you on Major Crimes, the spin-off of The Closer?
Um, I don’t know. I would be open to that. I think if the story was interesting and they wanted to bring some of us to do guest stuff, that would be cool. But I think they’re focused on building their own brand, and bringing some of the old characters back might make people miss The Closer.
Well, people do miss The Closer, Corey. Look, if I can be honest, I’m not trying to downplay Major Crimes, but I’m just sayin’ it ain’t the same. You don’t have to respond if you don’t want to.
(Laughs.) Different doesn’t always dictate better or worse. It just means different.