Gemma Kent chats with Bret Green of The Inspectors and How to Get Away with Murder about college, dream roles and the representation of the disabled on screen.
I always loved watching TV as a kid and wanted to get involved with it. But I grew up in a small town in Michigan and there wasn’t a huge TV market there at the time. I ended up putting it to the side, though I did do some theatre work. My parents were always super encouraging, wanting me to get into the arts. I started working, some years later, in a corporate business, doing marketing and things like that. I had a good time doing it but I didn’t really see where I was going so I decided to get back to my creative roots and follow that instead.
As actors, we can’t afford to be picky, but if it were up to me I’d definitely prefer to do more of the serious stuff. I think it has a better chance of touching somebody and making an impact on their life; it can help people become more compassionate for others’ experiences. So I’ve enjoyed the dramatic side of things but, you know, comedy’s really fun for everybody; the people doing it and the people watching it.”
This summer we wrapped up our second season of Inspectors which just started airing on CBS. We’re really excited about it. It was a lot of fun and I was super delighted to reprieve my character again. I’ve never really had an opportunity to do that: I’d never been a regular on a TV show before. And I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to have met so many great people. The cast is phenomenal, the crew is top notch and it’s been an all-in-all great experience.”
My favourite actor as a kid was Denzel Washington; he really inspired me. Every movie he was in was so fun to watch and so entertaining. He was so intense and engaging. I also really enjoy Mark Wahlberg. And Tim Allen, if we’re talking about comedy (Home Improvement was one of my favourites growing up).
I got my degree from Michigan University and I can definitely say that I’m *not* using it! I think it’s a little unrealistic to ask a twenty-year-old kid what they want to do for the rest of their life. But college is a great experience. I matured and learned a lot of life lessons while there and, maybe looking back on it, I would do some things differently but I’m still glad to have a college degree behind me and I’m sure my mom is delighted too!”
I think that disabled actors should be given every opportunity. I have a couple of friends who are actors and are in wheelchairs and that’s all they’re asking for: they want to be seen, they want an opportunity to audition – not to be shunned away or not even considered. That’s definitely a debate that’s been had before on the show and will continue to go on after the show as well. In the case of The Inspectors, there’s a lot of flashback scenes to show what Preston was like before the accident, so in this particular instance the producers thought it would be better to cast an able-bodied actor.
I would love to play a lawyer. I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a young kid and I’d love to play one to see if it was all I thought it would be! And then there’s athletics, of course. I’ve always loved sports movies and though they don’t happen much anymore – they don’t do well overseas – I’d love to do one all the same. Like, Remember the Titans is also one of my favourite movies. So something like that or Friday Night Lights would be an absolute dream role for me.”