The Closer Exclusive Interview: Michael Paul Chan

Michael Paul Chan

The Closer returns for its finale episodes this coming Monday, July 9th at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). TV Equals had a chance to ask series star Michael Paul Chan who plays Lieutenant Mike Tao about what to expect in these final episodes, what the spinoff series starring Mary McDonnell has in store for us and also about his involvement with the non profit “The Sunshine Kids“.

Check out what he had to say below and don’t miss the new episode of The Closer which airs Monday, July 9th at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TNT.
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The end of the Closer series must be quite a moment. What are your thoughts on this momentous event?

Michael Paul Chan: We shot the final episode at the end of last year. The last day of shooting was our farewell scene to Chief Brenda Lee Johnson. It was quite emotional to say the least! We had 7 successful seasons, very rare in our business. Everything I did up to this point, acting wise, seems to have disappeared. Lt. Tao changed everything.

What can you tease about the upcoming final episodes of the series?

Michael Paul Chan: That there’s six of em’ !

Over the years, has there been an episode or scene of The Closer that has resonated with you?

Michael Paul Chan: Last year’s episode “Under Control” where my family was introduced. I was lead investigator in a case involving a murdered child. The first location we filmed at was a park where I used to take my own son as a toddler. I still haven’t watched the episode nor has my wife.

You are also part of the cast of the new series, Major Crimes, a closer spinoff. What can you say about the series?

Michael Paul Chan: The new series Major Crimes will introduce the audience to what is currently going on in our justice system. Deals are being made as opposed to jury trials which can cost millions.

Will the feel of the new series be similar to The Closer or will there be a completely different feel to it?

Michael Paul Chan: Our audience has a stake in the characters that make up the squad. Hopefully, that will keep our faithful, as we take them in a different direction.

If you were king for a day and could tell the writers what to do, what would you wish for your character Tao?

I’d love to go undercover, and make use of all the dialects I’ve used in my career.

If you could go back to the beginning of your career and talk to your former self, what advice would you give yourself?

Michael Paul Chan: Enjoy the ride. Every moment ~ good, bad or indifferent.

Are there any current or upcoming projects that you can talk about?

Michael Paul Chan: I’m doing a short film for a new young writer that I’m excited about. We’ll be filming around my TV schedule. It’s called “The Happiest Person in America” by Sarah Israel.

You are also involved with a program called “The Sunshine Kids“, a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer

Michael Paul Chan: GW Bailey introduced The Closer cast to SSK early on during the run of The Closer. For me, it was their summer visit to the set and a trip to the beach. I was able to use my surfing skills to get these kids, some who had never seen the ocean before, riding waves. When they first arrived to our studio, complete with LAPD escort, using every major vehicle in their batallion, the sight of kids, obviously fighting for their lives, the ravages of Chemotherapy quite evident, it simply breaks your heart. When I got these kids out in the water, they were so brave! And seeing the joy they had riding a wave for the first time, the thrill of it all… we were in the water till the sun went down…

If you could guest star on any TV series, your pick of the litter, which would it be?

Michael Paul Chan: I’ve done so many guest stars on TV shows, and being a series regular is soooo much better. So, the answer is there aren’t any. Being on a successful show has given me the power to choose want I want to do. Though I would like to do some shopping with “The Pawn Stars”.