Treat Williams Looks Back on His ‘Blue Bloods’ & ‘Chicago Fire’ Roles
Chances are you’ve seen Treat Williams on your television screen at one point or another, whether it’s in his series regular roles as Andy Brown on Everwood and Mick O’Brien on Chesapeake Shores or as one of his recurring characters on Chicago Fire and Blue Bloods.
“There’s something about me that’s working class-y,” the actor told TV Insider about his tendency to take on roles in law enforcement or as a first responder. “I grew up in a working class town with working class friends and I find that there’s a reason there’s police dramas and medical dramas: bad things happen all the time, so you’ve got drama.”
Williams also loves doing theater and, so far, the closest TV role to that experience was an adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, though “you really don’t ever have the quality of having 200-300 people out in front of you watching. You, the audience, and the actors become a communal experience that just doesn’t happen with film and television.”
Here, Williams takes a look back at some of his more recent memorable TV roles and addresses Chesapeake Shores‘ future.
Is there a TV role that’s taught you the most and you’ve taken the experience from into other TV roles?
Treat Williams: Andy Brown in Everwood was a really lovely guy, and because it was a regular part in a regular series, which I’d never really done. I was learning how to come in and bring more of myself to work. The more of yourself you bring to a TV role, the less work you have to do to squeeze yourself into character. I thought it was great I could [act] as though I had been that doctor and these things had happened to me, but I basically played me.
When you first hired for Everwood, what did you know about the character and what drew you into the role?
All I knew was the pilot, which I thought was beautiful. It was a pretty simple thing. It was a very successful guy, whose wife dies suddenly, who can’t handle being in the same environment he was in and has this epiphany and says, “I’m just going to go help people. I’m going to go and open a free clinic in the mountains and raise my kids in the country.” And the kids hate it and it’s a difficult transition.
He’s going through mourning and is not through it. It took a while in the series for Andy to come out of it. If you remember in the first season, he would visit with his wife a lot and talk to her, so he was a little nuts with grief, but I thought it was beautiful writing. I loved that show.
You returned to Blue Bloods for the Season 10 premiere.
And seeing Lenny at the dinner table was so much fun.
I gotta tell you, what an honor. Two-hundred episodes, nobody ever ate dinner with the family but me, and I was really, really honored that day that they invited me to the table.
And Lenny went through quite a bit, finding out he had a daughter …
They always make me the guy who screws up, so Tom [Selleck, who plays Frank Reagan] can say, “Oh, you screwed up.” It was wonderful, and it was a lovely scene, the writing is so good when I go, “Is she in there?” And he goes, “Yeah, she’s in there. Want to see her?” “I don’t know.” Then I walk in and I don’t know which one she is and I see she’s reading a car magazine and I go, “Oh, that’s gotta be her.”
Will we see how Lenny does as a father?
I’d like them to bring Lenny in to do four in a row and have something really happen. One of the writers said we should bring Lenny in and have him open a restaurant and everybody comes to the restaurant. I’d love to be a part of that show, maybe not full season, but I’d love to come in because I just love working with Tom. We have good chemistry and we’re very comfortable with each other and it’s just so easy to work with him. It’s a nice set, and I have a lot of fun.
Sadly we can’t see you back on Chicago Fire.
No, well, I told them when they told me they were going to kill me off, I said, “Well, it’s a good thing the guy’s got a twin brother.” [Laughs]
But Severide has sort of followed in his footsteps since he’s now temporarily at OFI. How do you think Benny would feel about that?
That’s right. I think he’d be proud of whatever he wanted to do. He loved his kid. He just didn’t know how to show it very well.
Any word on more Chesapeake Shores?
We’re waiting to hear. I have high hopes we will have [another] season. I really want to go back and do one more at least. We did relatively well this year, so I can’t see any reason not to. Fingers crossed.
What are you watching on TV?
I have a tendency to love English costume dramas. I’m big on that. And I love the really weird shows, too. My wife and I will pick one thing and then we’ll binge watch. We’re big fans of Victoria. We’re big fans of The Crown. She got me watching The Handmaid’s Tale, which scared me to death. But then we like English comedies and stuff, [like] Doc Martin. I tend to watch a lot of aviation movies and old movies. I’m a big fan of classics. It’s a kitchen sink.