AGAINST THE WALL: Shining the Spotlight on Brandon Quinn (2011)

In an exclusive interview, Brandon Quinn shared what excites him the most about his new series AGAINST THE WALL on Lifetime, a new police drama that follows a family of cops who struggle with the sudden promotion of one of their own into Internal Affairs.  Right away Brandon was quick to admit that he loves cop shows.  He explained, “You know, growing up, it was all cops-and-robbers. So playing a police officer piqued my interest. And, it’s more than just a ‘cop show’ — it’s character driven.  I enjoy shows where you get involved and know their characters – where you really get to meet and know and understand these characters.”

As to who Officer Richie Kowalski is and why Brandon found the role so appealing was Richie’s protective spirit.  In fact, as the series initially plays out, it is Richie who watches protectively over his sister as she is promoted into Internal Affairs.  Richie is also the one that everyone turns to in a crisis – and no matter what, he protects his family.  Even when they may be at odds, it is ‘family first’ and Richie is their staunch protector.   Brandon further clarified, “With his family, they’re the first to tease each other, but they’re also the first to protect each other.”

That was just one of the many facets that drew Brandon to the character.  Brandon also admired Richie’s integrity.  He explained, “Other than their mom, Richie’s the first to understand Abby and he stands by her in her decision. But when he is asked to sort of spy on the family, to find out what they’re saying about her; he won’t do it.”  The complexity of playing a brother torn between his family obligations and loyalties simply made the role irresistible.

As for the challenge of portraying such a multi-layered, yet admirable character, Brandon revealed that he loved that Richie has a big storyline that extends so deeply throughout the season.  He shared, “As an actor, it’s a dream to have a role that is challenging and stretches you. This storyline puts stress on the situation between Richie and Abby, so it was challenging and helped me to grow as an actor.”  Thus, he welcomed the challenge and cannot wait to sink his acting chops further into the continuing storyline.

Brandon also really admires his co-star Rachael Carpani who plays Richie’s sister Abby, for her dedication and work ethic.  He explained, “Rachael is great. She is on set from sun-up to sun-down and yet she’s laid back and takes it as it comes. Kathy [Baker] summed it up when she said that Rachael is just so wonderful. I love her — not to mention, she is extremely talented.”  He was just as effusive towards his other co-stars as he said, “We have an incredible cast. We all get along and everyone is really down-to-earth. Annie, the creator, is so sweet, down-to-earth and caring. I’m pinching myself every day.”

To date, most of Brandon’s on-screen scenes have been opposite Rachael as they show the developing drama amongst the Kowalski family and the ripple-effects that it has on their respective jobs in the Boston police force.   As the show continues, the family dynamic begins to shift and further complications arise.  So as Brandon revealed, “We’re halfway through shooting episode 10.  Looking back, there have been subtle changes. At first, it’s Richie and Abby [who are aligned] until episode 6. Then, Richie is doing more with the brothers. But the three of us have a great rapport — we get along and click.”

It was also a real privilege to work with Treat Williams and Kathy Baker who play the Kowalski patriarch and matriarch, respectively.  Brandon happily shared, “It’s great! Treat is so awesome. He and Kathy [Baker] — you know you’re in the presence of a pro. They are perfection take-after-take. The first day back after we were picked up, everyone was getting to know the crew and getting comfortable, and I’m trying to film a difficult scene and I can hear talking on the side. That’s when Treat stands up and gathers the crew around. He’s not angry, he just sort of stated in a fatherly way that when the cameras are rolling, this is our time. When they’re not rolling, that’s when it’s their time. He has such dignity and pride. I really sensed that he was looking after me.”

As for the rest of the cast, Brandon revealed, “We have a great relationship. We’re constantly prodding each other and are very close to each other. We’ll wrestle on the floor and Steve and Donny will bicker like a married couple. But you can always tell that their foundation is love and respect.”

Adding to Richie’s world is his wife Lana, to whom he has been married for 5 years.  Brandon thought it was cool that they have an extremely good relationship, which is a nice rarity on television today.  AGAINST THE WALL is not about a family fracturing into nothingness, instead, it is about a family coming together and overcoming a seemingly insurmountable change in their lives and their relationships.  But, at its core, family always prevails.

Brandon also loved the fact that his character is not just the one who tries to pacify everyone.  He said, “Richie’s definitely not a BS guy. He’s a really good friend, husband, brother, son and cop.”  The one small wrinkle may be that Richie is a bit close-to-the-chest with his feelings.  As Brandon explained it, “Richie doesn’t like to talk about his feelings. The only person who can get that out of him is his mom. Not even his wife. He’s a mama’s boy.”

Then looking to one of the lighter aspects of the show, Brandon happily shared that by far the coolest thing he has done on the show was working with one of his football idols.  He said, “I’m a huge (FNL) football fan and I got to go shoot a scene at Brian Urlacher’s (of the Chicago Bears) house.  And Rachael’s character, Abby, is a huge football fan on the show, so there is a reference to the Chicago Bears in every episode.”

Finally, when asked what he could tease about this upcoming season of AGAINST THE WALL, Brandon playfully said to keep an eye out for an exciting yet gritty action scene with Richie’s partner.  He said, “You’ll know it when you see it!”

As to why Brandon thinks viewers are going to be excited about AGAINST THE WALL, he said, “We do a little of everything and we do it well. So many shows are one-note, which isn’t a bad thing, but we have something everyone can relate to. People are going to enjoy this show!”

So with that quick look at AGAINST THE WALL, be sure to tune in for its debut on Sunday, July 31st at 10 p.m. on Lifetime Television.

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