5 Questions With Jeffrey Dean Morgan of “Extant”

Extant_Sn2_morgan-webJeffrey Dean Morgan spends enough time without his shirt on in CBS’ Extant to make most women take notice. It’s surprising with Morgan’s movie star looks that acting came about accidentally.

After helping a friend move to Los Angeles, Morgan met a casting director, and “the next thing you know, I did a Roger Corman movie.”

“If you are my age or older, you started doing Corman movies,” Morgan, 49, continues. “And I did a couple of those and I did not know what I was doing. I did not know what a mark was or how to memorize lines, but I was fascinated with it. I thought, ‘Well, @#$%, this is going to be easy. I got this acting thing by the balls.’ Then it got to be 10 years later and I can’t keep a roof over my head.”

But he persisted and though he racked up many movies and TV shows, he credits Shonda Rhimes for reviving his career when he played heart transplant patient Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy. “I am still in contact with her and we check on each other once a month and say hi,” Morgan says. “I love her. I adore her and it would be really, really hard to say no to her” were Rhimes to ask him to be on one of her shows. “Grey’s Anatomy gave me the opportunity to be where I am now,” he says.

Extant2_morgan_berry_webAnd that is playing a rogue cop opposite Halle Berry.

“He’s ex-military,” Morgan says of his character, JD Richter. “He’s got some issues. He’s divorced, maybe he likes to drink a little bit much, but he is a solid guy and he comes in and meets Molly Woods, Halle’s character.

“I consider this to be a reboot,” he says of the new season. “I didn’t watch last season. I watched a couple of episodes to get caught up in the science of it all.” This season is more character-driven, Morgan says, and JD’s purpose is to ask the questions the audience ponders.

“He does it with a sense of humor and a little bit of an edge,” Morgan says. “This year was to bring a little more of an edge to the show. It was a little science-y last year and I like to be the character who dirties up stuff.”

A self-proclaimed “idiot on the set,” Morgan took a break from the 14-hour day to answer our questions.

1. If acting wasn’t your profession, what career would you most likely have pursued?
I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I had done graphic art and had a couple of art shows and was heading down that path.

2. If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
I was a big fan of Sons of Anarchy — I will follow Kurt Sutter anywhere. I would probably have to have HBO and Showtime and FX.

3. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
I just think fans are so original and cool. I never look at them as strange. Some are more passionate than others. I have had people who won’t let go of hugs. I have done a couple of these “Supernatural” conventions and you meet people who are so passionate they break down when they see you.

4. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I just did a movie with De Niro and meeting him for the first time, and having dinner with Anthony Hopkins, who has now become a very good friend. When I first met him it was, “Holy @#$%, this is Hannibal Lecter!”

5. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
I am really into cold-pressed juices. They’re my vitamin fix for the day. I love a good Wheat Thin and peanut butter.

See Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Extant Wednesdays on CBS beginning July 1 at 10pm ET




Jeffrey Dean Morgan image: © 2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.  Credit: Robert Voets
Morgan and Halle Berry image: © 2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved Credit: Sonja Flemming

1 Comment

  1. Very good choice. I thought he played a very good sociopath anti-hero as The Comedian in the Watchmen movie. It would be interesting to see how he’ll play as Negan. Garret Dillahunt would have been a bad choice to play Negan because he looks like a clean cut good guy type. If Andrew Lincoln was not cast to play Rick Grimes in the begining, then Garret Dillahunt would have been a good choice to play the Sheriff’s Deputy.

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