Michael Chiklis May Have Never Landed ‘The Shield’ If He Weren’t Neighbors With The Show’s Creator

Chiklis is one of the many actors who’ve been interviewed for “The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.” During his talk, he discussed how he feels typecasting happens and how he sought to break out of it:

“If you’re an actor and you’re in this business you have to think about an executive. If I’m the executive, in charge of $300 million […] budget for the season, you tend to compartmentalize […] to plug things in […] So [actors] become a cliché to that person, ‘We need an affable guy, Chiklis will go there.’ ‘We need a mean guy, so and so will go there.’ That’s how you get typecast, it’s more people looking at a huge palette and they need to plug people into that.”

Since he’d starred in lighthearted shows, Chiklis was “plugged in” as a friendly man in more family-friendly shows. After the cancellation of “Daddio,” he decided he didn’t want to keep being “plugged into” the same niche and would rather act in something, “smart, hard-hitting, and adult.” As he recounted to Entertainment Weekly, his wife Michelle is the one who gave him the advice he needed: “‘It’s not incumbent on the studios [to] reinvent you, it’s incumbent upon you to reinvent yourself’. [So] I worked out three hours a day, shaved my head.”

Chiklis promised himself he wouldn’t take a new part until he secured one like what he wanted. He and his wife even began writing a film script about a “rogue cop” as a star vehicle for him. Unbeknownst to the Chiklis family, a part of that exact mold would be coming to them.

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