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Interview with Tony Shalhoub of "Monk"
on USA Network 7/28/09
Sadly, Monk is coming to an end. It is one of my
favorite shows. Here is a great Q&A with Tony Shaloub, the genius who
plays Monk. I'm sure he will continue to do wonderful movies and
TV after Monk ends. He is awesome. We will miss Monk, though.
review of the season premiere!
Monk Ė Tony Shalhoub Q&A Session
July 28, 2009/11:00 a.m. EDT
Moderator: Thank you. The first question comes from the line of Jamie
Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine.
J. Steinberg: Hello. Itís such a pleasure to speak with you. I appreciate
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
J. Steinberg: I was wondering, whatís the lasting impression you want
audience members to take from watching your show and watching you?
T. Shalhoub: Thatís a great question. I think, if I had to choose one
thing, I would say that I would want people to take away this idea that
sometimes peopleís problems or neuroses are really the things that are
kind of a blessing in disguise, and even though thereís, you know,
sometimes thereís pain associated with these things that sometimes in
the face of adversity with obstacles to overcome, people can really kind
of soar and find their higher selves and I think thatís what weíve tried
to do on the show is weíve portrayed this character as someone who turns
his liability, his liabilities into assets per his life. And that
thereís Ė and I hope that when we get to the end Ė I donít know this for
sure, but I hope when we get to the end of season eight that weíll have
seen some real healing from Monk, and I believe in that. I believe that
there is healing and that there is change, and that all of those things
are Ė they are just really, really key to all of our lives.
Moderator: The next question comes from Jennifer Iaccino with Media Blvd.
J. Iaccino: Itís wonderful to speak to you again. Actually, we met at the
Upfront in Chicago, the USA event last year.
T. Shalhoub: Yes, I remember. I remember. That was such a great night.
J. Iaccino: Indeed, it was. Iíll try to make this quick. I wondered if
you had any input into the new changes of Monk because, I mean, from the
ads, it seems that heís sort of looser and more comedic, and I wondered,
I mean, because you mentioned that you really wanted to do a Galaxy
Quest II. I mean, do you have a preference to comedy or drama or horror,
because I know youíve done Thir13en Ghosts, and you had a big part in
1408 and such, so Iím a big fan of yours. Iím sorry.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you. No, I appreciate it. Well, I donít really have a
preference, to be honest. In fact, my preference, my only preference is
to have a lot of variety and diversity in the material that I work on.
Iíve been so fortunate throughout my career, when I was doing theater,
more theater than anything else, and when I was doing films that I got a
chance just to do a broad range of things. In fact, a lot of my choices
that I made were about that very thing. Every project that I had an
opportunity to do or chose to do, I wanted it to be different from the
last thing I did, and I think thatís why I have a good, you know, I had
kind of a diverse kind of rťsumť. Iím really Ė itís what I set out to do
as an actor originally.
Moderator: The next question comes from Joshua Maloni with Niagara
J. Maloni: Tony, thanks for your time today.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
J. Maloni: You talked about the character and what he sort of means, but
in terms of the pantheon of great television series, what sort of legacy
do you think this show leaves, and what do you sort of take away from it
in that regard?
T. Shalhoub: Well, I think one of the things that will be remembered
about this show, I hope will be remembered, is that at a time when there
was, in a lot of television, especially with the onslaught of cable and
in a period where television is kind of redefining itself, that there
were precious few shows on the air that were suitable for a wider
audience, like a younger audience, you know, people in their 30ís and
then people like elderly people in the 70ís and 80ís. That there was a
show that all those different demographics could tune into and
appreciate, and would appreciate on their own level.
And I think there arenít a lot of shows like that. There havenít been a
lot of shows like that in the last decade. And I hope that thatís
something that people will focus on and remember for a long time, you
know, that itís still possible to do interesting stories and good comedy
without having it have to be all exclusively adult themed kinds of
things or super violent or with language that some people might feel is
inappropriate for younger audiences, and that this show was kind of able
to stand out and do that.
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of David Martindale with
D. Martindale: Hello, Tony. My first interview with you over the years
was way back in Wings.
T. Shalhoub: Wow.
D. Martindale: And I think youíre one of the good ones, and Iíve always
been happy for you, how well youíve done for yourself, and the good work
that youíve done.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
D. Martindale: One time when I interviewed you, you mentioned that youíre
the only one at your home who knows how to absolutely Ė the only right
way to load the dishwasher, which struck me as a kind of Monk thing to
T. Shalhoub: Iím not the only one in my home. Iím the only one in my
community, I think, my entire neighborhood, Iím pretty sure.
D. Martindale: Who knows how to load the dishwasher right? My question
is, have you found that the longer you play Monk, that the differences
between you, Tony, and the character has eroded, which is to say, have
you become more like him, and he more like you, over the years?
T. Shalhoub: I would say yes, absolutely. I mean, I resisted it for a
long time. I wrestled with it. I fought with it. I was in denial about
it and all of that. But inevitably, you know, there have been some Ė you
know, as I said, in interviews too. I feel like Iíve been infected in
some way by this character. Tendencies, you know, minor tendencies that
Iíve had in my life prior to Monk have just kind of ballooned and
expanded and itís inevitably. I mean, I just, thereís no point in trying
to Ė Iíve given up trying to resist it. Iíve had to just surrender to
it. I mean, Iím hoping that when Monk is over that Iíll have some period
of recovery, but Iím not holding my breath.
Moderator: The next question comes from Jim Halterman with The Futon
J. Halterman: Hello, Tony. How are you?
T. Shalhoub: Iím well. Thank you.
J. Halterman: I wanted to know, you know, how is the final season
structured? I mean, the season premiere seemed like a very standard,
great, hilarious episode, but when do we kind of get into the wrapping
of things up?
T. Shalhoub: Excellent question. What the writers have in mind is to do,
you know, as you said, our normal standalone episodes for the first, I
would say, 11, because weíre doing 16, as usual. So the first 11, I
would say, are going to be standalone, and then the last 5 is when weíll
be kind of connected. Theyíll have a connected tissue, and weíll start
to get into the wrap up, not just of Monk, but of some of the other
characters as well. Then what they want to do is the final two episodes,
number 15 and 16, itíll just be one story, a two-part, you know, aired
in two segments. Just to follow Ė that episode, I mean that two-part
will involve the wrap up of Trudyís murder, you know, the solving of
Moderator: The next question comes from Sarah Fulghum with TotallyHer.com.
S. Fulghum: Hello, Tony.
T. Shalhoub: Good morning.
S. Fulghum: What was the deciding factor to make this season the final
T. Shalhoub: Well, I think there were a lot of things at play there. I
mean, long conversations that I had with Andy Breckman, you know, one of
the co-creators and the main writer. Weíve been talking all along about
how many seasons to do, how many episodes that he had in him, you know,
as the writer. He, at one point, said that he didnít think really he had
more than six seasons, and then he kind of got a gigantic second wind,
and we did the seventh, and we werenít sure when we were doing the
seventh if the network was going to go with us on the eighth. But to
make a long story short, we all kind of agreed that the eighth season
would be it for all of us.
I think it will have 124 episodes by the end of the eighth season, and I
think weíre all ready to resolve the storyline and move on to other
things. We certainly donít want to go too long and have the quality
start to wane and just limp to the finish line. We want to go out while
weíre still really, we feel really that weíre doing great work and
delivering really strong episodes. We want to go out on a high.
Moderator: The next question comes from Beth Ann Henderson with
B. Henderson: Hello, Tony. Thanks for taking our calls today.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
B. Henderson: I wanted to know how many of the old faces for past
episodes are we going to see as a way of saying good-bye this last
T. Shalhoub: Well, weíll certainly, Iím sure youíve probably read because
thereís been a lot of publicity about Sharona coming back. Bitty Schram
is going to come back for episode Ė I believe itís episode number 12,
which will start shooting in September. And they want to bring that
character back and kind of wrap it up and kind of give that a good send
off. A lot of people really missed that character and the dynamic
between Monk and Sharona. And so weíre all looking forward to that.
Of course, weíll see Harold Krenshaw comes back, one of my favorites.
Heís the other OCD patient who is always kind of in competition with
Monk, played so brilliantly by Tim Bagley. Heís going to return for at
least a couple of episodes.
And well, thatís it. I mean, of course, Dr. Bell, the psychiatrist will
be in a number of episodes. I donít think Ė people have asked if weíre
going to see Ambrose. I donít really think that's in the cards simply
because thatís Ö John is so busy. Itís difficult to schedule him in. I
mean, if I had my way, weíd do kind of what Seinfeld did and bring back
almost every guest star there ever was on the show, but ours is going to
go in a different direction.
Moderator: The next question comes from Christine Nyholm with
C. Nyholm: Hello, Tony. Thanks for talking to us today.
T. Shalhoub: Okay.
C. Nyholm: I have to tell you. Iím from Wisconsin. Youíre one of my
motherís favorite actors.
T. Shalhoub: Iím in Wisconsin as we speak. Iím at a family reunion in
Door County, so itís beautiful here.
C. Nyholm: Oh, itís fantastic there, and thatís actually my question is,
being from Wisconsin, how did you make your way from Wisconsin to
Hollywood, and do your Midwestern roots impact your acting at all and
T. Shalhoub: Boy, I think so. I think they do. I went to college on the
East Coast in Portland, Maine. I went to graduate school at Yale Drama
School. I worked in the theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts for years,
and moved to New York, and then to Los Angeles. I mean, thatís kind of
the Ė that was kind of the roadmap of it.
But I also come back to Wisconsin every year, and I have family here, of
course, and I donít know. I just think thereís a Ė you know, this place
kind of was a fantastic place to grow up and kind of keeps me kind of
grounded and keeps me somewhat humble just to kind of return to it. Yes,
I think it just keeps me balanced. I still have great, great friends and
feel like itís home.
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of Laura Tucker with
Small Screen Monthly.
L. Tucker: Yes. Hello, Tony. Thanks for talking to us today.
T. Shalhoub: Okay. Thank you.
L. Tucker: Just to reflect on some of the earlier questions somewhat, but
itís a little more specific. Have you, Tony, learned anything from your
years with the character of Adrian Monk, and do you think Adrian has
learned anything from Tony?
T. Shalhoub: Well, I think yes. I think I have learned something from
Adrian. I think Iíve learned to Ė sometimes, you know, hyper-focusing on
things is actually a good thing to do. Not all the time, and I wouldnít
want to be as kind of fixed Ė you know, get as fixated and as obsessed
as Adrian, but sometimes, you know, Iíve found that itís really helpful
to look at things in my own life with the same kind of sort of
relentlessness that Monk does, just turning something over and over and
over and trying to see it from all angles, and not being too quick to
judge something or label something. So in that sense, I feel like Iíve
gained a little real life wisdom.
What has Monk gotten from me? Boy, I donít know. Thatís a really good
question. I feel like Monk has maybe become a little more Ė because I
was playing the role, maybe Monk has become a little more open to others
and embraces to the level, to the degree that he can, embraces other
peopleís point of view. I feel like Iíve been that kind of a person in
my life, open-minded.
Moderator: The next question comes from Joe Hummel with Pop Culture
J. Hummel: Thank you very much for taking the call, Tony.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
J. Hummel: Some of my questions were kind of asked by a few other people,
so I guess I have two quick, short things. How involved were you with
the development of the character of Monk, and are there any clues that
point to the potential killer for Trudy besides the garage?
T. Shalhoub: Well, I wasnít really there when the character was created.
The script was around for a number of years before it came to me,
although I do feel that Iíve had some significant input. When I came to
the project, the script and the character was somewhat different, and I
had long conversations with Andy Breckman about kind of morphing the
character more towards to what I wanted to do, more to my strengths. The
original script that I read was somewhat more Ė was a little more slap
sticky, and I wanted to emphasize the kind of darker aspects of this
character and more Ö and so that was a conversation that a lot of the
producers had in the beginning. And I think Andy did such a great job
morphing what he had originally written to fit me and what I wanted to
As far as the other clues, well, I donít want to give away too much
before these episodes air because I think itís going to be a lot more
interesting for people to discover things as we go along.
Moderator: The next question comes from Lauren Becker with Shooting Stars
L. Becker: Hello. My question was, youíve already talked about how,
through the years, youíve become more similar to Monk, and I was just
wondering if, in your own life, you found some of his compulsions
entering your life in small ways and, if so, kind of what they were.
T. Shalhoub: Well, you know, they take so many different forms and kind
of crop up at the oddest times really. Sometimes I feel like Ė there are
moments when I feel like Iím just nothing like the character. But then
something will happen, and Iíll just realize that Iím rearranging
something on a table at a restaurant, which seems that in that
particular moment, seems like itís absolutely essential that the sugar
packets are facing one way and that everything else has to stop until
this particular task is completed. Then I realize, what the hell am I
doing? Iím channeling the character again. So it would take me about an
hour and a half to describe all of the things that occur, but just trust
me. It just kind of comes over me in waves, and I have to really, really
check myself and try and pull myself out of these things.
Moderator: The next question comes from Gino Sassani with Outcoming Disc.
G. Sassani: Good morning, Tony. How are you doing?
T. Shalhoub: Good morning.
G. Sassani: Listen, the question I have for you is that of course a big
loss for your show throughout these years was the loss of Stanley Kamel
as Dr. Kroger.
T. Shalhoub: Yes.
G. Sassani: And we know kind of how Monk is dealing with the loss of the
character, but can you tell us a little bit about Tony dealing with the
loss of Stanley?
T. Shalhoub: You know, itís been really tricky, and we all speak Ö itís
almost as if he has never left us because his name comes up in stories,
and anecdotes come up about him all the time on the set. And heís
missed, but we try to sort of keep him alive in our Ė you know, keep in
our midst. He was there from the very, very beginning, from the pilot
episode, and I have to say, you know, those scenes, those Dr. Kroger
scenes in the pilot were so important, just in terms of my process, my
discovery of who Monk was.
I think those scenes in particular were the most informative for me and
the richest. They really, really helped me to kind of define the
parameters of this guy, of my character. So, yes, I kind of carry that
with me and have for all these seasons. And now, when Iím in these
sessions, these scenes with Hector Elizondo, who plays Dr. Bell, I canít
even go into these scenes without just this little Ė I sort of do this
little internal toast, as it were, to Stanley Kamel because he was the
original doctor. I like to think that heís kind of there in those
sessions with me. He is missed.
Moderator: The next question comes from Travis Tidmore with the
T. Tidmore: Hello, Tony.
T. Shalhoub: Hello.
T. Tidmore: Over the years, you guys, as youíve discussed, have had a lot
of guest stars on the show.
T. Shalhoub: Yes.
T. Tidmore: I was wondering if you had a favorite over the years and
maybe a favorite youíve worked with so far this year.
T. Shalhoub: Itís so hard for me to pick a favorite because there have
been so many great ones, and Iíve had the chance to bring friends of
mine on the show, I mean, people that Iíve worked with in the past like
Stanley Tucci and John Turturro and people that Iíve always wanted to
work with like Laurie Metcalf. But I have to say, of all of the seasons,
and of all of the guest stars, the most thrilling for me was last season
working with Gena Rowlands on Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door. She was
such a tremendous influence on me when I was a student and studying
acting. I was a devotee of John Cassavetes movies and the movies she did
even separate from him.
I was the one who actually when we were casting that particular episode,
The Lady Next Door, there were a number of names on the list, and I
pitched her name. And I was stunned and thrilled to find out that she
wanted to do it. And then working those eight days with her was just,
you know, I felt really, when we finished that episode, I felt like I
could retire, that I had done everything I needed to do now. She was so
gracious and so good, and of course sheís been nominated for an Emmy for
that episode too, so I will hopefully see her at the Emmys in September.
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of Josh Bozeman with
J. Bozeman: Tony, itís an honor to talk to you. Thanks for taking the
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
J. Bozeman: I think the character of Monk has been portrayed very
respectful. What was the process you went into in the research to try to
make sure you didnít go over the top and play it maybe possibly
T. Shalhoub: The process was really one of - itís a process that I use
and have used in approaching other characters, which is to find out Ė
you know, knowing that itís a comedy and to find out what Ė in any
comedy, what I try to do is I try and find out what are the more serious
aspects of the character. And, conversely, when I do a serious role, I
try and find out whatís funny about the character. And the beauty of
this particular character is that Iíve had the opportunity to do both
comedy and drama within one series, one character.
So I guess to answer your question, itís really digging out the Ė when
youíre doing the comedic moments, digging out whatís really, really at
stake and what is the most important and most serious thing to the
character, which I believe informs the comedy. And then conversely, you
know, when the moments are really dark and poignant, trying to infuse
those with an unexpected and sometimes inappropriate or seemingly
inappropriate comedic flash, you know, a little spark of something
absurd or comedic. Thatís been my approach.
Moderator: The next question comes from Sandy Lo with Star Shine
S. Lo: Hello, Tony. How are you today?
T. Shalhoub: Iím very well. Thanks.
S. Lo: I was just wondering. I know you talked about your favorite guest
stars, but I was wondering if you had a particular favorite episode of
T. Shalhoub: Man. This is so difficult because I have so many that are
just so near and dear to me. I kind of will reframe the question in the
answer, I think. The ones that Ė I will say the ones where I think we
did, where weíve done the best, in other words, those episodes where we
did 100% of what we set out to do or 100% of how we imagined the show
should be in a perfect world when weíre doing our job Ė just the best.
Those episodes would be, I would say, the first John Turturro episode
where we meet the character of Ambrose. That was called Mr. Monk and the
Another favorite of mine was Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine because it was
a chance for me to do this character almost as a different character Ė
see a different part of him emerge. We did an episode that we just shot
in the first part of season eight, which will be airing in about a
month. Itís called Mr. Monk is Someone Else, and itís an episode where
itís basically Ö assume this character of a man who looks just like him,
but the character happens to be a professional hit man for the mafia,
and this character dies, and Monk is asked to take on, you know, to take
this guy on and become him. And so those opportunities to kind of
transform within the character are really, really challenging and
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of Sarah Lafferty with
S. Lafferty: Thank you, Tony, for taking your time to interview.
T. Shalhoub: Youíre welcome.
S. Lafferty: I have a question. Trudyís murder has been one of the most
successful narrative arcs in television history, rivaling even Mulderís
sister Samantha on the X-Files.
T. Shalhoub: Wow.
S. Lafferty: So what do you think Ė while itís going to be addressed in
the final season, do you think it should be solved or left for the
audience as more of a McGuffin?
T. Shalhoub: I really think it should be solved. I know there are people
who say that maybe it shouldnít because that would mean that there would
be life for this character beyond the series and that possibly the
solving of Trudyís murder would cure him in some way or take down his
OCD symptoms, and then the character wouldnít really be the character
that weíve come to recognize. But I really feel that weíve worked this
storyline so delicately and for so long that I think we owe it to not
just the audience and to ourselves, but to the character of Monk and to
the character of Trudy that weíve created. I think we should solve it.
Moderator: The next question comes from Jessica Mahn with FanBolt.com.
J. Mahn: Hello. Good morning.
T. Shalhoub: Good morning.
J. Mahn: Whatís the most memorable moment youíve had filming the series?
T. Shalhoub: The most memorable moment? I canít remember my most
memorable. I think I would have to say the most memorable moment would
be when I was doing the episode with Stanley Tucci, Mr. Monk and the
Actor, and he and I were, you know, having been reunited from having
worked together for a number of times, he and I sort of, in the climax
of the episode where I take the gun away from him, and weíre kind of
sitting on the floor leaning up against this counter thing, you know,
kind of our arms over each otherís shoulders because it was reminiscent
of a moment in Big Night, which was such a gigantic turning point for
me, I think, in terms of film of my career. So in that moment in Monk
kind of reminded me of the moment in the movie was pretty emotional, a
pretty emotional time.
Moderator: The next question comes from Russell Trunk with
R. Trunk: Tony, wonderful to speak to you today, mate.
T. Shalhoub: Thank you.
R. Trunk: Now just because USA is bringing the series to an end because
of their choice and collectively yours, as weíve heard, it doesnít mean
another network down the line, a couple of years or so, wouldnít pick it
up, following, of course, on from the reveal of who the killer was. Now
is this a choice that youíve thought about that maybe you would
contemplate a return to the character down the line in a couple, three
T. Shalhoub: You know, Iíve given that a lot of thought. I feel like Iím
ready to put this character to rest, but by the same token, I never say
never, and circumstances could change, and I could change my mind.
Certainly Iíve been known to change my mind. I just think time will
tell. I would never ever rule something like that out. I hope that
answers your question.
Moderator: Your next question comes from Earl Dittman with Wireless
E. Dittman: Hello, Tony. That kind of was my next question too. Do you
ever foresee maybe doing specials in the future? And also, what are you
going to miss the most about playing this character that youíve played
for so long?
T. Shalhoub: Well, to answer your first question, I assume youíre talking
about like a TV movie or something of the character the way Colombo did.
I donít really see that being so likely just because I think Iím going
to be Ė Iím hoping that Iím going to be busy with other things. Maybe
Iím deluding myself.
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of Jay Jacobs with Pop
J. Jacobs: Hello, Tony. How are you doing?
T. Shalhoub: Good. Thank you.
J. Jacobs: Good. I just watched the season premier, and this question is
sort of specific to that. Have you ever run across any people who are as
passionate about Adrian Monk as Adrian was about ChristineÖ?
T. Shalhoub: Yes. I have to say that I have, actually, and itís kind of a
disturbing notion. But thatís kind of, you know, itís kind of been part
of whatís been interesting about this character is that being an
obsessive character, I find that there are obsessive fans. There are
people who know way too much about the details of the character and way
too much about various moments in different episodes, things that I,
frankly, have long forgotten, small, small details. I suppose thatís
good on the one hand. You know, I just Ė itís Ė I just hope that those
people keep a nice, healthy distance in the future, a nice, healthy,
Moderator: Your next question comes from Rosa Cordero with Accidental
R. Cordero: Iím a long-time fan. Iím very grateful that you took the time
to speak to us today.
T. Shalhoub: My pleasure. Your fans want to know whatís up next for you.
After youíre done with Monk, are you going to take a nice long vacation,
or will we get the pleasure of seeing you more on the big screen?
T. Shalhoub: Well, I donít want to take too long a vacation, although I
do think I need a break. I start to Ė whenever I take too long a break
or donít work a while, all my demons start to resurface, and I go a
little nuts. And I did work on an independent feature this past winter,
which I hope will be coming out soon called Feed the Fish, a movie that
I acted in, but also co-produced, and a really nice Ö so weíre looking
for distribution to sell this picture, so people should look for that.
But beyond that, I want to really, really take some time for myself to
decide which direction to go next. I might do some theater for a year
before I do any more television. I think I need a break from hour long
episodic for a while.
Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Tom Parsons with
T. Parsons: Tony, thanks for taking our calls today.
T. Shalhoub: Sure.
T. Parsons: I have a question about the character and how much freedom
you have to kind of riff on the OCD? It seems like there are moments in
different episodes are just complete adlib where youíre just playing
that personality trait more for the comedic effect. How much freedom do
you have to just kind of take an idea and run with it?
T. Shalhoub: Well, I have an enormous amount of freedom. In terms of
dialog, I try to stay really close to the script. We all do, but we do
have a writer with us on the set every moment, and weíre always pitching
ideas to this writer/producer and seeing what we can get away with. But
as far as physical behavior and things that I discover that may not be
in the script, but are, but we discover in whatever environment weíre
in, whether itís somewhere outdoors or somewhere in an office or
wherever the setting may be. Iíve been able to kind of just find things
and work with them. Thatís whatís really been so exciting because itís
kind of, thereís an endless, believe me, playing an OCD character with
some of those tendencies myself, thereís an endless, endless array of
stuff to become preoccupied with out there in the world, whether itís
intentioned by the script or completely unintentional.
Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Adam Krause with
A. Krause: Hello, Tony.
T. Shalhoub: Hello.
A. Krause: To be honest, most of my questions I was hoping to ask you
have been asked, so on a lighter note, knowing youíre a Packer fan, and
me being from Green Bay, Wisconsin myself, I was hoping to actually
maybe get your feelings on the possibility of Bret Favre playing for the
Vikings. Does that upset you, like it upsets most of us?
T. Shalhoub: Well, it doesnít really upset me, but it does Ė you know, I
think if someone Ė this guy, that someone like him who is so passionate
about his work and just cannot give it up, thinks he can give it up, and
then discovers that itís impossible to give it up, I think in some ways
I would be like him. I would retire and then come out of retirement 17
times. But I think whatís really, whatís a little bit unsettling to me
is this idea of being at Lambeau Field on that day when the Packers are
playing the Vikings, and he trots out through the tunnel wearing the
wrong uniform. I donít really have any desire to be at that game. Itíll
be all I can do to Ė you know, Iíll be watching it on television with my
remote getting ready to just flick it off really quickly. Iíve lost a
little sleep over that, but hey, the guy is just trying to make a buck,
Moderator: And your next question comes from Kendra White with SideReel.
K. White: Hello. Thanks for taking our questions. This is a bit of a
follow-up on a previous question. A number of seasons ago, it looked
like Monk could actually solve Trudyís murder. Has it always been the
plan to wait until the final season to possibly solve it, or were there
ideas along the way to solve it, and then continue on in a different
T. Shalhoub: No, I think from as far back as I can recall, it was always
part of Andy Breckmanís agenda to save the wrap-up until the end, I
think the biggest reason being that it keeps Monk in a bit of a fog, and
it keeps him on his heels, this unresolved, this one case that he just
cannot figure out, and that heís just too close to, to figure out. And
so I think it was always part of his plan.
Moderator: The next question comes from Roger Newcomb with We Love Soaps.
R. Newcomb: Hello, Tony. Good to talk to you. You played so many varying
characters over the years, and Iím looking forward to many more. Do you
have any interest to do more work behind the scenes?
T. Shalhoub: Yes, actually, because Iíve been a producer on Monk from the
very start, and thatís been such a great education for me, I have a
couple things in mind that I want to produce that arenít necessarily
vehicles for me. But I think itís time for me to branch out into
producing. And then I would also like to do some directing. Iíve done a
little of that in the past, but itís something Iíd like to do more of.
But, of course, I would never consider giving up acting. I still want to
keep that alive. But because of the experience that Iíve gained and the
contacts that Iíve made now, I think producing is definitely in my
Moderator: Your next question comes from the line of Steve Eramo with
Sci Fi and TV Talk.
S. Eramo: Good morning, Tony. A pleasure to speak with you today.
T. Shalhoub: Good morning.
S. Eramo: I wonder maybe if you could tell us what so far has made a
career in this industry rewarding for you, would you say?
T. Shalhoub: Well, a number of things. Having the opportunity to work in
all three different mediums: theater, film, and television. Having the
opportunity to work with people that I really respect, and having, most
importantly, which was my original objective from way, way back was to
have longevity in the industry. It was never really one of my goals to
gain tremendous amount of celebrity or make a tremendous amount of money
necessarily. But it was very important to me when I set out that I would
be able to do it for a long period of time and not burn out too quickly
or not paint myself into a corner necessarily by doing one thing, which
is another reason why I think itís a healthy and a perfect time to bring
Monk to an end because there are other things that I really want to do.
Moderator: Your next question comes from Mark Eastman with
M. Eastman: Hello, Tony. Thanks for taking the time. I actually just kind
of wanted to go Ė probably a lot of these things have been covered, but
what I was wondering is the die hard fans donít really need to be
convinced to tune in to the new season, but for those who maybe know the
show, but are not quite addicted yet, apart from the obvious things, is
there anything you can give us about maybe why we really need to tune in
to the new season?
T. Shalhoub: Well, yes, thatís a really good question. I think people
will be really gratified and startled maybe to see that the quality
remains really, really high, that the stories are interesting, that we
do a bit of what weíve tried to do every season, which is kind of break
our own rules and do some unexpected things. We always have interesting
guest stars. We try to bring in people to do things that they may not be
necessarily known for. We try to do our guest casting so that it isnít
completely on the nose. For example, we have Jay Moore coming in an
upcoming episode that we shot recently. He plays a sort of super lawyer,
a super kind of Ö Johnny Cochran super lawyer who never lost a case. And
itís really an interesting turn by Jay Moore. I think we keep it kind of
just off center enough to make it interesting. I hope we do.
Moderator: The question will come from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse Media.
S. Wiebe: Something that Iíve always liked about the series is that
Monkís OCD may be the source of some comedic moments, but itís never
been treated as a gimmick. Itís never been played that way. And every
year, Monk has to do something large like Iím thinking of the scene
where, the sequence where he was in the sewer.
T. Shalhoub: Yes.
S. Wiebe: Sometimes when itís life and death, he can overcome the OCD,
but we know heíll never be completely without it. How do you figure the
season will find him in terms of the OCD, solving the case with Trudy
will give him a little more control, or will he spin further out because
there wonít be that big goal?
T. Shalhoub: No, I think it will give him some Ė I think it will actually
help him, and it will give him some kind of peace and some kind of Ė and
in that peace, his OCD symptoms will begin to, you know, significantly
drop away. And when that happens, I think heíll be able to move forward
in his life. You know, he wonít feel so paralyzed. He wonít feel so Ė he
wonít have such an aversion to being with other people. He might even,
who knows Ė I donít know because the writers havenít revealed this to
me, but he might even be able to find love and romance in his life
again. All those things, I think, remain, you know, all those things are
on the table and are good possibilities.
the season premiere!
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