Brad Benedict – Too Close To Home
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) Aside from shooting “Too Close To Home,” I have been focusing on my own personal creative projects and endeavors primarily. I will soon be releasing a 10-episode web series called “The Hollywood Box” that I produced and star in. It is a dramatic sports series set in the world of competitive fitness, inspired by the recent explosion of CrossFit enthusiasm. I am also writing and producing a comedic cartoon where I will play a fantastical version of myself.
Q) What can you tease about the new season of “Too Close To Home” and with your character JB?
A) Oh man, what I can say is that the fans are in for a real treat this season! With the addition of some amazing new characters and storylines, the premiere episode will pick up where we left off with an unspeakable tragedy that threatens the well-being of everyone living in Happy, Alabama. JB’s reckless behavior threatens to rip apart everything and everyone he cares about. It might be tough to imagine JB actually cares about anybody, but deep down I believe he has a heart and allows his guilty conscience to lead him down some dark paths.
Q) How will dynamics shift as this season progresses?
A) When humans feel desperate and scared, they tend to try to find way to regain control and power. This season you will see the trail of lies deepen as the residents of Happy try to find any sense of security. Characters will surprise you every episode with their actions and words. Tyler Perry wrote some really fantastic plot twists this season that I can’t wait to see come to life each week.
Q) What continues to challenge you about this role?
A) I find it challenging to continue finding empathy for JB and some of his deplorable actions. JB is so far from Brad aside from both being from the South. I have to dig and explore to really feel like I can understand his thought process and motivations for his actions. I feel if I can’t empathize in some form or fashion with a character I play, I cannot find the truth. This challenge is also the fun part of acting!
Q) Who are some guest stars you can share are in store for this season on “Too Close To Home?”
A) I have to be careful answering that question. The plot twists are a big part of the fun of this show, but I can say is that new and old enemies surface in Happy, Alabama and heighten the stakes to a whole new level! As current mysteries unfold, new ones are created in the process. One guest star that returns is the amazing Heather Locklear. Heather plays the First Lady of the United States and brings the heat as she seeks revenge.
Q) With such a large cast, is there someone you haven’t worked with yet or that much that you would like more scenes with or to work with at all?
A) I want to work with everybody! One really cool thing I have discovered working on “Too Close To Home” is that each time you work with a new actor, the process is completely different. The connection is different. The preparation is different. The character thoughts that bubble up are different. I learn from each one of my co-stars when I get to do a scene with them, and I feel I am a more prepared actor the next time Tyler yells “action.”
Q) Is there a moment you’re really excited or nervous about that you are looking forward to seeing fan reactions to?
A) Without a doubt, yes! Already after the first eight episodes aired I received some backlash from a few fans due to the actions of the character I play. People essentially were accusing me of possessing some of the hateful and dark characteristics JB displays. While I try to take that as a compliment in that I am doing my job as an actor successfully, it is interesting to see that some viewers can’t separate the actor from the character.
Q) Since you are a part of social media, what kind of fan feedback do you receive about your role?
A) See my previous answer. Honestly, the fan feedback in general has been extremely positive and supportive. Many fans have reached out and told me that they appreciate my commitment to the character and the craft. They have expressed that they have extreme disgust with JB and want to see him pay for his actions. The fans I have been able to meet in person often comment on how I am the complete opposite of my character. Maybe they’re just being nice, but it makes me feel happy to hear I am doing my job being a character fans love to hate.
Q) Is there anything you want to be sure fans know about JB?
A) The layers will continue to be peeled back. There is more than meets the eye with JB, just as there is with almost any human. Maybe he will end up surprising you one day!
Q) What have you taken away from your experiences being a part of “TCTH?”
A) Life can change in an instant, for the better and for the worse. But just keep swimming. Keep working hard to achieve your goals, give life your all, be kind to others and ride the wave. Tomorrow is a new day, but don’t wait for tomorrow. And lean into the things that scare you the most. You might just surprise yourself when you land on your feet smiling and proud and stronger than before.
Follow Brad Benedict: