Earlier this month, TV Fanatic sent intrepid reporter Sean McKenna to the Atlanta set of Necessary Roughness. What did he discover there?
A few season two scoops from producer Kevin Dowling and, below, an interview with TK himself, Mehcad Brooks. Read on to learn what it's like for the actor to play such a playful and dark character...
Cocky. Ladies Man. Super Star.
These are just a few of the words to describe Necessary Roughness' football champ, Terence "TK" King, but the actor behind the confident swagger is certainly more modest and humble when it comes to discussing his work.
Mehcad Brooks sat down and chatted about his character's journey for season two and getting the chance to explore a more dramatic take in addition to TK's usual no care antics.
"TK and I are really different. Like he, he’s not even a dude I would hang out with. Tell you the truth. But I’ve known guys like that and it’s just about really you know, taking five minutes to believe your hype... There’s no boundaries, you’re put on a pedestal by society, so that means you’re above the societal mirror which means you can’t even really look at yourself in a realistic light."
Except Brooks enjoys having fun with TK - from his Twitter wars to hanging out in hot tubs naked - and proving just how much his character is not afraid to let it all out.
"TK's actually based on Keyshawn Johnson, who I don’t know from a can of paint. So, I based it on other guys that I know in the league... And I based it on my dad who was a wide receiver in the 70’s and 80’s... and then also based some of it on myself in my young 20’s. Like you know, but what if I had 85 million dollars and I was that stupid?"
The actor even joked about getting tips about his stance from pro NFL players:
"There was actually a conversation with a very well known wide receiver in a nightclub. And he was helping me with my stance and everybody’s dancing around us like we’re in New York and I’m like, alright. He’s like, the problem is your form is down perfect, but you look like a pointdexter."
Brooks paused before smiling: "So TK has a new stance."
He even shared his thoughts on bringing in some more real life NFL players, including Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers.
"I met Aaron at the Super Bowl," Brooks said. "We hung out for a couple days. He's a good dude. Awesome dude, and loves USA, so Aaron if you're reading this, Aaron if you're scouring the blogs for your name: Come on down."
But even with all the fun, season two really peels back TK's layers by returning him to his home town and illustrating his recovery from being shot at the end of the freshman season.
"I think it’s episode like 203 to 204 but he goes back to his old neighborhood and hides out for a couple episodes and gets into some shenanigans."
"It’s weird because especially after almost losing his life, he kind of doesn’t know where he belongs professionally. It’s almost as if, wow, you know, I catch a ball for a living. Is that important? I don’t know. He starts to question everything."
Brooks changed his tone and talked about researching Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and portraying it "as serious as possible."
"I think when it’s coming from an athlete or a football player, somebody that we see every day and that we allow into our home every day, it’s different, you know. I have athletes who come up to me and say hey, what you did was real, you know, it was realistic. And I hope that one of these days I’ll have a soldier come up to me and say, you know what, I went through that, my family went through that. And thank you for taking it seriously because it really affected us. So it’s not something that I make light of."
The actor continued:
"He goes through the same I think stages that most people would if they come to this near death experience and they come to terms with their own mortality. You know. Which [most of us] don’t on a day to day basis."
And TK certainly has a long way to go from getting back to "normal," but Brooks enjoys the challenge from an acting standpoint:
"That’s what I got into this business for, to be challenged. One minute you can have [TK] in a scene where he’s on the verge of tears and like not knowing what’s going on in his life and then really sort of losing grip of who he is. And then the next moment he’s having a Twitter war. Like he’s a 12 year old. And that’s fun to play."
Believe the hype. TK's return is touchdown worthy.
Look for Mehcad Brooks and the return of Necessary Roughness at 10/9c on USA Network, Wednesday, June 6.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.