USA Network uncorks another of its “blue sky” dramas this Friday at 10/9c with Common Law, in which Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell) and Warren Kole (The Chicago Code) play Wes Mitchell and Travis Marks, LAPD homicide detectives who, after one pulls a gun on the other, are sent to couple’s therapy (overseen by Lost beauty Sonya Walger). Ealy and Kole stopped by TVLine’s Times Square office to reveal how much — or little? — they’ve learned about each other while shooting Season 1.
TVLINE | Since Common Law is about partners who go to couple’s therapy, I thought I’d start with a few questions to see how well you know each other. So Michael, when is Warren’s birthday?
MICHAEL EALY | Oh, we’re so going to faiiiiil. [Laughs] I know it’s September. Am I right so far?
WARREN KOLE | Yeah.
EALY | Yeah. All right. The seventeenth?
KOLE | Close. The twenty-third.
EALY | I wanted to say twenty-first, but I knew I was wrong.
TVLINE | And Warren, when is Michael’s?
KOLE | I’m going to look like an a–hole; I don’t even…. June 22nd?
TVLINE | I’ll give you a hint, it’s within two days of mine, which is August 1.
KOLE | [To Ealy] Did you have a birthday on set?
EALY | No.
KOLE | August third?
EALY | There it is.
TVLINE | Boom, he nailed it.
EALY | Yeah, he “nailed it” – “June 22nd.”
TVLINE | What is Warren’s breakfast cereal of choice?
EALY | A cigarette…? It’s true, the dude doesn’t eat breakfast.
KOLE | That’s not true.
TVLINE | I read somewhere it’s Sugar Pops — or as they’re now known, Corn Pops.
KOLE | You’re right! I do like Corn Pops.
EALY | Do you really? I don’t eat breakfast cereal.
KOLE | You like your burrito.
EALY | He gave my favorite burrito a name, “The Protein Grenade.” It’s chicken breast, turkey bacon, spinach and avocado.
TVLINE | What’s Michael’s favorite way to pass time on the set between shooting?
KOLE | He watches episodes of Scooby-Doo. No, he likes to eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, he likes to talk dirty….. He’s like the rest of us, he just grabs asses.
EALY | “Just grabs asses”….. [Laughs] Crazy.
TVLINE | This is a good one: Did Warren play a good guy or a bad guy on 24?
EALY | He was a good guy.
TVLINE | [To Kole] No, you killed Blake Lively’s brother, didn’t you?
KOLE | It was one of those things where he seems like a good guy and then turns out to be nefarious. I was Secret Service, protecting the First Gentleman… and then ultimately trying to murder him.
EALY | We are not passing this test.
TVLINE | Did or did not Michael cut hair in the Barbershop movies?
KOLE | Did not.
EALY | No, I was a barber. In fact I was the only person who knew how to actually cut hair when we started. I taught myself in college.
TVLINE | Warren, would you let him cut your hair in a pinch?
KOLE | [To Ealy] Could you cut my hair?
EALY | [Shakes head] No. But I can give you a good buzz cut.
TVLINE | OK, the test is over. Outside of Common Law, do you guys have any favorite USA Network series?
EALY | Suits. Suits is one of my favorite shows regardless of network. Like, I genuinely love that show.
TVLINE | The idea of cops entering therapy together. Is this based on any real thing or is it just a fun conceit for a TV show?
EALY | The producers were looking at doing a buddy action-comedy on television, and this is what they came up with.
KOLE | The characters are modeled after two of our executive producers, Karim Zreik, and Dan Shotz, each of whom have their idiosyncrasies but they know each other so well.
TVLINE | Michael, what are your character Travis’ best and worst qualities?
EALY | One of his best qualities is that he’s good at what he does and he is passionate about it — like, even at the risk of alienating others, if he believes in something surrounding the case he will pursue it until it’s dead. His biggest flaw to me is it that he rushes to judgment. Like, “I’m telling you he’s guilty!”
TVLINE | And what about Wes?
KOLE | I’ll start with the bad quality–
EALY | Yeah, he has a lot of those.
KOLE | He has shut himself off in terms of he doesn’t think he needs people anymore. He doesn’t need relationships. He’s so focused on being a cop and redeeming himself for this event that happened to him in the past and why he became a cop – and that makes him a little grumpy and too analytical. But he’s got a strong moral fiber to him, and he’s a good guy with a sardonic humor to him, even if he doesn’t realize it’s f–king hilarious. He’s a funny guy to be around.
TVLINE | Travis and Wes are both single but the distinctive feature seems to be that Travis gets an absurd amount of action. Right?
EALY | It’s not absurd….. I thought it was going to be absurd.
KOLE | It’s too much, man.
TVLINE | You sleep with, like, three women in the pilot alone.
EALY | [Chuckles] I know, but as the season progresses… it’s not that bad.
TVLINE | Now if things ever do get too dangerous for the boys, Warren, you “know a guy” at S.H.I.E.L.D., right?
KOLE | That’s right. I can call in the heli-carrier.
TVLINE | I saw The Avengers this weekend and you have a scene or two with Cobie Smulders.
KOLE | I guess I didn’t tell anybody about this because everybody is like, “Is that you?” And there my head is, like 20 stories high….
EALY | Did you speak in the movie?
KOLE | I had a few lines. Figured maybe they’d use them, maybe they wouldn’t.
TVLINE | How much of that $207 million are you seeing?
EALY | The residuals will be nice, brother.
KOLE | The residuals won’t be bad at all. Lay them down. Wacko-jacko.
EALY | You might get Avatar-type residuals man. I’m here to tell you. Trust and believe!