Friday, September 17, 2021

Frank Harts Talks BLM and Fox’s ‘Prodigal Son’ / EUR Exclusive!

L-R: Lou Diamond Phillips and Frank Harts in PRODIGAL SON airing Tuesday, on FOX. ©2020 Fox Media LLC Cr: Phil Caruso/FOX

*“Prodigal Son” on Fox has returned for a second season and it delved right into a Black Lives Matter storyline where even detective JT Tarmel (Frank Harts) faces the barrels of guns from his fellow men in blue. The first time I spoke to Frank was at the 2019 premiere party for  “Prodigal Son” at The Roxy in New York City. In a recent phone conversation, Frank was excited about Season 2 and his expanded role.

Frank, how was it for you coming into a second season with the world in chaos?

With the events of the world post-Floyd and Taylor, the script called for a different approach to a black man playing a black cop on television. Fortunately, after conversations, we were all on the same page.

How difficult was it for you to play a role so many Black men find themselves in?

I was able to understand what JT was going through just by being a black man in America. It was scary because you had a guy who served a number of tours in the military, bleeds blue, and to have him come up against one of his fellow officers like that, because of his brown skin, it was surreal. It was the toughest situation JT ever found himself in. After serving in the military, almost being shot, and blown up, here’s a fellow cop choking me out. JT could’ve demolished him in a half-second. But he had to stand there, figuring out what he was going to do to one of his own.

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On a lighter note, how much fun was it shooting the exorcist scene?

Let me tell you, there wasn’t enough room on my skin for the goosebumps that came while we were shooting that stuff. I don’t get freaked out that easily. Maybe because I’m a little insane. But that episode is so strange and weird. It was the combination of ‘The Exorcist’ content mixed with everything that was going on in the world. The world is upside down. We were coming back to a set where everybody is wearing a mask, they’re off on their own, and you can’t talk to anybody. And on top of all this, you got these crazy people that are possessed.

What do you think of Malcolm’s incredible weapons collection?

I think it’s awesome. And I think JT is very much into things like that as well. JT is a military man and he knows his weapons. But these are some exotic ones. Some things that he’s never seen up close. They’re pretty cool.

Did you hear what Whoopi Goldberg said on “The View,” that “Prodigal Son” was one of the things she most looked forward to in 2021?

Whoopi, Whoopi, Whoopi! I ran through the house and almost jumped off the balcony into the Hudson river when she said that; I was so excited. And that’s one of the answers to your earlier question about the popularity of ‘Prodigal Son.’ Not only do we have diehard fans all around the world, but we have people like Whoopi who are digging the show.

Prodigal Son” tonight and every Tuesday at 9/c on Fox.    Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



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