Bradley Whitford grows moustache for new Fox cop comedy
Bradley Whitford has come to the press tour with a very abbreviated, bushy moustache on his upper lip and his signature pouffed-to-mask-balding hairdo. He looks like Hitler after a professional blow dry.
The moustache is very ugly. Whitford's grown it for his role in the new Fox cop comedy "Code 58."
Whitford plays an old-school cop who has been partnered with a much younger detective, played by Colin Hanks. Together, they have been banished to the most worst jobs in their departments. Except every week, those boring cases wind up intersecting with some humdingers. And hilarity ensues.
Fox will launch the show in May as part of its effort to get more people to watch the network over the summer.
TV critics politely ignore Whitford's facial handicap for the first half of the show's Q&A, but finally one critic can't stand the strain and blurts out "I'm fascinated by the moustache."
Women, Bradley, noted, are very "creeped out" by it.
"I don't know if it's 'Boogie Nights' or what," he says.
But, the affliction is necessary, he says philosophically, because "of a certain age of cops, there are mustaches," he explains. "Just look around."
Asked if it is the most difficult thing he has ever had to bring home for a part, Bradley responds "My growing a moustache - it reminds me of a lot of the work De Niro did in 'Raging Bull'."
Whitford's character in the show is a guy who is having trouble catching up to the modern world.
"Are there any parts of modern life that you just weren't here?" one critic wonders.
"I think that I share with him - suddenly I've gone from....thinking I'm a young actor to feeling like Ernest Borgnine. One thing I do share with this character is I think I have a bright future behind me," Whitford says.
The expression "code 58" is used by the Dallas police department - the show's shot there - to signal a routine investigation.
"You call in a Code 58 if there was a car with a couple of teenagers making out in it in a park," explains show creator Matt Nix, who also executive produces "Burn Notice."
And, because Whitford is an outspoken guy politically, one critic asked, apropos of nothing, "Are you a 'kill the health bill' Democrat, or a 'pass the health bill' Democrat?"
"Wow - I need a segue," Whitford starts, then notes, "I'm a 'pass it.' Definitely a 'pass it.' I think it's a good bill. I wear makeup for a living."
"Code 58" premieres Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m.
Lisa de Moraes
January 12, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories: Winter TV Press Tour 2010
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