Now nearing the end of your third season -- and heading toward your fourth -- as Officer Sam Swarek on
how do you keep the character fresh for yourself?
: I want to find variations of choices, so I think in terms of what we've done. I try to look back and then try to find some differences. The way I navigate scenes is through what I perceive to be the emotional truth of the character, what he wants from moment to moment.
If I say, "I'm going to take you home," and (
Missy Peregrym, as Sam's colleague and girlfriend Andy) says, "No, you're not," her impulse is to physicalize that by walking farther into the room. That gives me the message, "She means business," but Sam's also looking out for her interests. And she can push him off only so far.
: How did that translate into last season's scene when Sam cautioned Andy about diving fully into a romance by cautioning her, "There's no going back"?
Ben Bass: We want to be enjoying it when it happens as much as we can, as those characters. And in feeling that moment, we want the audience to be able to share that.
: Are you able to separate the professional from the personal easily in such an emotional scene?
Ben Bass: In a certain sense, it's very procedural. I'm thinking, "How can I bring what's happening in my personal life into the scenes, and maybe color the scenes with that?" I find those kinds of challenges tricky.