"A brick layer, lays bricks...I'm an Actor, that's what I do." Michael Chiklis.
Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Michael Chiklis was remembered as the humorous and creative police commissioner Tony Scali on ABC’s "The Commish" (1991-1996) before receiving rave reviews for portraying Vic Mackey, the extremely corrupt cop yet a devoted father and a loyal partner to other cops on FX series "The Shield" (2002-Present). On the silver screen, the 5' 8½'' actor, who debuted as real-life comedian/actor John Belushi in the controversial biopic Wired (1989), portrayed Ben Grimm/The Thing in Tim Story’s film adaptation of Marvel's comics series, Fantastic Four (2005), and will return in its upcoming sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. His other upcoming film projects include Rise: Blood Hunter and The Legend of Secret Pass.
Childhood and Family:
On August 30, 1963, Michael Chiklis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He has a brother called Peter. His parents, Charlie and Katherine, were born in Lesbos, Greece and migrated to America. They owned a Barbershop.
Chiklis, nicknamed “Chick” or “Chicky,” is fluent in Greek, Italian and Spanish. He attended Andover High School, Massachusetts, and later studied acting at Boston University's School for the Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in 1986.
On June 21, 1992, Chiklis married his current wife, actress Michelle Moran. They have two daughters together, Odessa (born in 1999) and Autumn (born on October 9, 1993).
During his offs, Chiklis, who loves Greek dancing, likes to travel overseas, especially to his house in Lesbos, Greece. He enjoys classic rock and is a huge fan of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. He also does charity work related to autism.
"When I was a kid and my family went to California for vacation, we came to Hollywood. I told myself and my parents that I'd be there again, but the next time it was going to be for a movie. And here I was." Michael Chiklis.
Receiving his stage union (Equity) card at the age of 13 while performing in a production of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts, Michael Chiklis, with a BFA under his belt, packed for the Big Apple to began auditioning process. Within his first week of arrival, Chiklis was chosen over 200 other candidates to portray real-life comedian/actor John Belushi in the controversial biopic Wired (1989). Unfortunately, the film, which was directed by Larry Peerce and was adapted from the book “Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi” written by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, was a critical and commercial failure.
Chiklis subsequently went to the small screen. After making his TV-movie debut in the detective-themed Blues for Buder (1989), he eventually got his first big break in 1991 when he snagged the titular role on ABC drama comedy series "The Commish." In the one-hour show that lasted for four years, Chiklis portrayed the lead character of the humorous and creative police commissioner Tony Scali, who is also a good natured and kind-hearted family man. Meanwhile, he also reprised the role in the ABC TV-movies The Commish: In the Shadow of the Gallows (1995) and The Commish: Redemption (1996). Additionally, he made his Broadway debut in 1997, replacing Rob Becker in "Defending the Caveman."
The new millennium saw Chiklis headlined the NBC four-episode sitcom "Daddio" and portrayed Jerome 'Curly' Howard in TV biopic of the famed slapstick comedy team, The Three Stooges, which also stars Paul Ben-Victor as Moe and Evan Handler as Larry. Two years later, he received his most critically-acclaimed role to date, as Vic Mackey, the extremely corrupt police officer yet a devoted father and a loyal partner to other cops on his Strike Team on FX series "The Shield." The show, premiered on March 12, 2002, is currently in its 6th season and has been renewed for a 7th and final season. For his performance on the show, Chiklis has won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama, and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
“I don't know that you could quantify what ‘The Shield’ has meant to me on so many different levels. Obviously, what it did for my career at that time especially, miraculous, fantastic, awards and all that, great but to be able to go to work every day and be so excited to go there, and it's really been an actor's dream come true. I hate sounding like the overworked cliché but that's what it is. It's familial. You see the rapport between me and Walt and Kenny and C.C. and Jay Karnes and Benito, really that's something you can't force either. As you know, sometimes there are hits and it's not so pleasant between the cast mates. You see that all around. But to not only love the material, to not only love what the material has done for you and your career, but to also really love and respect everybody there and not have all kinds of egos pushing each other out of the way. In the first season we said we were like the Red Wings, everybody scored. We always use a sports analogy but now we're like the Patriots. There's no stars on that team. Even now that Tom Brady's emerged as the star; he doesn't look at himself that way. We've always been sort of terrified to look at it any other way because that's when the demise starts. We always want to stay hungry and wanting to do the best s**t that we can do.” Michael Chiklis.
During his hefty long work in "The Shield," Chiklis essayed another popular role, as Ben Grimm/The Thing, the grumpy yet gentle pilot who is transformed into a stony colossus with superhuman strength and endurance in Tim Story’s film adaptation of Marvel's comics series, Fantastic Four (2005), alongside Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Julian McMahon. He is scheduled to reprise the role in its upcoming sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which is set for a June 15, 2007 release.
Being asked about his role and the comic version, Chiklis revealed: "I thoroughly enjoyed the (Fantastic Four) comic when I was a kid, and the opportunity to play (The Thing) was something I was really psyched about. But it became probably the most daunting experience of my life once I got into that suit. It was just brutally hot, brutally difficult. I did not have a great time in the making of the movie because it was so physically and emotionally taxing for me. It was just really, really difficult." He added: "Ben Grimm is the everyman that's the reluctant hero. He's the one in the Fantastic Four that doesn't want these powers, doesn't want to be the Thing. Certainly he can't switch back and forth, so he's really got the biggest problem of all of them. And he's a curmudgeonly kind of a guy. I really admire the strength of character of this character, and that's what sort of drew me to him. He's the heart and soul of this group."
Chiklis has completed writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez's supernatural thriller Rise: Blood Hunter alongside Lucy Liu and Carla Gugino. He will also soon wrap Steve Trenbirth's animated film, The Legend of Secret Pass.
Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Drama, "The Shield," 2004
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama, "The Shield," 2003
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, "The Shield," 2002
Television Critics Association (TCA): Individual Achievement in Drama, "The Shield," 2002