Phillip Keene On Major Crimes, On-Set… by Uinterview

Phillip Keene‘s start in acting sounds inconspicuous enough, especially the way he tells it. While there surely were obstacles and plenty of hard work that went into securing his role as Buzz Watson on both The Closer and Major Crimes, he modestly makes the whole story sound quite simple and easy.

While in college, Keene worked a series of ‘survivor’ jobs, as he calls them. He waited tables and work in retail but didn’t pursue acting, at first. Soon, he started to take a few acting classes and began to get roles in films and commercials.

His friends, who were already in the industry, became impressed with his quick progress and one day he got a call from Tony Alda, who was working on his biggest film, Role of a Lifetime, at the time.

“I was in the middle of cleaning my house when he called me and said, ‘Can you come down and play this part for me?'” Keene recalled while speaking with uInterview exclusively. “I hesitated for a moment and thought, ‘You know, I’ve got so much work to do around the house, I don’t know if I have time to come in and do your film today.'”

“But I did, and that got me started,” Keene said laughing.

And then things seemingly started to fall into place.

“I got this role on The Closer that started out with maybe two lines and now here I am, almost 13 years later, and I’ve got a story arc this last year, so it’s pretty good.”

Keene has appeared in every episode of Major Crimes‘ 92 episode run. You can catch him in the show’s sixth season coming out this fall on TNT.

 


Q: How did you get your start in acting? -

It was sort of by accident, it was something that I had always wanted to do but never really had the opportunity to pursue. I'd always had, what I would call, a series of 'survivor' jobs – I was waiting tables and working in retail. There wasn't really a lot of time to pursue anything else. It wasn't that when I went to college and got my degree in art history that I started taking acting classes and studying. I had friends in the business and they were interested in what it was that I was doing and the progress that I was making. I kept them updated. I did a film for Tony Alda, Allan Alda's brother, called 'Role of a Lifetime.' I was in the middle of cleaning my house when he called me and said, 'Can you come down and play this part for me?' I hesitated for a moment and though, 'You know, I've got so much work to do around the house, I don't know if I have time to come in and do your film today.' But I did, and that got me started. I booked a commercial and then I did some student films working with student directors at the L.A. Film School. And then I got this role on 'The Closer' that started out with maybe two lines and now here I am, almost 13 years later, and I've got a story arc this last year, so it's pretty good.