"The legacy ['of NYPD Blue'] is a tribute to the men and women who do police work ... police work is something so much more difficult than just chasing bad guys and wearing a badge and carrying a gun. Life is so much more complicated and the show is a dedication to them."
About This Interview
Dennis Franz was interviewed for two-and-a-half-hours at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters in North Hollywood, CA. Franz talks about his early years breaking into the theater, including his work performing as a regular member of the Organic Theater Company in Chicago in the early 1970s. He describes acting in several Robert Altman and Brian DePalma films, and details his work on Hill Street Blues - outlining his storylines and speaking of his experiences acting with the ensemble cast. Franz discusses the short-lived baseball series Bay City Blues, its subsequent cancellation, and his return to Hill Street Blues as "Norman Buntz" - a character different from the one he previously played. He comments on the spin-off series Beverly Hills Buntz, and then details his time on NYPD Blue. Franz speaks in depth about his character, "Andy Sipowicz," (by Franz's count, his 28th role as a cop), his suggestions for his character (including an idea to introduce a mixed relationship for him, which was rejected,) and his reaction to the nudity and violence on the show. He shares what he believes distinguishes the show from other cop shows, talks of working with writer-producer David Milch, and recalls stories of NYPD Blue castmates. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on October 12, 2006.