How did Broots end up working for the Centre?
TPD: How did Broots end up working for the Centre? Did he realize who they were and what they did? Jon: No, he had no idea what he was getting himself into when he got the job. He just knew that he was qualified. His skills, his computer skills, were gonna get him a good position but he really didn’t know. He had no clue. And then there’s a follow up to that I think. TPD: And how do you consider that to have affected his conscience and morals? Jon: Well I think it made him quite a bit more cynical about the world. That the things that he thought were going to be, were pillars in society, I think he started to question everything, he started to realize, “hey, you know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist but maybe there is a conspiracy.”
Fan Patti asks about Broots working at the Centre.
TPD: Patti asks I want to know why Broots worked at the Centre. Did he know what they were about when he started working there? Jon: Patti, that’s a good question because that’s one that I’ve always, that’s one of the most predominant questions whenever I delved into Broots’ character, he should have known when they asked him if he has any relatives living on his employment sheet that there might have been something wrong with… He had no idea what he was getting himself into. And once he found himself there, he really was more afraid to leave than to stay.
Was Broots on Jarod’s or Miss Parker’s side?
TPD: This question comes from Vicky Ponty. We know whose side Broots was on, but what about you? Team Parker or Team Jarod? Jon: That’s a really tough question and I don’t know if I can really answer that because I think I always felt, I always felt that Broots was pretty aware that Miss Parker was actually on Jarod’s side but was not able to express that. I think that there was a lot of pressure on Miss Parker that we, all in the Centre, were not quite as aware of but she had to play a role. I always felt that, I always felt she was playing a role and I always felt that there was going to be a moment where I would turn to her and say “come on, we’ve got to help this guy.” But it never could happen.
Did you make up a backstory for Broots?
tPd: Did you mentally developed a backstory for Broots or did you just go with the script? Jon: Well, I emotionally developed a backstory for Broots, not mentally. No, just kidding. Yeah, I did, I actually did. I always try to develop a history for every character I play. You have to figure what are the circumstances which lead up to where that character is in time that we find the character in any stories. So, yeah, you always have to build a story and that’s part part and parcel to building my relationships with other characters. So yes, there’s a history.
What were your favorite episodes?
tPd: What was your favorite episode on the Pretender to film in particular? Jon: Well, I, you know, my sentimental favorite was the first episode that I ever did and I can’t… It wasn’t Curious Jarod… Every Picture Tells a Story, that was it, because that was the beginning and I knew right away when I came on the set. And the relationship with Andrea Parker, that plays Miss Parker, was immediate and i felt like it clicked and it was like “I’m gonna be here for a while.” I just felt that. So sentimentally, that one. But I think that Cold Dick was a lot of fun. I like the idea of having the story get twisted up like that and I like playing with different realities, I love those kind of things. And I can’t remember the episode where there was the second Pretender, but it was the one where I had the spoon as the weapon.
ThePretenderDaughter asks Jon what is Broots’s first name?
tPd: And this question comes from Judy, who wants to know what the heck is your first name? On the Pretender that is. We know your name is Jon. Jon: I’m not allowed to give that out. I’m not allowed to give… Broots is a code name. I can’t give it out. tPd: What letter does it start with? Jon: I can’t even tell you. tPd: Do you know? Jon: I do. tPd: Fine.
ThePretenderDaughter asks Jon Gries about his fondest Pretender memories.
tPd: What is your all time fondest memory from working on the Pretender? Jon: There’s… I mean… Gosh that’s a hard question, you know one memory… I think that there’s every aspect of every day there was something, everyday working, whether it was Patrick Bauchau wandering around and kind of musing to himself and disappearing and everybody went “Where did Patrick go?” And you know, invariably, you would find him just walking around and drinking a cup of coffee looking at things and kind of humming to himself. It always made me really happy cause you knew, you kinda knew he wasn’t going to be too far off. He never wandered too far but wandered to a place where no one would think of wandering… and he wasn’t like he would go to craft service. That would be kinda in the way, on the way wherever he was going. And just getting the cast together and all of us sitting around. And we do these crossover shows, where actors would come over from other shows on NBC and they would say “this is such friendly, warm, loving environment and we don’t have that on our show” – and I won’t mention which show. But they were not. They were like “This is unreal. How is it so nice? Why is everybody getting along so well?” So I’m looking over to Steven Long Mitchell over there and just so you know.
ThePretenderDaughter asks: Which actor did you prefer to work with?
tPd: Was it easier to play opposite Miss Parker, Mr Lyle or Jarod? Jon: Clearly, no offense to Mr Lyle and no offense to Jarod, but hands down it was easier, always easier to play against Miss Parker. tPd: And why is that? Jon: Well, she is very lovely and, even though she would be mean to me, it would give me something to play of because Broots liked it. Anyway, but the thing is that heterosexually and Mr Lyle although he is a handsome dude and Jarod is a handsome dude and a nice guy to me, I always really liked playing against Miss Parker because I never knew what I was gonna get. She always surprised me.
The Pretender Lives: ThePretenderDaughter asks Jon Gries Questions #10
tPd: While filming the Pretender who messed up their lines the most? Jon: I would say, I mean, I don’t know who messed up their lines the most but who was the most interesting to work with because he was not certain always of what was going on, and sometimes to his credit we would be shooting two episodes at once and sometimes we would be bouncing back and forth between the two, so Patrick Bauchau sometimes would very candidly be standing there on the set, we all would be ready to do it, just about to go and he turned and go, “So, what are we doing here? What is this? What do I say?” And we would go laughing at him because he would just come from the other episode, he just be shooting, but he would wait to the last second to finally go “And what are we doing this particular moment? Oh ok…” Or he would say something from the other episode and it’d be a little wrong. “No, no Patrick. You can’t say that because the other episode is after this episode and you’re giving away information that we can’t give in this episode” and he would go “Oh really? Oh, ok…”