Spotlight On… Brad Benedict

Interview with "Too Close to Home"'s Brad Benedict

Interview with "Too Close to Home"'s Brad Benedict

Photos by E-Studios Photography

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Actor Brad Benedict stars on TLC’s Too Close to Home, which recently wrapped its second season. We spoke with Benedict about his character, J.B., the show’s success as TLC’s first scripted series and his pop culture musts.

Too Close to Home is TLC’s first scripted series. What’s it like to be on a pioneer show for the network?
It’s an honor, exciting and fun. You don’t really know what to expect—which is the case with any new show—but it also comes with some pressure. You want to definitely bring your best and bring a new show to the network that can be successful, especially when you’re working for a guy like Tyler Perry, who has such a strong track record… [But] anything that has a lot of pressure on it tends to be the most fun project, for me.

How would you describe your character, JB, and his arc over two seasons?
It’s been less of a arc, and more of a downward spiral. JB started in a place where he was already in some trouble. He was at his wit’s end, trying to help himself and Bonnie, his girlfriend at the time… At that point, he decided to start running drugs. I feel like a lot of times in life, there’s that one decision that can be a turning point, where if you’d made one little different choice, all of your progress could be going in a different direction. So when JB brought violence and criminals to town, [he] put his family and friends in danger, his drug and alcohol abuse picked up and he [had] volatile behavior… At the beginning of the series, he was doing something to try and help his life and those around him. At this point, he’s just trying to [assert] power and dominance over anyone he can, especially his half-brother, Brody [Brock O’Hurn]… He’s really gone to a place of hopelessness.

Brad Benedict

Where would you like to see JB in a season 3?
Part of the fun of the show so far is that the twists and turns are limitless. I enjoy getting to be surprised each week and seeing where the character goes… I will say, at some point, I’m hoping that we get to peel back all of the layers of JB; [I want to] see that he comes from a troubled past and has a big heart, but he’s got to get out of his own way. I’d love to see him become a sympathetic character because it’s more fun to have that arc. 

I’d also love for Brody and JB to be on the same team and fight [against] the Washington DC crowd. Brock O’Hurn and I joke every day because if we ever get to 100 episodes, Tyler Perry promised us we’d get to ride a horse. We just desperately want to be cowboys!

What philosophy do you keep in your daily life?
People say you should live in the moment and be present, live in the now… It never occurred to me how to accomplish that, but I recently released that being exposed to new things, [it will help you] really feel alive. So expose yourself to something new and expand your scope every day. Do something that scares you; it’s something I’m trying to implement in my own life.