TV Critics Tour: Bratt Learns That Art Imitates Life

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Beverly Hills, Calif. – Actor Benjamin Bratt admitted that initially he thought the storyline for his new series on A&E Network sounded too farfetched – and then learned it was based on a real person.

In fact, Bratt appeared Wednesday on a Television Critics Association panel on The Cleanerwith the man whose story the scripted series is based on, Warren Boyd, who is co-executive producer for the series. The Cleaner debuts next Tuesday.

Bratt plays William Banks, a former addict who after hitting rock bottom struck a deal with God to dedicate is life to helping others, along with a team he has enlisted. Boyd’s real-life story is the inspiration for The Cleaner, A&E’s first scripted drama in more than six years.

Bratt said that his first impression when he was approached about the show was that it was “an interesting construct for a television series, an interesting premise, however a little bit unbelievable.”

Bratt said he told The Cleaner’s producers, “I actually dig this character, and I think it could be a really good series. My only concern is that how believable will it be that there’s such a guy as an extreme interventionist and what the hell is that?” According to Bratt, the producers “just chuckled and they said, ‘Oh, you didn’t know? It’s actually based on a real guy who happens to be one of the co-producers of the show.’” 

During the session, Boyd said he now has 17 permanent people on his team, with 30 to 40 others on-call.

Boyd said the show’s depiction of his life and family is spot-on.

Referring to Bratt, Boyd said, “It’s like he was watching my life…as he even pulls off the mannerisms….I can tell you that pilot’s almost exact.”    


For more TCA coverage, click here.

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