Veteran character actor Jack McGee says playing Chief Jerry Reilly on TV's "Rescue Me" has been the role of his career.
A former firefighter who has appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows, McGee plays a hard-boiled, politically incorrect father figure to a group of New York City firefighters, coping with the loss of their brothers in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Referring to how his character has, over the course of two seasons, dealt with his wife's battle with Alzheimer's disease and his feelings about his gay son's lifestyle, the native New Yorker told UPI: "It gives me the opportunity to actually do some acting. ... A lot of times you make your money as a blue-collar worker, playing a cop or whatever, but this role has some meat to it, some substance."
"It is the role of my career, thus far, and hopefully, it will open more doors," McGee added. "I just hope it will lead to more work."
The second season finale of "Rescue Me," starring Denis Leary, is set to air Tuesday night.