Michael Chiklis is back on television screens with No Ordinary Family, starring as a father of two who, along with his wife and kids, develops superpowers after a freak accident. And after years on the gritty cable drama The Shield, Chiklis is happy to be on a show his kids can watch.
“One of the big reasons for taking this job is, you know, my poor 11-year-old really doubted that I was even an actor,” he says with a laugh.
But pleasing a broader audience has presented unexpected challenges.
“Doing a show that is for a broad audience is the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted because we live in a time where everything is broken into a niche entertainment,” he explains. “With The Shield, we were like, ‘If you watch, fine.’
“But with this show, here’s the challenge: You go too dark, you lose the family. You go too light, you lose the young men. You get adults eye-rolling and stuff like that. So then if you don’t go too far in any directions, you just become nothing, mediocre.”
Given the series’ premise of a family of superheroes, Chiklis says there have been comparisons between the show and Pixar’s animated film, The Incredibles, something the actor appreciates. But there are differences.
“That’s one less-than-two-hour movie. It took seven years to make,” he says. “They could tweak every moment, every nuance, every flick of the eyebrow, everything in that movie, and it’s an anime on top of it. They’re not bound by gravity or anything else, and we are shooting a live version of it every nine working days.”