Major Crimes interview: Graham Patrick Martin on Rusty’s evolution, season 6

Graham Patrick Martin

We’re back with another edition of our Major Crimes Month interview series, and if you love Rusty, this one is for you. Graham Patrick Martin was kind enough to lend us a few minutes at the show’s 100th episode party recently to talk about anything and everything pertaining to his character — his past, his present, and also his future.

To be specific, Martin touches on everything from his personal journey over the years to working with Billy Burke (Phillip Stroh) to also where he pictures his character years down the road … provided, of course, he makes it there based on what’s coming up over the course of season 6 (premiering on TNT October 31). This is set to be the final season of the show, and the time of the interview was days after the cancellation news was first revealed.

CarterMatt – What’s the mood like now? Is it celebratory?

Graham Patrick Martin – Yeah! It is celebratory. It’s bittersweet. It’s obviously sad to say goodbye to the family and everything, but you really can’t ask for much more than 100 episodes, 105 episodes. That’s massive and we’ve been so lucky. We have such awesome fans. I’m not just saying that in the general actor ‘oh, we love our fans’ sort of way. Seriously, our fans have kept us on the air. They are so aggressively obsessed with the show. It’s just awesome. It’s been such a beautiful experience for me and I’m never going to forget it.

When you look back to when you got the first script to where you see the character now, what are you the most proud of in terms of his growth?

It’s so funny because it’s sort of mirrored my own life — not that my life is anything like Rusty’s, but in the sense that I wasn’t the most mature kid at 20. I was a little wild, but then I got this gig and I started working on it. I was introduced to this cast of really experienced and awesome actors and as Rusty sort of matured, as did I as an actor. I’m proud of Rusty because he started off as a teen prostitute and now he’s a law student. I started off as a young, wild actor and I think I’m a little more of an adult now.

This show has put Rusty through hell, so what’s left to challenge him now?

Law school. He’s also still dealing with the heartbreak in his life and he’s frightened every day by Phillip Stroh. That’s really going to come to a head this season. I think that the fans are in for a lot — a lot — this year.

Working with Billy can be so intense…

Yeah. Intense. I’ll never forget the first episode I worked with him on was the series finale of The Closer and he’s this really intense guy and a fantastic actor. I was terrified of him! I felt like he was the character. I had barely said two words to him the whole time, but on the very last day [of filming the episode] he comes up to me and in his total Billy Burke voice is like ‘did I see you on Two and a Half Men last night?’. I was like ‘yeah,’ and he goes ‘I love that show, man.’ He broke me down and was totally cool. We bonded a little over Two and a Half Men.

Years down the road, do you imagine what Rusty’s endgame could be? How do you picture the rest of his life, provided he makes it through the season?

I think you’ve seen Rusty deal with a lot with family. I like to think he goes into family law. He struggled a few seasons ago with ‘what am I, an advocate or a lawyer?’. I think he’s really going to go into family law. I think that’s what his goal is — to help kids and families.

More Major Crimes news and interviews

We’ve got many other interviews online with several other cast members from the show, and also one with creator James Duff to boot. You can read all of these over at the link here.

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