Richard Ferreira made several sacrifices to become a Bonita Springs city councilman.
He gave up his free time. He gave up his summers in Rhode Island. He gave up his acting career.
Have you caught the preview to this week’s episode of “Brotherhood” on Showtime? You might recognize the back of Ferreira’s head. He’s the one holding a switchblade.
Following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ferreira was an actor before jumping into the political arena.
OK, this might be a stretch. But Ferreira does have a small part in this Sunday’s episode, which airs at 10 p.m. The series was filmed last year before Ferreira was elected to City Council.
“It’s one of those life experiences that is something different,” Ferreira said about his small-screen debut. “At the Oscars you hear the actors saying, ‘I want to thank the writers. I want to thank the directors.’ Well they’re right because there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.”
“Brotherhood” is Showtime’s answer to HBO’s “The Sopranos.” The series is about two Irish brothers going in different directions. Tommy Caffee, played by Jason Clarke, is an ambitious Rhode Island politician. Michael Caffee, played by Jason Issac, is an underground kingpin who has returned to Providence.
Ferreira’s character isn’t much of a stretch for him. The former police officer plays a Secret Service agent.
“The role itself wasn’t hard,” Ferreira said. “But it was extremely detailed even for such a small part.”
Ferreira’s scene lasts about one minute. Yet, he spent more than nine hours on the set. It ended up being great preparation for sitting through a City Council meeting.
His one scene also had 10 takes. Once again, just like City Council.
“One time they said I was walking too fast,” Ferreira said. “I was like ‘how can you walk too fast.’”
Unlike representing the city, Ferreira’s role didn’t include a speaking part. But he did get some prominent camera time.
In his scene, the Secret Service raids a family’s home during dinner. Ferreira, welding a pocket knife, cuts open the back of a painting in search of hidden money.
“They asked me if I knew how to handle a switchblade,” Ferreira said. “I said, ‘yeah, I’m from Providence.’”
Ferreira, who is retired from policing, was working a special police detail last year when another officer, who does some acting, told him that “Brotherhood” was looking for a few extras. Ferreira showed up at an old warehouse in East Providence turned into a temporary studio.
“It’s amazing how they re-create things,” Ferreira. “You walk in the door and you look out the window and they have pictures from the real streets but it looks like you are really looking outside. They try to make it as authentic as they can. Even the food was real food,”
Spoken like a true police officer.
“Yeah, they fed us well,” said Ferreira, who was paid $78 for his role.
Ferreira must have impressed the casting director. A few weeks later, she called to see if he could be in a couple more episodes. He had to pass on the offer. He was on the road, driving to Bonita Springs where he’s got a much more important role now.
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E-mail Tom Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org