McGowan at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International
Zachary Brendan McGowan (1981-05-05) May 5, 1981 (age 35)
Los Angeles, California
Emily Johnson (m. 2008)
As you do on any cable series, if they introduce you as the villain, then you better start working towards making him a really good guy, or if they introduce you as a really good guy, then you better start working towards being the villain. Your character has to go somewhere, or else they become very uninteresting.
I think with every part you do, you become a better actor. I've learned from my experiences on that.
When you play a character, there are choices you have to make about the past, the present, the future, etc. You have to make those choices on your own a lot.
'Cold Case' was fun. It was a fun experience. That was right when I was cutting my teeth as a TV actor. It was a great learning experience to work on really fast-paced television shows that are very high quality. It was a place where I learned that I had to keep up and I could keep up.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I was cooking with two guys who became celebrity chefs, if you will. I became their sous chef for awhile. We'd go to all the big names in Hollywood.
Fight scenes are hard, no matter what you do. You're trying to make it look like you're hurting someone without hurting them. It doesn't matter how big and strong the guy is that you're fighting or how small and feeble someone is that you're fighting. You don't want to hurt them. You're working with them.
In reality, I've always been an actor - since I was a kid. I did theater growing up in New York. I was always in the plays in school. I was either going to be an actor or an athlete or a soldier. Those were kind of the three paths that I always kind of embarked on.
My father and his brothers and sisters were childhood Irish jig champions in the Bronx. At our family celebrations, they all get out and do the jig. And of course, the younger generation, me and my cousins and my brothers, we have our own Americanized renditions of the Irish jig, which is a bit more like 'Lord of the Dance.'
Every time you do a big sword fight surrounded by a couple of hundred extras, it's a fun day at work.
My father is a Marine. My brother is a Marine. I almost became a Marine. I'm no stranger to fight training. I used to do jujitsu and boxing as a kid. I was a running back in football for my high school and my college. I played ice hockey as well as did theater. So, there's always been a physical nature to me.