They may not get along on screen but for brothers Chris and Dylan Bruno, every opportunity to work together is a good one. This Friday, Chris, best known as Sheriff Bannerman on The Dead Zone, guest-stars on Numbers (9 pm/ET, CBS) as SWAT captain Tim King, who rushes in to save the day when David (Alimi Ballard) is taken hostage inside the FBI building. TVGuide.com talked to Dylan about sibling rivalry and the college romance that connects his older brother to CBS' math procedural.
TVGuide.com: How did you rope your brother into doing this?
Dylan Bruno: That's funny. The producers and I had all been joking around, "Oh, we've got to get your brother down here at some point," and there were a couple of times where they thought to bring him down and I said, "You know, let's save it for something that's a good role." One day they said, "Hey, we're thinking about hiring your brother for this episode, what do you think?" I was like, "That would be awesome" — and it was a really cool character. He got to play a SWAT team leader. He's a good guy, it's not like he comes in and gets killed off in one episode. We just had a great time working together. It's always a pleasure for us to have that opportunity and it just makes it really fun for the two of us to just be able to be on each other's show.
TVGuide.com: Have you two sat down and figured out why you have a knack for playing law enforcement?
Bruno: No, but I guess someone seems to think so, because the two of us, yeah, we always end up playing cops or soldiers.
TVGuide.com: You and your brother have this interesting argument on-screen. Have you've honed that skill at home?
Bruno: No, the funny thing is that actually, my brother and I have not really had very many arguments in the course of growing up. I mean, we're pretty far apart in age — six and a half years — and when you're little kids growing up that's just worlds apart. And so in all of those years where kids tend to fight and compete over things, we were completely noncompetitive because we were in totally different worlds. By the time we were adults, when we got into the arena where we could potentially compete for things, we had already realized that we don't need to.
TVGuide.com: How did you both end up acting?
Bruno: My brother got into it up in college. He broke his ankle and he was on the ski team and when he couldn't ski for the season, someone was like, "Hey, why don't you try out for the play?" So he tried out for the school play, got it and ended up loving it. Then he transferred schools and went to study acting. I was an engineer, graduated college, worked as an engineer for literally like two weeks when I realized that was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I packed my truck, and... [it's a] long, long, long story, but basically I was stopped on the street by some women who worked for a big fashion photographer and they started me doing some modeling and one of my modeling gigs got me a TV commercial, which was seen by Steven Spielberg and he put me on a TV show. And there I was acting, too.
TVGuide.com: How did Chris fit in with the rest of the Numbers cast? Does he know them from before?
Bruno: Yeah, I mean, he had been down a couple of times so he knew everybody and everybody was happy to have him there. And he and Diane [Farr] actually have known each other for, gosh, like 18 years now. They dated back in college.
TVGuide.com: No way! What's the dynamic like between the two of them?
Bruno: I guess as it would be between any ex-boyfriend and girlfriend who are amicable and run into each other frequently because they're in the same small business.
TVGuide.com: Did you and Diane know each other through Chris?
Bruno: Yeah! When my brother and she were in college, I was still in grammar school, I think I must have been in ninth grade the first time I met her. They were dating in college and our house where we grew up is on the beach in Connecticut, so she came around a bunch and hung out at the beach and we had this big outdoor sleeping porch on our house, you know, and we all slept out there.
TVGuide.com: So when you and Diane ended up on the same show, did you think that was just hilarious?
Bruno: Yeah, we were both dying laughing. Neither of us had any idea. We've had a lot of history, known each other a long time and feel kind of like brother and sister and just have a lot of fun working together. So it turned out to be great.
TVGuide.com: When you were Numbers' mole, I think everyone who was watching the show just assumed that would be the end of you. Did you know that your character was going to make it?
Bruno: I did, actually, and it was really nice of our producers to tell me. Because you hear all those stories where somebody picks up a script for the next episode, they're reading through it, and they see a bullet written in their character's head and nobody's filled them in on anything, but the producers were kind enough to let me know about four episodes before that script came out what the storyline was going to be, where it was going, how it was going to resolve, and yeah, they obviously asked me not to tell anybody. So it was kind of funny because I then spent the next couple episodes on set, with all the crew members thinking, "That poor kid, he has no idea what's coming." It was nice to actually, for once in this business, have someone care about you enough to let you know, so that I didn't have to walk around with my tail between my legs.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel that you've kept that momentum after Tony Scott directed his episode [the Season 4 premiere]?
Bruno: I felt like it gave everybody a new bit of inspiration and all the directors who come in, I mean, they all kind of joke around and say, "Wow, I've got to follow Tony Scott." And it really seems like everybody is up to the challenge and has been really trying to be innovative and do some cool stuff and keep the energy and enthusiasm alive.
TVGuide.com: It's been quite the season for you guys.
Bruno: Yeah, it has, it's been a really good season. It certainly was off to a great start so it's a little frustrating being in the midst of the writers' strike when we felt like we had a lot of momentum going for the season, but they're fighting for something that everybody believes in, at least on our end, and we're wishing them the best.
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