Playing Chaplin also teams Braugher with - and has on occasion pitted him against - another experienced actor with his own strong presence, Robert Patrick, who plays Master Chief Petty Officer Joseph Prosser. As superb as they are individually, Braugher and Patrick together are a drama fan's dream team. Speaking on Chaplin and Prosser's sometimes contentious relationship, Braugher said, "Robert is a very intense guy, so this is what happens I think when patriots clash. We’re both very passionate about what it is that we’re doing and we’re both supremely concerned about the health and welfare of our crew.
"Chaplin needs Prosser very much, not only because he exercises discipline over the crew but because he is a touchstone for the crew. If the Chief of the Boat thinks that it’s right, then the guys have a tendency to fall in line. And so Prosser is very important to Chaplin and it's very important for Chaplin that Prosser understands that our whole goal here is to get back home and to get back home in safety.
"[Chaplin asks] Prosser to make sure that [they] get home - that it is important to help [him] get all of these men and women back home and I think he’s following through on that. [They] may disagree but I think [they] do understand that the whole point is to get back home."
And while Braugher has played his fair share of men in authority, there's something that stands out to him about Marcus Chaplin in particular. "I like the fact that he’s thinking ahead. It’s the strategic part of Chaplin that’s fascinating to me," he explained. "The fact that the next step may seem the next right one but when you think several steps out further it turns out to be a mistake.
"It’s something I read the very first time I read the script. After they discover the bombers are coming to make a strike on their position. During that time when everyone is saying to themselves 'We’ve got to get the hell out of here, we’ve got to submerge the boat, we’ve got to run,' it’s at that point that Chaplin was thinking, 'We’ve got to fire. We've got to put the fear of God into them so they understand.'" And if there's anyone good at putting the fear of God into people, it's Andre Braugher - one of the strongest actors, both in terms of power and talent, that we have on the airwaves today.
Last Resort continues tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on ABC.