Ask Terry

BWKnoxHeadshot5-rA lot of fans have emailed in questions for Terry. Here are some of the replies.


There are quite a few actors I`d like to work with. Quite a few. And I`m not just talking about DeNiro and Malkovich here. I`m talking about hundreds of actors who have jobs, good jobs, in projects that for one reason or another do not include me. I would really like to work with these actors.

Same for the movies or TV shows that went ahead and got made without me. Used to piss me off so bad that I wouldn`t even watch TV; I didn`t go to a movie for two years---wouldn`t even read the goddamn Calender Section of the newspaper, in order to avoid seeing the advertisements for all these movies and things I wanted to be in. But, hey, I did VIP last week, and DeNiro and Malkovich didn`t get to do THAT. So I guess it all evens out in the end. At any rate, I went to a movie a couple of months ago and I enjoyed myself, and I`ve even watched a little TV lately. So I guess I'm sort of in recovery from my envy-obsession.

The bare asses in the Gag Reel are mine and Stephen Caffrey`s. I`m not certain anymore which one is his and which one is mine. They kind of look alike from that distance and in the dark of the street. It was very late at night and we were giggle-stupid from lack of sleep. I don`t think we even actually spoke before doing it--it was so spontaneous and sudden; the cameras were already rolling; the whole scene was actually being filmed seriously, and we were all frantically trying to finish the scene before the sun came up and ruined the set-up. So it was definitely not an appropriate time for us to be screwing around like that. But like I said, the cameras were rolling, the extras were sent in motion crossing the street, we heard our cue, and we just looked at each other, dropped our pants and backed around the corner into the street-scene. What I think was so funny about it at the time, and might be hard to know from just watching the tape, is that nobody out there in the street--NObody--had any idea that when Zeke and the Lt. came around the corner, it would be butt-first, pants down. Sorry to have to admit that, looking back, I can`t even recognise my own ass.

So, okay, let me see...I don`t know anything about the Red Star script. I`d have to know more about it. Joshua certainly didn`t play Lt. Maybe someone was writing it on hoping to sell it. I don`t know for sure. Maybe it was an episode we filmed that I`ve forgotten the name of, and that the Maurer/Goldman credit was a typo.

I don`t have a true preference for good or bad guy roles. Bad guys CAN be more fun, but good guys are more likely to promote your likelihood of being cast as a regular on a TV series. Bad guys are usually guest roles, one episode shots. Fun but less money. You see?

I loved working with all the fellas on Tod. Truly. Tony Becker, Steve Caffrey, Miguel Nunez, Stan Foster, Ramon Franco, Eric Bruskotter, Steve Akahoshi and Joshua Maurer, were a big part of the best times of my life. The very best. As were the crew members and camera crew, with whom we all grew incredibly close over the three seasons of long, exhausting hours, days and weeks together. I miss them still.

The end of season three on Tour of Duty kinda leaves you hangin'. Has there ever been any talk of a reunion show. With TNT rerunning the series I imagine now would be a great time. I'm so glad that the shows being aired again. You all did amazing work on the show.

    Thanks, Kate.
    I appreciate your comment about hangin’. Couldn't agree with you more. It did leave things hanging. And it wasn't a very fitting conclusion for 3 seasons of hard work, as well as 3 seasons of loyal viewing on your part. I don't think, at least at this point, a reunion show is likely. But then, I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. Thanks for asking.

First i want to say HI!!. how are you doing?. My questions are: How did you do those scenes with no sleeves and freezing cold temperature? Also in Ep the Luck it looked like the NVA soldier actually hit you with the butt of his rifle, Did that connect? it looked so real.

Have you ever been to Australia? thanks for answering my questions.


    Look closely at scenes from the 2nd and 3rd season when it was cold as hell, and you can occasionally discern wisps of condensation fog coming from our mouths as we speak. I offer that as evidence of the fact that it was cold. And in response to the question 'how did we do it when it was cold' I offer a handful of old prescription bottles that I emptied trying to stop my hacking cough and advancing bronchitis. I say this with a smile on my face, and want to remind you, sincerely, that this was the best time of my life. And, nope, the rifle butt didn't hit me.

Terry I just wanted to say hello to one of my favorite actors. I loved the way your character interacted with the other guys. How much of yourself was in those scenes??? I also read recently that you had played basketball with Tony Becker. I just wondered what he was up to these days? Thank you for your time, Leslie

    Well, I'd like to think that alot of myself was in Zeke. In all honesty, however, I'd have to say that Zeke was a little steadier and pleasant to be around than I sometimes am. But Erin, my Fiancee, is quick to point out that I'm alot more fun. I trust her judgement.

    Tony Becker can't play basketball worth a poop. What he can do, and do very well, is just about any and every other thing in this world that requires courage, coordination, and utter disregard of personal safety. He is in that sense truly remarkable. He is also one of my closest friends. He cannot, however, play basketball worth a poop.

My husband and I have followed you since we first saw Tour of Duty many years ago. I must say that this series was the closest thing to the real story that has ever been done. Who or what was the main source for your character and how did it affect you? Would you play the same role if given the opportunity now? They say that if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth---by having a part in this series you have ensured the fact that the truth as told by the government will always be questioned regarding this and for that I am very thankful. My husband still has dreams--if you can call them dreams--and it seems to relieve him some to know that there are people that still search for the truth. Even if those that were there can never really tell it. Thank You!!! Libby

    What a great letter you have written. I am humbled by the glimpse into yours and your husband's hearts it provides. Thank you, truly.

    I borrowed a lot of things from alot of different sources for the character, mostly attitudes of true leadership I observed in our technical advisors. These were NCO’s with often 3 tours in Vietnam under their belts, and they all had the quiet kind of power that inspired loyalty in all who followed them. Which included us.

    I'm sorry your husband still suffers. He is not alone, certainly, but I know that doesn't help much. I'm touched that anything we did in the show might have helped at all. Please take care of him and God bless.

I am wondering if the show continued would the story line continue with you and Dr. Seymour? Also, Do you ever watch reruns of the shows you have done??! Thank you for answering my questions and have a good day!! MissX

    If the show had continued I don't know if Betsy Brantly (Dr. Seymour) would have been available. But it would have been nice. I do watch reruns once in awhile and I still think the show still looks good.

Hi Terry, Do you have 5 or 6 especially favorite roles in the many movies you have done? What are the movie titles? I have seen and really enjoyed The Spy Within (J.B. sure was handy with those toenail-removing plyers, eeiiiaahhh!!), Snowkill (excellent!), and of course the TV movies. By the way, the Gag Reel tape was hilarious! Who were you imitating (if anyone?) in that ‘Looking for Love’ song and jig you did by the foxhole? I am still laughing over that one! Finally-the ToD series and actors are top notch and everyone did a great job developing the characters and bringing out the controversial issues of the war. It has made me start reading about the war again. Take care and thanks for answering my questions. Cindy

    Hey, I like your question. You have actually named 3 of my favorite roles. The Spy Within was a fun one. I also loved Peter White in St. Elsewhere. You were watching the biscuit man. One of my proudest creations. If you heard the ‘looking for love’ line, then you probably heard the rest of the song. Which is a continuing and considerable embarassment from my fiancee Erin. Even as she looks over my shoulder as I type this. God love the biscuit man! He was dirty, but he was good. And the man could dance. Thanks for asking.

Do you still keep in touch with any of the Tour of Duty cast?

    Yes, Tony Becker, Steve Caffrey, Miguel Nunez and Ramon Franco. I played basketball with Tony just last week.

Have you ever been hurt on the Tour of Duty set?

    There was a scene in “War is a Contact Sport,” which Steve directed, in which an explosive went off earlier than it was supposed to. It knocked my headband off and I was dazed for a bit, but was okay. No other real injuries during filming.

About “Notes From The Underground”:

    MaeLing, Zev Braun's wife, was the art director and made those tunnels on a sound stage. Very elaborate set. They had to do take after take to get the scenes filmed right. We had to stay right in the light and be careful to not overshadow one another. It was not an easy scene to film. My knees have never been the same since, it ruined them.

About St. Elsewhere:

    The rape scenes were scary to do. You don't like to think of your character like that. You also don't know if that is going to be the end of your character, or not.

About his many death scenes: we asked Terry if he had a technique to ‘on camera dying’.

    I consider myself a dying on camera specialist. I also feel I'm good at waking up scenes. He says he can let himself slobber on film, while 'waking' to make it more realistic. “Ever watch a scene with someone in bed and their hair is perfect, etc. Not realistic,” he says.

What has been your favorite role?

    Tour of Duty.

What is your favorite “Tour of Duty” episode?

    “Brothers, Fathers and Sons”. I also really liked the pilot where we all got to meet each other.


Odds and Ends
Height: 6 feet.
Favorite Food: Chocolate pie.
Favorite Music: Beatles, fold, early Joan Baez, Tim Hardin.
Favorite TV Show: St. Elsewhere.
Who did you admire as a child? Ray Stein, a local athlete.
Which actor do you admire the most? John Malkovich.

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