The Cleaner Stars Benjamin Bratt
A&E’s New Series The Cleaner Is Unconventional, Complex And Addictive Drama
The A&E network has had good luck with real life shows that are dramatic and riveting. Diverse reality programs such as Intervention, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Paranormal State and Criss Angel Mindfreak.
Newly launched and added to the mix is the high quality scripted drama The Cleaner starring Benjamin Bratt, airing Tuesdays at 10 pm on A&E.
Inspired by the true story of a real life “extreme interventionist,” Bratt plays William “The Cleaner” Banks, a good family man who hit rock-bottom from his own addictions, then made a deal with God. In exchange for a second chance, he vows to kick his addictions and dedicate his life to helping others. This often conflicts with his duties as a father and husband, but he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
Banks has an unconventional team to assist him as he helps people get “clean,” by any means necessary. Sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes laced with strange humor, the stories are always compelling.
“The people who need help find out that their only hope is someone who’s been there before,” explains Bratt.
“Like every actor, I always look for good material to work with and The Cleaner is one of the best scripts I’ve read in a long time. I just loved the complexity of the lead character,” says the handsome star of the film Miss Congeniality, and the series Law & Order.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to portray such a multidimensional role. And I’m somewhat familiar with the world where the drama unfolds.”
A wonderful cast surrounds Bratt, with Amy Price-Francis (Californication), Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica), Kevin Michael Richardson (Knights of Prosperity), Esteban Powell (Dazed and Confused), Brett Del Bouono (Balls of Fury) and Liliana Mumy (Cheaper by the Dozen).
The show was created by executive producer Jonathan Prince (Cane, American Dreams) and Robert Munic, and is loosely based on executive producer Warren Boyd’s dedication as a counselor who has helped many people kick their addictions.
It’s sort of The Equalizer meets the Intervention, and Bratt says there are important issues that are addressed, a multitude of addictions. Sex addiction, gambling and anorexia are among them. It’s not just about drugs and alcohol. It’s about what goes on in the brain, and getting healthy mentally.
Prince, the inspiring show-runner in charge of the production, says, “The joy of the show is showing that the people affected come from every level of society. We show the worlds they come from without judging. There are undercover stories with a suburban mom, or a jockey at the race track. Eric Roberts just did an episode for us where we go into the world of motorcycle gangs. Then we have to show how people grapple at being a functioning ex-addict.”
Bratt reveals, “It’s not afraid to get ugly or dark. And at the same time, out of these sometimes deeply tragic events, there’s a lot of levity that exists, and a real sense of humanity.”
Bratt doesn’t play his character as a straightforward hero. He insists, “He’s just a regular guy, flawed and struggling. Someone many can relate to, and everyone can be inspired by, just because he tries his best. But it ain’t Father Knows Best at the end of the day.”
But it is television worth watching.