Lost’s Terry O’Quinn is back on TV starting May 22, starring in Fox’s gritty new show Gang Related (Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET), created by Chris Morgan, writer of The Fast and the Furious franchise since Tokyo Drift. Ramon Rodriguez (Need for Speed) is at the center of the drama playing Det. Ryan Lopez, a member of Los Angeles’ elite Gang Task Force headed by O’Quinn’s character who also has ties to one of the city’s most powerful gangs, the Los Angelicos. While Rodriguez will offer a story of a memorable ride-along he did to research his role, O’Quinn just laughs if you ask him if he has one. “I let Ramon and Rza [who plays another team member] take care of all that kind of stuff,” he says. “I just sit behind the desk and let the young folks work. If you see me runnin’ up and down stairs, be surprised. It does happen once or twice.”
You can see why O’Quinn was cast as one of two competing father figures in Lopez’s life. When he talks, you listen. Especially if the subject turns to his love of American Idol, The Voice, and So You Think You Can Dance. “You know what I’m ashamed of, I’m ashamed that I was ever ashamed of what I liked,” he says, explaining why he has no “guilty” pleasures to confess. “I remember when I decided I liked my girlfriend: We’re on our first date, we’re havin’ a drink, and she says, ‘I gotta go.’ I said, ‘What? What?’ She says, ‘American Idol is on.’ I said, ‘Wow, somebody who actually admits they watch it. Apparently 25 million people were watching it but nobody did,” he says. “I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘You’re Terry O’Quinn! You were on Lost!’ And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.’ And they’ll say, ‘Well, I don’t watch TV.’ And I’m goin’, ‘You don’t?‘ Thank god someone does who won’t admit it, because I get a paycheck.”
For a second piece of life advice, watch him take our Pop Culture Personality Test below. It’s question No. 4. You can’t miss it.