Michael remembers hosting a Fourth of July celebration with the Boston Pops in his hometown of Boston several years ago. Jennifer was the musical guest, and she performed her song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls.”
“There’s certain things in a career that you never forget,” he said. “To be able to stand there, feet away from you, and watch you sing that song… It was one of the most incredible live performances I’ve ever seen. And I’m old — I’ve seen a lot of people play.”
He said he watched “the audience’s face melt” as she sang. “Just unbelievable.”
He got into acting by entertaining his family
“I grew up in a great, big, huge Greek family,” Michael told JHud later in their chat. “People think I have a raspy voice from smoking or something, but really it’s from yelling to be heard.
“I started in this crazy business by entertaining them,” he said of his family. He would do impersonations to make them laugh, and does a few for JHud, too — including one of “The White Lotus” star Jennifer Coolidge!
“Oh, my God! That was really good!” laughed a delighted Jennifer.
On being a proud dad
“I’m very, very proud of them,” he said of his two adult daughters, Autumn and Odessa. Autumn is the best-selling author of the book “Smothered” and launched her own tequila brand, The Pink Pig.
To prove just how much of a proud papa he is, he slid down his jacket to reveal his T-shirt, the very one he designed to help promote his daughter’s tequila brand wherever he goes. So sweet!
He previously waited tables with some notable names
“After college, when I first moved to New York, I ended up waiting tables at a place called Formerly Joe’s in the West Village in New York City with Edie Falco and Anthony Bourdain,” he shared with JHud. “A pretty incredible time”
He added, “I had a lot of great times during that period, but at the same time, I was broke.”
Why he loves his latest role on ‘Accused’
Michael can next be seen in the crime anthology series “Accused,” premiering January 22 on FOX. “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on television. I always wanted to be able to say that, and now I can!
“I often play these larger-than-life, gregarious, or super tough guys, and this is a very refined, intelligent, very buttoned-up emotionally man,” he said of portraying Dr. Scott Corbett. “I just love having a diverse career and touching a lot of different bases.”